February 15, 2017
Available in: e-Book, Trade Size
Love Can Be Deadly
All he wants is to find a killer…
FBI Special Agent Josh Blake has seen some bizarre cases in his day, and his latest cases are for the record books—multiple homicides in which the corpses have been drained of every ounce of blood. When rumors surface that the French Quarter may be home to an insidious monster bent on littering the streets with dead bodies, he must suspend logic and place his trust in the mystical.
She wants a fresh start…
Isabelle Toussánt left her family home in the bayou five years ago, cutting all ties with her abusive, whiskey-swilling stepfather to forge a new life in the French Quarter. Now she is a successful business owner of Madam Toussánt’s Mystical Gifts in Jackson Square and a Seer with voodoo roots. But the foundation of her new life crumbles when one of her employees winds up dead and she is dragged into a deadly game in which she becomes the target of a serial killer.
A passion neither expected…
Determined to stop the brutal slayings, Josh must rely on the beautiful Isabelle, who makes him question everything he has ever known about life and death, all while he surrenders to a desire hotter than a Bayou night. Then Isabelle disappears without a trace. With tourists flocking to the party capital for Halloween and the body count continuing to mount, Josh is forced to push beyond the boundaries of what he thinks is possible so he can rescue the woman he loves before it’s too late.
“I will survive,” she sang to an empty street, her voice echoing off the black pavement.
Kiri hummed the rest of the famous tune, because let’s face it, who really knew the rest of the words to that song anyway? She giggled to herself as she weaved while scrunching her nose at the distinct odor of urine. Through her hurricane-induced buzz, the lamp lights on the deserted street muted the always-present grime, making the row of buildings lining the street appear dreamy with their wrought-iron balconies draped with flowers or multicolored flags. At this time of night, all the stores were locked up tight with black mesh gates partitioned across the front doors and windows. It muted the usually vibrant tenor and made it appear desolate.
Living in the French Quarter was the absolute best decision she’d ever made. Dating Matt had been the worst. She could see him clearly now for the slimeball he was, and he hadn’t even been that good between the sheets. She snickered.
Was there anything better than being within stumbling distance of Bourbon Street? Which in Kiri’s mind should be a place everyone visited once in their lifetime. She loved the funky retro French décor. She lived close to school and walked to work at the metaphysical store Madam Toussánt’s Mystical Gifts in Jackson Square.
Life was perfect, except for the idiot man who’d dumped her. In a few months, she’d graduate from law school and become respectable. Until then, it was Bourbon Street or bust. She hiccupped and grinned at her own intelligence.
Kiri tripped over a divot in the brick-paved street. A drunken giggle escaped. She’d had one too many hurricanes tonight and would have a humdinger of a hangover in the morning. Could she help it if she’d needed a pick-me-up after her breakup? Or the fact that she’d made a move on one of the bartenders at Jean Lafitte’s and had been turned down in epic fashion?
She swiped at a tear. At least her friends had not been there to witness the classic crash and burn.
Cajun music trailed after her on the deserted street as she traveled home. It was a weeknight, and the rest of the Quarter had already tucked itself in for the night. The farther she ventured away from the hedonistic pleasure of Bourbon Street, the quieter the street became. Even the crickets weren’t out tonight. The air stilled around her as she not-so-gracefully weaved back and forth. Her heels made a click-clack, tap, tap, tap, but nothing else dispelled the silence that had fallen.
A low growl emitted from an alley she passed, and she nearly jumped out of her skin. She kept her pace as fast as possible in her skyscraper shoes. If she weren’t so inebriated, she might get a little worried as the snarl grew in tenor and strength, even after she had passed. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw that the darkened street was vacant.
Even though Kiri knew she was just being paranoid, the fact that the growling didn’t stop made everything inside her clench. No more watching horror movies for this girl. No matter how much she adored the genre. Not when her mind could turn a dog’s growl into an insidious werewolf bent on ripping her to shreds. The unmistakable clomp of footsteps behind her made her overactive imagination speed into overdrive, and Kiri hazarded a glance over her shoulder.
It was death and darkness. It was evil at its most pure. When the monster smiled at her, Kiri’s heart dropped into her stomach, and a scream of protest lodged itself in her throat.
Malevolence more potent than anything she’d encountered greeted her. The flash of silver glinting in the light from the street lamp as it approached finally spurred her adrenaline into gear. Kiri kicked off her heels and ran barefoot through the urine-soaked street. Pumping her legs, she sprinted as fast as her inebriated body would allow her. Her feet pounded against the pavement, and she winced when one foot landed on a sliver of something sharp and began to bleed with every footstep. Her heart thumped wildly in her chest.
She zigzagged her pattern as it gave chase. Kiri headed toward Jackson Square. Surely even this time of night there would be someone she could call out to for help. Tears spilled down her cheeks. She felt the sinister form near, could almost feel the hot breath of her pursuer wisp against her neck. And then, as suddenly as it had appeared, the feeling of being pursued by pure evil vanished.
Kiri stopped, breathing in heavy, aching gulps, and glanced around. At the corner of Chartres and Madison, there was nothing but the sound of her own inhalations. And then she giggled. It had to be the rum. It had made her see things, that was all. She was alone at the deserted intersection. In the three years she’d lived in the Quarter, Kiri had never been stalked or felt unsafe.
Shaking her head at her own silliness, she decided that what she needed was sleep to calm her overactive imagination. Kiri turned down Madison, heading toward her apartment near the French Quarter Market.
Metal clicked and scraped against wood. From the shadows emerged a figure so horrifying her scream died on a panicked whimper. Her feet froze in terror as her befuddled brain attempted to rationalize what was happening and what it was she saw. It rounded a darkened corner, the sinister glint of silver raised. In a rather graceful arc, the silver blade slashed against her throat. Agony stole her breath as her hands instinctually went to the gash, trying to keep her blood from spilling onto the pavement.
Kiri collapsed as the monster attacked, lapping at the blood pouring from her neck with its tongue. Her last thought as the world receded on a gurgled cough was that she should have stayed home tonight.