"A great suspense and thriller filled with unexpected twists and turns. I specially loved how the author opened the book with the thoughts of killer,it somehow makes this story stand out from other thrillers of it's time. I'm sure lots others would also love this feature. [...] Author Amanda McKinney has some real talent for writing romantic suspense and mystery." Sebanti, Goodreads
Published: December 4th, 2018
Former Marine turned ballistics expert, Wesley Cross is known around town for two things, his rugged good-looks and cocky attitude—until he finds his ex-girlfriend lying in a puddle of blood in his basement. The scene screams setup, but the discovery of a rare gem and a puzzling autopsy suggests the murder goes much deeper than that. Wesley will do whatever it takes to clear his name, including calling in a notoriously headstrong—and sexy—scientist.
While most little girls were playing dress up, Gwyneth Reece was digging in the dirt collecting bugs. Now one of the top forensic entomologists in the country, Gwen reluctantly accepts a job from a pushy cowboy and travels to the small, Southern town of Berry Springs. Heavy storms are brewing, and when she’s forced to check into the creepiest hotel she’s ever seen, she instantly regrets her decision to help out the former Marine.
Following up on a tip, Wesley heads to the Half Moon Hotel but quickly realizes his visit was not by chance. The killer lured him there, and suddenly everyone from the uptight bellman to the wealthy couple just passing through town become suspect. Bodies begin to disappear, and Wesley knows the killer will do anything to get to him…. including hurting the woman who’s kept his head spinning since he first laid eyes on her.
THE BALLROOM OOZED a sort of gothic romance, with shadows from the candlelight dancing like ghosts along the walls. Under normal circumstances, it would be the most romantic evening she’d ever had. She’d make herself relax and loosen up and allow Wesley to take her onto the dance floor where she had no doubt he’d be the best dancer in the room. Because that was Wesley, good at everything.
But they were not under normal circumstances. Her Cinderella moment had pulled her from reality, but the second they’d walked into the ballroom, she’d felt like she had a target on her back.
Like someone was watching her.
She pulled Wesley to the bar, not just because she needed another drink but because it was in the corner, allowing for a full view of the room. In her quick scan, only a few people had decided to attend the ball. Good, fewer people to analyze.
“Howdy, there. Hell of a storm, isn’t it?” The tall, salt-and-pepper haired bartender wiped his hands on a towel as he walked over. He wore all black, from the shiny dress shoes on his feet to the black tie, and black button-up. He was handsome, Gwen noticed, with sparkling blue eyes, and smooth tanned skin. He laid two napkins on the bar. “What can I get y’all?”
Wesley pulled out the leather stool for her and said, “I’ll take a Shiner.”
“Tap or bottle?”
“Bottle.” He settled in next to her.
“And for you, ma’am?”
She skimmed the liquor bottles lining the mirrored back wall. Beer wasn’t going to cut it. “Rum and coke, please.”
“You got it.” The bartender walked away.
She cast a wary glance over her shoulder.
“You’re safe, Gwen. You’re safe with me,” Wesley whispered in her ear.
Her eyes met his.
“I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Her heart fluttered as she looked back at him, all dressed up in his tuxedo, the sexiest version of James Bond she’d ever seen. His gaze so penetrating, so confident, so serious, that she absolutely believed him.
About the author:
Award-winning author of sexy murder mysteries, Amanda McKinney wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Her books include the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES and the BLACK ROSE MYSTERY SERIES, with many more to come. Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning whodunits peppered with steamy romance. Amanda is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and lives in Arkansas with her handsome husband, two beautiful boys, and three obnoxious dogs. Visit her