Deadly Fear

( 93 )

Overview

TWO BRILLIANT AGENTS
FBI Special Agent Monica Davenport has made a career out of profiling serial killers. But getting inside the twisted minds of the cruel and the sadistic has taken its toll: She's walled herself off from the world. Yet Monica can't ignore fellow agent Luke Dante, the only man who ever broke through her defenses.
ONE DREAM TEAM
Luke has the unique ability to put victims at ease . . . ...

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Deadly Fear (Deadly Series #1)

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Overview

TWO BRILLIANT AGENTS
FBI Special Agent Monica Davenport has made a career out of profiling serial killers. But getting inside the twisted minds of the cruel and the sadistic has taken its toll: She's walled herself off from the world. Yet Monica can't ignore fellow agent Luke Dante, the only man who ever broke through her defenses.
ONE DREAM TEAM
Luke has the unique ability to put victims at ease . . . professionally, he and Monica made a perfect team. Now they're reunited to catch a murderer who uses his victims' deepest, darkest fears for sport - but their investigative skills aren't enough. Luke and Monica will have to face the secrets from their past, the ones that terrify them the most, if they are to have a future together.
But can they catch a killer whose weapon is . . .
DEADLY FEAR

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[T]he fantastically tight plot keeps the pages turning with breakneck speed...It's intense, hot and urgent."—4 Stars! RT Book Reviews on Deadly Fear

"Eden has written such an intricate web of suspense, the reader will be lead on a highly charged pace until the climactic ending. Highly Recommend!"—The RomanceReadersConnection.com

"It's a good read for passing the day away, but avoid the nights, you might be afraid to sleep."—RomanceReviewsToday.com on Deadly Fear

"With lots of twists and turns and close calls, Deadly Fear is romantic suspense at its best!"—TheRomanceStudio.com

"With a perfect blend of romance and suspense, this book will have you dying to turn the page."—Kelly Morgan, AuthorKellyMoran.blogspot.com on Deadly Fear

"Danger and excitement leap off very page."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Eternal Hunter

RomanceReviewsToday.com on Deadly Fear
"It's a good read for passing the day away, but avoid the nights, you might be afraid to sleep."
4 Stars! RT Book Reviews on Deadly Fear
"[T]he fantastically tight plot keeps the pages turning with breakneck speed...It's intense, hot and urgent."
Kelly Morgan - AuthorKellyMoran.blogspot.com on Deadly Fear
"With a perfect blend of romance and suspense, this book will have you dying to turn the page."
The RomanceReadersConnection.com
"Eden has written such an intricate web of suspense, the reader will be lead on a highly charged pace until the climactic ending. Highly Recommend!"
TheRomanceStudio.com
"With lots of twists and turns and close calls, Deadly Fear is romantic suspense at its best!"
Kelly Morgan
With a perfect blend of romance and suspense, this book will have you dying to turn the page.
AuthorKellyMoran.blogspot.com on Deadly Fear
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446559249
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 441,593
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Eden also writes tales of paranormal suspense and erotic romance for Kensington Brava, Avon Red, and Red Sage. In college, she majored in Communication and Sociology, graduating summa cum laude and spending many hours working on the campus paper. She soon decided writing fiction was much more fun than just sticking to the facts. Later, as she traveled the long and bumpy road to romance publication, Cynthia was employed as a teacher and a college counselor. She is a member of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the RWA and Mensa. Cynthia lives with her husband, Nicholas, and her son, Jack. For more information, please visit her website www.cynthiaeden.com.

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First Chapter

Deadly Fear


By Eden, Cynthia

Forever

Copyright © 2010 Eden, Cynthia
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446559249

Prologue

Is the girl still alive?” The question came from Special Agent Jonas McKall.

The guy had been with the unit for just over two years, tracking killers for a hell of a lot longer—and the man really should have known better.

Keith Hyde grunted and reached for his weapon. “It’s day four. You know the perp’s MO. Two days of fun and games.” Sick, twisted fuck.

Would the girl still be alive? Doubtful. Five other bodies had already been found. Young girls, in their teens, slaughtered.

Katherine Daniels had disappeared from her bus stop on Monday. They’d finally tracked the killer to his hole today, but the knot in Hyde’s gut told him they were too late.

Always too late.

“Go in slow,” he ordered, aware of the sweat trickling down his back. His team was trained for this shit, but he gave the warning anyway. The guy inside that cabin—he was smart. He’d had the cops and the Bureau chasing shadows for the last year.

While he sliced his girls apart.

“If Katherine’s alive, we can’t take the chance of spooking him.” Or of giving him the opportunity to finish her off.

The three agents around him gave quick nods.

“Sir, but what about—” Quiet, nasally, the voice grated in Hyde’s ears.

But he halted and turned to face the profiler.

“What about Mary Jane Hill?”

The third girl who’d gone missing.

The profiler’s gaze darted to the wooden cabin. “Her body wasn’t found.…”

Hyde’s back teeth locked. “Because the bastard dumped her in the woods, and the animals got to her first.” They’d found the other bodies, ravaged and torn, just before the beasts had.

