today I have the pleasure to host another one of the Love at First Crime Series. I Burned Down His House by Jessica Frances released December 28, and here is the story!
She burned his house down, so he lit a fire between them that she could never extinguish.
So, I burned his house down.
It was an accident.
I mean, technically, the dog did it.
Well, the dog helped me to do it.
Did I mention it was an accident?
When circumstances mean I suddenly have a new housemate,
A man who is my ultimate fantasy,
And my entire world is turned upside down by new friends,
And a dog who likes to get me into trouble,
I have to wonder how my life got so crazy.
Add in my neighbor, who is under investigation;
Some unfinished business from the past, which just won’t go away;
Interfering family, who don’t know when to stop;
And mixed signals, making me wonder if fantasies really can come true,
And you have my new, hectic, crazy life.
But, when things take a dangerous turn,
And lives are on the line,
Will we all make it through in one piece?
Or is everything destined to crumble down around us?
Who would have thought that burning down a house would change everything so much?
Then again, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime.
Trying not to feel like a loser that I have Joey’s number memorized, I dial, hoping like hell he picks up. It has to be in the incredibly early hours of morning, so there is every chance, if he hasn’t come home yet, it’s because he’s out with someone and won’t answer.
After five, drawn-out, torturous rings, he finally picks up.
“What?” he grumbles. I can’t tell if I woke him up, or if he’s just annoyed to be disturbed.
“Hey, Joey, it’s Teagan—”
I pause, annoyed I’m so forgettable he can’t remember who he gave his house key to! “Teagan Bevon, the woman who lives next door?”
“Oh … Oh!” There is finally recognition in his voice. “Right. Look, Teags”—he sounds so distracted I don’t think he even noticed he gave me a nickname—“I’m kinda busy—”
“—so I’ll just see you later—”
“Wait!” I cry out, afraid I will hear the dial tone any second.
“Actually, you probably won’t see me later. I’m going to be—”
“I BURNED YOUR HOUSE DOWN!” I scream into the phone and am finally met with silence. “Joey?” I whisper, fearful he already hung up.
“Can you repeat that for me?” he finally gasps out.
“I …” Now I feel nervous. “I … umm … I accidently”—I use too much emphasis on the word, making me sound extra guilty—“burned down your house.”
“Are you okay?”
My heart skips a beat. I just told this man that I burned down his house and his first thought is if I’m okay?
“Some smoke inhalation, but nothing serious. I’m so sorry about your things—”
“How about Karma?”
“Karma got out fine. She’s with the Glovers,” So … maybe she’s not okay. The almost ninety-year-old couple may not be quite at the same speed as Karma.
As he sighs in relief, my hands begin to shake again.
“Joey, I’m so sorry.”