Tag Archives: nursing the flame

Tule Author Q&A: Shelli Stevens believes in the friend zone!

Shelli Stevens stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in the Bro Code series, Nursing the Flame!

Where did you get the inspiration for Nursing the Flame?  

Both my hero and heroine, Reggie and Amber, actually show up in book 1 in the Bro Code series, Losing It. They work at the same fire station as Blake, my hero in book 1. Reggie has a somewhat bigger role in that first book. But once I’d introduced them both, I knew they needed their own story. I kind of hinted in book 1 that Amber was nursing already nursing a crush on her superior. And I love a good age gap romance, so….Nursing the Flame was born.


Your characters, Amber and Reggie, are stuck in the friend zone in this book. Have you ever been stuck in the friend zone? If so, did it work out for you as well as it did for Amber and Reggie?

Ha! Funny story, or cringe maybe? But most of the guys I’ve dated over the years were my friend before they became a romantic interest. I honestly think it’s a good way to date, because in a way you already know them. No background check needed 😂 Which is why I usually maintain friendships with these guys after/if it ends. My now husband and I were friends for probably fifteen years (okay, and on and off flirting all that time) before we decided to give it an official shot and ended up married.


hanged bunkers suitsDid you need to do any kind of research for this book?

So much firefighter research! And, cough, research on how to have sexy times when you have a broken leg. 


What was your favorite scene to write and why?

I love the scene where Reggie finally sees Amber as a woman, and not just one of the guys. And oh the emotional chaos that ensues!

He grabbed a second bottle and straightened up, extending the beer to hand it to her.

She leaned against the railing on the other side of the porch, and for a moment, his mind went empty. The air locked in his lungs.

The sunlight and shadows hit her in a way that obscured her face, but made her long golden hair shine.

His gaze slid lower, past the baggy black T-shirt to her legs. The pale flesh was a mix of muscles and softness, not hiding beneath those tiny denim shorts.

At the moment, he wasn’t looking at Amber—who he literally saw as one of the guys—he was looking at a gorgeous woman.

He blinked, willing it to go away.

Come back, Amber. Please turn back into the girl that’s one of the bros.

“You okay, Lieutenant?” She stepped closer, out of the sun, her brows furrowing.

Her face came into focus, and some of the tension in his muscles eased.

She was Amber again. Thank god. What the hell had that been?

“Yeah.” He nodded quickly, thrusting the beer at her. “I’m good. And it’s Reggie when we’re not working.”

“Right. Reggie,” she said softly. “It’s habit.”

Those shorts were throwing him. Though they shouldn’t have. It was a hotter-than-usual July with the temperatures already in the low 80s. Since most apartments and homes didn’t have AC, that made it kind of brutal. So, of course, she was dressed accordingly.

They’re just shorts. Just legs.

Damn, it hadn’t gone away. He willed it to leave again—the realization that Amber was all female and entirely hot—but it lingered.

Unwittingly, his gaze fell to the cartoon of a fire hose on her shirt and the writing beneath it. Only this time, he read what it said.

I Put Out.

His breath caught and his blood quickened.

Oh hell. It was happening.

His imagination took the statement on her shirt and ran wild. Mentally stripping her out of her clothes and imagining her in his bed. On top of him. Beneath him. On her hands and knees.

Sweat beaded on his brow.

In one moment that friends only filter had been removed, and he saw her in a light that until now, he’d forced himself to ignore.

Without a doubt, he’d never be able to look at Amber the same way again.



What are you currently reading?

I just finished up Desire’s Addiction by Mari Carr and Lila Dubois (two of my author friends!) Warning, it’s HOT!



About the Author

Shelli is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author who read her first romance novel when she snatched it off her mother’s bookshelf at the age of eleven. One taste and she was forever hooked. It wasn’t until many years later that she decided to pursue writing stories of her own. By then she acknowledged the voices in her head didn’t make her crazy, they made her a writer.

Shelli is a true pluviophile (lover of rain) who currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. She loves Disney, taking sunset pics (follow her on Instagram), baking, nature walking, and spontaneously bursting into song. She’s written various genres of romance, but is most known for her contemporary series such as Marshall Ranch, The McLaughlins, and A is for Alpha.