Tag Archives: Romance Book Excerpt

Killer Heat by Brenda Novak – Excerpt

Killer Heat bookcover

Excerpt From Killer Heat
by Brenda Novak

Book Details:
MIRA Books
September 2010
ISBN: 0778328317
Contemporary

Buy Killer Heat now!

Excerpt:

Francesca Moretti thought she couldn’t be seeing what she was seeing. So much junk cluttered the salvage yard that it could be any number of different things, right? She wasn’t that close. And it was wrapped in a painters tarp and partially hidden behind some wood pallets, sawhorses and stacks of roofing material. But the longer she examined the size and dimensions of that shape, the more convinced she became. That was a human body.

Filled with revulsion, she shrank back into the shade of the closest outbuilding. The blazing July sun, bouncing off the sea of car carcasses, bent bicycle frames, even obsolete farm equipment, made her feel as if she was trapped in an oven instead of running down a lead on a ten-acre parcel of land on the outskirts of Prescott, Arizona. But it was panic and not heat that threatened to suffocate her.

Could this really be happening? Again? In her last big case, shed located what was left of the missing wife and mother shed been hired to find. The discovery had made national headlines; Janice Greys murder probably wouldve gone unsolved without Francesca. She provided the missing piece of the puzzle that confirmed a murder had taken place, which allowed investigators to go ahead and prosecute their prime suspect. But this type of thing didnt happen very often and certainly not to the same private investigator. Francesca had pretty much decided it would never happen again. Not to her, anyway. And then…this.

Trying to ignore the Doberman thatd started barking like crazy the moment she set foot in the yard–a dog which, fortunately, was chained up to the back of the house–she stared at what appeared to be a shock of brown hair spilling out from under that paint-speckled tarp. She wanted to identify the body, make sure it was her clients sister, as she thought.

But that could wait. She preferred to avoid the sickly sweet scent that accompanied decomposition, especially decomposition in such heat. And, judging by the stiffness of the corpse, apparent from the odd angles that refused to let the tarp lie flat, the body was in full rigor. There was no reason to gaze upon a sight any more gruesome than the one of dark promise she was seeing now. The memory would only keep her up at night. Better to let the county homicide investigator shed met with earlier handle the situation from here.

Yes, get help. That was what she needed to do. Immediately. She wouldnt want to ruin any forensic evidence linking April Bonner to the man whod killed her, right?

Hands shaking, she fumbled in the purse she carried across her body, searching for her iPhone. She was breathing again, shallowly. Try as she might she couldnt override her bodys autonomic nervous system, which was giving her hell.

Calm down. Youre okay. Everything will be fine. Youre the one who wanted to add missing persons to your list of services. You craved the challenge, remember? You wanted a chance to solve the difficult to impossible.

But that was just it. Locating people whod gone missing wasnt supposed to be this easy. And the goal was to find them alive.

Finally, her fingers encountered her iPhone. She was scrolling through her address book for Investigator Finchs phone number when she heard approaching footsteps–the purposeful stride of a man wearing boots from the sound of it–and brought her head up, fast. She wasnt alone? Thered been no answer when she knocked at the old wood-frame house facing the road, and she hadnt heard a vehicle. But that didnt mean anything. This was a big property.

So weak she doubted she could run even if she had to, she peered around the corner of the building. She couldnt see whoever approached.

Sweat, rolling from her hairline, dripped into her eyes. She blinked to clear her vision and prayed for a burst of adrenaline to stop her knees from turning to jelly. What was wrong with her? In her line of work, the threat of physical injury or death came with the territory. Shed known that from the beginning. But shed always imagined herself being so much tougher, so much calmer in the face of danger. She hadnt reacted like this when shed been a cop, or when shed found Janices remains scattered in that gully, had she?

No. But shed worked property crimes when she was with Phoenix PD and, after that, the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office. And the day she found Janice, shed been with a group of search and rescue guys shed hired to scour land the police had decided was too far out. Theyd stumbled across bones, which put more time and emotional distance between the violence thatd taken Janices life and the harsh truth of whatd happened.

This was different. Francesca had just discovered a recent kill. She was alone in a rather remote location. And no one else could say where that location was. Shed driven from her home in Chandler two hours to the south and didnt know anyone in the area.

