Controlling the Burn (MM)
[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Older Hero Romantic Suspense, M/M, HEA]
Drew Ward knows how to keep his head in the game and, now that he’s accomplished his mission to become one of the elite Loveland Smoke Jumpers, he’s turning his attention to the man he’s wanted nearly half his life. Seasoned smoke jumper Wesley Payton might be twenty years older, but he’s one hotbed of perfection Drew aims to have, and he won’t stop his pursuit until Wesley belongs to him.
Wesley has avoided being caught alone with Drew for six weeks, but he hasn’t managed to evade the fire burning inside him for the younger man. Drew is sinfully sexy, dangerously tempting, and Wesley knows if he lets the man get too close he’ll be toast. But Drew isn’t a man who backs off easily, and when Wesley suddenly finds himself in the man’s arms, he knows he’s parachuted into a wildfire he won’t be able to control.
A Siren Erotic Romance
Tonya Ramagos is a Siren-exclusive author.
5 KISSES: "Controlling the Burn by Tonya Ramagos is a really hot read. I liked the character connection between Drew and Wesley. Their friendship and camaraderie, plus the intense sexual tension, made me really want them to be a couple. They have traits that they can use to help each other if they would just look past the one thing that is holding Wesley back - the age issue. I can see why Wesley thinks it is a problem - twenty years is nothing to sneeze at - but you would never know sometimes that Wesley is the older one in this couple. Sometimes he acts younger than Drew. I liked that Drew knew who he was and what he wanted and was willing to just go for it. That showed a lot of maturity and foresight. Set in the background of the dangerous job they both do, it lifted this book to another level. When you want hot man love and a beautiful story to remember, read Controlling the Burn." -- Tina, TwoLips Reviews
5 STARS: "Controlling the burn of a fire makes sense, but controlling your heart's burning desire is never a good idea. Drew Ward is the newest member of an elite group of smoke jumpers. Wesley Payton is a senior member of the same team and 20 years older than Drew. Drew has wanted Wesley since he first met him over a decade ago and has just been biding his time. Now that Drew met his professional goal, he is focused on his personal goal of making Wesley a permanent part of his life. The life of a smoke jumper is explored in detail in this story. In addition to learning about their daily training, we are also exposed to what takes place during a real forest fire. The fire scenes were exciting and nerve-wracking since you could really feel what was happening but weren't sure of the outcome. Although it made it more authentic, the constant use of fire jargon also hurt the flow of the story just a little bit. The romance between Drew and Wesley was very sweet. Although Wesley was anxious about starting a relationship, he didn't stand a chance against Drew! Drew knew what he wanted, and had the patience to work through Wesley's concerns. There were a few steamy scenes, a lot of good conversations, and some interesting interactions with the other jumpers. Overall, it was a touching romantic story with some great suspenseful scenes!" -- KindleRomance, The Romance Reviews
4 SWEET PEAS: "The author has written a enthralling, action-packed tale that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until the very end. The characters are very convincing in the way they live for the adrenaline high of jumping from planes, their dedication to their jobs, and the teamwork they display while protecting the land and each other from the dangers of wildfires. The plot flows simply and smoothly from beginning to end, and the richly detailed and in-depth knowledge shown in the author’s writing style is so well done that I almost felt like I was there fighting the fire with the characters. The sex is sweet and very hot, with a tender side beyond the physical. I really loved reading this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a action packed story that you won’t want to put down." -- Trish Condit, Mrs. Condit Reads Books
