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Against the Fire (The Raines of Wind Canyon) Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: The Raines of Wind Canyon
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778329305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778329305
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. To date she has over 13 million copies of her books in print in seventeen countries, including Sweden, France, Russia, Spain, Japan, Argentina, Poland, and Greece. Kat and her husband, author Larry Jay Martin, live on their ranch outside Missoula, Montana, and spend winters at their beach house in California. Kat invites you to visit her website at

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The screech of the siren didn't reach him at first. Exhausted from a hard day's work, Gabriel Raines slept soundly. But as the shrill cry drew closer and the flashing red lights lit the walls inside his bedroom, something registered in the depths of his mind and he stirred.

Gabe blinked awake, eyes instantly alert as had become his habit during his years as a marine. He'd been out of the corps for years but some things just didn't change.

The wail of the siren grew louder on the street below the window of his downtown Dallas condominium, then the fire truck shot past and the sounds began to dim as the vehicle drove farther away. With a weary sigh, Gabe turned to look at the red neon numbers on his alarm clock. Three-thirty.

Running a hand over his face, he lay back against the pillow, hoping like hell he'd be able to get back to sleep.

He might have if his cell phone hadn't started ringing.

The siren's wail had stopped. The fire truck had reached its destination, which meant the fire was nearby, and the sound of a second engine was beginning to fill the night. Gabe reached toward the nightstand and picked up his cell phone, flipped it open and pressed it against his ear.

"Whoever this is," he grumbled, "this had better be important."

"There's a fire at the Dallas Towers." The voice of his foreman, Sam McBride, floated over the line. "Looks like all our hard work is going up in smoke."

Adrenaline jolted through him. Gabe swung his long legs to the side of the bed. "Are you sure it's the Towers?"

"I was on my way home, about a block away when I heard the first fire truck. I saw it turn toward the Towers and decided to see what was going on."

Already off the mattress, Gabe pressed the phone more tightly against his ear. "You see what part of the structure is involved?"

"I could see flames in the lobby."

"Son of a bitch." They were almost finished with the major renovation they were doing on the Tower's soaring marble lobby. Almost.

He took a breath to steady himself as he walked toward his closet. "If you were just heading home, you must have had a pretty hot date."

"I didn't spend the night if that tells you anything."

Like Gabe, Sam was a bachelor and both of them lived downtown. An area that formerly consisted of run-down buildings was being revitalized, turned into a chic little district of shops and boutiques. Gabe had built the condos Sam lived in, as well as the Las Posas development that housed his own unit.

"I'm getting dressed. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."

Gabe closed the phone. He should have known things were going too well. In his experience, every time life went a little too smoothly, bad news lurked around the corner.

Naked, he crossed to the oak dresser against the far wall, jerked open his underwear drawer and pulled out briefs and a pair of socks. Dragging on a pair of jeans and a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, he ignored the row of Western boots sitting on the closet floor and shoved his size-thirteen feet into the heavy leather boots he wore when he was working.

Gabe left the condo and a few minutes later, he was pulling his big white GMC extended cab pickup over to the curb just a little ways down the block from the Towers. Smoke and flame billowed out through the open glass doors leading into the lobby, but the fire boys were at work inside and had three powerful jets of water hitting the building from different angles. With any luck, the blaze would be brought under control before it burned into the offices on the floors above.

The bad news was, the lobby would have to be completely rebuilt.

Son of a bitch.

"At least the building was insured." Sam McBride strode toward him, almost as tall as Gabe's six-foot-two-inch frame, but instead of having Gabe's dark hair, blue eyes and muscular build, Sam was blond and lanky. On top of being a damned good employee, he was Gabe's best friend.

"Well, I guess that's something. It'll sure put us behind schedule, though. I was hoping to finish up here, split the crew up, use the guys to finish our other projects."

"Not gonna happen," Sam said.

Gabe looked up to see one of the firemen walking toward them in full battle gear: fire protection suit, helmet, goggles, high rubber boots.

"Be better if you stepped back a little," the fireman said, "kept out of the way."

"I'm Gabriel Raines. My company's been rebuilding the lobby. A lot of my equipment is still in there."

"Sorry to hear that, Mr. Raines. Most everything in the lobby's completely gone. It was a hot, fast fire. We're lucky we were able to get a handle on it so quickly."

Gabe blew out a breath. "I hope nobody was hurt."

"Not that we know of."

"How'd it start?"

"Too soon to tell. If the lobby was under construction, there was probably a lot of flammable material around. Paint thinner, drop cloths, stuff that really gets a fire going."

"We're really careful to seal everything up at the end of the day, pick up whatever we've been using."

"Like I said, it's too soon to tell. Our investigators will be taking a look at everything, including the security tapes."

