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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Pretend You're Safe by Alexandra Ivy ❤️ Book Tour & Print Book Giveaway ❤️ (Romantic Suspense)



He Sees You

First came the floods. Then came the bodies. The victims—strangled, then buried along the shores of the Mississippi—have finally been unearthed, years after they disappeared. He remembers every satisfying kill . . . each woman’s terror and agony. But there’s only one he truly wanted. And fate has brought her within reach again . . .

He Knows You

Jaci Patterson was sixteen when she found the first golden locket on her porch. Inside were a few strands of hair wrapped around a scrap of bloodstained ribbon. Though the “gifts” kept arriving, no one believed her hunch that a serial killer was at work. Now Jaci has returned home . . . and the nightmare is starting once more.

And He’ll Never Let You Go

Back then, Rylan Cooper was an arrogant deputy sheriff convinced that Jaci was just an attention-seeking teen. It was a fatal mistake. There’s a murderer in their midst, someone determined to settle old scores and keep playing a twisted game. And it won’t end until Jaci is his forever . . .

“Alexandra Ivy gives readers a nice balance of romance and suspense in her fast-paced, well-plotted novel.” --Kat Martin, New York Times bestselling author


Belatedly realizing he was no longer alone, Mike abruptly turned to scowl at her with blatant annoyance.

“Shit.” Shoving his phone into his pocket, he planted his hands on his hips. “I told Sid not to let anyone through,” he growled. “I already ran off Nelson when I caught him creeping around, snapping pictures like this was a tourist sight, and Andrew drove his tractor down here to have a look before I could have the field blocked off.”

Jaci pressed her lips together. Mike was referring to Nelson Bradley, the photographer who’d recently returned to Heron to open his own gallery. And Andrew Porter, a local farmer who cash-cropped Jaci’s land.

“I’m not just anyone,” she argued.

“No? And why is that?” he demanded. “Just because we dated doesn’t give you special privileges.”
She jerked at the unexpected attack. Was he being serious?

“I’m not here because we dated.”

He paused, sucking in a deep breath. Clearly he’d had a stressful morning with a day stretching ahead that prob-bly wasn’t going to be any better.

And to top it off, the chilled drizzle was threatening to become yet another downpour.

“I’m sorry, Jaci. If you’re worried about your land, I’ll have Sid drive by and check it out,” he at last managed, his temper still evident as he glanced toward the breach in the levee. “At least I will once the damned Corps of Engineers gets here.”

Jaci gave an impatient wave of her hand. Did he really think she was interrupting him just to get someone to check a few muddy fields?

“I’m not worried about the land. I’m worried about the dead woman.”

“Oh.” His expression softened. “It’s okay, Jaci. She was no one local.”

“You’re sure?”

He grimaced. “As sure as I can be, considering how degraded the body was.” With a shake of his head, he pulled out his phone, which was buzzing. “I have a lot on my hands right now. You need to go home. I’ll stop by later.”

She clenched her teeth. A part of her wanted to turn and walk away. Why not accept that this was nothing more than a tragic accident that had nothing to do with Heron? Or her.

God knew she had enough to worry about.

But if she’d learned anything over the past eleven years, it was the fact that nothing, absolutely nothing, was worse than not knowing.

“How was she killed?” she demanded.

There was a short silence as Mike studied her with a searching gaze, clearly sensing her unease. Then he reached out to brush her bangs off her wet brow.

“What’s going on?” he asked, his voice gentle as he ignored his buzzing phone.

She bit her lower lip before she reluctantly revealed her worst fear.

“What if it’s starting again?”

“Starting again?” He wrinkled his brow, apparently baffled by her harsh question. Seconds later, realization hit and the green eyes narrowed with frustration. “Jesus Christ, Jaci. Don’t do this to yourself.”

She hunched her shoulder. “I can’t help it.”

He reached to cup her cheek in his palm as he towered over her. He wasn’t more than six feet, but she barely topped five foot two, which made it easy for him to play the overprotective lawman.

Something he enjoyed.

“Listen to me,” he ordered. “This has nothing to do with your crazy theories of the past.”

