What I’d Call a Tight Spot

At my personal blog I’ve been sharing some excerpts from my Clean Reads release Never Trust a Pretty Wolf so I thought I’d share one here too. I’ve written my heroines and heroes into lots of tight spots, but this one is probably one of the most serious. I’ll share a blurb with you and then the excerpt.


Liesel Wolf has a secret, a dangerous secret she’ll go to any lengths to conceal. When she’s paired in a charity game with sexy marshal Andy Bryce, a man with secrets of his own, her carefully constructed world comes crashing down, and Liesel’s on a collision course with her past.


Andy scowled as he drove down the dark highway toward Liesel’s house. He felt like an idiot. What kind of nitwit went out after midnight to sing to a woman who couldn’t stand him? Why had he ever listened to Tony in the first place? Tony liked nothing better than to see him make a total fool of himself.

Oh, he knew why he listened to Tony. No matter what it took, he wanted to get Liesel’s full attention because walking away from her wasn’t an option. He wanted her in his life so much, that if acting like a fool would help him achieve his goal, he’d willingly do it. He didn’t care if Tony got a good laugh out of it or not.

He rounded a sharp corner and saw a red glow in the eastern sky. What in the world…? Fire! In the direction of Liesel’s house!

He ran a stop sign without even seeing it. The sky grew steadily brighter with every turn of the car’s wheels. By the time he reached the end of her driveway, a raging inferno engulfed the entire house. Orange flames shot skyward, greedily licking at the amber-­colored logs, while smoke filled the air and almost choked him even at that distance.

He drove as close to the house as he thought he safely could and roared, “Liesel! Where are you?” He laid down on the horn, but nobody came running to meet him.

He ran all the way around the house, but he didn’t see her anywhere. She must still be inside! As hot air seared his eyes and face, he fell back from the force of the blaze. A solid wall of intense, voracious flames blocked the front door, but an outside staircase leading to a second-­floor balcony was still passable.

He ripped off his shirt and tied it around his mouth and nose, then dashed up the steps to the balcony. Smoke billowed and swirled against all of the windows. He stared inside but the smoke prevented him from seeing anything. With no warning the window burst outward, spraying his chest with glass and barely missing his face. Hot sparks pelted his bare skin, raising water blisters, while small shards of glass worked their way into his skin.

He saw a set of French doors in the center of the balcony. It looked like the most likely spot to enter the upstairs. He kicked out the glass near the doorknob and flung the door open. Smoke billowed out in black, thick, suffocating clouds, but the room hadn’t caught fire yet.

The smoke almost blinded him, and his lungs screamed for air. By chance he stumbled against the bed, which felt blazing hot to the touch, and saw Liesel lying motionless under the covers. He wrestled her limp body from the bed, slung it across his shoulder, and ran for the door. A huge blast of hot air pummeled him in the back and propelled him toward the balcony as red-­orange flames ignited the carpet behind him and chased after them.

The balcony burned his feet even through his shoes. The right side where the steps were had already caught fire, but the other side was open. The drop was more than he would have liked, but with no real option left open to him, he jumped.

They hit the ground with a bone-­jarring thud as flames devoured the entire balcony.

“Liesel!” he croaked. “Wake up!”

He shook her, but she still didn’t move. Groping for her hand, he tried getting a pulse, but the wailing of a siren in the distance distracted him. Thank God the fire department had arrived! By the time the firemen reached the house with a fire truck and ambulance, he had Liesel in his arms.

“Help her!” he cried as the paramedics burst out of their vehicles. The paramedics wasted no time. They put an oxygen mask on Liesel and popped her into the back of the ambulance. “Let’s go,” they yelled.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt.

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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7 Responses to What I’d Call a Tight Spot

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    wow, that’s a powerful scene!


  2. You got my heart pumping! Now I am worried about Andy, too!
    Good job.


  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I have this book, and I really need to read it now! Thanks for the sample.


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