Fire and Water
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Dec 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.
Overhearing one of the officer’s comment about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.
Red and Terry’s world collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.
ExcerptA roar of laughter came up from the large table behind them, and Terry turned to see what was happening. It was just a bunch of guys. He recognized one of them as one of the paramedics from that afternoon. He watched them for a few minutes and then turned back to Julie.
“Hey, Red,” he heard one of the men call. For some reason Terry turned to see who it was and then quickly looked away. It was the huge police officer who’d been at the pool. Terry turned back to the bar.
“It’s that policeman from the pool,” Julie said from next to him. “The one with the scar.”
“Yeah, I saw him.” Terry took another gulp from his glass. He’d noticed the guy as soon as he’d entered the pool area. Who wouldn’t? The guy was huge. When Terry had first seen him, his mouth had begun to water. He was just his type: tall, broad, built, filling out that uniform in all the right places. A dreamboat… that is, until he’d gotten a look at the poor guy’s face. To say he was ugly wasn’t right either… more like unfortunate. As his dad had said as a joke once, “He had a face only a mother could love.”
“I wonder what happened to him,” Julie said and looked at Terry when he huffed a little. “He seemed like a good enough guy. That woman was all over you, but he listened and got down to the truth. There were no accusations, and he was nice enough, for a cop with a job to do.” Her eyes widened. “Something did happen to him. He wasn’t born with that scar, and maybe he was poor and didn’t have the money for braces and the things we did.”
Terry turned back around. “I guess so.” He swallowed really hard and continued watching the man, trying not to look like he was watching him. Once, when he looked up, Terry caught his gaze. He knew instantly that the man recognized him, and Terry turned back around.
“You guess so?” Julie said and then chuckled.
“I just agreed with you,” he told her, and their conversation stopped when the news came on one of the channels again, and Julie’s attention was diverted.
There were mirrors behind the bar, mostly ones advertising various kinds of beer. He could see the police officer in one of them. The guys he was with were loud, laughing a lot, and a few times Terry caught a glimpse of a smile from the officer. It made Terry want to smile too. He turned back around and scanned the room.
Red Markham: dedicated Police officer, scarred (inside & out), "in the closet", completely distracted by Terry.
Terry Baumgartener: life guard, scared, eyes opened by his best friend, entranced by Red.
Right off this book was a fantastic love story between two complete opposites. I fell in love with both Red and Terry's characters. Though at first I wanted to whack Terry up side the head for being so shallow, then he redeemed himself in not just my eyes but Red's also.
The story never falters and flows so perfectly you find yourself reading straight through. I didn't want to put it down. Each character has their own personality and voice so that you get to know them individually.
Red is a character I am always draw to in a book, the wounded soul, brooding, a utter mess emotionally. The emotional struggles and insecurities he endures are so well written it is hard not to become empathetic to his worries.
Terry was the perfect man for him. He was his complete opposite in every way. He is outgoing and flamboyant as well as fiercely loyal.
I loved their story! It had romance, a bit of drama/suspense, and steamy enough scenes to scorch your eyebrows. I will be picking up more books by Andrew Grey, this one has me completely sold me on his talent.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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