A familiar sense of aggravated fury pounded through Jaci. She was used to having her fears dismissed as being “crazy.” Hell, the previous sheriff told her that she was being a “hormonal” female.

No one wanted to listen to her fears.

Maybe not that surprising.

She’d just turned sixteen when she’d received the first golden locket. She’d found it on the porch swing when she’d come home from school. At first she assumed that it was a belated birthday gift from her grandparents. They enjoyed spoiling her with small, inexpensive surprises.

But when she opened it up, she’d quickly realized it wasn’t a gift. Instead, tucked inside was a lock of red hair wrapped with a piece of ribbon that was smeared with blood.

It’d freaked her out enough to insist that her grand-mother call the cops. They’d dismissed it as a Halloween prank. And Jaci had tried to do the same. There were plenty of bullies at the small school who would delight in terrorizing her. Including her half brother, Christopher.

But the second locket arrived only a few months later. This time the hair was dark, but it was once again wrapped in a bloody ribbon. Once again Jaci had taken it to the sheriff and once again she’d been dismissed.

For the next two years she’d continued to receive the lockets. Sometimes they would be up to six months apart, and sometimes it would be only weeks. But while she was growingly convinced that the hair in the lockets belonged to women who were being hurt, if not actually killed, no one would believe her.

In fact, it’d become a joke to everyone but her grand-parents.

They were the only ones who’d offered her sympathy, even if they didn’t entirely accept her belief that there was a maniac in Heron who was killing women and leaving bits of them in golden lockets on their porch.

The terror had finally stopped when she’d traveled to attend college at Mizzou, the University of Missouri. And thankfully, there’d been nothing since her return to Heron two years ago.

But now . . .

She shivered. “And how do you explain a dead woman and skull stuck in Frank’s field?”

His jaw tightened, his expression guarded as he slid into cop mode.

“There’s a thousand potential explanations, and none of them have anything to do with a killer.”

“A thousand?” She arched a brow. “Really?”

“Most likely the body came from someone who fell overboard during a fishing trip. Or it could have been a victim who was dumped upstream and floated down here.” He stepped back, waving a hand toward the muddy water. “Chicago is notorious for getting rid of problems by tossing them in the river.”

He was right. Despite the danger, there were always people who took boats onto the water during a flood. Either because they had no sense, or because it was their job.

And it was also true that she’d been hearing stories about bodies floating down from Chicago her entire life. Not that one had actually been found, as far as she knew, but it was an urban myth that everyone was happy enough to believe.

She still wasn’t satisfied.

“What about the skull?” she pressed.

Mike rolled his eyes. “Dammit. Is Frank telling everyone in town?”

“Yes.”

Mike heaved a resigned sigh. “Look. The most reason-able answer is that both of them were accidental drownings. The recent floods would have churned up a lot of unpleasant things that were hidden at the bottom of the river.” He shrugged. “Or it’s even possible that the waters disturbed a cemetery and swept a few of the graves down here.”

Okay. That actually made sense. A portion of her tension eased.

“When will you know?”

“The body and the skull have already been picked up by the coroner,” he said. “He’ll drive it down to the medical examiner in Columbia to do an autopsy. Until then, this place is off-limits to everyone. Including you, Jaci.” He pointed a finger at her. “Got it?”

“Fine.”

Turning, she stomped her way back through the mud. “I mean it, Jaci,” he called from behind her.

“Whatever,” she said, cutting along the edge of the field.

She’d wasted enough time.

She still had deliveries to make. Not to mention doing her daily grocery shopping, stopping by the bank, the post office, and the vet to get cream for Riff’s ear infection.

Later she could worry about dead bodies and strange skulls.

   





Alexandra Ivy is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romantic suspense, paranormal and erotic romance. She has also written Regency historicals under the name Deborah Raleigh. A five-time RT Book Award Finalist, Ivy has received much acclaim for her Guardians of Eternity, ARES Security, Immortal Rogues and Sentinels series. She lives with her family in Missouri and can be found online at AlexandraIvy.com.


   


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