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#BURN (Fever Falls #2)
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My job is putting out fires–PR fires, that is. Partner in one of the most prestigious PR firms in Hollywood, I’ve lived most of my life helping others stay in the spotlight but keeping as far away from it myself as humanly possible.
Enter Jace Kruse.
#HottieFirefighter is the hashtag everyone is using for the overnight Insta-star who made headlines when a pic of him with a pooch he saved from a runaway vehicle went viral. Doesn’t have anything to do with my life until a major potential client shows interest in an endorsement deal with the internet sensation, and Jace becomes my ticket to stomping the ass of one of my company’s fiercest competitors.
Problem is: Jace isn’t swayed by dreams of fame and fortune. He prefers his down-to-earth life in Fever Falls and has turned down every company who’s approached him to leech off his recently acquired celebrity status.
But where others have failed, I’m confident I can succeed. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s persuading. And after a few encounters with Jace, the easy-go-lucky, ever-charming, sexy-as-hell, and surprisingly #topcurious firefighter has me persuading him about more than signing on for an endorsement deal.
He may be good at putting out fires, but Jace sure knows how to start them in the bedroom…and then in my heart. However, between his rising star power and the intensity of my feelings, I know where this inferno is leading, and if we don’t put it out soon, someone’s gonna get burned.
#BURN is part of the Fever Falls series but can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.
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#PRextraordinaire #powertop #slay
“Hacksmore Designs has the most highly anticipated men’s apparel line of the year,” I said, giving credit where it was due as fashion mogul Jerrick Hacksmore leaned back in a leather chair, his arms folded, expression stiff.
I was midway through my presentation, pitching my company’s history, credentials, and stats. We’d rented this hotel suite in Thailand—where Hacksmore had been staying for two weeks—as the venue to try and win him over. To his left, his assistant sat in another leather chair, appearing totally uninterested in my pitch as she scrolled through her iPad.
I’d dropped everything in Hollywood the moment my business partner and I discovered Jerrick Hacksmore was in the market for a PR firm to handle his new commercial line of apparel.
We weren’t about to lose this opportunity to any of our competitors. Hacksmore Designs received some fabulous publicity over the past year, including exposure in a recent reality series with Anna Wintour, and Hacksmore’s latest plan to transition into commercial fashion with a line for several department stores was the talk of the town. It was an account every PR firm was eager to manage, and with Hacksmore in the market for the best, I was ready to fight for our shot.
“This is fashion,” I pressed on. “We understand aesthetic, image, and brand. Your consumers want it to be big and hot…a campaign that sizzles. They want to know why they need this, and we at KlineSmart Global can give you that.”
I pressed a button on the remote in my hand, changing the projector slide, then indicating the screen to my right.
Hacksmore sighed as though he was already exhausted, and I hadn’t even made it to the pitch yet.
“Okay, okay, I’ve had enough of this. I’m going to level with you, Dax, because I’m not interested in wasting your time. As you know, it’s only because of your partner that I was even willing to take this meeting.”
If Elliott hadn’t been climbing to base camp on Mt. Everest, he would have been here. But since he was unavailable and I had no doubt in my ability to reel Hacksmore in, we’d made do.
“Freyda Inc. has expressed serious interest in our account,” Hacksmore added, “and on the heels of their success with Vinny Creed’s H&M line…”
I struggled to keep from growling at the mention of Freyda Inc., a rival PR firm that had seized an opportunity I’d been working up for months with Vinny Creed. Their company had hit a grand slam with their successful campaign, making them the current envy of the PR world.
We were number two, and I didn’t live my life by being a number two.
“I’m certain I can persuade you guys to work with our firm on this campaign,” I assured him, more determined than ever. “Freyda Inc. had a good year, yes. They’re the trendy firm, but our firm has had far more success, particularly with brands that aren’t already established, finding a way to bring them into the market. We can give you the best launch in the goddamn world.”
“The reputation of your confidence precedes you, Dax Munro. However, confidence isn’t what we’re interested in. We want results.”
“We have the numbers and the history, same as Freyda Inc. We are pioneers on the social-media front. Not only are we innovative and one of a kind, but we promise to make your account our number-one priority.”
I shared a look with my assistant, Carter, seated in another leather chair on the opposite side of the boardroom table from Hacksmore and his assistant. I could tell by the way Carter frowned that he knew this wasn’t going well for us.
Hacksmore turned back to his assistant. “Could you pull up the image, Ferah?”
Ferah rose from her seat and walked to the front of the boardroom, where she unplugged my laptop from the projector and swapped the cable with one of her own to connect her iPad. She moved around the screen on her tablet, then clicked on an icon.
The image of a firefighter popped up—hot as sin, with six-pack abs framed perfectly by walls of muscle and a bulging chest and biceps, he held a Shar-Pei, both of them soaked. The firefighter had short dirty-blond hair, a damp lock of his bangs curling over his forehead. He looked at the camera with these big, deep blue eyes that appeared to be able to see right through me, smirking as though he owned the goddamn world with that beautiful face of his.
“Do you know who this is?”
“Everyone knows Hottie Firefighter,” I said. “He saved the Shar-Pei from the car in the river. Kid caught this picture when he came out of the water, hashtagged the hell out of it for Instagram, and it went viral.”
It was my job to be on top of what was vogue, and Hottie Firefighter was one of the top trending images of the past few weeks.