Blue Flame


By Jill Shalvis

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 2, 2013. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.


Callie Hayes is the hardworking manager of the Blue Flame, Arizona’s most remote, relaxing guest ranch. She’s given everything to the ranch, body, heart, and soul-three things that go haywire when her sexy employer suddenly shows up. Their intense, stormy past has taught Callie to never mix business with pleasure. But something about Jake is different now . . .

San Diego firefighter Jake Rawlings knows the ranch he inherited from his father is safe in Callie’s capable hands. After being injured in a high-profile rescue, Jake decides to recover in solitude at the Blue Flame. He may have left the fires behind, but he hasn’t escaped the heat; Callie is just as hot and irresistible as he remembers. Now coming home doesn’t seem like the best idea-as the sparks between Jake and Callie threaten to burn out of control . . .


Dear Readers,

I have a thing for firefighters. I always have. There's just something about a guy who's willing to put his life on the line for others, isn't there? The job itself suggests being strong of mind and body and is innately masculine. (With apologies to the women firefighters out there, you're all beautiful!).

Years ago, I wrote three romances featuring firefighter heroes. The books have been out of print for a long time now and never made it to the digital age. My wonderful publisher has taken them out of obscurity and is reissuing them as ebooks.

WHITE HEAT, BLUE FLAME, and SEEING RED are not connected books, so they can be read in any order. Keep in mind they were written a long time ago and are not from this smart phone/digital age. But one thing they do have in common with my more recent books is a sexy, hot hero and a happily ever after.

Hope you enjoy!

Best wishes,


Dangling from a third-story window ledge wasn't a good thing. Dangling from a third-story window ledge by the tips of his fingers, with fire blazing all around him was even worse, and though Jake Rawlins had been in tougher situations, at the moment he couldn't remember one.

"Go away!" cried the young teen, trembling on the very corner of the flaming roof above him. "Go away!"

Jake adjusted his precarious perch, and eyed the kid. "I'm a firefighter, I'm here to help you. Just don't—"

The boy scrambled out of Jake's reach.

"—move." Damn it. Apparently nothing about this call would be easy tonight. So far, he had a mansion of a house on fire in the dead of the night; occupants caught unawares on a rural street, with the fire hydrant just far enough away to create a sea of hoses at his crew's feet, all on hilly, uneven land in the outskirts of San Diego county. Oh, and a terrified teen sitting above the inferno, on a roof, holding one arm against his chest as if he'd injured it.

The winds whipped right at Jake, stirred by the fire itself, trying to tear him from the house. It'd only been two minutes since the ladder engine had malfunctioned, trapping him up there, but it felt like a lifetime. He had at least eight minutes before another ladder engine would arrive. Only problem, the roof wasn't going to last another eight minutes.

"Billy! Somebody get my Billy!" screamed the kid's mother from three stories below. Her terror stabbed at Jake, and fueled him on. Adjusting his grip on the ledge, he reached for the rain gutter, which was thankfully anchored to the house, and began to climb.

The house itself was nothing but a bright ball of flame around him. No one could get through the inferno to get inside, not until they tamed the fire, which his crew was working on from below. Long streams of forced water flew through the air toward the flames, which only seemed to enrage them all the more.

"Mom!" Above Jake, Billy's voice sounded weak and smoke-ravaged.

Jake got high enough to see him again, and his heart nearly stopped. Shaking in terror, Billy sat about three feet back from the ledge, completely surrounded by flames, cradling his arm and screaming. "Mom!"

"She can't hear you from there, buddy."

"I didn't mean for this to happen, I didn't!"

Had he started the fire? At the moment it didn't matter. Neither did the fact that as captain of the malfunctioned engine, Jake was usually on the ground, strategizing and organizing the crew, not straddling a rickety rain gutter thirty feet above ground. Christ, he hated heights. "Hang on, now." Jake kept his face averted from the heat and flames blasting toward him, but then the kid shifted to bolt away.

The roof was a goner. A wrong move now, and he could fall through. With no ladder and nothing to brace his foot on, Jake had to use sheer strength to pull himself up, and he felt every one of his hundred and eighty pounds, not to mention the additional sixty-five pounds of gear.

