The Storm by Amanda McKinney
(Berry Springs Series)
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
The snow is dropping in Berry Springs… and so are the bodies...
On a pitch-black wintry night, Detective Dean Walker finds a man in the middle of an icy road, with a bullet between his eyes—a murder that is eerily similar to his father’s, which was never solved. Coincidence? No, Dean doesn’t believe in coincidences. He also doesn’t believe in love at first sight, until he meets the victim’s wife.
Psychologist Heidi Novak is hardly settling into her new mansion in the small, country town of Berry Springs, when she receives a late-night visit by the handsome Dean Walker. Seconds after learning that her husband has been murdered, gunshots explode around her and it becomes apparent that she is the next target.
With a massive winter storm looming, Dean races to find the killer and keep Heidi safe, while facing a long a list of suspects, including Heidi’s arrogant sister-in-law and a local, crusty cowboy. As the evidence mounts, Dean becomes more convinced than ever that his father’s murder is connected to the death of Heidi’s husband.
And he can’t help but think . . . will Heidi be the second love he loses to the ice-cold killer?
Excerpt from the Storm:
Heidi sipped her tea and wandered into the library—her favorite room of the house. It reminded her of an old English library from the 1800s. If she were a little girl, she would play for hours in the massive room, pretending to be a princess, held captive by a handsome knight, who, over time, would fall madly in love with her.
The faint smell of cigar smoke clung to the air as she turned on a dim light. No matter how many times she reminded her husband that smoking was detrimental to his health, he insisted on continuing the late-night ritual, in the library nonetheless. It made her cringe, and in a weird way, she felt like the smoke was disrespectful to the timeless literature that lined the shelves, which she so passionately cherished.
She stepped up to one of the many walls filled with books and slowly trailed her fingers over the leather bindings, when, suddenly, Gus’s head snapped up. His ears perked and the hair on his back stood on ends.
Heidi looked out the window to see a pair of headlights winding up the driveway.
Definitely not Clint’s truck.
Gus barreled out of the room, barking fiercely. Her stomach sank as she looked at the clock—nothing good comes from a visitor at two in the morning.
She set down her tea, tightly wrapped her robe around herself and glanced at the gun cabinet across the room where they kept a loaded pistol. Better safe than sorry. She quickly padded across the room and grabbed the gun.
The car rolled to a stop in front of the house.
Nerves ran through her body.
Gun in hand, she walked to the front door and flicked on the porch light.
A police car.
Oh no. No, no, no, no.
Eyes round, heart racing, she peered out the window and watched the officer unfold his massive body from the car. He had to be at least six-foot-five.
Shaded by darkness, the man looked down, shielding his face from the sleet as he walked across the stone driveway. He walked briskly and with intent. Like a man on a mission. A mission he wanted to get over as soon as possible.
As he stepped onto the porch, the light washed over his face.
Her stomach tickled.
He paused and took a second to look around, scanning the porch, surveying the area.
The gun on his hip and the hard look on his face told her that she wasn’t going to like this visit. The color of his eyes told her he was one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen in her life.
He had dark, almost black hair, which was wet from the precipitation. His uniform fit snuggly over his chest and wide shoulders—the kind of upper body that only came from hours in the gym. And, the kind of upper body that made her want to see the lower half.
She straightened and cleared her throat. Dammit, get a grip, Heidi.
She watched him glance up at the house, before squaring his shoulders and pushing the doorbell.
Taking a deep breath, she pulled open the front door.
For a split second, his hard face softened and his eyes widened. If she hadn’t been looking, she would have missed it because the lines of his face quickly tightened again.
Growling, Gus ran out the door and the man took a step back, but stood strong and tall, looking down at the frantic, barking dog.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” Heidi reached down, grabbed Gus’s collar and pulled him inside. “Hush, Gus, that’s enough.” Gus skulked back, but kept his eyes locked on the massive stranger.
She straightened. “Yes.”
“I’m Detective Dean Walker, Berry Springs PD.”
Dread washed over her as she waited to hear what was next.
“I’m sorry to bother you so late . . . may I come in for a moment?”
“Yes, of course.” She stepped back and opened the door widely. “Please, come in.”
He stepped over the threshold, his muscular body filling the foyer. She closed the door and remembered that she was still holding her pistol, behind her back—which apparently, wasn’t lost on him.
“Ma’am would you mind handing over the gun?”
“Sorry . . . I’m not used to late night visitors.” Her hand was unsteady as she gave it to him.
“It’s good to be prepared.” He took the gun, looked it over and slid it on the windowsill behind him.
The chill in the air sent a shiver up her spine. She wrapped her arms around herself and forced the words out. “What brings you here this evening . . . or, this morning I mean?
He looked down for a moment and then into her eyes. The intensity made her heart sink.
“Dr. Novak, I’m sorry to tell you that your husband is deceased.”
Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.
Amanda’s debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES, THE WOODS and THE LAKE. The third book in the series, THE STORM is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.