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Series: Relek City, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Superhero Romance
Publication Date: April, 2015 (Re-released October 18, 2016)
From now till Nov. 14, 2016, get Vigilante Mine for $0.99 only!
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Internal Affairs be damned, Detective Amanda Werner’s ditching protocol to hunt the vigilante whose bullet landed her on the bench. But this is no vendetta. Evidence suggests he’s the zealot offing corrupt public officials–the same zealot who’s promised to set the city ablaze by week’s end–and she’ll risk her career and her life to save her hometown. Too bad she can’t find anything stronger than Kevlar to guard her heart against her primary suspect: a masked man with a telepathic German shepherd, unstable supernatural hearing, and lips that invite a whole different brand of investigation.
All businessman Ryan McLelas, a.k.a. Klepto, wants is redemption. But even if Amanda could forgive his itchy trigger finger, Ryan still has to convince her that his alter ego’s no serial killer. No small task, with syndicate-paid police officers turning up among the dead. He’d better keep his own syndicate ties close to his chest and Amanda even closer, because if Klepto is unmasked while he’s hunting the real killer, their passionate affair could mark Amanda as the next dirty cop on the hit list.
Bonus Scene: Pillow Talk
This scene takes place at the end of chapter 26; their “crazy, stolen, desperate treat in the middle of chaos.”
Ryan gritted his teeth as Amanda eased beside him, the bare skin of her leg smoothing over his. This was just one night of many he wanted to share with her. Working beside her, a teammate, a lover, someone he was discovering a need to keep by his side in some measure of permanence…and there were so many things he wanted to learn about Amanda beyond her work and the bedroom; he didn’t know where to begin.
“So?” she said with a pleased grin. “That’s all you have to say?”
“I can go back to the heavy breathing if you prefer.”
She gave an unladylike snort, and toes beginning to grow icicles slid down his calf. Ryan twitched her comforter up from where it hung half-off the side of the bed, throwing it over them. Amanda took the opportunity to snuggle in closer. Her hand stroked his chest, a movement accompanied by a small frown that made it seem less like a pet and more like an absent disbelief that he was still beside her.
“Hot cocoa and doughnuts,” he said after a few minutes of simply inhaling her scent and grinning like a fool. “Is there anything else I should keep in mind for future apologies? Because I will screw up, and the last flowers you got hit the trash pretty hard.”
“One, those flowers came from a madman. Two…” She poked his bare chest with her forefinger. “An actual apology will suffice for an apology. But if you want to get me something for my birthday–”
“Covered. Joyride. The Mustang.” He threaded his fingers through her hair. A little pressure brought her gaze up to his. “Top-down, sun shining, a nice deserted strip somewhere you can see the stars.”
She laughed, a sound easy and musical as ever, and it did something to the heart that was full to the brim with her.
“I know you have issues with dogs. Are there any animals you do like?”
Her fingers paused. “Is this an interrogation?”
As a hint of strain entered her voice, Ryan slid his fingers down to cup her jaw. “This is just us. Right here. Right now. Table the job and let the world have its madmen, okay?”
Light lashes swept down and then back up. She moved again, a lazy trace of his collarbone. “Okay. Okay. I like cats. Big, giant, fuzzy ones who take up your whole lap when they cuddle.”
He smiled. “You say that like you have one in mind.”
“Right after the academy, Mom had me catsit this behemoth of a furball for a week.” Lips curled softly at the memory. “Best naps on record.”
“What’s your favorite color?”
She sent him a sly look under her lashes. “Blue.”
A gown that shimmered and ended in a puddle around sky-high heels crashed into the foreground of his mind, blended with the eyes that gleamed up at him. “Mine too,” he said, and it was a growl that made her own smile grow. “Ah, you’re still thinking about the car. My garage will never be safe.”
A soft chuckle, then she tilted her head toward the pile of pillows they shared. “Do you read?”
“I prefer old movies to books. But it was my turn. What do you read?”
She didn’t laugh, but an eyebrow went up like a rocket. “You’re joking.”
“Is this a new fetish, this fascination with crime-solving?”
