Excerpt + #Giveaway: Lethal Confessions by V.K. Sykes
We’re happy to have the writing duo V.K. Sykes here with us today to share a teaser from their new romantic suspense, Lethal Confessions.
Genre: romantic suspense
Tone: gritty and sexy
Publisher: V.K. Sykes
Publishing Date: September 10, 2013
Series: #1 in Palm Beach Homicide
Format: PDF, Kindle
A gripping new romantic suspense from USA Today Bestselling author V.K. Sykes
The brutal murder of her twin sister drove Amy Robitaille into a career as a homicide detective for Palm Beach County. When a serial killer targets the wives of local baseball players, Amy has more than just a professional interest at stake—her only surviving sister fits the profile of the other victims. Amy’s hell-bent on catching the killer, not only to protect her sister but to destroy the demons haunting her since the death of her twin.
Baseball star and former soldier Luke Beckett has just retired from the game and is looking to move on with his life. When he’s asked to consult on the serial killer case for the local police, he finds the challenge he needs—despite the objections of lead detective Amy Robitaille. But Luke has no intention of backing away from the job and every intention of getting to know the intriguing detective.
Amy has no time to babysit a celebrity consultant while trying to catch a serial killer. But Luke is not the man she assumed him to be and he threatens to become a powerful distraction. That’s the last thing she needs, especially when the killer starts closing in on her family. But without Luke’s help, Amy stands to lose everything.
Setup: Detective Amy Robitaille’s commanding officer orders her to work with Luke Beckett, not against him.
Amy forced herself not to bristle. “Did Beckett make a complaint, Captain?”
Cramer snorted, shaking his head. “Hell, no. You don’t know Luke. If he has something to say, I guarantee he’ll say it straight to your face. Anyway, why would you think he complained?”
“I got the feeling he thinks I have an attitude,” she hedged.
Cramer barked out a laugh. “Jesus, you do have an attitude. You know it. The whole damn Sheriff’s Office knows it. Luke’ll get used to it, too.”
“I just want to focus on my job, sir. As a professional.” She sounded chippy, but she didn’t much care.
Her boss eyed her suspiciously. “Amy, what’s your problem, anyway? You practically turned purple when Beckett walked into the meeting. And after that you barely looked at him. Something’s going on, and I damn well want to know what it is.”
Gabe Labrash. Justin Wilson. Egomaniacal baseball players who treat their women like throwaway toys.
But how to explain that to her boss without sounding like a lunatic? “Captain, let’s just say that the women of my family have had some history with baseball players. Bad history. I’d rather leave it at that, if you don’t mind. Respectfully,” she added for good measure.
Cramer stared at her for a couple of moments, clearly surprised. “Well, I’m not asking you to date him, for Christ’s sake. Get over yourself. This isn’t about you. It’s about putting a serial killer behind bars before he strikes again.”
A flush of shame and worry crawled up her neck. Great. Now Cramer thinks I’m a self-important asshole. “Yes, sir.”
“What do you know about Luke Beckett?” he asked, sprawling back into his chair. For a moment, Amy thought he was about to put his feet up.
“Not very much,” she said, not at all embarrassed by her baseball ignorance. “He played for the Montreal Expos when I was a teenager up there. He was a pretty big deal in those days.”
Cramer rolled his eyes as if she were a cretin. She smiled apologetically, but her jaw clenched so hard she worried her teeth might crack. What was it with these guys and their hero worship of professional athletes?
“What he did on the baseball field is legendary, but that’s not important. Not right now. It’s what he did on the battlefield that you should know about.”
“Let’s go back to 2001. Luke was twenty-five years old, give or take a year. He was an All-Star with Montreal, and one of the best hitters in the major leagues. He was making millions playing baseball, and God knows how many more millions from endorsements. Then along came 9/11, and that day changed a lot of people forever, including Luke.”
Cramer sat up straight and leaned his elbows on the desk. “Suddenly, playing baseball seemed frivolous to him. Luke wanted to fight for his country. So, less than a month later, at the end of that season, he simply quit. Walked away from baseball and enlisted in the Army.”
Stunned, Amy could only nod weakly.
“Late the following year, his Ranger battalion was deployed to Afghanistan. He wound up doing two tours over there. Was wounded twice. Spent almost four years in uniform before he left the service. Eventually, he went back to baseball and resumed his career.”
Cramer’s gaze turned speculative. “Can you even imagine what that cost him, Amy? In monetary terms alone, he gave up more than twenty million dollars in salary and maybe fifty million or more in endorsements. All because he did what he felt was right, fighting to keep his country safe from the terrorists. How many men like that do you know?”
Now that she’d been forced to think about it, Amy vaguely remembered hearing about a famous ballplayer that had interrupted his career to fight overseas. Or was she thinking about that football player? What was his name? Tillman? That story had ended in tragedy.
“I don’t know what to say, Captain,” she said, shifting uncomfortably. The man Cramer had just described didn’t fit with her jaundiced view of big-shot athletes.
“You don’t have to say anything, Detective. Just be a police professional and do your job. Luke Beckett is going to help us catch a multiple murderer. We should be grateful for any help he can give us.” He gave her a brusque nod. “Now, get to work on that questionnaire.”
“Yes, sir.” Amy hustled out the door, eager to escape. It appeared she had been unfair to Beckett, at least in terms of his work ethic, commitment, and dedication. And, for some reason she didn’t want to think about, that made her more determined than ever to keep him at a distance.
Meet Author V.K. Sykes:
V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and romantic suspense. The second book in their Philadelphia Patriots Series of sports romances won the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, in the romance category. Vanessa also writes award-winning, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. Her first novel, Mastering the Marquess, hit the shelves in April 2009, and she was subsequently named by Booklist as one of the “new stars of historical romance.”
Vanessa Kelly info:
One commenter per the number of tour stops will receive both a digital copy of Lethal Confessions (PDF or Mobi) and one V.K.Sykes backlist title of the winner’s choice.
The more tour stops a reader comments on, the better their chances of winning. Full Terms and Conditions can be located on the Rafflecopter widget.
USA Today Bestselling Author V.K.Sykes is hosting a Release Day Celebration Facebook Event the night of Wednesday, September 11th from 7-9pm EST. Ten additional authors will be dropping by that night with some pretty great giveaways that readers won’t want to miss! You can find additional information at the following link: http://events.litconnect.com/