Gabe shook his head. "Afraid that won't help. The old cameras are down. New ones aren't up yet."

"How many people knew that?"

"Not many. Replacing the old cameras was kind of a last-minute management decision. Only a few people knew they weren't up and working."

The fireman nodded and headed back toward the fire, pausing for a moment to speak to a second man in a blue uniform, late forties, salt-and-pepper hair. Gabe realized the man had been moving through the crowd that had gathered to watch the blaze, asking onlookers questions. Now he approached Gabe and Sam.

"I'm Captain Daily with the arson investigation squad," he said. "You're Raines?"

"That's right."

"I understand your company's been working on the lobby reconstruction."

"Actually, we were damned near done."

"We've never met but I know who you are. You helped my dad once, Jim Daily? He needed a permit to add a room to his dry-cleaning shop. The building was old and the city was giving him a hard time about it. You put in a good word for him and the permit came through. I appreciate that."

"I liked your dad. I was sorry to hear he passed away."

"He was a good man." Daily straightened, returning to the business at hand. He looked over at the destruction in the lobby of the Towers. "I'll need to ask you a couple of questions."

"No problem. This is my foreman, Sam McBride."

Daily gave Sam a nod and returned his attention to Gabe. "What time did you get here?"

"About twenty minutes ago. We both live in the area. Sam was heading home from a date. He followed the fire trucks and gave me a call."

"You see anyone going in or out of the building?"

"You guys were already here by the time I arrived," Gabe said. "I didn't see anyone else go in or out."

Daily turned to Sam. "How about you?"

Sam glanced over to the crews mopping up the scene. "The first truck was just pulling up. I saw the flames in the lobby and called Gabe. I watched you guys working until he got here. It wasn't long before a crowd started to gather. But no, I didn't see anyone coming or going."

The captain nodded. "The fireman you were talking to…that's Mike Dougherty. He says the cameras are down."

"Didn't seem like a big deal. No one was going in and out of the lobby during the remodeling."

"I'm going to need a list of the people who knew."

"No problem."

"Thanks. We'll be in touch if we have any more questions." Daily started back toward the men working the fire and disappeared among the throng of spectators.

Gabe and Sam stood watching as the fire crews worked. Eventually, the smoke began to thin and one of the water hoses was turned off.

"Anything you can think of we could have done to cause this thing?" Gabe asked.

"I was here at the end of the day. We left the place clean as a whistle." Sam shook his head. "We were so damned close to finished."

"Shit happens," Gabe said.

"I guess."

"At least the fire didn't get too out of control and it doesn't look like anyone got hurt. I'll call Fred Parsons, see what he wants us to do." Parsons managed the building. He had hired Raines Construction to do the remodel. The owner was eager to get the lobby finished and the building running smoothly again. Gabe was sure Parsons would want him to get his crew back on the job as soon as possible.

"I'll talk to Rich Simmons, too," Gabe said. Simmons worked for American Insurance. "We'll need to file a claim." But even if they did, there was a fairly high deductible. Nothing was ever cheap.

Sam slapped him on the back. "Come on. It's damn near dawn. Neither of us is going to get any more sleep. Let's go get some breakfast."

They might as well. The horizon had begun to turn a pale purple-gray. Gabe's crew started work at seven and though this job was down for a while, there was still work to be done on several other projects they had going in the area.

"You're thinking Mrs. Olson's?" Gabe asked. Mrs. Olson's Cafe down the block had the best breakfast in the downtown area and the place opened early.

"Yeah. I could really use a cup of coffee."

Gabe checked his heavy stainless-steel wristwatch. "It's after five. Should be open by now."

They both climbed into Gabe's pickup. The company name, Raines ...

More About the Author

Currently living near Missoula, Montana, Kat Martin is the bestselling author of over fifty-five Historical and Contemporary Romance novels, currently an NYT bestselling author of the romantic suspense AGAINST series. Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker. During that time, she met her husband, L. J. Martin, also an author with over 33 book length works. Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. "I love anything old," Kat says. "I love to travel and especially like to visit the places where my books are set. My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and houses built in times past. It's fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a by-gone era."

To date, Kat has over fifteen million copies of her books in print. She is published more than two dozen foreign countries, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Russia, England, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Japan and Greece.

Customer Reviews

Its fast paced, tantalizing read.
I loved the characters as they were real and flawed.
They are filled with suspense, mystery, and romance.
Dianne Moncur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Judy on January 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Against The Fire by Kat Martin is a tremendous story filled with suspense and searing romance.

Gabriel Raines has risen from his dirt poor youth to be a major force in the real-estate development field. Seems someone is out to destroy Gabe's success by setting fires. Gabe isn't sure what to think and latches onto the suspect the police capture. But it's a troubled teen who has a staunch defender in Mattie Baker.

