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His Burning Desire (Book 1)

His Burning Desire (Book 1)

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Dragon shifter Connor O’Rourke loves his life as a firefighter, but one thing remains missing. His mate. She left him high and dry with only a note and the memory of her kiss. When several mysterious arsons are committed in Dallas, the shifter is called in to investigate and discovers Jenna working at the local firehouse.

Jenna Dunne was betrothed to the strong and sexy shifter at birth. While there was no doubt she wanted to be his mate, she is a halfling and might never bear him the children he desires. With his species dwindling and the barbaric rules their society enforces, she knows Connor could toss her aside for another woman. There is only one thing she can do to save her heart. Run.

Connor has two choices, free his mate from the bond that was started long ago or fight for the woman he loves. With an arsonist on the loose, Jenna’s life is in danger, and their chance for happiness may come too late.

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Main Tropes

  • Runaway Bride
  • Alpha Hero
  • Woman In Peril


Connor O'Rourke, a dragon shifter and dedicated firefighter, loves his life but feels a void in his heart—his mate is missing. She left him abruptly with just a note and the memory of their kiss. When a series of mysterious arsons plagues Dallas, Connor is called in to investigate, and to his astonishment, he discovers Jenna working at the local firehouse.

Jenna Dunne was betrothed to Connor from birth, and while she always wanted to be his mate, she faces a challenging dilemma. As a halfling, she might never be able to bear him the children he desires. Fearing that Connor might discard her for another woman due to their species' dwindling population and rigid societal rules, Jenna makes a heartbreaking decision—she runs away.

Now, Connor is faced with a difficult choice: should he free Jenna from the bond that was initiated long ago, or should he fight for the woman he loves? With an arsonist on the loose, Jenna's life is in grave danger, and the window of opportunity for their happiness may be closing rapidly.

Intro Into Chapter One

Connor stood on the ridge, cursing as he stared across the valley and into the gaping mouth of Hell. Fighting fire was his life. His mistress. He had a love-hate relationship with her. The bitch inhaled the pine needles scattered across the ground. A snack served to fuel her burning hunger. Greed sent flames licking up the trees. Some went up in a flash, while others exploded from her fury. She was insatiable. 

At least fifty homes filled the landscape in a rural subdivision called Windy Hallow. Aptly named for the breeze that swept through, it kept the residents cool in the summer’s heat. Unfortunately, it was those very winds that threatened to destroy the upper class neighborhood.  

He moved his attention to his men, who tried to stay ahead of the flames. They’d been furious in their attempts to build a firebreak, dozing a path to the south to keep the fire from spreading back through the forest, which contained thousands of acres of national park. To the east, they were lucky. A river snaked through the park and offered the perfect break. To the west were several miles of rocky terrain. He had men stationed there, but so far, they’d reported the fire had been stopped from spreading in that direction. Now he only had to worry about his men below and the residents. The crew had orders to shift into their dragon and vacate if necessary. Fuck the rules. He’d broken them before, and he’d break them again. The lives of his men came above all else. 

In as a team and out as a team. The humans on his crew had witnessed a dragon shift before when things had gotten out of control. Lives had been saved, and that was all that mattered. 

He scanned the hillside again. “Stupid fucks,” he growled.

Quinn shifted his weight next to him. “Who you referring to?”

Connor didn’t break his gaze from the hillside above the homes. The fire was quickly eating up the ground. This year had been unusual, weather-wise. Between the lack of rain, high humidity, heavy winds, and two stupid humans, the blaze was heading for the small community. 

“The dumbass kids who thought it might be nice to have a campfire during a red flag warning.” He finally turned to look at his partner. “Then not have the fucking balls to report it. Don’t their parents teach them about this shit?” Had authorities known earlier, they may have been able to contain the beast.

Quinn scrunched his brows together. “It’s taught in school. Every child learns about forest fires at a young age in these parts. Did they find them yet?”

“Yep. Took Sanders all of ten seconds to pinpoint where the fire started and follow the scent of the two boys responsible.” It had been reported that the teens had gone white as a sheet when Sanders had shown up at their door with the authorities. Connor wasn’t surprised since the shifter was intimidating. At six-six, he was not only tall, but had muscle stacked on muscle. When he opened his mouth to speak, it came out more as a growl. Yet, he was also about as gentle as they came.

The kids’ parents tried to deny their sons would be so irresponsible, but dragon shifters didn’t make mistakes. Their scenting abilities rivaled that of a bloodhound, a thousand times over.

“Shit.” Quinn jerked off his helmet and rubbed his head. “The residents have been evacuated and a structure team called in. How old were the boys?” Of course Quinn would want to know. After all, these were his people. Quinn was one of the few humans allowed to join a shifter wildland crew. He’d proved his worth and had been with them for the last five years.

