EXPLOSIVE FORCES – D. D. Ayres
A K-9 Rescue Novel , Book 5
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Fort Worth, Texas, the Present
Former super-model Carly Reese is working late with last-minute preparations for the much anticipated opening of her fashion boutique of hand crafted items. She thinks she hears sounds in the vacant building next door. Eventually she investigates and finds an unconscious man on the floor watched over by a German shepherd. Unexpectedly, a fire breaks out. She makes a 911 call, but knows she cannot wait for rescue. The man is tall and muscular, so it was all Carly could do to get them both out of the fire. Luckily, the dog helped.
Noah Glover is an arson investigator. He wakes up in the hospital not knowing what happened the night before. His memory is wiped clean of everything except for the face of a woman. The head of arson investigations questions him about what happened. Noah remembers nothing, but knows he is under suspicion, especially when he learns he supposedly sent a suicide text to everyone the night before. He can't believe it. Yes, not only his partner died in a fire this past year, but also his ex-wife passed. Yet Noah would never condemn his explosives-detecting dog Harley to die in a fire with him, or leave his young son Andy an orphan. Someone set him up, but whoever it was, he did a very good job preparing a trap to catch Noah and make sure he would be accused of the crime.
Carly and Reese start out attracted to one another during the fire-rescue, and then turn adversaries, only to become emotionally involved. Carly is devastated about her boutique. It will take a lot of work to reestablish her future business. Noah can't stand being looked upon by his unit as a potential suicide and arsonist. As a former policeman, Noah is determined to conduct an investigation even when he knows his involvement could harm his case. The person who did this must be caught. Carly brings him questions about the crime, too. Together they discover suspicious things being ignored, and eventually share intimacy including talk about their former spouses. Then Carly becomes a target.