4 STARS: "Drew has two goals for his life. 1: to become a smoke Jumper for the elite Loveland Smoke Jumper team and follow his father’s footsteps. 2: to win over the man of his dreams, Wesley Payton, whom he has had a crush on for ten years. Wesley is a seasoned Smoke Jumper. He doesn’t mess around with the men in his team. He hasn’t really ever had a long-term relationship, but he isn’t the player his team thinks he is. The right one just hasn’t come along yet. He is determined to ward off the advances the hot Drew makes to him. But, is that one fire that could burn out of control and he can’t seem to extinguish? I’m not telling. You should read this one and find out! What’s not to love about this book? It’s full of sexy firefighters, action, adventure, suspense and romance. The characters are deep and well-developed, the story moves fast and smooth, and the man-sex is on fire! I also loved the way the romance was treated like it was a raging fire also. The whole story is hot and exciting. Recommendation: If you like younger man in love with an older man, a man determined to get what he wants, Firefighters, action and suspense, and hot mansex, then this is for you. I highly recommend it!" -- Cat, MM Good Book Reviews
4 CUPS: "Blazing fires, high adrenaline and blistering hot men make for one sizzling combination. Drew is just cocky enough not to take no for an answer, and thank-goodness for that! I love how he draws Wes in, and then proves to the older man exactly what he is willing to do to get what he wants. This story has awesome energy, and you are going to love every smoking hot minute!" -- Lototy, Coffee Time Romance & More"Drew Ward worked hard and is proud to be one of the few who made it through to the end of training. He reached his goal and is now an elite Loveland Smoke Jumper. Having realized that goal, he decides to move onto the next. Wesley Payton is twenty years older than him but Drew has wanted him for some time. He won’t rest until Wesley is his. Wesley has spent the past six weeks avoiding Drew. He find Drew very tempting and exceedingly hot but he cannot allow himself to get involved. Drew is much younger and if they touch, he may not be able to control the resulting burn. Smoke Jumpers are incredibly brave and capable men. They go into dangerous fires which are not at all fully predictable, as shown in Controlling the Burn. Drew and Wesley burned in a different way and that burn could not be fully contained either. As they learned it was best to control the burn rather than ignore it. Giving insight into the lives of these men.Controlling the Burn was exciting informative and above all very hot. Have something nearby to control that burn."-- Sensual Reads
Wesley Payton gazed into Drew’s arctic-blue eyes and felt the effect tingle in his cock. Icy eyes like that should have frozen his blood. Instead, they released a powerful avalanche that started at Wesley’s head, charged through his chest, slammed into his rapidly stiffening dick, and threatened to crush his resistance.
Geezus, why hadn’t he realized?
Head spinning and mouth suddenly dry, Wesley took a deep breath and attempted to pry his tongue from where it had gotten stuck to his palate when he opened the door to his quarters. He nearly swallowed said tongue when Drew’s gaze did a leisurely slide down his bare chest. Blue flames melted the ice of Drew’s eyes, turning them to blowtorches as they burned a path down Wesley’s abdomen and stomach, stopping at the waistband of his blue jeans.
“Hi.” Wesley managed the single word, then forgot how to speak English when Drew’s gaze leapt to his face. Acute desire danced in the flames in his eyes and Wesley’s heart beat so damn fast he wondered it didn’t bounce right out of his chest.
Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. Like I needed that news flash?
Mere minutes ago, Wesley had been gloriously oblivious. Then, a Google search for something he should have long ago put behind him had landed him on Drew’s Facebook page. Suddenly, he’d found himself saying good-bye to obliviousness and hello to utter stupidity.
Drew Ward was positively, brightly, and proudly out-of-the-closet gay. Yet, he’d never said anything. For six weeks, Wesley had been controlling the burn Drew ignited inside him, not once suspecting the man was gay. Befuddlement coupled with a double-healthy dose of disgust had made it easy. Who cared if Drew was gay? The man was twenty years Wesley’s junior, for crying out loud. Wesley was insanely attracted to a frigging kid!
“Hi, back.” The Loveland Smoke Jumpers T-shirt Drew wore strained over the well-muscled bicep he leaned against the doorframe. A small smile hinting at mischief and wicked intents tilted the corner of his too-kissable lips. “There’s speculation among the unit outside that you’re thinkin’ if you stay holed up in here we’ll forget about you and leave.”
“Evading wasn’t my intention.” At least it hadn’t been until he’d taken that spiraling skydive through cyberspace and landed on his head.