“Fourteen and sixteen, and don’t go getting all sappy, telling me boys do stupid shit.” Connor brought his focus back to the smoke-filled sky. “My father would have beat my ass till it was the color of a red-hot poker for something like this.”

Quinn shook his head. “I’m not making excuses. What they did was wrong, but they’ll have to live with their own guilt.” He pulled his heavy coat back on, though the sun seared everything in its path, and the temps spiked to a sweltering ninety-five. 

Connor wiped sweat from his brow. Dragons hated heat but loved fire. The tales that they could breathe fire were as far-fetched as pigs flying out of someone’s ass. There were a few who could conjure fire using dragon magic, but that was entirely different. He also donned his coat and slapped the helmet back on his head. A splitting ache hammered behind his eyes and into his temples. He liked to think it was stress, but dragons didn’t fall to human ailments. No, this was only another telltale sign of something he didn’t want to think about. 

He was entering the Kamirth. Hell for a male dragon.

* * *

Jenna never thought she’d become a pet owner, let alone a cat person. However, the little ball of black fluff purring on her lap had managed to steal her heart. She stroked Buster’s fur as she watched her roomie flip through a magazine on the couch across from her.

“I’m bored,” Kate sighed.

“So what else is new?” Jenna stared at her roommate, Kate Fairchild. They’d met a year ago when Jenna had come to Dallas to start a new life. She’d walked into Station 58 for her first shift as an EMT, and the two had instantly hit it off. Many of the crew harassed them, asking if they were really sisters. With matching blonde hair, and similar likes and dislikes, the only differences were Kate’s green eyes and Jenna’s hazel. 

After working together a couple of weeks, Kate had lost the lease on her apartment, and Jenna hadn’t thought twice about inviting her to come live with her. When she’d moved to Dallas, she’d purchased a brick ranch home with four bedrooms and two full baths that sat on several acres. There was more than enough room while still allowing the girls their privacy.

Kate raised a brow as she peeked over the top of her rag. “I can’t help it. We should get dressed up and go out for dinner. Maybe a few drinks after?”

Jenna rolled her eyes. Since she’d moved to Dallas, Kate had been trying to set her up on a date with a rugged-looking fireman named Derrick. She had to admit, she was attracted to him, and they seemed to hit it off. Derrick had been the one to give her the grand tour of the station and fill her in on all the “need to know” about the others who worked there. He’d also been there on her first call, when they were summoned to a fire that had trapped some elderly residents. It had been touch and go for a bit, but everyone got out and survived.

“What are you really up to?”

“Well damn, Jenna. Am I that transparent?” Kate threw on her best smile then tossed the magazine aside. “Derrick keeps asking about you.”

Jenna’s interest grew. “What kind of questions?”

Her friend leaned forward. “You’ve never talked about your life back in Minnesota. The only thing I know about you is you’re a half dragon shifter with a kick ass ability to be a human MRI.”

Jenna responded with a sheepish grin. Yeah, she could touch a person and see inside them. Find broken bones, damaged organs, and even a fatal disease like cancer. If necessary, she could sustain their life until real medical help arrived, but that’s where her talent stopped. She couldn’t heal them. She always hoped one day she might gain healing powers and not have to rely on conventional human means, but she walked away from that chance when she left Connor.

She would never share his power or anything else, and just thinking about him caused her heart to ache. She tried to forget him. Shove him into the deepest, darkest recesses of her mind, but he proved difficult to forget. Part of her had always hoped he would come searching for her. Tell her how madly in love with her he was, and no matter what they’d be together forever. So far, it hadn’t happened.

She shrugged. “Not much to tell really.”

“I’ve heard you have arranged marriages. Is that true?”

How to respond? The elders frowned on sharing too much information about their culture, yet they expected humans to embrace them. It had only been a couple hundred years since dragons had entered society. To say it had been a cluster fuck was mild. Jenna had been a hundred years old at the time. Young for a dragon, what humans would consider their early twenties, and she remembered the fall-out. 

The first fifty years had been all out war. It had taken a team from both sides to sit down and talk rationally. Things calmed once humanity realized dragons were not there to take over and could actually be an asset to their society. Occasional extremists tried to cause trouble with outcries of bomb threats or that dragons were going to kill them all and take over the planet. If that had been true, it would have happened eons ago. Dragons had been around since the beginning of time and were far stronger than humans. Instead, they tried to blend in where possible. The elders even forbade shifting, only allowing a dragon flight in the wilds of their secret homeland, where humans were less likely to take notice.

“Jenna? What’s it like being a halfling?” 

Jenna hid a cringe. She scratched Buster behind the ear and tried to hide how much she hated the word. Hated what she was. “I don’t know anything else so that’s kinda hard to answer. As far as the arranged marriage? Yes, it’s true.”

Kate’s green eyes widened as did her mouth. “No shit? So does that mean I need to tell Derrick to back off?”