The kid stared at the flames engulfing the roof, flinching as areas began to cave in. "Mom!"

"Your mom's safe. Let's do the same for us." With the flames leaping far too close for comfort, Jake reached out for him.

"No!" Whimpering, Billy crawled backward, out of Jake's reach and straight into the danger zone. "I don't wanna go over the edge!"

Jake could hear more sirens coming closer now. He could feel the mist of the spray his crew were frantically sending around them, trying to keep them safe. "Billy, we need to go."

"I want to go through the attic door, the way I came!" Dropping to his knees, Billy scooted away from Jake and the feared edge, and directly toward the flames.

Jake understood the height issue, and sympathized more than the kid could know, but there was no help for that. They had to get off the roof, and fast, and they had to go the way Jake had come—via the ledge.

From far below, new swirling lights joined the others, and he knew the other ladder engine had arrived. Relief was cut short by a thundering crash directly on his left. Whipping around, he watched a good part of the roof cave in, including the attic door and stairs.

Billy stared at the gaping hole in horror. Flames immediately filled it, but unbelievably, the kid took a step toward it.

"No." Jake reached out, and got a hold of Billy's shoe, which promptly came off. Shit. With his other hand, he caught the kid's ankle, but lost in his fear, Billy thrashed around.

"It's okay," Jake tried to soothe. "I've got you—" He took a well-placed kick to his chest, which nearly sent them both over the edge of the three-story house.

"I want to get down!"

"Yeah, but not the way the stairs and attic door just went, okay?"

Another crash, and only three feet away this time, and more of the roof vanished. Jake's stomach dropped to his toes. It was now or never. With the hot, unforgiving wind whipping his face and the smoke clogging his lungs, he got a better grip on Billy, trying to be careful with the injured arm. "Hold it tight to you." Jake spread a protective hand over the limb as best he could. "The ladder's here."

"We're going down on a fire engine ladder?"

"Yep." Holding on to Billy, Jake leaned slightly over the edge to take a look. Indeed, the malfunctioned engine had been moved, and the new one was in position, the ladder inching its way up.

It felt like slow motion. Another roaring boom came directly behind them, and Billy cried out, clinging to Jake.

Jake's gaze met Steve's, the firefighter on the end of the ladder. The silent urgency passed between them as more of the roof dissolved around them. They were running out of time.

Steve reached out but was still too far away. It was going to be too damn late. Jake could feel the immense heat beneath him, all around him. He figured he had less than a minute to get them down before there wasn't a square foot to stand on.

The ladder bumped the building, and Steve reached for Billy, whose one good thin arm was wrapped so tightly around Jake's neck that he could hardly breathe. "Billy, Steve's going to take you down."

"I want you to do it!"

Again Jake's gaze met Steve's. They didn't have time to switch positions, not with fire raining down over them, the ladder slick from the hose. Jake pulled free of Billy's grip and shoved him at Steve.

An ominous rumble came from beneath Jake's feet. Steve was still right there with Billy, trying to get out of the way for Jake, but the flames whipped up from below, taking over the ledge, forcing Jake back another step, separating him from Steve and Billy by a wall of fire.

Who would miss him? came the inane thought. His mother? Nope. His brother? Double nope. Cici, the beautiful brunette he'd seen twice and who'd been so hot just last night? Yeah, maybe she'd miss him—

The roof gave beneath his feet, and he fell.

And fell.


Jake opened his eyes to find himself still in the hospital, where he'd been for two days. He lay there and listened to his pretty little nurse kick some serious reporter ass.

"No, you can't talk to him," she said furiously into the telephone by his bed. Candy—or was it Cindy?—was the quintessential California girl—blond, tanned, five foot two tops, with a sweet curvy little bod that Jake watched quiver indignantly.

"I have no idea how you people got this room number but you have to stop calling," she said. "Firefighter Rawlins doesn't want to talk to the Times, the Gazette, People, or US Weekly. Nobody. Got that?" She slammed down the phone, gave an incensed little huff, then shot Jake a smile of pure gold as she blew her too-long bangs out of her eyes. "There. That should buy you five minutes of peace. Want me to take the phone out of here?"

