Title: Rising Flames
Series: Surviving Ashes #5
Author: Kennedy Layne
Genre: Apocalyptic Romance/ Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 21, 2017
USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne concludes the Surviving Ashes series with an explosive story where the strength of love rises against the loss of humanity…
Van Overton had given years of service to his country. He’d paid his dues and he no longer needed to put his life on the line. He could live out the rest of his days doing what he did best—making money from inside the heart of the world’s fastest paced financial system.
Allie James had wished time and again for something—anything—to happen just so she didn’t have to open another eviction notice. She adored the hustle and bustle of the city, her cozy apartment in a good neighborhood, and the rugged looking man across the hall wasn’t half bad to look at either. Regrettably, she’d been thinking more along the lines of winning the lottery than an approaching apocalypse.
Van should have known his luck wouldn’t hold out, but a supervolcano eruption? It was a good thing his time in the military had taught him to be ready for just about anything. Unfortunately, his next-door neighbor didn’t fit into anyone’s idea of a survival plan. Allie was everything he tried to avoid in a woman, but she was definitely the one who had the ability to steal his heart.
Allie was a fighter too. Van might not think that right now, considering he’d just witnessed her run for her life when bullets started to fly overhead. But that didn’t change the fact that she’d worked her own way through college, had held two jobs to pay her student loans, and would have done her damnedest to find a third shift at the cafe to pay her rent. She wasn’t a quitter and she sure as hell wasn’t ready to give up this time around.
“I guess we shouldn’t keep them waiting any longer then,” Allie said with a small smile of agreement, letting Van know that she’d come to terms with her decision. She would keep trying to reach Karen while they got underway, but staying here would only delay the inevitable. It was time to go, but she held up his cell phone before taking another step. “Do you mind if I keep trying to reach Karen? We were cut off and I—”
“Your friend can’t come with us, if that’s what you’re going to suggest.” Van had already turned toward the lot of abandoned vehicles, not even hearing her out. The previous compassion she’d thought she’d witnessed had taken a hike and she could feel her frustration building the more he went into detail about why it wouldn’t be possible to take anyone else with them. “I have a limited amount of supplies and taking anyone other than you will only guarantee their deaths.”
Allie refrained from saying something sarcastic, given that their safety was far from certain themselves. She still had a point to make.
“Wouldn’t it be safer to travel in numbers?”
“Is your friend willing to leave her parents behind? You said she was at her family’s farm, so I’m assuming she’s close with them. How old are they? Can they walk long distances? Do they have gasmasks and extra filters? Do they have the strength to do what is necessary to accomplish the mission?” Van stopped and turned so fast that Allie literally ran into him, resting her hand on his chest. He was angry, but he didn’t get to have that right. He was the one who’d chosen to take her along…not that she wasn’t grateful. The choice to stay here and die wasn’t a viable option. “This is a natural disaster of epic proportions, even apocalyptic. Difficult decisions have to be made and I won’t be responsible for more innocent deaths because we made a decision to do what was right for us.”
“Then why take me on as a responsibility when you could have just left me back there?” Allie countered, tilting her head so she couldn’t miss his expression. She’d told herself she wasn’t going to ask, but she sincerely wanted to know what had changed his mind and why he was willing to risk her life, but no others. “Why save me, Van?”
Also Available in the Series (Recommended Reading Order):
About the Author:
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.