It was at that moment she firmly reminded herself why she’d moved to Dallas. To begin a new life and it was time she started. “No. I say we get dressed and go have some fun.” 

Kate jumped to her feet, a big smile plastered on her lips. “Wear something sexy,” she hollered as she sped down the hall toward her room. Jenna made a quick mental note of her wardrobe and had the perfect outfit picked out before she even left her chair.

* * *

The phone sang out an AC/DC tune in his pocket as Connor shoved open the cabin door. He was dirty, tired, and crankier than fuck, so debated on ignoring the call. Instead, he pulled the annoyance from his pocket and looked at the screen.

His commander.

“Fuck.” With a quick swipe, he activated the call to speaker. “Yeah?” He toed off his heavy boots, not caring he left them in the middle of the kitchen floor. He wanted relief. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the release he needed. That would require a female either on her knees sucking his cock, or him pounding into her from behind. His balls tightened at the thought.

“O’Rourke. Pack your shit, you’re going to Dallas,” the voice blared through the speaker as he set the phone on the counter so he could strip.

“For what?” He tried not to let his annoyance bleed through but failed.

“They’ve had a rash of arsons and requested one of our men. I offered you.”

Double fuck! “Can’t someone else go?” He pulled his tee over his head and tossed it aside.

“No. The plane leaves at nine pm. Be on it.” The phone went silent, and Connor knew his boss had hung up. Command issued, there was no getting out of it. He looked at the clock on the wall. Four hours until he had to leave. Shoving his jeans off, he headed for the shower. Maybe getting the soot and sweat off him would improve his attitude.

Who the fuck am I kidding? he thought as he stepped under the hot spray. He stuck his head into the water and let it soak through his thick hair. Leaning in further, the heat penetrated into his tired muscles. He grabbed a bar of soap and scrubbed. Annoyance ran through him like hot lava when his thoughts turned to her. 


The one betrothed to him when he was little more than three hundred years old. She’d been a baby when their fathers had decided the two would be joined. He still recalled the pinprick her father had made on her little finger so he could draw blood for Connor to taste. She hadn’t made a peep. And when he’d done the same, placing his finger on her lips, she’d opened and suckled. Their bond had begun; it would be finished when she was old enough to mate. 

When his little blonde, hazel-eyed female had started school, he’d watched over her. Making sure she was safe and living the life every child should have. When she entered her teens, he moved away so he didn’t have to witness something that might have him wanting to kill someone. Jenna’s mother had insisted her daughter go to public high school and hang with other humans. Connor had truly wanted her to live life as any normal girl. He realized how difficult their culture was and how “old world” many of their rules were. 

When she celebrated her one-hundredth birthday, he’d come back. He remembered how she had looked at him and the instant recognition in her eyes. He hadn’t made demands. Instead, he had begun a relationship like any other man and woman. He hated the old ways and wanted their relationship to go slow. Give her time to acclimate, and above all else, he’d wanted her to fall in love with him.

His cock thickened at the remembrance of her in a string bikini not too long ago. Curves that went forever, covered by a puny piece of red fabric as she lay on the beach. Thank god, they’d been on private property so he hadn’t had to kill anyone ogling her. That was the night they’d made love on the sand. Their first time together and she was a perfect fit. It had been the beginning of the end for him, in more ways than one. She’d stolen his heart.

The taste of her lips still sat on his tongue as if he’d kissed her only hours ago rather than close to a year before. 

“Shit,” he groaned. His palm still lathered from the soap, he reached for his aching member. With a long, slow stroke from root to tip, all while thinking how badly he needed her now, he imagined tangling his fingers in her long locks while he slipped into her heated channel.

He stroked faster.

Would he take her hard and fast? Maybe soft and slow, tearing cries of pleasure from her as he teased her with the head of his cock, penetrating only slightly until she begged him for mercy. In his dreams, her hazel eyes looked up at him and swirled with desire as she wrapped her pink lips around his cock and sucked.

He slapped his free hand on the tile and braced himself. His thighs, a compact mass of muscle, flexed as his breathing grew heavy. He squeezed his shaft harder, pumping into his fist. His wings pressed into the skin on his back, and his bones ached with the urge to shift.

Balls pulling tight, he threw his head back and grunted. His seed hit the black tile, pulse after pulse, until finally he was spent. For the moment, anyway.

He rested his forehead on his arm, knowing this would be one of many times he’d have to give himself release. The Kamirth, a time when a male dragon went into a sexual lust so powerful he’d kill, was closing in on him. Eventually, he would be forced to seek a willing female. Either a full blood or halfling were the only ones who could satiate the Kamirth.

“Damn it, Jenna, why the fuck did you run off?” He wanted the one female meant for him, but she’d made it clear how she felt. And the only thing she’d left behind was a note.

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