“Going wasn’t either.” Another of those pulse-accelerating, hormone-soaring scans of Wesley’s bare chest made Drew’s words more statement than question.
“Naw, you guys go have your fun. The season officially kicks off tomorrow. Who knows when you’ll get another chance to let loose?”
A sandy-blond ringlet fell over Drew’s forehead and his right brow met it halfway. “Case in point. With the predictions of the hot, dry months ahead, none of us may get another chance to step off this base for a night out until October. And you plan to, what”—he tipped his angular chin toward the laptop Wesley had left sitting open on his bed—“spend it in here alone surfing the web?”
“And catching somethin’ mind-numbing on TV before I settle in for a good night’s sleep. I figure I’ll wake tomorrow morning well-rested and ready for the siren to sound while the rest of you will be nursing hangovers and wishing you’d joined me instead.”
Wesley watched the mischief and wicked intents in Drew’s eyes climb to dangerous heights and knew he should’ve chosen his words more carefully. Son of a bitch. He recognized desire, sheer carnal thirst, when he saw it, and damn if the kid was making it blatantly known the attraction wasn’t one-sided.
Six weeks. Six freaking weeks and Wesley hadn’t seen anything in the kid but a sheer determination to be one of the elite, one of the ones who made the cut at the end of rookie training and became a part of the smoke jumper unit. They had started with a class of more than twenty candidates. Six grueling weeks later, only five had survived.
Wesley saw more tonight, though. Drew was one of those five that had made the cut. At the end of the day, he had been embraced by the unit as one of their own, one of the elite, a smoke jumper. With his mission accomplished, at least for the day, the kid had apparently set his sights on a new goal, and damn if it wasn’t looking like Wesley was that target.
Drew straightened, the expression on his flawless face starkly sexual and potently determined. “Then I’ll join you.” He flicked a glance past Wesley and asked, “Do I push my way inside or are you gonna invite me in?”
Shit. Shit. Triple shit. No way. No fucking way could Wesley let this kid inside his quarters. An image of Drew flattening his hands on Wesley’s chest skated through his mind. He all but felt Drew’s strength as the kid shoved him back, pushed his way into the room, and kicked the door closed behind him.
Then Wesley saw himself falling back, taking Drew down with him as they landed on the bed. He all but felt Drew’s solid body pinning him down, the kid’s face a fraction of an inch from his, and saw himself burst into flames as Drew captured his mouth in a kiss that stole the last ounce of his sanity.
Wesley desperately tightened his hold on his resistance. He struggled to keep his expression blank, praying to any power who might be listening that Drew couldn’t see him frantically digging a mental firebreak, hoping to stop the progression of the flames before he spontaneously combusted. “Neither. The unit is waiting for you at the bus. Go have a good time. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Mind if I come in?” The request spilled from Wesley’s lips before he could think to stop it and the next thought to slam into his brain was a very loud, very insistent game on.
Drew’s surprise morphed to utter shock. He glanced down at himself, leveled his gaze with Wesley’s once more, and a devilish grin unfolded on his lips. “Given my current state of dress, or lack thereof, I’m hoping that question means I’m going to have to fight you off once I get you in here.”
Wesley didn’t comment as Drew moved aside, waited for him to enter the room, then closed the door behind him. The sound of the lock engaging into place reverberated, the sexually charged atmosphere rapidly overtaking the room like a nuclear explosion.
“Would you?” Wesley turned, found himself within arm’s reach of the man, and lifted a brow. “Fight me off, I mean?”
Drew made a raspberry sound with his lips and barked a laugh. “Fuck, no.”
Wesley smiled. “Yeah, I guess I’ve been doing enough fighting for the both of us.”
Drew’s eyes narrowed. “But, unless my vibe-o-meter is on the fritz here, I’m getting the impression you’re done with that.”
Wesley took a half step toward Drew, hooked an arm around his waist, and yanked the man against him. “Yeah, I’m done with that.”