Whos there? And what do you want?

It was a man all right, and he didnt sound pleased to have a visitor. The harsh sound of his voice set the dog barking at a far more feverish pitch.

Unwilling to answer, and afraid to poke her head around the shed again for fear shed be spotted and draw the man right to her, she pressed her back against the wood of the building. The bartender at The Pour House had told her hed spotted a woman resembling April getting into a truck driven by the guy who owned this salvage yard: Butch Vaughn. Shed come out here hoping to speak to Vaughn. But after finding the figure beneath the tarp, she knew it wasnt the time or the place to confront a possible killer. Especially a killer with a Doberman that could easily be released. The police could deal with it.

I know youre there, he said. Demons making sure of it.

Demon had to be the dog. What an appropriate name….

What are you doin trespassin on my property? His footsteps had grown far less decisive. He wasnt quite sure where she was. Dont you have any manners?

Her actions said more about her nerve than her manners. Pushing, even when others didnt want to be pushed, and looking, even when others didnt want certain things to be seen, was part of her job. Although she hadnt always been so assertive, her desire to succeed had forced her to overcome her natural reluctance to pry. Timid private investigators had little chance of helping anyone. If the owner of this property hadnt been seen with April, whod been missing for three days, Francesca would never have considered intruding on his privacy.

Glancing behind her, she wondered if she should make a break for her car. Could she get around the house and all the way to the road before he caught her? If her heart wasnt already threatening to pound out of her chest, she thought she might have a chance. Five years ago, shed taken up long distance running as a way to relieve stress and stay in shape. She prided herself on her athletic ability. But a quarter mile had never seemed as far as it did in this moment. And she had no illusion that she could out-sprint a man who was in top physical condition. Shed seen this guys profile on the dating Web site where April had first encountered him. If Harry Statham was really Butch Vaughn, as shed begun to suspect, and the muscular picture hed posted was anywhere close to accurate, he was definitely fit….

Whats the matter? he called out. Cat got your tongue?

Her other option was pepper spray. Just after shed been accepted to the police academy, her father had accidentally been shot by his own partner during a drug bust and had been confined to a wheelchair. Seeing him struggle with his lost mobility day after day, year after year left an impression she wasn’t likely to forget. As soon as she quit the force to open her own investigative agency, shed quit carrying a gun. She no longer even owned one. But she needed some protection.

I want to know why you’re snooping around, he said.

Was this Butch? It had to be. He’d said my property. Did he realize what she’d found? He had to at least suspect, didnt he?

Unsure of her ability to outrun him, she reached into her purse. He was coming up on the other side of the building as if hed guessed where she was hiding. The crunch of his soles striking the rocky desert soil ratcheted up the tension thrumming through her as if he had an external crank that stretched every nerve taut and tightened every muscle. Especially when she couldnt lay hold of her pepper spray.

Where was it? Had she lost it? Shed never really had to spray anyone. She kept it with her more as a precaution…

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Copyrighted Material. This excerpt was used by permission from either the author, publisher or authorized entity. Please do not copy or reproduce this material without express consent from the authorized copyright holder. Thank you.

Kiss of the Night by Sylvia Day – Excerpt

Kiss of the Night bookcover

Excerpt From Kiss of the Night
by Sylvia Day

Book Details:
Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Romantica
November 2005
ISBN: 1419904361
Erotic Romance

Buy Kiss of the Night now!

Excerpt:

Alex glanced around the dining area one last time, making sure that everything was as perfect as possible. He’d dimmed the cabin lights, turned on soft music and prepared Briana’s favorite meal. The last had been the hardest. Since he couldn’t sample the food, he had no idea if he’d cooked it right or not. It smelled…edible. However, if it was really bad, he’d purchased enough space rations to keep her alive.

He shrugged. He could always seduce her into forgetting about his questionable cooking skills. Hell, he planned to seduce her anyway. A long, slow seduction. Keeping Briana on edge was the best way to stay in control, which was a necessity. Regardless of the lust he felt for her, he had a job to do.

