Title: More Than Enough
Series: Sisters of Fire #1
Author: Kathryn Shay
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Cover Design: Shelley Kay Webcrafters Design
Hardened firefighter, Trish “Mac” Mackenzie rappels off buildings, saves kids in a car accident and carries victims out of raging fires. But her personal life is a mess. Can Mac fight her way out of abuse and insecurity with the Sisters of Fire, a skilled counselor, and good-guy, kindergarten teacher Nathan Mitchell at her side?
Goodreads Review – “What a great start to the new Sisters of Fire Series.”
Goodreads Review – “I couldn’t stop reading this story, and was frequently moved to tears.”
Goodreads Review – “Once again Kathryn Shay has out done herself!!!”
Nathan smiled out at his kids, now sitting in a circle on a mat on the floor, waiting for him to read them a story. He loved this job. Thankfully, his previous experience had given him the chance to work here.
Dropping down on his own pillow, he said, “We have three books to choose from.” He tried to give the kids options even though they were kindergartners. “I think half of you already had a Pick Day. Only those who haven’t can raise your hand.” He propped up the three books. “Pig Will and Pig Won’t. The Giraffe Dance. Mogli in the Jungle.”
Several hands shot up
A shy little girl had her head down so he couldn’t see her face behind her long dark hair.
“Mary, what’s your pick?”
She glanced up. “Me?”
“Which book would you like?”
“Pig Will.” She spoked softly, like she always did.
“Pig Will it is.”
He read the book about the cooperative pig who helped harvest the food and cook it. Pig Won’t refused to do any work. When it came time to eat, Pig Won’t didn’t get any food. It was a bit preachy but had a valuable lesson and appealed to kids.
They sat attentively for most of the book, then they started to fidget. “Now, let’s talk about why Pig Won’t didn’t get any food.”
“‘Cuz he didn’t help.” Surprisingly, Mary spoke again.
“Do you all help at home?”
“My brother doesn’t…”
They volunteered until there was a knock at the door. “Ah, I’ll bet that’s Mr. Simpson coming to get you for Exercise Time.” He got up and opened the door.
“Hey, there. Are my kiddies ready for ET?” He liked Ed Simpson’s mild-mannered way.
“They are.” To the class, “All right, line up.”
After some juggling, the students left with Ed.
Nathan decided to get some coffee on his thirty-minute break and headed down the hall. Someone else was walking down the corridor. Holy cow, it was Trish, Marcy’s sister-in-law, again.
He jogged to meet her. “Hey, there.”
She was out of her uniform today, wearing white cropped pants and a blue blouse. Her hair was down around her face. Coming toward him, she seemed surprised. “Hi, Nathan.”
“Well, here we are again.”
“We have to stop meeting like this, Trish.” His voice was stern, making her smile. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m meeting with your principal about the fire prevention program at the school for next year. I’m the CCFD liaison. I’m out of uniform because it’s my day off.”
“Terrific. I think the curriculum needs some updating.”
“I do too.” She watched him through huge blue/gray eyes. “I can’t believe that after the past two years of seeing you at Marcy’s house, I never asked what you did.”
“Wow. Where do you get the patience?”
“I’m not sure some days.”
“And don’t feel bad. We didn’t have many parties with both families.”
“Let me walk to the principal’s office with you. It’s past my classroom and down another hallway.”
The door to the reception area of the principal’s office was open and the secretary peered up at them. “Oh, hello, Nathan.” She transferred her gaze to Trish.
“I’m Firefighter Mackenzie. I have a meeting here.”
“I’m afraid Jay is running late. He’s at the administration building. He’s not in control of his time when he goes there. He texted me to take you for coffee and he’d meet you in the Teacher’s Lounge.” She pushed back her chair to get up.
“I’m going down to get coffee,” Nathan put in easily.
“Oh, would you mind accompanying her?”
“If it’s okay with Firefighter Mackenzie.”
“I guess.” Was that shyness or aversion. He couldn’t tell.
“Let’s go then.”
It was a short distance to the lounge where he poured them coffees out of a pot on the counter and they both sat at a table. The room was empty.
“So, firefighting, huh? Are there very many females in the Crystal City Department?”
“Out of two hundred firefighters, 67 are women. We’re also working on more diversity, which is only 20 percent.”
“Wow! I never knew.”
“Do you like your job?”
Her expression seemed confused. “Yeah, of course. A lot.”
“What do you like most about it?”
“The work we do helping people.”
He lifted his cup. “To me you’re all heroes.” He clinked the mug with hers.
“Most of us don’t think of the job that way.”
“All the more admirable of you. How long have you been one of America’s Bravest?”
“Over ten years. How long have you been a teacher?”
“About the same. Only two years in Crystal City, though.”
“What do you like best about being a teacher?”
“The kids, of course.”
“I can see why. Kids are so much nicer than adults.”
He cocked his head. “Are they?”
She blushed, heightening the color in her cheeks. “You’ll have to excuse me. I work with burly men who forget their manners. A lot.”
“Any other women on your…what do you call it?”
“Working on your group?”
“Yeah, a paramedic. We spread the women out. We still need 33 more to make up half of the department, though.”
“You went to socialize with some of those women the night we met.”
A genuine smile now. “Yeah, they’re great. We all started in the same recruit class ten years ago.”
“That is so sweet.”
“How did you know where I went?”
“Rick told me.”
Her face went cloudy at the boyfriend’s name.
“Tell me about them.”
“The women? Why?”
He shrugged. “I’m totally unfamiliar with firefighters. Especially female ones.”
“Huh. Well, there’s six of us…”
He watched her as she talked. Her eyes lit now. Her wary face became animated. She gave him a detailed rundown on the women which he thoroughly enjoyed. She’d finished and he was about to comment, when the principal walked through the doors and approached their table. “I am so sorry, Firefighter Mackenzie. I’ve wasted almost half an hour of your time.”
“It wasn’t wasted,” she said tossing a glance at him. “I got to spend some time with Nathan.”
He delighted in the comment.
Jay asked, “Shall we stay here or go to my office?”
“You can stay here.” Nathan stood. “My class is coming back to the room in five minutes.” He got Jay coffee then reached over and squeezed Trish’s arm. She stared at his hand on her. “Nice to see you again, Trish.”
“You too, Nathan.”
He left. And whistled all the way down the hall.
A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, print books with the Berkley Publishing Group and Harlequin Enterprises and mainstream women’s fiction with Bold Strokes Books. She has won many awards for her work: five RT Book Reviews awards, the Bookseller’s Best Award, Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year and several “Starred Reviews.” One of her firefighter books hit #20 on the NEW YORK TIMES list. Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over ten million copies of her books in print and downloaded online. Reviewers have called her work “emotional and heart-wrenching.”