Today we’re featuring an excerpt from the action-packed romantic suspense novel, Incendiary by Chris Redding. Author Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her one husband, two kids, one dog, and three rabbits. When she isn’t writing she’s chauffering her two boys to activities and working per diem in her local hospital. In the excerpt below, it’s clear that Chris uses her EMT experience to infuse her story with gritty detail.
What if your past comes back to haunt you?
Chelsea James, captain of the Biggin Hill First Aid Squad, has had ten years to mend a broken heart and forget about the man who’d left her hurt and bewildered. Ten years to get her life on track. But fate has other plans.
Fire Inspector Jake Campbell, back in town after a decade, investigates a string of arsons, only to discover they are connected to the same arsons he’d been accused of long ago. Now his past has come back to haunt him, and Chelsea is part of that past.
Together, Chelsea and Jake must join forces to defeat their mutual enemy. Only then can they hope to rekindle the flames of passion. But before they can do that, Chelsea must learn to trust again. Their lives could depend on it.
Excerpt 5 Incendiary
Jake opened the man’s striped pajama shirt and landmarked for CPR. He searched his memory banks and out of the depths came his training. It had been two years.
Chelsea tore a bag-valve-mask and an airway out of the green oxygen kit. She inserted the airway into Joe’s mouth and placed the mask on his face. The other mask lay discarded still around his neck. “Count out loud.”
“Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen.”
When he reached thirty, Chelsea squeezed air into the patient. Brad returned with the automated external defibrillator. “Medics aren’t clear from the last call yet.” He dropped to his knees to unpack the unit.
Sweat poured off Jake as he watched the exchange and compressed the man’s chest. “Three, four, five.”
“Tell them to get Mercy Seven,” Chelsea demanded.
“Seven, eight, nine.”
Brad relayed the request to dispatch and began setting up the AED. “Let me put these pads on.”
Jake sat back on his heels as the other man applied the pads. Sarah sat on the steps and cried. He wished he could comfort her and leave the rescue to the EMT’s. He could run into burning buildings, but death and dying people unnerved him.
Brad turned on the AED. “Don’t touch the patient.”
A voice from the machine said, “Analyzing patient now. Do not touch the patient.”
Jake could hear his own breathing as he hoped for Joe to start breathing. He didn’t like the gray hue of the patient.
“Shock advised. Charging. Do not touch the patient,” an electronic voice said.
Jake moved further away. Chelsea pulled off the bag-valve-mask.
Brad pushed the blinking green button on the AED. Joe’s body jumped a little, but not like in medical dramas.
Jake moved to continue compressions.
Chelsea’s red face worried Jake. She bit her lip. He’d never seen her this upset.
“One, two, three, four,” Jake counted.
“It’ll time it until it’s been two minutes. Keep going until the machine says otherwise.”
He went to thirty and she put two breaths in with the mask. The machine cut in as he finished his fifth cycle. “Analyzing heart rhythm. Do not touch the patient.”
Jake expected to have nightmares about that voice. All three shifted away from Joe who remained still and gray.