(The Hellbound Brotherhood, #1)
Publication date: February 7th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller
Find out why New York Times bestseller Maya Banks hails McKenna’s books as “A nonstop thrill ride…”
He’s a ticking bomb…
Eric Trask is counting the days before he blasts out of Shaw’s Crossing forever. He and his brothers were raised at GodsAcre, a mysterious doomsday cult deep in the mountains, and are the only survivors of the deadly fire that destroyed it. The townspeople see them as time bombs just waiting to blow, but Eric’s going to prove those bastards wrong. He’s an ex-Marine, fresh off a tour in Afghanistan, working three jobs and barely sleeping. Utterly unprepared for Demi Vaughan’s dazzling green eyes, lush pink lips and sexy curves. She’s the town princess…he’s a dangerous outcast. It was a sure recipe for disaster.
But the closer he gets to Demi, the more impossible it is to resist…
Forbidden fruit is the sweetest…
Demi Vaughan has big plans for life post- college, and Eric Trask, notorious bad boy with a complicated past, is not part of them. So when he saunters into the sandwich shop where she works she tells herself he’s just tall, ripped, smoldering eye candy, nothing more. Eric was damaged. Marked by violence and tragedy. He’d be the ultimate bad boyfriend, and right now she was too busy even to shop for a good one. But his hot eyes and hard body, his sensual smile and that rough, sexy voice of his shook her resolve. After all, she was leaving this place forever. A little taste of heaven…what could it hurt?
But Shaw’s Crossing has deeper, darker secrets than Eric or Demi could guess. The evil that destroyed GodsAcre is lying in wait…and it will stop at nothing to keep Eric and Demi apart…
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hellion, Book One, ends on a cliffhanger, but it leads right into HEADLONG, Book Two, Demi and Eric’s continuing story, dated seven years later and available for preorder now! The other titles in The Hellbound Brotherhood are a connected series, but each book features its own couple and has its own HEA.
Eric had been trying so hard to walk the line. Head down, eyes forward, pocketing every spare penny to put toward his future. Then Demi Vaughan came into his line of vision, with her glossy brown curls and her hip-swaying walk, and whammo. His better judgment got coshed on the head, tied up and stuffed into the trunk of a car.
This was such a dumb move. On so many levels. He was the Prophet’s spawn, she was a rich girl, the town princess, the college grad. He was practically broke, she lived in the biggest house in Shaw’s Crossing. He was an orphan with a past best not talked about, and she was the granddaughter of the guy whose family gave the town its very name.
That was the girl he got a raging hard-on for. Because evidently he liked to punch up the challenge. Keep it interesting for himself. True to form.
He kept seeing the scene tomorrow, at the river, in his mind’s eye. Demi soaking wet. Clingy, scanty clothes. Her cloud of dark hair floating around her. Nipples tight from the cold.
He hit the accelerator. The sudden burst of speed knocked the wobbling window right off its track, and it fell down inside the car door with a loud, decisive thunk.
He could still hear his better judgment back there, trapped in the trunk. Howling, kicking out the taillights, trying to be heard. But he just couldn’t listen to it.
Stay down, you noisy dickwad. I got things to do.
Shannon McKenna is the NYT and USA TODAY bestselling author of over twenty action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among them the wildly popular McCloud Brothers & Friends Series, along with two new scorching romantic suspense series, The Hellbound Brotherhood and The Obsidian Files. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, terrifying villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, blazing sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love.
Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. The alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she’d ever dreamed, but what the hell, she loves it anyway and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her experiments. She loves to hear from her readers.
Ten Seconds to Dead
Publication date: January 20th 2020
Genres: Adult, Thriller
Ten seconds may be all she has left …
Kate Edison witnesses her father’s death and, in order to keep his memory alive, decides to follow in his footsteps by joining the CIA. She molds herself into becoming exactly what the CIA is looking for—and captures their interest, both personally and professionally. But before she can finish the CIA process, Kate is offered a position as an espionage agent in another highly secretive government agency, which she accepts.