He shook his head and her fingers automatically brushed at a length of hair that fell into his face. “Believe it or not, I was into detectives before I shot you.”
A snort. “It’s probably what, research?”
He shook his head again but couldn’t stop the grin from spreading. “So why movies and no books?”
She held up a hand. “It’s just while off the bench there’d be enough paperwork to comb through, right? On the bench, it quadrupled. There was always plenty to read.”
“But none of it fiction.”
“I live your detective stories, Ryan. Why would I want to read them? Besides, some of those witness testimonies? They might surprise you.”
A laugh caught in his chest. “Okay, then old movies–black and white?”
“Used to be.” A pause. “Recently I’ve seen there might be benefits to thinking in technicolor.”
The laugh escaped in a quiet huff. “It’s good that you’re open-minded.”
“I imagine for you it must be.”
At every turn, she gave as good as she got. What was he going to do with this woman?
“How about…how would you spend a vacation? If you weren’t stuck wearing another mask, that is.”
“Reading…and this.” He shrugged, shifting away at the frustration that threatened to slip in after what she’d meant to be a playful question. Her fingers closed around his bicep as if she were trying to hold him in place. “It’s been masks and research for so long I’m not sure I remember what time off is. Pretty sure I’ve never heard of ‘vacation’. Not that, I hear, you’re all that much better at that definition. But…if I can convince ‘the board’ to let me take some leave…I’d like to find out.”
Both of her hands smoothed over his chest and she tipped her head up, her lips beckoning in a moue. Ryan couldn’t refuse the offering. As slow as the kiss itself he came back to her, his arms languid as they realigned her with his body.
He lost count of her heartbeats before Amanda broke the kiss. “When this is over–let’s find out together.”
“That sounds suspiciously like you’re asking me on a date,” he said.
“Except it wasn’t a question. And a vacation seems like it should be a bit longer than a date. Maybe a series of them, even.”
“Point. And I accept. Favorite mountain?”
Her finger poked his collarbone. “Pfft. I don’t go hiking. What kind of question was that?”
“The kind that lets me find out you don’t go hiking.” He sent her his cheekiest smile as her eyes narrowed. “My turn! Favorite type of take out.”
With a shake of her head, she said, “Pizza.”
“You’re really set on this game.”
“You like it when I remember specific things about people.”
“I do, at that. Okay, Ryan. I’ll play.” She quirked her lips to one side and finally gave in with an order of ham and pineapple.
Disgusting. “Can I convert you to something with less fruit and more vegetables?”
The listing of favorites became furious after that, a tossing of questions and answers until they were both far too amused and grasping for ideas that would never come up in anything other than a drowsy game of twenty questions.
“Favorite type of cheese on a sandwich slated for a midnight snack?”
“Provolone. Favorite…pair of handcuffs?” Her lips twitched. “I saw them in your bags. When you were digging earlier.”
Oh, hell. She’d seen the fluffy, neon pink monstrosities his brothers had thrown in with the condoms as a joke. “Those are not mine.”
Her eyebrow went up in slow, measured increments.
“If they were mine, they’d have been tiger-striped.” He laughed at the disbelieving expression on her face, then had to stifle a yawn. “Something tells me we better call it a night. Not that there’s much night left.”
She gestured toward the alarm clock on the nightstand. “Just enough time to try for a power nap.”
“I’m no giant, fuzzy cat, but somehow I think we’ll manage.” He squeezed her in his arms and pressed his cheek to hers. “Sweet dreams, sweetheart.”
“Good night, darling.”
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Join the Vigilante Mine giveaway contest from Oct 7 – Nov 14, 2016!
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About Cera Daniels
Cera Daniels writes paranormal, science fiction, and steampunk romance. Sexy superheroes. Delicious shifters. Infernal machines. Sometimes behind the same cover. Her heroes are broken and often on the wrong side of good, their worlds are crumbling, but the love her characters find in all that chaos stands on an unshakable foundation.
She hails from South Carolina with her own superhero husband, daughter, and three cats who don’t think they’re cats at all. Life is especially good in her world when there’s Game of Thrones, Shadowrun and board games, chocolate coffee, and an overabundance of yarn on tap.
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