"Nah, they'll give up eventually."

"I doubt that." Moving to his IV, she skimmed a consoling hand up his arm before she shot him up with the morphine he'd required since his reconstructive shoulder surgery the day before. Amazingly enough, other than his crushed shoulder, he had only a concussion and a few second-degree burns on his back. Not bad, considering. The euphoria from the drugs kicked in, and he began floating happily. In and out…

He came to sometime later, apparently in the middle of a conversation with his good friend, fire inspector Joe Walker. He was leaning over Jake's hospital bed with a look in his eyes that Jake hadn't seen since they'd lost Danny in that horrific building fire six months ago. "I'm not dead," Jake said quickly, craning his neck to catch the welcome sight of his monitors, and the equally welcome movement on the screen indicating he was indeed breathing.

A shadow of a smile crossed Joe's face. "No. Apparently you have nine lives."

"Well then, stop looking at me like that."

Joe's expression didn't change, and Jake's heart started a heavy drumming. Ah, shit. What was the matter? What hadn't they told him? What had he missed while in la-la land? He could see his toes, could even wriggle them—

"Look, Jake. I know firefighting is everything to you." Joe's eyes looked suspiciously shiny. "Jesus, how can I not know that? I've watched you risk life and limb on this job for years. I saw how you hated being injured last year, having to work on the hiring board instead of fighting fires, but…"

Jake closed his eyes to the torment in Joe's voice. Now all he could hear was the steady bleep bleep of his monitors, no longer assuring because maybe whatever was wrong was something he couldn't see. He wouldn't have a clue, as another extremely cute little nurse had just slipped some more excellent drugs into his IV. "Just tell me what you're dancing around."

"They think you're done firefighting."

No. He wasn't done, he couldn't be. But what if he was? Maybe he couldn't feel anything because they'd had to cut off his arm—Flailing out with his left hand he slapped at his right shoulder. White hot pain stabbed at him, and he sagged back, gasping. Nope. Arm still there, just numb from the neck block he'd required on top of the anesthesia. "I'll heal." He grimaced and breathed through the pain. "I'll heal and get back to work."

The sympathy in Joe's gaze was far scarier than a thirty-foot fall through hell had been. "You'll need time," he said. "Lots of it and preferably away from here and the media."

Ah, yes, the media. Turned out little Billy had broken his arm. Joe and the other inspector on the case suspected that it'd been broken while Billy had been lighting his own house on fire, but the kid claimed Jake had been rough with him, breaking the limb while grabbing and shaking Billy on the roof.

To add insult to injury, Billy's mother was threatening to file a suit against the city, the fire department, and Jake himself, a situation made worse when Jake had groggily picked up the phone an hour after his surgery, telling some reporter that the kid must be on crack as well as being a pyromaniac if he thought Jake would do that.

The press had had a field day with that comment, and Billy's mother had decided to add a civil suit against Jake for defaming her boy in the press, all of which had warranted Jake more publicity than he'd ever wanted.

Joe was surveying the room, and all the flowers Jake had received. "Fan club?"

"Better than the stack of ugly faxes waiting for me at the nurses' station." His words slurred a little, thanks to the drugs. "There's a whole bunch of people who actually believe I hurt that kid, and want to kick my ass."

"And there's a whole bunch of women who just want to kiss it." He flicked a note attached to a basket of roses: Roses are red, violets are blue, call me when you're better, and our last rendezvous we'll redo. "Call her," he suggested. "Let her be a slave to your every whim and need for a while."

It was a running joke at the station that Jake could date a different woman every night for a year and not have to repeat unless he chose to. But none of them would be interested in him at the moment, not a one. Sad to admit, but for all the years that he'd been there for others, most of them complete strangers, he had few true connections. So here he was now, needing a little help to disappear, maybe a little TLC to go with that help, and he couldn't think of anyone to call.

Not a single soul.


Three weeks later Jake stared up at the weights he was trying to pull down to his chest at the orders of his physical therapist, feeling one hundred and two instead of thirty-two. Both mentally and physically exhausted, he'd begun to despair of his shoulder, and how he hadn't bounced back as he'd thought. They'd warned him after the surgery that a reconstructed shoulder wouldn't be a walk in the park, but he hadn't believed it.

