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Trouble Comes Knocking

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SWEET
Word Count: 67,300
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ePub
Mobi

Lucy Carver is like Sherlock Holmes in ballet flats, but her photographic memory is more albatross than asset and something she usually keeps hidden. Noticing something’s amiss at her dead-end job, she jumps at the chance to use her ability for good. That is, until, a man is murdered, and the killer targets her.

Detective Eli Reyes is overbearing and pompous, way too hot for Lucy’s own good. He seems as determined to ruin her relationship with her boyfriend, John, as he is finding the murderer. Eli brings Lucy in on the case, only to cut her loose when he realizes he’s gotten more than he bargained for.

When childhood memories invade her present, Lucy discovers a mystery bigger than she imagined. With the killer after her, and Eli nowhere to be found, she's determined to expose the truth no matter what—before trouble comes knocking…again.

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Excerpt

“About last night…”

I stood by the counter, arms folded, ready for a fight.

“I shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss you.”

My insides vibrated and an unwanted quaver crept into my voice. “No, you shouldn’t have. But it doesn’t matter. I know you’re here to tell me you found out what I said was true, and now you’re afraid your captain will look poorly on you because you dismissed a lead. But I don’t plan to stay at that job so I’m no longer a lead. Take whatever information you found and do your own work.”

He tapped his thumb on his thigh and leaned slightly forward. “You’re right. All of that is right. And I wouldn’t blame you for leaving. But thing is…”

“This is an active investigation and now you need my help.”

“Yes but—”

“But you don’t want to bring a kook into your investigation.”

“I wasn’t going to say—”

“No, you may not have used those exact words, but the gist is there, right?”

“Will you stop doing that?”

“What?”

A tic formed by his jaw. “Finishing my sentences.”

My voice came out steadier now. Strong. “Anyone who’s ever seen a cop show would know why you are here.”

The microwave beeped giving me an excuse to turn away. I don’t even realize when I do things like that, like finish people’s sentences or come off as a know-it-all. I just do them. And then I get defensive because I’ve been doing them. It’s a cosmic-circle pain in the ass, really. With Detective Reyes it felt good, though, to finally have the upper hand. “Coffee, right?”

“That’s fine.”

“Black?”

“Yes.”

With a button-down detective trying to prove his way in the world, it’s a good guess he isn’t a froufrou coffee kind of guy. Him coming to my door in street clothes with no other officers meant he’d realized he’d made a mistake and wanted to make it better.

But it didn’t mean I had to forgive his treatment.

Or help.

But even as I made his coffee and my tea, I couldn’t stop seeing Mr. Winters’s face. I wasn’t supposed to have seen the body, but when the coroner uncovered him, presumably to collect evidence, I did. A glimpse, not long enough to scar me for life but enough to imprint on my memory. He’d been strangled, or at least that’s what they were saying at the scene. His eyes bulged from his slightly purple face. The gray slacks he’d been wearing that day were wet from when he lost his muscle control, and I saw a circle of blood on the floor from where he’d fallen.

He’d been nice to me. Loyal to his team. Proud of his company.

People shouldn’t die like that.

I gave Detective Reyes his coffee and a chance to say his piece.

“Would you sit?” he asked, shifting slightly in his chair.

I wanted to remain standing but it wouldn’t help hurry him along, so I sat, uncomfortably, at the edge of a chair. Ready to bolt. “Go ahead.”

He took a breath and inched forward in his chair to match my position. Definitely reading me. “I understand why you’d want to quit,” he started again. “I can’t blame you.”

Good cop.