While completing her agency training, Kate is catapulted into a shadowy world where wealth and power are the ultimate goal, and those in charge will stop at nothing to get it. While on the job, Kate uncovers secrets that, if revealed, would cost her life, but if kept, could bring down a nation. Isolated and unsure of who to trust, she brings in a fellow agent, but pulling him into the web of conspiracy and lies puts a target on both their backs – and it will take every skill they’ve ever learned as agents to stay alive long enough to stop the enemy no one else can see.
“Ms. Edison, this is Officer Lyon.”
This was it. All my hard work, all the hours of studying—all the sacrifice came down to this moment. This phone call.
“I appreciate the opportunity, Officer Lyon,” I said, nervousness swirling in my belly. The phone in my hand felt big and heavy. I was sitting on my old bed, in the room I’d grown up in. The call needed to be made over a landline, and the best option was at my mom’s house. Though, if my mom had known what call this really was, she would have kicked me out of her house and slammed the door.
The room hadn’t changed much. My desk, where I had spent so much time, was still across from my bed, my old and likely useless computer still perched on top. The maps that showed the origins of all the languages I had intended to learn—marked with different-colored pushpins—still covered the wall above my desk. The same funny-nerdy science posters still flanked the maps. One read, “YOU MATTER. Until you multiply yourself times the speed of light squared. THEN YOU ENERGY.” That one still made me smile. Remnants of the sticky-sweet perfume I had used in my youth, in quantities far too large, still hung in the air.
Officer Lyon was all business. “This will be your first official interview with the Central Intelligence Agency. I must advise you that this call will be recorded, as well as all future calls, interviews, and interactions with the CIA throughout your interview process with us, however long that may be. This will likely be our most casual interview, so relax and answer the questions naturally. Please state your full name.”
I cleared my throat. “Katherine Elaine Edison. But please, call me Kate.”
Right. I should have assumed formality would be important here. Mistake number one, check. That would be my last.
“I am curious to know if you have any notion as to why the CIA is interested in you.”
I didn’t mind talking about my accomplishments—I worked hard, after all—but I didn’t want to come off sounding self-important either. I thought through my words carefully. “Well, I speak several languages and graduated at the top of my class in both my undergrad and law school. I assume that has something to do with it.” I could have also mentioned that those schools were Ivy League, that my double major in international law and diplomacy and in journalism were both preferred programs at the CIA, and that I didn’t just graduate at the top of my class—I was the top of my class, as in the number-one student. But I assumed he already knew all of that and that it was how I had landed the interview in the first place.
If I came off sounding pompous, Officer Lyon didn’t react. “Those are all likely things that did add to your qualifications. What exactly do you think we do here in the CIA?”
Again, an answer I had to think about carefully. “I am aware that there are many different positions within the CIA: analytics, language, science, engineering, and technological positions, to name a few. Also, of course, directorate of operations.”
The last one—directorate of operations—was where I wanted to be. Where I was meant to be. Where my dad had been. The clandestine service of the CIA. This was my goal.
“Of course … the spies. I should tell you that if this is an area of interest for you, you will have to get in line,” Officer Lyon said. Derisiveness dripped from his words.
I wasn’t sure if he was trying to discourage me or motivate me with that comment. But I definitely felt the latter. I had worked hard for this opportunity. I kept myself out of trouble—not too hard a task when a person’s studies took up all of the daylight the sun had to offer and then some—and I was careful to only keep up friendships with people who also valued education and abiding by the law. I was always the girl who chose her studies over parties. When my friends were in need of a break from the monotony of school, they would go the beach for a weekend. While they were gone I cherished the quiet, taking the time to study harder. I never found school monotonous; I craved learning.
Officer Lyon asked questions for another thirty minutes. Then, before hanging up, he scheduled a face-to-face interview with me for the following week and recommended a book for me to read beforehand.
I smiled. I knew the book. I’d read it years ago.
L.A. Clayton has been an avid reader her entire life, devouring books at an alarming rate. Her husband often jokes that if she didn’t buy so many books they could retire. She went to bed one night a reader and woke up with a fresh memory of a dream she’d had the night before, sat down and became a writer.
L.A. Clayton lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and their four young children. She makes time for writing in between wiping noses and packing lunches.
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: December 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Thriller
A father charged with treason. A daughter sent to kill him. A shocking conspiracy that changes all the rules of the spy game for a new generation . . .
