A gripping new romantic suspense from USA Today Bestselling author V.K. SykesThe 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.
ExcerptDetective Amy Robitaille is stunned when her commanding officer brings in a surprise guest to the team meeting—former baseball star Luke Beckett.“Take your seats,” Cramer ordered. When they had all arranged themselves around the table, Cramer faced Poushinsky and Beckett ended up directly across from Amy. Just what she needed—constant eye contact with the baseball hero. Right on cue, he gave her another lazy smile. She angled her body to her left, fixing her gaze on the commander.“As soon as we got confirmation that our victim was the wife of a baseball player, I contacted Luke,” Cramer said. “There’s got to be a baseball connection to these killings. They’re both baseball wives, and they had the same carved message. OUT could mean anything, but I take it to mean ‘out’ as opposed to ‘safe’. Like the guy’s a fucking umpire.”An umpire.Amy sucked in a startled breath. Of course. The guy who controls the game. The guy who gets to decide who’s safe and who’s out.But what the hell was this killer’s particular game?“We need somebody on our investigative team with in-depth insight into baseball,” Cramer continued. “Someone who knows the game inside out. Someone with connections. Nobody—and I mean nobody—could play that role more effectively than Luke Beckett. That’s why I’ve asked him to join our team for this investigation. And I’m happy to say he’s agreed.”Jaws dropped around the table, and Amy had to stifle a gasp. What the hell was Cramer thinking? Not only was he bringing in an outside consultant without talking first to his lead detective, the so-called expert was practically an A-list celebrity. She couldn’t even begin to predict how this might screw up the dynamics of a squad that had problems gelling in the first place.She looked at Beckett. His expression had morphed into impassivity, his high, strong cheekbones and square jaw seeming to convey a tough and indomitable sense of will. He returned her look and then, unbelievably, winked. It was so lightning quick that only she caught it.Amy swallowed, her mouth going suddenly dry. With a silent curse, she diverted her gaze to the commander, furious at how off-kilter Beckett made her feel.“This will be a whole new experience for me,” Beckett said in that deep, southern and, yes, sexy drawl of his. “I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be able to bring to your team, but I’ll tell you this. I’m prepared to do everything I can to help catch the bastard who killed those two women.” He gave a self-deprecating half-smile before continuing. “And I’ll try not to get in your way too much.”“Fantastic,” Poushinsky gushed like a pimply teenager. “Welcome aboard, man.” Washington nodded like a bobble head doll. Even Adrianna seemed charmed, giving Beckett a smile that would have made her dentist proud. Only Ryan seemed less than ecstatic, having obviously gotten over her initial reaction to Beckett’s sex appeal. Amy was thankful for that. Ryan flirting with Beckett would have made her run for the nearest bathroom.“We need to take full advantage of Luke’s expertise,” Cramer expounded in an annoyingly solemn voice, “and that means he needs to be involved in every aspect of the investigation. I want you to keep him in the loop on everything. And I mean everything. If you’re having meetings, I want him there. Am I making myself clear?” His heavy brows almost closed together as he frowned. “Robitaille, he rides with you.”Amy resisted the urge to pound her head into the boardroom table. Cramer actually expected her, the lead investigator, to babysit a famous athlete in the middle of the most important case she’d ever had? The case that could make or break her career? What the hell did Luke Beckett know about police work, much less catching a serial murderer?Cramer kept his gaze locked onto her, a warning clear in his eyes.“Perfectly clear, sir,” she answered with all the professionalism she could muster.What choice did she have? If her boss thought an insider’s knowledge of baseball would help the squad, she’d just have to make the best of it. If nothing else, Beckett’s contacts among the players and coaches might prove useful. She’d deal with it and make it work, like she did everything else in her life.Amy stood up, giving Beckett another glance as she rounded the table. He was talking to Washington and Poushinsky, but she had the feeling he was tracking her every move, almost like a sniper with a bead on her.As she brushed past the men, a voice in her head whispered that making the best of the situation with a man like Luke Beckett would not only be challenging, it might very well land her neck deep in a pile of trouble.
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