He couldn't believe a number of things, including how hard it was dodging the curious reporters at his house on the Del Mar bluffs, or how antsy he felt not working, not doing anything but getting tired of daytime TV.

"Take a cruise," Joe suggested from his perch on the next bench over. He came to Jake's physical therapy as often as he could, offering support and dirty jokes as needed.

But a cruise wasn't feasible. Firefighters weren't exactly rolling in dough, and Jake sank every last penny he had into a down payment on his house last year, and was now the proud owner of a mortgage up to his eyeballs.

"Family reunion?" Joe suggested.

"Nah." Jake's mother was currently enjoying conning her sixth or seventh husband out of his retirement, and wouldn't welcome him. Jake's father—husband number two—had died two years ago. Richard Rawlins had left Jake his guest ranch, the Blue Flame, a place out in the middle of Nowhere, Arizona, where people worked like a dog, camped out on rocky ground, and paid for the pleasure. As a city guy who didn't feel the draw of the great Wild West, Jake had pretty much left it to run itself.

It was thirty acres surrounded by three thousand more of open land in the Dragoon Mountains National Forest, reputedly one of the most beautiful areas in Arizona, which might have been exciting for the value factor, if it had value. But the truth was, the place barely broke even most months, and there'd been several where it hadn't even done that. "Maybe I could go to the Blue Flame."

Joe laughed, then got serious when Jake didn't crack a smile. "But you hate camping."

"Yeah." He also hated that his father, a man who hadn't bothered with Jake in life, had in death tried to tie him to a place that meant nothing except a reminder of a relationship he'd never had. "So how about I just go back to work instead?"

"You know what the doctor said."

He'd said it wasn't looking good for Jake to get his shoulder back to fit condition, at least not fit enough for the heavy demands firefighting would put on it. Jake didn't want to think about that. His cell phone rang so he didn't have to, and since he had his hands on the weights, Joe answered it for him.

His friend listened for a moment, then lifted a brow. "No, I don't think Firefighter Rawlins is interested in doing a spread for Playgirl—How much?" His gaze flew to meet Jake's while he let out a whistle, but slowly shook his head. "Sorry. That's…shocking, but no." He disconnected, then shot Jake a speculative look. "I had no idea they paid so much."

Jake didn't respond because it was taking all his energy to lift weights. Actually, he wasn't lifting so much as budging.

Budging while his muscles trembled like a newborn baby and sweat broke out on his brow. And then suddenly a microphone was shoved in his face by a man wearing a Tribune badge.

"Jake Rawlins, what will you do if your victim wins his case? Will you be forced to quit?"

Shocked, Jake blinked up at him. Forced to quit the job that was everything to him? For saving a kid's life?

"Have you admitted guilt?" the reporter asked.

Fury filled him so fast his head spun, but Joe's hand settled on his chest, holding him down. "Ignore him," Joe warned quietly, then stood and hauled the reporter up to his toes. "We're busy here."

The reporter, feet swinging above the ground, paled. "Y-yes, I see that."

"Then why are you still here?"

When the reporter had hightailed it out the door, Jake lay back, one thing suddenly crystal clear. He did need out. He'd go to the only place he could think of, and the last place anyone would look for him. The last place he wanted to be.

The Blue Flame.


The rocky wooded canyons stretched to the sharp azure sky, unmarred by so much as a single cloud. Spring had been generous so far, and manzanita, mesquite, and Arizona oak grew in bountiful supply. In the center of all this glory a little piglet pumped its short legs, squealing as it ran from a second little piglet, right across the newly seeded area of the front lawn. A third little piglet chased its tail in circles in the flower bed in front of the big house. Piglet number four sat on its own, happily eating the garden hose.

Piglets five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten were creating mayhem in the hen pen. Hens screamed and squawked, racing around as if their heads had been cut off, with the pigs in merry pursuit.

Callie Anne Hayes opened the front door of the big house, stepped onto the wraparound porch, and beheld all this in disbelief.