With more than a dozen kills under her belt, ex-Marine Mara Roberts is one of the Agency’s most reliable assassins. But her latest target—a convicted traitor about to be released from prison—is different than her other marks. He’s a former agent who betrayed his country. He’s responsible for the death of Mara’s mother. And he happens to be Mara’s father . . .
Scott Roberts knows that his daughter was sent to kill him. He realizes he has only one chance to change her mind, to convince her that he’s been framed for treason—and that every member of their family are pawns to be sacrificed, one by one. Mara isn’t sure she can trust her father. He is a master of manipulation, as ruthless as he is resourceful. But when her nephew is abducted, she agrees to follow Scott’s lead and expose the global elites who are pulling the strings. But first, they must infiltrate the highest levels of power. Then, they must attempt the unthinkable: Kidnap the President of the United States . . .
“A brilliantly written thriller. Breakneck twists, political intrigue and bristling action scenes—Jeff Gunhus writes with a gripping and gritty authority.”
—Simon Gervais, author of Hunt Them Down
Mara Roberts knew the Agency would try to kill her father the day he got out of prison, she just didn’t expect they’d ask her be the one to do it.
Before she received the assignment, she would have bet even money he would survive whatever welcome party the CIA had planned for him. Too bad his odds had migrated down to zero now that the job was hers.
She sat in her rented Range Rover, waves of Oklahoma heat shimmering off the parking lot blacktop, bending the prison chain link fence into wavering lines. Coils of concertina wire topped the walls, razor blade edges glistening in the sun, each loop perfectly spaced. Just like inside the walls of the Cimarron Correctional Facility — orderly but lethal.
Behind the security gate was a low-slung building with a copper overhang at the entrance. More like a school administration office than a prison. The schematics she’d studied revealed the facility extended back into eight separate cell blocks. Each one housed more dangerous criminals than the previous one. She hoped they’d put her dad in the worst of the lot.
The car idled, both for the AC and in case she needed to adjust her plans and leave in a hurry. The few guards she saw moved slow and had dark sweat pits spreading under their arms and on their backs. She pegged them as complacent. Washed up. Bored. Just like she wanted. As she analyzed the prison’s weaknesses, she couldn’t help but wonder whether her dad had changed much since she’d seen him last.
Sure, he was past fifty now and, according to the photos in the briefing, finally starting to show his age. Wrinkles at his eyes. A close scalp shave, the kind favored by men fighting a losing battle with their hairline. He was still in shape, though. Surveillance camera footage showed a recent fist fight he’d had on the yard, started by some con paid off by the Agency. Obviously a new guy. Anyone who’d been there longer than knew not to mess with the quiet guy with the broad shoulders.
The video showed her dad could still throw a punch, but the couple of jabs he took to his face also showed he’d lost a step or two. Yet, the old man still had skills. And she wasn’t about to underestimate her target. Hell, four years on the run and the last two months in prison might have even toughened the bastard up. If that was even possible. She wasn’t sure it was.
A routine face recognition search through the US prison system by a junior analyst had turned him up. As she read the report, it made her laugh that assets all over the world were searching for him, and there he was serving time under an alias for manslaughter. Seems he took exception to a group of five young men roughing up a prostitute. Four of them ended up with broken bones and long hospital stays. The fifth wasn’t going to harass anyone ever again. It was just like her dad to risk blowing his cover to save someone. Typical Boy Scout bullshit.
She’d been raised on stories about him. Even in her macho world of counter-intelligence they seemed outlandish. Insanely risky missions. Many of them unsanctioned. Succeeding against insurmountable odds. Like stuff out of bad action movies, and yet people swore to her the stories were true, that they’d seen him do these things with their own eyes.
But they always whispered about him, as if just talking about the man and his exploits might suck them into the same darkness into which he disappeared.
Still, even with what had happened, she always heard a grudging admiration as they told her about the exploits of the great Scott Francis Roberts, the father she barely knew. The man she was about to kill.
Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sienna Scott was a college student when she found herself stumbling over a body of a girl who shared similarities with herself. Sienna was sent away when the murder was not solved and she couldn’t let the idea that it should have been her comes to light. At least that was one of the reasons, her mother was the other. Sienna has always known that her mother suffers from paranoid delusions and the murder has only heightened that.
