by Kristine Mason
What do you get when you mix a snake-handling reverend, a necrophiliac, a cop and an ex-con? Something perfectly twisted…
Sound like the start of a bad joke? Not to Shane Monahan. The ex-con and newest recruit to the underground criminal investigation group, A.T.L. or Above the Law, has it bad for Collier County Deputy Beth Price. But ex-cons and cops don’t mix, especially when this particular ex-con is looking at going back to prison for his involvement with A.T.L.
All Beth wants is a fun distraction from the stress of her job and law school. She thinks she’s found that when she meets Shane during an airboat tour through the Florida Everglades. But Shane’s a felon, a man who could destroy her career as a deputy, and jeopardize her future as an attorney. She doesn’t know what to do—until dead bodies start showing up around the county.
When three abused corpses are found with snake remains inside them, the discovery brings a murderer out of retirement. The Reverend, as he calls himself, doesn’t like his kills being mimicked, especially by a man who abuses the dead—after all, the Reverend does have a reputation to uphold and a congregation to scam. Now it’s time to teach his copycat a deadly lesson…
“Sorry you didn’t see any gators.” Shane hopped off the boat and quickly secured it to the dock. “The last two times I took you out, we got lucky.”
Beth drew in a deep breath and decided to shove her nerves aside and go for it. “I didn’t come out for the gators,” she said. “If I want to see one, I can hang with Vlad and Polina.”
He took her hand and helped her off the boat. “So why’d you come for another tour?” he asked, still touching her.
Her stomach flipped. With her free hand, she dug into the front pocket of her shorts for the tip she had ready for him. Although he’d refused her money the last time, she didn’t want to assume he would again. She held up the fifteen dollars. “This is for you,” she replied, suddenly too chicken to admit the truth. She might be blunt and usually had no problem going after what she wanted, but if Shane had no interest in her outside of boating and maybe flying, she’d rather not make a complete fool of herself.
He plucked the money from her hand, then reached between their bodies and stuffed the fifteen dollars back into her pocket. “I don’t want your money.” He settled his hand on her hip. “I want your number.”
Oh. My. God. Her heart tripped. “Don’t feel obligated because I’ve been here twice to see you.”
When Shane took off his sunglasses, her breath caught. The hunger in his gray-blue eyes had her licking her lips and aching to kiss him. “The first time I saw you, I went to bed that night with you on my mind. After the second time, I couldn’t sleep because I was too busy kicking my butt over not asking you out for coffee or dinner.” He inched his hand up to her waist. “Now that you know where I stand, I’m going to ask you again, why’d you come for another tour?”
“Because the first time I saw you, I went to bed that night with you on my mind,” she said, repeating his words and telling him the absolute truth.
Despite the bright sun, his eyes darkened with unmistakable desire. “I wonder if we were both thinking the same thing?”
She grinned. “Maybe we should compare our thoughts over dinner?”
As he leaned forward, she inhaled. Damn, he smelled good. Like grease, saltwater and pure hardworking male. “Tonight?” he asked, pulling her a fraction closer.
Wow, the man moves fast. “That works for me.”
Kristine Mason is the bestselling author of the popular romantic suspense trilogies, C.O.R.E. Shadow and Ultimate C.O.R.E. She is currently working on her next trilogy, C.O.R.E. Above the Law, along with a series of Psychic C.O.R.E. novellas.
Although Kristine has published a few contemporary romance novels, she focuses most of her energy on her romantic suspense stories, which she loves for their blend of dark mystery/suspense and sexy romance. She is fascinated with what makes people afraid, and is famous for her depraved villains whose crimes present massive obstacles for her heroes and heroines to overcome.
Kristine has a degree in journalism from Ohio State University and lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, four kids, and two dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s chauffeuring kids, gardening, or collecting gnomes. Oh, and she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie!
E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristine Mason will be awarding a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card to two randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.