"The tension is terrific...I can all but guarantee you won't be disappointed."
Reviewed by Sandi Shilhanek
Posted August 27, 2010
Romance Series | Romance
FULLY INVOLVED by Amy Knupp is the third
installment in her Texas Firefighters series.
FULLY INVOLVED is the story of Andie and Clay Marlow.
Andie tends to drift through life, while Clay is settled on
San Amaro Island. Is it possible that the accident that
brings them together, seemingly temporarily, will end up
binding them for life?
Although we met Andie in the first book, only now is her
past revealed. It is this somewhat shaky past that has
Andie choosing to drift through life rather than settle down
and, perhaps, embrace a future that includes a loving family.
Clay also had a shaky past, but he matured when his young
daughter needed a strong parental influence in her life and
he became determined to win custody of her. Now, he owns
his own home and will willingly do anything to place his
daughter's needs first and foremost in his life.
It is Clay's determination to protect his daughter that
keeps him fighting his growing attraction between to Andie.
The tension in FULLY INVOLVED is terrific and it's nice to
see that two people are willing to put their own wants and
needs aside for the benefit of someone else.
I'd been hearing from my friends for awhile that Amy Knupp
was a writer that I would enjoy. With the publication of
the Texas Firefighters, I would have to agree with their
assessment. I will go so far as to say that Ms Knupp has now
made it to my list of authors to be watching for when new
releases go on sale. I hope that others choose to use
their precious book dollars for Amy Knupp's titles, because
I can almost guarantee that they won't be disappointed.
No home. No roots. No involvements. No problems. That's how
Andie Tyler rolls. Just keep riding, and the past can't
catch up with you— until someone runs over your motorcycle,
that is! When she realizes that someone is Clay Marlow,
studly-do-right himself, Andie's in deep trouble. The sparks
between them were hot enough last time she blew through San
Amaro Island. This time they're out of control.
Worse yet, she's stuck. Stuck there for a month, in the same
wedding party with the single-dad firefighter, renting his
duplex, and—like it or not—stuck falling for him and his
disarming little girl. Andie wants him, but he can't have
her. Figures. No matter how fast she rides, her past always
catches up with her.
It was a lame excuse, Clay fully acknowledged.
But Andie needed a copy of her lease eventually. Why not
tonight? She was alone one floor below – he’d seen her
arrive with Macey out his bedroom window. Not too long
after, Macey had left. He wanted to see Andie again.
Payton was in bed now and his sister Bridget and her
boyfriend, Reid, had come over to swim. When they came
upstairs afterwards, Clay asked them to stay for a few extra
minutes and then went down.
After three knocks on Andie’s door, there was still no
response. "Andie, it’s Clay."
An eternity later, the door opened a crack, still
chained. Was she afraid of something? Someone? Surely not him.
"I brought your copy of the lease," he said, holding up
After hesitation, Andie closed the door, undid the chain
and opened it wide enough for him to come in the entrance.
However, she still barricaded him from getting any farther
with her body.
"Did I wake you up?" he asked, though he didn’t think
that was the case. Her hair had been brushed and fell to her
shoulders like a silk curtain. It didn’t look as if she’d
been rolling around on a pillow.
Andie shook her head. It seemed as if she was two hundred
miles away, distracted and...disturbed. Her eyes were glassy.
"Are you okay?" He touched her upper arm.
She swallowed and looked up at him. He could see when she
came to and realized she was revealing too much.
"I’m fine. Just tired."
"That didn’t look like tired."
"What did it look like?" She backed away with an
Her smile vanished and she met his eyes. "I’m okay, really."
"You don’t like having anyone concerned about you, do you?"
She tilted her head a degree. "I’m a big girl. I do fine
on my own."
"Coming from you, that sounds almost like a challenge."
He took another step toward her, and she didn’t retreat. He
brushed her hair off her cheek. "I like a challenge."
"Yeah? Is that why you’re here?"
Clay’s mind went blank, sidetracked by her mouth, so
close, and he couldn’t remember why he was here. Ah, the
lease in his left hand. He held it up. "I’m here to deliver
"That’s service," Andie said, taking the pages from him.
"And here I thought you’d come to beg for forgiveness for
crushing my Harley." She placed the copies on the kitchen
counter, and Clay sauntered after her.