One day away from a highly anticipated spring season of the Blue Flame Guest Ranch, a season she'd carefully orchestrated to be flawless…just one day. Clearly, things had been going too smoothly. Hen feathers flew through the air. Dust and dirt rose in a cloud, and above it all came the incredible sound of pigs in heaven and hens in hell.

Amazingly enough, Shep slept on at the bottom of the stairs, oblivious. Callie nudged the old shepherd's hindquarters, but he just kept snoring.

Callie sighed, and eyeing pigs chasing hens chasing pigs, lifted the walkie-talkie at her hip. "The piglets are on the loose and destroying everything in sight. The latch must have broken. Help pronto, please."

She got nothing back. "Tucker? Stone? Eddie? Marge? A little help?"

Still, no one answered, but at least she knew why. This was her crew's last day off. Tomorrow they had a large group of Japanese businessmen coming in, and directly on their heels, a group of Tucson librarians, and then some professional football cheerleaders on break from the various teams they cheered for. After that, a reunion for a group of nine sisters, and then some frat boys. In fact, for the foreseeable future, the Blue Flame was nicely booked.

Knowing that, everyone had made their last day their own, and if she knew her crew, they'd all escaped at the crack of dawn that morning so she couldn't find something to keep them busy.

Which left her on little piggy detail. She headed down the stairs. The two little guys on the grass first, she decided. They had to be caught before they destroyed the new, tender shoots. She chased them around a large Arizona oak, where the two piglets ran smack into each other, and then sat stunned. Scooping one under each arm, she marched them back to their pen. Brushing herself off, she went to shut the gate, figuring she'd duct tape it for now if she had to, but the latch wasn't broken at all.

Whoever had fed them their slop this morning must have gotten lazy. "Damn it, Tucker." He was one of her youngest employees but the twenty-year-old was usually much more vigilant than this.

Bracing herself, she turned around to go about the next capture, assisted now by Goose, an oversized, bossy female Pilgrim goose they kept around as a sort of mascot who ran the grassy area and front walk like a drill sergeant. Together they corralled the pigs while Shep slept on, and thirty minutes later there was only one stubborn little piglet left to nab. He was currently running from her as fast as his short little legs would carry him, his curlycue tail swinging around madly as he squealed loud enough to wake the dead.

She chased him around the large front yard, gritting her teeth as he led her back over the baby grass, followed by a honking Goose, who hated it when anyone happened onto "her" grass. Around the trees again, and then toward the water pump and hose at the side of the house, which one of the little pigs had already destroyed. Callie pictured a new account in her expenses this month labeled Ridiculous Costs and cringed.

To complicate matters, someone had left the hose on, and by the looks of things, water had been leaking all night, turning the entire area to mud.

The little piglet stopped to enjoy the sloppy mess, joyfully rubbing its snout in it. When it saw Callie coming, it prepared to run.

And to think she'd thought today had had perfection written all over it, the beginning of spring, a new time for the ranch, where she'd hopefully prove that the Blue Flame was worth every second of stress it caused the current owner—that is if Jake Rawlins ever even gave this place a second of his thoughts, period. She'd bet her last dollar he didn't, which really ate at her because she'd give her left arm to own the Blue Flame.

But that was a worry for another day. Not today. Today was to be her calm before the storm, and if it hadn't been for the out-of-control pigs, she wouldn't have been able to take her eyes off her surroundings. God, she loved this place, where people could come to relax in a ranch setting, or join in and work it alongside her ranch crew.

The Blue Flame had been the first real home she'd ever had, and it held her heart, her soul, her very inner spirit. She scanned the three hundred and sixty degree vista around her. At an altitude of five thousand feet, the hundred square miles of national forest around her had been unchanged for centuries, probably longer. The Dragoon and Chiricahua Mountains, the Sulphur Springs Valley, the stories of Cochise, of his Chiricahua Apache braves, the legends of Geronimo, the feast of the Buffalo Soldiers…so much history right here.

In fact, the big house behind her had its own history. Once upon a time it'd been a country farmhouse for an early settler and his Indian wife, but now it was where their guests stayed in quaint rooms and shared meals together. The place reflected the air of the Old West, meaning rugged, which was more by necessity than design. It was actually in desperate need of renovation, but they hid that behind all the warm, friendly service they offered.

