AFTER THE STORM – Amy Knupp
Texas Firefighters , Book 6
Harlequin SuperRomance #1813
San Amaro Island, Texas – Present Day
It is raining and the wind is howling. A hurricane is on its way, and Nadia Hamlin is late getting off the island after everyone has evacuated. She was so busy looking for some files for her job, she lost track of time. She manages to get to her car when a huge restaurant sign smashes into the front of it. She dials 911 and is happy to see a firefighter come to the rescue. She is surprised to see Penn Griffin, a man she had gone out with on a date three months ago. As Penn tries to dislodge the sign, he is hit from debris and goes down. The other firefighters call for an ambulance, and he ends up in the hospital needing a back operation. Penn remembers when Nadia walked out in the middle of their date. He still thinks and dreams about her, but Nadia is a workaholic, and her job always comes first. She left their date midway to take care of an emergency with the family hotel she manages. With the downturn of the economy, she worries that they might lose the hotel.
Nadia comes to visit Penn in the hospital. She feels guilty that he had gotten injured so badly by rescuing her. After surgery, he is still hurting, not knowing if he can go back to firefighting. He has to start out slowly walking a little each day without straining himself. He has been released from the hospital but has strict instructions regarding his care. She informs him that she will be at his house at 6:00 the following night with dinner whether he wants it or not. When she arrives, she finds Penn angry and depressed.
Penn's sister, Zoe, arrives to take care of Penn while he is recuperating. His roommate, Cooper, another firefighter, also tries to help, but Penn has trouble getting over his anger. Penn sends a message to Nadia apologizing for his boorish behavior the night before, and when she arrives, she finds him devastated by the news that he can no longer be a firefighter. She is also dismayed by the news. When she tries to comfort him (and herself), their kiss turns into an inferno of fireworks. Penn's job has defined him. Can he find another job to equal the love he had for fighting fires?
Readers will visit Faith, Mercedes, and other characters from previous books of the Texas Firefighters series by Amy Knupp. The two women are special friends with Nadia. In AFTER THE STORM, the two main characters take a while to warm up to because Penn is so angry about his injuries, and Nadia can only think about saving her family hotel. Things heat up between them as the attraction escalates, Penn tries to heal, and Nadia helps him. Secondary character, Cooper, is one of my favorites as he jokes around and has his eye on Zoe. There is more than one romance in AFTER THE STORM.
AFTER THE STORM is another absorbing romance in this series depicting the dangerous job and the dedicated and brave men who put their lives on the line by fighting fires.