Guest Blog: Rum Punch with Mitch from CONTROLLED BURN and Em Petrova

A big hello to my friends—old and new! Today I thought I’d stop by Sidney’s blog and share a drink and some eye candy with you.

Meet Mitch, hunky Italian firefighter from my latest release in the Firehouse 5 series, CONTROLLED BURN. Mitch is a special ops guy on the team. He’s specially trained to work with chemical spills and is much in demand.

He’s also in love with his chief. And with the chief’s wife. But tensions are high when he’s held at arm’s length so the other guys on the team don’t find out. You can imagine the stress poor Mitch is under, right? That’s why he needs a little rum punch with some willing ladies. Do you know anyone?

Get out your punchbowls, gals, and get ready to share with this lusty fireman! 

  • 6 orange(s)
  • clove(s)
  • 1 bottle rum
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 gallon sweet apple cider

Stud oranges with cloves and bake until they soften. Place them in a punch bowl and add rum and sugar. Set fire to the rum (Jamaican rum is recommended) and in a few minutes begin slowly adding cider, thus extinguishing the flames. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg, and keep the mixture hot.

(recipe compliments of

Drink up and thanks for stopping by! Here’s a short excerpt from CONTROLLED BURN, now available from Ellora’s Cave.

Big thanks to Sidney for hosting me!


Fire Chief Pearce Johnson has been struggling with his attraction to fellow team member and special ops guy Mitch Morelli. In the sauna, long looks turn into a steamy self-love encounter. Pearce runs home and tells his wife of fifteen years all about it—resulting in a five-alarm blaze between them.

Ellie has always suspected her husband would crave another relationship with a man. When he brings Mitch into their fantasies, she encourages Pearce to explore this newfound sexual link even as she longs for the big Italian firefighter to visit their bed. But taming two firemen might be tougher than she thinks.

Mitch can’t get enough of his rugged chief and Ellie’s femininity. But on the job, his boss pushes him away and purposely avoids working with him. Wounded, Mitch is finished trying to see his lover’s point of view, until one perilous event makes them all wake up and realize love is too precious to ignore.


The blare of the alarms struck Pearce like a fist in the gut. After all these years, he’d never get used to that sound. It sent a shock of adrenaline to his system and he was immediately ready to come out swinging. And in this case, scrambling his team to answer the call.

He started barking orders to the men who rushed past him. Jumping into their fire gear—oversized pants and suspenders, jackets, heavy boots and gloves. They grabbed up oxygen tanks and masks.

“Halloway, Lucifer, Dobbs, Howland, Morelli, you’re in Engine One. Zacherel, Itar, Quade and King, you’re with me.”

Across the locker room, Morelli froze, his arm partway inside his jacket. His very dark gaze met Pearce’s, and in that moment, Pearce’s decision to keep Mitch at arm’s length while on the job seemed to be the wrong one. Betrayal, hurt and a spark of anger lit Mitch’s rugged face.

He knows what I’m doing.

But there was no chance to remedy it. He simply couldn’t have Mitch working closely with him anymore for fear something in his expression or mannerisms would give him away.

Mitch gave a tight shake of his head that left Pearce with a hollow feeling. They always teamed up, and now that they were closer, they had to part ways. Didn’t Mitch know Pearce was trying to keep their jobs?

Twisting away, Pearce reached his locker in two steps and slammed the door back. In seconds, he was kitted up, his muscles stretching under the weight of the equipment. He wrapped his body around the fireman’s pole and slid down, hitting the concrete floor with a thud.

He stepped away just as Mitch landed beside him. Their gazes locked and Mitch put out a hand. He gripped Pearce’s shoulder. “See you there, Chief.”

Pearce swallowed hard. A small flash of pain burned in his chest. Yeah, he was the chief, but the way Mitch said it was almost hurtful. He had to set this to rights, but later. After they responded to the raging fire in the old warehouse on the south side of town, where too many wooden structures crowded around the burning building. A few stray sparks and the entire block would go up, leaving a hundred people’s lives threatened and more homeless.

“Hit it, boys!” he bellowed.

Mitch pushed past him and, without a backward glance, disappeared into Engine One. Heart heavier, Pearce launched himself into the other engine. They peeled out of the station and tore down the city street, horns blaring, the radio deafening. Another fire crew was already on the scene but they were outmanned and needed backup quick.

“Oil barrels are reported on the premises. Explosions expected.”

Great. Mitch would be in the thick of it. As the spill specialist, he’d be in demand on this job.

Em Petrova

~where words mean so much more~

ONE FIERY NIGHT—Firehouse 5 book 1:


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