Architect Mattie Baker gives back to the community by working at the Family Abuse Center. She just can't believe that one of her young teens has returned to his fire starting past. Mattie is convinced that Angel was not involved in setting the fires so she must turn Gabe to her way of thinking.

Mattie joins forces with Gabe to determine who could be setting the fires. Spending so much time with Gabe has Mattie exploring a side of herself she didn't think existed. A passionate side that burns hotter then the fires destroying Gabe's livelihood.

As they uncover who could be involved the danger turns towards them. Will they be able to solve who could be the arsonist before the arsonist sets the last fire?

The Raines of Wind Canyon series continues in Against the Fire. Its fast paced, tantalizing read. Gabe and Mattie both are at turning points in their lives and their connection is incredible in its intensity. Kat Martin books are keepers for me and I can't wait for Devlin Raines story in Against the Law.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Gramlich VINE VOICE on February 2, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gabriel Raines is a tough native son of Wyoming turned Texas transplant no matter what way you looked at it. He grew up tough from neglect and bullying; did his time as a Marine and faced his demons on the battlefield; and ran a successful construction and renovation business. But Gabe was no match for the sassy little slip of a woman named Mattie Baker. They met under terrible circumstances and never one to believe in coincidences but Gabe thinks a miracle may develop from this disaster in his life.

Someone is torching his construction sites and when a young man who Mattie is counseling is falsely accused her path collides with the rock hard Gabe and she is going to make him change his mind or else. He quickly realizes that accusing this boy is the wrong road to be traveling down but any road where Mattie goes he just might have to follow. She goes out of her way in her career as an architect and volunteer and trusts so few people that when Gabe comes on too strong her sense of flight kicks in. Gabe is a man used to getting what he wants so the chase is on even though it is derailed by another fire and another construction site burned to the ground. The apparent fact that these fires are personal, not random makes everyone jumpy but Gabe also wants to protect Mattie and do a little pouncing perhaps of his own.

Gabe and Mattie search for answers while the arsonist is getting more aggressive and the attacks more vicious. Gabe has some people angry with him as everyone does but he can't think of anyone, including ex-soldiers that carry this kind of grudge. Women may have been scorned but did they take their vengeance this far in seeking pay back, Gabe was not buying that simple answer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon_Junkie on March 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
3 1/2 stars. In this second book in the Wind Canyon trilogy, ex-Marine Gabe Raines faces attacks from an unknown arsonist on his construction business. Along the way, he joins forces with local architect, Mattie Baker, a hot redhead determined to fend him off by hiding behind her successful career. As a romantic suspense, this sequel is much better and feels more polished than the previous book (Against the Wind- featuring brother Jackson). The characters are better developed and well matched as a pair. Both are capable, stubborn types though Gabe is too much the stereotypical alpha-male. The plot also flows more naturally. There is an interesting secondary romance between sidekicks Sam and Tracy with reversed male/female roles which I found more intriguing than the main characters. It could have provided the needed spark if it had been explored further. That said, the whole story feels a bit flat and plodding. Once again, Martin has hit all the necessary elements in the genre but without much heart. The plot turns are much too predictable and convenient, and there's a tendency to tell the readers rather than show character development.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Kat Martin is usually an auto buy for me, but this book (the first and only one of the series I purchased,) Is just not all that good.
The storyline is nice enough. It's the relationship between the H/H I can't connect to. As well as the sense that this book was written years ago as Ms. Martin was starting out, taken off the shelf, dusted, and published. The sensebilites of the heroine are not something from a romance novel written today, more like something written in the 80s or early 90s. Just everything about their relationship seemed forced to me, and even though I liked them mostly, I didn't think this was one of her better books. Sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 26, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Texas Gabriel Raines is a successful businessman who knows he has made enemies. However, he is unsure what has triggered a serial arsonist targeting his new real estate development firm. He feels relief when he and his friend separately pick out seventeen year old Angel Ramirez from a line-up as being near the arson scene; the teen has a record for setting a fire. The police arrest Ramirez for the crime while Gabe assumes his life will go back to normal.

He will quickly learn how wrong he was when it comes to normal. Architect Mattie Baker knows Angel from her volunteer work at the Family Recovery Center for abuse victims. She rejects the notion the teen is the arsonist. Instead she challenges Gabe who reluctantly agrees to investigate the fires with her. As they begin to fall in love, which she ignores as she wants no man in her life, evidence begins to mount that Angel is innocent but the unknown guilty person remains elusive as does the motive.

The second Raines of Wind Canyon (see Against the Wind) is a terrific entry as another of the no account siblings proves his worth. Dedicated Mattie is Gabe's equal as she lights his fire. Together they make a dynamic team inside a fast-paced thriller; as Kat Martin is two for two with her no account Raines boys' trilogy.

Harriet Klausner
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