But not Mary Jane.

Hyde figured they’d never find that poor girl.

“But what if—”

“She’s been gone for over three months, Brown. She’s dead.” The freak never broke his two-day rule.

The profiler should know that.

But, Brown, with his perfectly pressed suit and too-thick glasses, was a replacement. He’d signed on with the team just days before they’d gotten one lucky-ass lead.

The last profiler, Jasper Peters, had bailed on the case. Jasper had come to him with red cheeks and shaking hands. I can’t do this shit anymore. Can’t stop the monsters—they’ll never be stopped.

“Just stay back,” Hyde growled. Crickets chirped in the distance and a faint light glowed from within the cabin. “Stay back.”

He lifted his hand. Motioned to the team.

And prepared to enter Hell.

Hyde picked the lock on the door—snuck in as softly as a whisper. As soon as he stepped inside, the stench slapped him in the face. Blood and decay. Rancid and thick in the air.

The girl wouldn’t be found alive.

He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat and held his weapon steady. Somewhere in this pit, the killer hid.

They’d mapped the area. Even managed to find the builder who’d erected the cabin over twenty years before. There was a basement. A small, perfect-for-killing room down below.

That was where the man who’d been dubbed “Romeo” waited.

Hyde’s heart slammed against his chest when he saw the metal door. Thick, with a padlock dangling loosely from a chain.

Keeps them locked in when he’s gone. No way to escape.

But the lock was open now because the bastard was having his playtime below.

No more.

Hyde reached for the door, yanked back the handle.

The hard squeak of the metal grated in his ears like a scream.

Fuck.

Hyde flew through the doorway.

Still alive?

Doubtful. But maybe, maybe…

His boots pounded down the steps. Lights flickered overhead. Fluorescent bulbs that revealed, then concealed.

He tripped on the last step, but caught himself and shouted, “FBI! You need to—”

Laughter. Rich and dark. Shadows moved, and a man stepped forward. Young, in his mid-twenties, good-looking.

The profiler had been right about that.

He doesn’t force them to come with him. He seduces them. Offers them a temptation they can’t resist.

Romeo, tempting the girls to walk on the wild side.

“Put your hands up, asshole! Let me see ’em!” The other agents pounded down the stairs, then fanned the room.

Romeo just smiled, flashing a dimple. His hands were behind his back. A long white apron, stained red, covered his chest and legs. “Too late,” he whispered.

And he stepped forward.

Hyde shook his head. “I will fucking put a bullet in your heart.”

Another step. “Then you’ll never find my sweet Kat.…”

Like they hadn’t found Mary Jane.

Hyde’s finger tensed around the trigger. “And you’ll never slice another girl. I’ll be a happy man.”

The smile faded as the lights flickered once more. “Playing the tough guy, Hyde?”

So the killer knew his name. Seeing as how his face had been splashed across the news for the last few months, that wasn’t a real big surprise.

“Clear.” From Jonas. “She’s not here.”

For just a moment, Hyde looked away from Romeo. His gaze flickered to the chains on the walls. The tray of surgical instruments.

Twisted ass playroom. But no girl.

“Cuff him.” A snarl, barely human, because he wanted to fire. Wanted an excuse. Time to put the rabid animal out of his misery.

Jonas reached for his cuffs.

Romeo launched forward, his arms flying from behind his back as he pulled out a gun, one the perp had hidden under the back of his shirt.

My perfect excuse. A split-second thought that filled Hyde’s mind as he squeezed the trigger—

No!” A woman’s scream, loud and wrenching.

He wavered. For one reckless moment, his attention diverted, and he searched for the victim.

Romeo laughed and fired just as a woman—no, a girl—slammed her body into the killer, and they crashed onto the floor.

A flash of a knife.

The blade sank deep into flesh.

Laughter.

Screams.

Hyde shook his head and surged forward. He grabbed the girl, hauling her back while his agents swarmed. She fought him, twisting, the knife shaking in her small fist.

Where the hell had she come from?

“It’s all right,” he murmured, trying to be soothing when he wasn’t the soothing sort. “He’s not going to hurt you anymore.”

Romeo threw back his head. Two officers were on him. “I’ve never hurt her. I love her. She’s mine!”

Hyde’s right shoulder throbbed like a bitch. The bullet had caught him, but was luckily just a graze.

The girl lunged again. Hyde struggled, then held her tight, ignoring the pain. “Easy, Katherine. It’s over.” He bared his teeth at Romeo. “Get him the hell out of here.”

Her body shook against his as Romeo was hauled away. Hyde’s gaze darted to the left. A door had swung open. Hell, it looked like a damn piece of the wall had swung open. A closet waited inside. No, the space was not even big enough for a closet. Barely two feet.

He’d been keeping the girl in there?

“Let’s go outside, Katherine.” Because the team needed to come in and sweep that stinking pit from top to bottom.

Her fingers tightened on the knife.