Her work in the Council was of unparalleled importance to the entire vamp race and he was charged with the task of keeping her safe until the threat against her family could be resolved. It was an assignment he took seriously. The mistakes of his past hadn’t faded and they never would, but he could lift himself above them if he worked hard enough. He’d been given a second chance and no matter what, he would prove himself worthy of it.

Still, he didn’t see the harm in enjoying her. If he called the shots.

With a multitude of tantalizing thoughts in mind, Alex moved down the corridor to Briana’s quarters, his senses coming to a heightened awareness as he drew closer. It had been a long time since he’d felt this kind of attraction. He’d forgotten what a rush it was. It flooded his mind with decadent pleasure, like warm hands coursing across his skin, kneading his flesh, making his spine arch…

Oooohhhh… Harder, James… deeper…

Alex stumbled to a halt.

What the hell?

The sensations he was experiencing were not lustful imaginings but feelings radiating from Briana.

He swore as his fangs descended. There wasn’t another woman in the universe like Briana Michaels. Physically she was no more or less than any other female he could have, but who she was inside was completely and beautifully unique. She laid her life on the line for a cause that wouldn’t benefit her at all simply because it was the right thing to do. Correcting an injustice and fighting prejudice were all she cared about and because of that, Alex cared about her. It was a potent combination, her unwavering convictions, the power she wielded so easily and her passionate nature. Quite simply, Briana was one of a kind.

These next few weeks were all the time he would ever be allowed to have with her. His work and hers were literally worlds apart. After this mission he’d never see her again, so having his fill had to happen now. No way was he getting usurped by a droid. Not after all these months of waiting and planning and dreaming.

Within seconds Alex was standing inside the door to her quarters watching with possessive eyes as the blond droid straddled his naked woman.

A snarl was the only warning he gave before leaping into action.

* * * * *

Bree drifted into a state of half-awareness, imagining hypnotically dark eyes and erect fangs attached to the hands that were presently moving all over her back. The chip in her mind signaled her preferences to James’ whose motions went along with her thoughts, facilitating the massage until she was completely relaxed.

Then suddenly he tensed, his body becoming a crushing pressure against her thighs. She felt him pitch forward and she screamed, knowing the droid’s heavy weight could kill her.

But before that could happen, the burden was snatched away with a snarl. She rolled over, confused, and barely caught sight of James’ bent legs moving horizontally out the door.

“Hey!” she yelled, leaping from the bed and dragging the sheet with her. She covered herself as she ran out to the corridor. Alexei was already halfway down the hall, her droid tucked securely beneath his arm. Bree gaped. James weighed a ton, but the vamp carried him as if he weighed nothing.

Her bare feet slapped against the cool metal floor as she gave chase. “What are you doing?”

“This thing’s got to go,” he muttered.

She studied the odd stillness of her droid. “What did you do to him?”

“Shut it off.”

“You can’t do that!” she protested.

“I just did.”

Alex rounded the corridor and entered the cargo hold. Finding a neglected corner, she heard him drop James unceremoniously to the ground.

“You’re going to break him,” she complained, stumbling blindly into the darkness behind him.

He rounded on her, dark eyes flashing red in the unlit interior. “If only I could be so lucky.”

Bree scowled. “What’s your deal anyway?”

The laser brightness of his gaze grew more intense, signaling that he was moving closer. She stood her ground and lifted her chin even as her heart raced with excitement.

“I’m not sharing you with a droid. Got it?”

She blinked in surprise and then bit back a smile, grateful he couldn’t see it.

“I love your smile,” he purred, moving closer. “Even when it comes at my expense.”

Choking, she took rapid backward steps. Damn! She’d forgotten he could see in the dark.

“No need to make me jealous,” he said softly, the foreign inflection in his words making her nipples hard. “I’m easy.”

At the reminder, she snorted and spun on her heel.

“Hey!” Now he was chasing her.

“Go away, Alex.”

She shrieked as her feet left the deck and she was swung up into his arms.

“Don’t be mad at me, sweetness,” he said, nuzzling her throat. “I can service you much better than a droid could.”

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Copyrighted Material. This excerpt was used by permission from either the author, publisher or authorized entity. Please do not copy or reproduce this material without express consent from the authorized copyright holder. Thank you.