Author: Kendra Elliot
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Montlake Romance
After a brutal snowstorm in the Cascade Mountains, Chris Jacobs discovers two things he never expected to see: the charred shell of a cabin, and Gianna Trask and her sixteen-year-old daughter huddled in an SUV, having barely escaped from their burning vacation rental.
Still scarred from a childhood ordeal, Chris knows there’s something sinister about the scene—it’s the stench of burned flesh.
Forced to wait out the blizzard in their rescuer’s retreat, medical examiner Gianna Trask wonders if her hidden past has finally caught up with her. When a body is found in the destroyed cabin’s ashes and a forest ranger is brutally murdered, both Gianna and Chris must confront their secrets if they want to escape the violent threat lurking outside.
In the fifth book in the Bone Secrets series, Kendra Elliot leads readers on a dangerous, twisting journey of two lives forever changed by a fiery snowstorm in the mountains.
KNOWN by Kendra Elliot Exclusive Excerpt
Gianna pulled off her sweater and tossed it on a chair. Her movements were those of someone who’d been on her feet for a twelve-hour shift, but when he looked at her, he saw the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. She carried her burdens with grace. She pushed her hair over a shoulder and turned toward him, a question faltering on her lips. “Did . . .”
Chris waited for her to finish. She didn’t. Instead she simply looked at him.
“What’s wrong?” he asked after a long moment. No alarm had shown in her eyes. Instead she studied him, waiting for something.
Silence filled the room. She pressed her lips together and moved closer. Reaching out, she ran a hand down his upper arm, her gaze following her hand. “You’re very dependable, did you know that?”
Denial ripped through him. “Only to my family. I don’t care about anyone else.”
“I think you’re lying to yourself when you say that. You wouldn’t let anyone down.”
“If they’re relying on me for something, then no, I wouldn’t.”
“You’ve been here for Violet and me since that morning.” She lifted her gaze from her hand on his arm. Her dark eyes heavy with an emotion that made his muscles instantly tighten.
“You needed someone. Only an ass would have left you two out there.”
“You’ve had plenty of chances to leave and go back to your own life. Every time I need you, you’re there when I turn around.”
Who needs whom?
He slid a hand around to her back and pressed her to him as he ran his other hand up the back of her scalp, tilting her head back so she had to look up to him. Her neck was exposed and his mouth was on it before he could think. Gianna. Kissing her last night had fueled a fire he hadn’t experienced in a decade. He ran his lips up her neck; her skin was warm and smooth, making him ache to taste more of her. His tongue traced the edge of her jaw and she moved her head so he could touch her better, her mouth opening slightly as she drew in shallow breaths.
He’d wanted her since the first moment he’d seen her in the snow.
He finally admitted it to himself. He’d kept his attraction buried deep, unable to acknowledge that this woman was someone he would risk being with. For too many years he’d avoided the opposite sex, believing they wouldn’t have anything to do with him, and chosen to focus on his son.
Now every wall he’d built to protect himself came crashing down.
Will she run?
Her hand slid up his chest, and her fingertips lightly touched the scars that disappeared below the collar of his shirt. Moving up his neck, her fingers traced the small ridge of bone that’d formed on the side of his jaw. The bone had knitted together unevenly after the Ghostman had broken it. Self-consciousness punched him in the stomach and he set it aside. In her job she saw destruction inflicted on bodies every day. The fact that she’d stepped forward and accepted his defects kept him from shutting down and running out of the room.
Part of him hungered to have her see every bit of him. Her accepting gaze could wipe out the decades of self-loathing from studying his own body in the mirror. Constant daily reminders of hell.
Her hands drifted back down and tugged at the hem of his shirt, lifting it and pressing their palms against his abdomen. Heat raced from her hands and exploded in his brain. Every muscle in his body tensed. He cupped her face in his hands, and his mouth insisted she open for him.
About the Author
Kendra Elliot won the 2015 and 2014 Daphne du Maurier awards for Romantic Suspense. She was also an International Thriller Writers finalist for Best Paperback Original and a Romantic Times finalist for Romantic Suspense. She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her husband, three daughters, two cats, and a Pomeranian. She’s always been fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and loves a strong mai tai on the beach on Kauai. Visit Kendra at www.kendraelliot.com.
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