Years later Sienna has returned home and plans to stay. It is complete coincidence that the cold case of the murder she fell upon is reopened. Now Sienna finds herself wondering if the murderer was someone she knew and if she should have been the victim?
Cat and mouse thriller that has you guessing until the very end. I kept trying to figure out where the story was going to go. Highly entertaining. can’t wait to read the next book by this author.
View all my reviews
What Lies in Paradise
Publication date: January 10th 2020
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
She’s got 400,000 fans. One of them could be the killer.Instagram Influencer Sydney Evans carefully curates her enviable public persona. Despite being freshly widowed, she’s eager to strike a pose at her best friend’s extravagant destination nuptials. But Sydney’s feed goes dark when she blacks out on the plane, awakening to discover another guest poisoned to death.With the FBI keen to use Sydney as an insider, she takes the arm of a rookie undercover agent hoping to capture something incriminating. But a deadly run-in exposes a shocking criminal underbelly lurking beneath her own picture-perfect marriage. And if she doesn’t solve the case before her friends tie the knot, the culprit will make sure her next selfie is her last.Can Sydney catch a murderer or will the wedding become a funeral?What Lies In Paradise is a fast-paced standalone thriller. If you like real-world issues, lavish socialite parties, and electrifying twists and turns, then you’ll love Leah Cupps’ provocative mystery.Buy What Lies In Paradise to join a deadly digital whodunit today!
The circular steel barrel of a Glock nine-millimeter pushed roughly against Sydney’s left temple. The gun was searing her skin, still warm from the last bullet fired. One large, tan, muscular arm wrapped around her neck, threatening to snuff out her last few breaths.
I should have seen this coming, she thought. I should have known that if I agreed to go along with this ridiculous plan, something terrible would happen and I’d end up dead.
A series of images from her life began to scroll across her brain, like the snapshots from her Instagram feed. She in pigtails blowing out the candles for her sixth birthday. The fabulous pink satin dress that peeked out from her graduation gown, bright enough to match to her beaming smile. A picture of her at a café in Paris posing with a freshly baked chocolate croissant and a steaming cappuccino. She could see the images, but all she could think about were the choices she didn’t make and the people she neglected.
If she survived this moment, gun pressed against her temple, maybe she would start spending more time with her head in the real world, where life was messy and not one picture-perfect square after another. That was her mistake: projecting the perfect life made her believe she had the perfect life, but she didn’t. Had she tapped the Do Not Disturb button every once in a while, maybe she would have sensed the lies that had begun to weave their way into the real world around her. She could have fallen in love with someone different, someone who led a simple, boring life, like an accountant or a mechanic. But who was she kidding? Love doesn’t work that way.
Although there was shouting next to her ear, the voices sounded far away. All Sydney could hear was the blood thumping through her head and the whoosh-whoosh of her heart beating. The large tropical bushes that lined the walkway reached up toward the sky and bent down to form a canopy over the four of them, giving them respite from the burning Jamaican sun. She was not alone, but that didn’t make the situation any better.
She could still hear the soft call of the ocean behind her but all she could see were palm leaves and the crushed gravel pathway beneath her. Sweat was pouring down her face, neck, and back, soaking the pale blue chiffon dress she had just posted herself wearing on social media a few hours ago.
If only my followers could see me now, Sydney thought.
She heard the click of the pistol’s slide, chambering a round. Sydney didn’t believe in bad luck, but this situation might surely change her mind. Why me? she thought as the world started to blur around her like a watercolor painting. She began to taste the tangy bit of blood forming at the back of her mouth. He was holding on too tightly. If only she could wake up from this nightmare and be somewhere else. Like when she woke up at the airport.
That was the beginning.
Leah Cupps is an entrepreneur and author. She has built and sold several businesses, and documented the process in her first book #MomLifeInc.
She always has a passion for stories and spends her evenings writing novels. Her debut novel is, What Lies in Paradise, will debut in January, 2020.
She writes Thriller, Mystery, Suspense and Action & Adventure.
Leah’s novels are fast-paced, thrillers that will keep you up at night as you can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter.
Leah lives in Indiana with her husband, three young children and two small dogs. When she isn’t losing sleep writing her next novel or scaling her next business, she enjoys running and spending time with her family.