Beck Townsend, retired Marine Corps special operative, is co-owner of a historic building in downtown Tucson, Arizona. The building is two-story, with retail stores in the front of the first floor, the Red Eagle Group offices in the back on the first floor, and condos on the second floor. The building I referenced while I was writing was the real historic Hittinger Building. I haven’t been inside the building, but I fell in love with the style of the outside.
Anton Hittinger owned the property where this building was erected. It was a general-use commercial building for a variety of specialty shop tenants. Its elaborate facade ornamentation in the Italianate style was characteristic of the Victorian era. This style was very popular in the United States from about 1840 to the mid-1880s. The First Hittinger Block, as this group of buildings came to be called, with its large arched windows and dual-color brickwork, is an unusual and probably late example of the style.
Also part of the truth-behind-the-fiction story is Mt. Lemmon, located on the north side of Tucson. The mountains in the Southwest are called Sky Islands. (If you think about it, “regular” islands are actually mountains surrounded by water. So our Sky Islands are islands surrounded by air.) The heroine of In the Line of Fire, Delaney Murphy, takes her sister, Morgan, up to Ski Valley (also a real place) for lunch at the Iron Door Restaurant (also real places). The view from there is spectacular!
Ski Valley—can you see the ski lift?
The view from the opposite direction, looking out over the valley.
This time of year in metro Tucson we’re baking at temperatures at and above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Mt. Lemmon, at just over 9,100 feet above sea level, experiences a high of 25-30 degrees cooler than we get in the valley. That makes it a very popular getaway destination to escape the heat.
Join Beck, Delaney, and the rest of the cast of characters of IN THE LINE OF FIRE and experience Tucson for yourself!
Tell me what your favorite (or longed-for) getaway destination is, and you’ll be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate.
He hadn’t taken it well at all when she’d told him “it’s not you, it’s me.” This had to be the tenth text she’d gotten from him since last night.
Give me another chance. Just tell me what you want from me, and I’ll give it to you.
Seriously. He was too freaking perfect.
But not for her.
She’d known almost from the beginning things weren’t going the way they should. She’d kept putting off ending it because she didn’t want to go back to being lonely. But if she was honest with herself, being with Charlie hadn’t made her feel any less alone.
She’d just been alone with someone else along for the ride.
Staring at the large saguaro cactus in front of the window then the mountains beyond, she sighed and clicked off the message, slipping her phone back into her handbag and picking up her plate. As usual, her record for choosing men who weren’t suitable for her, one of whom had later turned into a husband, held true. The first serious relationship with a boyfriend had gone two years and come with an engagement ring she’d given back when she found him in bed with another woman. Clichéd, but sadly true.
He’d been followed by an abusive and domineering husband, a marriage she’d stayed in for seven long years because she’d been trained by her mother from an early age to believe that was all she deserved because she wasn’t…enough. She wasn’t pretty enough. She wasn’t slim enough. She wasn’t interesting enough.
She could hear her mother’s voice in her ear: If only you’d try harder, Delaney. Followed by a pained sigh. Or there was the frequent Are you sure you want to eat that, darling? Your behind is already quite large.
Because she’d listened to her mother when she told her it was her fault she was being abused, it had taken more than one backhand across the face from her husband to get her to smarten up and make him an ex before the violence could escalate even further. Her divorce had become final three years ago. He’d been reluctant to let her go and had messed with her in a myriad of ways, from drunk calling her in the middle of the night to letting the air out of the tires on her car. Finally, after she’d threatened to get a restraining order taken out against him, he’d stopped all the nonsense and had gotten out of her life and on with his. He’d remarried six months later. It would have been better for her mental health if he’d also gotten out of Tucson, but as long as he left her alone, she could deal with the fact that they lived in the same town.
Delaney had come a long way with her self-esteem in the intervening years, but a lifetime of being told she was lacking in several major areas—first by her mother, then by her husband—had seared a huge swath of destruction through her soul. No matter what her younger sister, Morgan, told her repeatedly. Morgan, who according to their mother was everything Delaney was not, was also thankfully not like their mother. In spite of making a good living as a model, she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. Maybe even more beautiful where it counted.
But even with all that, it was taking time for the emotional scars to heal and for Delaney to really believe she was worthy of more.
Their passion burns white hot. But danger is heartless and cold.
Delaney Murphy has had a stomach-fluttering, mouth-watering crush on Beck since the first time she saw him over the rim of her regular morning latte. But she’s never been long on self-confidence, especially around exceptionally handsome men.
After a year of avoiding him, she’s shocked when he slides into the next chair and wears down her resistance to a first date.
When Laney is laid off from her job, Marines special ops veteran Beck “Gravedigger” Townsend wastes no time hiring the quiet, auburn-haired beauty into Red Eagle Group, his security firm. Keeping her within touching distance—and under his protection.
Laney’s smile and sharp intelligence light up Beck’s life and heat up his bed, yet he hesitates to give her what she really wants: full access to the darkest corners of his wounded spirit. But when danger is delivered right to Red Eagle’s door, the only way to save her—and their love—will be to bleed. Body and soul…
Warning: Adult language and graphic sex scenes between a man locked behind his secrets, and a woman ready to break free of her past. If you think the desert is hot, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Romance Contemporary [Samhain Publishing, On Sale: June 7, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781619235595 / eISBN: 9781619232624]
Buy IN THE LINE OF FIRE: Kindle | BN.com | iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR
About Jett Munroe
Jett Munroe lives in the desert Southwest because she got tired of the cold and snow of Northeast Ohio. By day, she’s a mostly mild-mannered human resources manager for a nonprofit organization, and by night (and weekends), she writes hot and spicy contemporary romance.
She focused on her writing career starting in 2005, and over the next ten years had several paranormal romances published under the pen names Cynthia Garner and Sherrill Quinn. She l oves action movies and chick flicks, reading romance (just about every subgenre!), watching HGTV and the DIY Network, and hates shopping.