Exclusive Excerpt from The Firefighter’s Dilemma by Mariah Ankenman

Do you have a taste for firefighters, celebrity television shows, bad cooking, and heaps of romance? You’ll want to sink your teeth into this excerpt from The Firefighter’s Dilemma by Mariah Ankenman, releasing February 27th.


“Why the hell aren’t you dressed?” 

He chuckled, taking no offense at her accusation, since her eyes were currently eating up every inch of skin he had on display. Oh yeah, she could deny it all she wanted, but Díaz found him attractive. Only fair, since she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever set eyes on. 

“Me?” He pointed to his chest, deliberately brushing his fingertips across his pecs. Her teeth came out to bite her bottom lip, and he roared inside. “At least I have pants on.” 

She glanced down as he motioned to what she was wearing. 

“They’re sleep shorts, and shorts are a type of pants.” 

He snorted, amused by her logic. “Well, these are sweatpants that are even more a type of pants, and I pulled them on because the alarm was blaring and I didn’t want to investigate in my sleep attire.” 

Her lips rolled in as if she was afraid to ask what he slept in. 

Please ask, please ask. 

“What…what do you sleep in.” 


He grinned, leaning forward until their noses almost touched. He gazed into her eyes, losing himself in their beauty as he answered in a low voice, “Nothing at all.” 

He watched as her pupils dilated, the black taking over the rich brown of her irises, swallowing the deep brown, making her eyes impossibly darker. She swallowed, and he followed the motion in her long, elegant neck, his gaze traveling down to see her sleep tank was very thin, showcasing the hard, stiff peaks of her nipples as they pressed against the material. He wanted nothing more in the world than to put his mouth on them, tease and torment them until she was crying out in pleasure, begging for him to fill her. 

“Oh.” The word came out on a breathy moan. 

Yeah, she wanted him. But she’d have to admit it first before he did anything. Flirting with her was one thing, but he wouldn’t break her rule. She’d have to be the one to make the first move. 

Taking a step back, he motioned to his room with a nod of his head. 

“We should probably get dressed and head over.” 

She didn’t say anything. Her attention wasn’t on his face. It was on his crotch. Specifically, the tent he was sporting that his gray sweatpants did a crap job of disguising. He could adjust his stance, but it wouldn’t do much good. Besides, he had nothing to be ashamed of; she was just as turned on as him. They could be adults about this. 


Her eyes snapped up when he spoke her name, cheeks flushed, pupils dilated until the black covered nearly all of those beautiful brown irises.                                                                                                                                                      

“Should we talk about—”

“We need to get ready. Time is wasting.” She rushed into her room.

Damn. Guess she wasn’t ready to admit to the attraction quite yet.


Loved this excerpt? You can find out where to pre-order your own copy here. Eli Ward not included.

Firefighter Stephanie Díaz won’t let anyone stop her from becoming the youngest female fire chief in Denver. Not the jerks who’d like to see an ambitious Latine woman admit defeat. Not the ultra-bro firefighters she has to work with. And definitely not her ridiculously hot and often infuriating, fellow firefighter Eli Ward. Now Stephanie has the chance to prove to everyone that she’s got what it takes…but there’s one helluva catch.

The Battle of the First Responders is a live, balls-out competition in the secluded Rockies and Stephanie has been selected—along with Ward as her partner. On the line are their reputations, a whole lot of cash…and the promotion they’ve been fighting for. Teaming up is the perfect chance to finally settle their never ending one-upmanship, but it also exposes the smoldering attraction they’ve held at bay.

Now their days are fueled by a high-stakes, adrenaline-fueled competition. Their nights are filled with sizzling deep kisses that steal her breath away. But this sexy little fling is about to set off a five-alarm blaze she can’t control…

Bestselling author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious RWA Golden Heart® and CRW Stiletto awards. Whether she’s writing hometown heroes or sexy supernaturals, Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books.

You can follow Mariah on Facebook, Twitter, and check out her website!

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