The Dark Falls, CO series is a multi-author romantic thriller series set in the fictional town of Dark Falls, Co. Each book features a separate hero and heroine and suspense storyline. They can be read in order or out of order depending on reader preference, although readers may enjoy the books best if read in order. The books currently being promoted are books three and four in the series- books one and two released on October 9th. You can find the four titles currently available, as well as a list of upcoming titles here: http://loriryanromance.com/darkfalls/
When it came to murder, every avenue was investigated.
Assuming the victim had been murdered.
Rhys suspected she had been; his instincts had been humming since he’d gotten the call an hour earlier. The location and markings were too damn suspicious for anything else. Unless… unless some malicious prick had found a dead drifter and decided to play a nasty prank on the town.
He crunched his way across the first perimeter, his skin and chest tightening beneath the constant furtive glances that followed him. Sevier was waiting at the second perimeter tape—red this time.
“You’re late.” There was no accusation in the comment; instead, concern narrowed the light brown eyes studying him. “You okay?”
The question stopped Rhys in his tracks and tensed the muscles of his back. Fuck… he’d expected the concern… the questions… those little sideways looks everyone was giving him. He just hadn’t expected them to dig under his skin like slivers of ice.
“I’m fine.” He kept his voice neutral, his face blank, and ducked beneath the tape to join Sevier. “When did you start buying into Cantu’s theory of oversharing?”
Eric Cantu was Sevier’s partner. He was also the Major Crime unit’s company comic and pop psychologist. Christ, it was bad enough having Cantu mothering the hell out of them, encouraging everyone to express their feelings. Having two dithering hens in the unit would be two too many.
Sevier simply shrugged. “The boss fill you in?”
“About the carvings? Yeah.” Rhys buried his immediate visceral reaction. But remnants of the nightmare slipped through.
A white face frozen in terror… glazed blue eyes… icy blond hair stuck to the snow… a dark red X-9 carved into a bleached-white forehead…
He locked down the corresponding surge of rage and horror. Even now, so many years later—those early, raw emotions dug their claws into him sometimes, catching him unprepared. He’d spent the past forty-five minutes drinking coffee and girding himself to make sure they didn’t latch onto him here… now.
“Whoever did this… the perp? He’s a mimic. A fucking copycat.” Sevier scowled and blew out a deep breath that hung in the air like a frosty question mark.
Rhys grimaced. No shit.
While he’d been a clueless kid when Kenneth Hamilton had been carving up young women and dumping their bodies in this section of the Colorado State Forest, he knew many of the detectives who’d been instrumental in catching the bastard.
Hell, Gerald Osborn and Craig Patel had been the lead detectives on the case back then. They were sharp as needles, methodical, and unbiased. They didn’t jump to conclusions; they followed the evidence. There was no fucking way Hamilton would have been arrested and convicted without a sea of evidence supporting the case.
The bastard had been guilty. There was no question of that in Rhys’s mind. Regardless of how vehemently Ariel had insisted that her father wasn’t the killer… couldn’t possibly be the killer--
Rhys swiped a hand down his face. Christ, he needed to get his mind under control. These damn memories were not helping.
He sighed and pinched the flesh between his eyebrows. This new victim with her blond hair and blue eyes and the X-10 carved in her forehead had just muddied the Hamilton case significantly.
Someone was out to fuck with them.
Nicole had been a detective for six years. She’d worked undercover more times than she could count. This was the first assignment that completely threw her off her game.
Thank God, Mason seemed nice enough that he would do his best to ensure she was comfortable, but she really didn’t like putting herself in situations where she was inferior to a man. Ever.
He was picking her up from her hotel any minute now, and she was pacing like a sixteen-year-old about to go on her first date. He had said she could wear whatever she wanted, but he’d also implied she might fit in better if she showed a little skin. Apparently, there would be people there wearing anything from jeans and T-shirts to expensive sexy corsets and short tight skirts to…complete nudity.
She shuddered and rubbed her arms for the millionth time. She was a grown woman for heaven’s sake. A detective. She could handle just about anything. Blood. Dead bodies. Active shooters. Masked gunmen. Car chases. Heights. The list was long. It didn’t include fetish clubs.
At exactly midnight, a knock on her door made her jump. She shook her arms at her sides and took a few deep breaths before peering through the peephole and then opening the door.
She hadn’t thought much about how Mason might be dressed, but she was pleasantly surprised to find him in black jeans, a black tee that hugged his pecs to perfection, and black loafers. He’d showered recently. His hair was still damp, and as he stepped into her room, she could smell the clean scent of his soap and shampoo.
If this were a date, she would consider herself the luckiest woman alive. He had been attractive from the moment she’d met him, but tonight he was smoking hot. And that smile… The way he looked at her with slightly narrowed eyes. The air between them sizzled and she hadn’t even let him inside the room yet. For several moments, it was impossible to remember this was not a real date. It was a job.
Damn. She needed to avert her gaze, school her expression, and shake the wandering thoughts about what his chest might look like from her head. She was on a job. She never ogled men at work.
As a rule, she didn’t date anyone she worked with, not even people from another department. Of course, Mason was from another city, so in the long run, he didn’t count. But, looks aside, he had several strikes against him.
He was apparently at least somewhat into BDSM. This would never fly with her. He was a detective. She didn’t like to date men who were in her field. It left her feeling like they were in a power struggle. And finally, the guy lived in Dark Falls. That was four hours from Denver. It was also a town she never wanted to return to on a permanent basis.
With that in mind, she faced him again, only to find him eyeing her from top to bottom. She couldn’t read his expression, so she wasn’t sure how she measured up to his expectations.
This is not a date.
“Will this work?” she asked, pointing down at the little black dress she’d purchased that afternoon. She was not ordinarily a shopper. She didn’t like crowded stores, and she hated fitting rooms. Online shopping was far more her style. But she hadn’t arrived in Dark Falls with anything she would deem appropriate for tonight, nor did she have time to order something and have it delivered.