"I’m new at the whole landlord gig," Clay said, ignoring
the topic of her motorcycle. "Making an impression is
When she turned to face him, he was directly behind her.
Startled, she put her hand on his chest and her eyes lowered
toward his lips for a heartbeat.
"An impression," she repeated, her voice low and sexy.
"I’d say you’re good at making an impression."
"At Chez Marlow, we want to welcome you to the
neighborhood." He grinned then closed the final few inches
between them and touched his lips to hers. Lightly, waiting
for her acquiescence.
"I’m feeling very welcomed." She ran her hand up his
chest and twisted it in his T-shirt.
Their mouths met again, more insistently.
Andie moved into Clay’s hard body, relishing the feel of
his hands on her. His kiss was amazing, turning her inside
out. He was somehow gentle and demanding at once, tender and
yet assertive. Like no one she’d ever been with before.
The kiss shot heat clear down to her to her toes. Their
urgency increased, tongues met. He trailed his palms up her
sides and then cradled her jaw with one hand. The gesture
was surprisingly intimate. Andie opened her eyes and met his
gaze. The sincerity in his eyes knocked the breath out of
her and she pressed her lips to his again, hoping to lose
herself in physical sensations.
It was too good. And though it was extremely difficult,
after a few more seconds she ended the kiss because, when
you got down to it, it was too scary.
Her reaction to this man was more than just physical. She
had no idea what that even meant or if she was imagining
more than there was, but...
She bowed her head and put some space between them.
"Where’s your daughter?"
"Payton?" He seemed momentarily confused. "Upstairs. In bed."
"Of course not. My sister and her boyfriend are there."
She nodded, touching her lips.
"You’re going to be here for a month?" Clay said, even
though he knew that from the lease she’d signed. "We could
have a lot of fun in a month."
Something clicked in her like an alarm going off. A month
of fun with this man sounded way too tempting. Judging by
the way he’d made her feel after just a few minutes of
kissing, there was a very real danger that she’d care too much.
She was not up for that. She’d promised herself she
wouldn’t ever fall that deeply under a man’s spell again,
wouldn’t let herself get so caught up that she lost herself.
Andie met Clay’s playful gaze with a serious one. "That’s
not a good idea."
He straightened, studying her.
"Your daughter," Andie said, grasping for something that
would get through to him. Scare him away. "You said they’ll
use anything against you for your custody case."
He nodded slowly, narrowing his eyes, all hints of
"They’d have a heyday with me as a bad influence, Clay.
Not only do I look the part with my tattoos and piercings
but..." She swallowed hard and closed her eyes. "I have a
His look was chillier now, as he worked through what
she’d just confessed to.
"What’d you get picked up for?" he asked quietly after
several seconds had passed.
"Which time?" She threw it out there as flippantly as she
"Pick your favorite," he said without missing a beat.
"Not my favorite, but the most memorable was assault
charges against my ex."
His eyes widened just enough for her to notice.
"They were dropped. Big of them, really, since I hit him
in the midst of having several of my bones broken by him."
She hated that she watched so closely for his reaction.
Hated admitting any of her past to him. His face changed as
he absorbed what she’d said. Disbelief became something akin
"Andie..." He took a step toward her but she put out a hand.
"It’s in the past, Clay, but yeah. That’s the kind of
past I have. Not pretty. Easy to dig up. Other incidents
that weren’t dropped. Nightmare in a custody case. So while
tonight was...fun, it’s probably best that we don’t let it
happen again. For Payton’s sake."
Clay stared at Andie, still reeling.
She was one hundred percent correct.
Andie Tyler was the last person he should associate
himself with if he wanted to win custody. Getting permanent
custody of Payton was paramount, as necessary as oxygen. His
little girl had been through too much trauma already.
"Thank you," he said quietly, "for being honest. Payton
means too much to me to jeopardize-"
"It’s probably best that you go now."
The tough girl was back, solid as stone. He couldn’t
resist closing the gap between them one last time and
pressing his lips to hers, gently.
"I’ll see you around," he said.
"Thanks for the personalized landlord service."
The truth hung between them, though, and they both knew
his remark was empty. He couldn’t afford to flirt with her
or get any more personal.
And yet...he was shaking inside.
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