* * * *
Wesley kissed him and Drew wound his arms around the man’s neck. Wesley kissed him and Drew lost himself in the man’s taste. Wesley kissed him and Drew felt his whole world shift on its axis.
It was different than the tonsil-licking kiss they’d shared in the weight room that morning before Drew had taken Wesley’s cock into his mouth. It was different than the soft peck Wesley had given him before he’d walked out the door of that weight room, because this time Wesley had come after him.
Thank you, sweet baby Jesus.
And, this time, hello, detonation, Wesley wasn’t holding anything back. He angled his head, taking the kiss deeper as his arm around Drew’s waist shifted. He skimmed a flattened palm up Drew’s spine. The contrast of Wesley’s callused hand to the smooth flesh of his back felt nothing short of sheer testosterone-pleasuring bliss. The hand came to rest on Drew’s hip as Wesley glided it back down and Drew felt the fingers of his other hand bunch the towel he wore in a firm grip a nanosecond before Wesley ripped it away.
Determined not to be outdone, desperately needing to be skin to skin with this man, Drew made his hands busy, too. He splayed his hands on Wesley’s broad shoulders, dragged them down the man’s powerful biceps, and skipped them to the man’s sides where he gathered the tight-fitting T-shirt the man wore into his fingers and pulled it up between their bodies.
Wesley broke the kiss long enough for Drew to yank the shirt over his head and then his mouth was back. His tongue thrust between Drew’s parted lips as if he couldn’t get enough of Drew’s taste.
Drew said another silent thank-you to the powers that be as he allowed himself to be consumed. He’d been taking on the role of aggressor from the start, biding his time these last six weeks, forcing himself to focus on getting through training and securing his place in the unit before he jumped feet first into his pursuit of Wesley. Tonight, Wesley was taking that aggressor role away from him, demanding he surrender, and no way in hell was he going to argue.
Drew tossed Wesley’s shirt through the air, heard it knock over something on the dresser, and dismissed the sound as he found the waistband of the man’s jeans and started fumbling for the button. Wesley’s hands were roaming his back and ass, making it terminally difficult for Drew to concentrate. Still, he managed to free the button. He groped for the zipper tag, felt his fingers collide with another blasted button, and growled like a wounded animal into Wesley’s mouth.
“Really, babe?” Drew pulled back, narrowing his eyes at the laughter he saw dancing in Wesley’s. “What? Did you think button-fly jeans would save you if you suddenly came to your senses and changed your mind?”
“They were the only clean pair I had left.”
“Well, sweetie, they’re gonna need mending after this.” Drew closed his fingers tightly on the denim and yanked, sending the remaining buttons flying. He didn’t spare them an ounce of his attention, not caring where they landed or what they hit on their way down. With Wesley’s jeans now gaping open, he gripped the waistband and pushed them down the man’s legs.
Wesley shifted, which didn’t help a bit until Drew realized the man was kicking off his tennis shoes, which definitely did help.
“While you’re doing all that kicking, send these with the shoes.” Drew shucked Wesley’s jeans the rest of the way down the man’s legs and let Wesley take over.
Then, finally, finally, when Wesley pulled Drew fully against him again, they were skin to skin. Wesley made a sound that so perfectly echoed the sensations Drew felt as their chests pressed against one another, the heat between them so suffocating, it might have drained all the oxygen. Every breath seemed to ignite the flames higher, make them burn hotter until a backdraft seemed inevitable.
“Geezus,” Wesley whispered on a breathy exhale. His head fell back on his shoulders and he went still in Drew’s embrace.
Drew’s heart skipped a fearful beat. “You can’t start having second thoughts, not now, not when you’ve let me get this far, this close.”
Wesley lifted his head, opened his eyes, and met Drew’s gaze. His arms were around Drew, one hand gliding up Drew’s back while the other skimmed over his ass. “It’s not that. It’s, damn, you feel so fucking good.”
Drew smiled and his heart settled back into a rapid rhythm. “Now that you’re allowed to think.”