The house sat on a slight hill, overlooking the rest of the ranch. The large wooden deck housed their hot tub, all cleaned and ready for use. Each bedroom was neat and clean as well, and decorated with individual furnishings, all in poor farmhouse chic. The heart of the house was the living room, where ranch hands and guests alike all gathered. There was a large brick hearth there for long winter evenings, and the place looked hopefully inviting despite the fact they hadn't replaced the scarred hardwood flooring last year because profits hadn't allowed for it.

But this year would be different. As ranch manager, Callie had spent long nights working on their website. She'd scrimped in every way possible to spend more money on advertising, and as a result they were getting more bookings every week.

A surge of excitement went through her, as it did every time she thought about the Blue Flame slowly turning itself around from the dump it'd been two years ago; and she knew she'd had a big hand in that.

She moved up on the wayward piglet. "Stay right there," Callie said softly, coming up on him, hands out. "Just stay right there…" She dove for him, at the exact moment the cell phone at her hip rang.

With a squeal, the pig ran off, and Callie landed in the mud, arms empty. Lifting her head, she wiped her face off on her sleeve and reached back for the phone. "Hello?"

"Hello, Callie. I'd like to book a room."

Sprawled on her stomach, filthy now, Callie went absolutely still. That voice. She hadn't heard it in a good long while, but she hadn't forgotten it.

It belonged to Jake Rawlins, the one man who had the ability to destroy her perfect life, to have her at his mercy with five short words—"I'm selling the Blue Flame." He was the only man who could drive her crazy, and the last man to have seen her naked.

She'd rather chase fifty more piglets than talk to him. "You need a room? Why?"

"Why?" He gave a soft laugh that both grated and thrilled. "Because I thought I'd come stay for a while. Get some pampering."

Pampering. No one knew better than she that Jake had an overabundance of charm and charisma, and thought nothing of using said charm and charisma to get a woman in his bed.…Only a man like Jake would think of coming to a dude ranch to be pampered.

God, she hated to think back to that night of Richard's funeral service. Grief-stricken at the loss of her boss, her mentor, the man who'd once saved her life, she'd contacted his son. She had picked Jake up at the airport, driven him to the church, taken him back to the Blue Flame.

His first time there.


  • "Top Pick! 4 1/2 Stars! Laughter is served in doses as generous as the chocolate the heroine relies on to get through the day. Readers will treasure each turn of the page and be sorry when this one is over."—RT Book Reviews on Forever and a Day
  • "4 Stars! Shalvis's latest Lucky Harbor novel is a winner-full of laughter, snark and a super-hot attraction between the main characters. Shalvis has painted a wonderful world, full of entertaining supporting characters and beautiful scenery."—RT Book Reviews on At Last
  • "4 Stars! Shalvis pens a tale rife with the three "H"s of romance: heat, heart and humor. LUCKY IN LOVE is a down-to-the-toes charmer..."—RT Book Reviews on Lucky in Love
  • "Readers will appreciate the steamy romance and eclectic cast of characters while rooting for the lovable heroine."—Publishers Weekly on Lucky in Love
  • "Another touching, funny, delectably sexy treat that will make fans glad it is the first of three back-to-back releases."—Library Journal on Lucky In Love
  • "Shalvis makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me sigh with pure pleasure."—Susan Andersen, New York Times bestselling author of Playing Dirty
  • "Count on Jill Shalvis for a witty, steamy, unputdownable love story."—Robyn Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Harvest Moon
  • "Heartwarming and abundance of chemistry, smoldering romance, and hilarious sisterly antics."—Publishers Weekly on Simply Irresistible
  • "Jill Shalvis is a total original! It doesn't get any better."—Suzanne Forster, New York Times bestselling author
  • "Ms. Shalvis characters leap off the page"—RT Book Reviews
  • "Shalvis writes with humor, heart, and sizzling heat!"—Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author

On Sale
Jul 2, 2013
Page Count
384 pages
Forever Yours

Jill Shalvis

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Learn more about this author