“Uh, I’m gonna need you to drop the weapon.” He didn’t want to hurt her. She’d been hurt more than enough.

One minute. Two.

Very slowly, her fingers uncurled, and the knife hit the floor with a clatter.

“Good girl.”

She flinched at that.

Her dark hair was a tangle around her face. A long black shirt covered her chest, and loose sweat pants seemed to swallow her legs.

Alive. Talk about a fucking miracle. Jonas would never let him hear the end of this one.

Hyde led her to the stairs, waiting silently when she faltered as she stared up at the door.

“Locked.” The whisper was hoarse.

He blinked, and a fist squeezed his heart. “Not this time, baby.”

She gave a nod and then crept up the stairs. One mincing step at a time.

For just a second, she hesitated near the door. Then she lifted her hands and touched the cold metal with fingers that shook.

He shoved open the door and pushed her gently over the threshold. “I’m gonna get you home, Katherine. Your parents are gonna be so glad—”

She froze beside him. The light shone bright and steady in this part of the cabin. She tilted back her head, and the bluest eyes he’d ever seen stared up at him.

Romeo had particular tastes. Girls between fifteen and eighteen. Brunettes, all with blue eyes.

The girl stared at him a moment, then she shook her head.

“It’s okay, you’re safe,” he told her.

“I—I’m not Katherine.” Same hoarse whisper. Those blue eyes, eerie in their intensity, held his.

Dirt covered her face. Dirt and grime and God knew what else. But as Hyde gazed at her, recognition kicked into place.

And he knew he was staring straight at—

A fucking miracle. An angel who’d survived hell.

Chapter One

Sixteen years later

Stop! FBI!” But, of course, the words didn’t make the perp slow down. No, they just made the punk in the black ski mask run faster—and Agent Luke Dante ground his back teeth as he pumped his legs and shoved through the crowd.

A woman screamed. Another one hit him with her purse.

Christ. So much for being the good guy.

He couldn’t aim a weapon in this crowd. Too many people on the street. Too many kids—

Luke jumped over a boy on a bike and swore when he caught his ankle on the handlebars.

Fuck. This was so not his day.

All he’d wanted was a cup of coffee before hitting the office. Just—A—Cup—Of—Coffee.

He’d gotten an armed robbery instead.

The perp ran into traffic—they always did that. Horns blared as brakes squealed. Luke shook his head. Traffic was stopped now so he lunged after the guy.

Close, so close—he could hear the perp’s ragged breaths—

Luke launched forward, grabbed the idiot, and they slammed onto the street.

Asphalt ripped away the flesh on his arm. He felt the wet flow of blood slide across his skin. The robber bucked beneath him, twisting, kicking, swearing, then turning with a gun—

Luke snapped the perp’s wrist and heard the guy howl. The gun hit the pavement.

“FBI,” he gritted. Drops of blood flew from Luke’s wound and stained his shirt. “Man, you chose the wrong damn convenience store.”

The scream of sirens reached his ears. Finally. In this age of cell phones, he really would have expected one of the shouting folks he’d passed on the street to have punched 911 sooner.

“Fucking bastard asshole, you let me go, you let—”

Luke shifted and pinned the perp beneath him. Glittering green eyes stared up at him from the slits in the ski mask. “Was the fifty bucks worth it, genius?” He ripped away the mask.

A kid stared back at him.

The perps just got younger every day.

Acne spotted the kid’s face—his perfectly smooth face. Not even a hint of facial hair yet. The punk’s blond hair was a dirty mop brushing against his round face.

Jesus, the kid still had baby fat. “What are you? Fifteen?”

“I’ll fucking kill you!” Veins bulged in the kid’s forehead.

Luke sighed. He knew that look. The glassy-eyed stare. The trembling body. The kid was flying high—and wanted to keep flying—which explained the robbery.

The swirling police lights hit Luke’s eyes. Doors slammed. Luke glanced up to see the cops charge at him.

“Stand up and step away!” An order given over a drawn gun.

“Easy.” No sense in anyone getting trigger happy. “I’m with the FBI.”

And this really was one bad morning.

Because Luke knew that before the questions were finished, he’d be late for his new assignment. Late the first day.

Hell of a way to make an impression on his new boss.

When Luke entered the J. Edgar Hoover Building two hours later, scratches covered his arms and blood stained his shirt. But he walked in with his head up and his shoulders back. This wasn’t his first time in the building. Though he’d been stationed in Atlanta, he’d been to the D.C. office a handful of times for different cases. But this time, he wasn’t just a visiting agent.

His palms were dry when he punched the button in the elevator. His gaze locked on the floor indicator lights. Three. Four. Five…

A soft ding, then the doors opened. A long hallway waited. Two branches at the end. One led toward the crime lab. One toward the SSD—Serial Services Division.

The division was still pretty new at the Bureau, and it was one that he knew a few dozen other agents would have killed to get in.

And they’d picked me. He’d busted his ass to get this spot, and now that it was his—try to pry it from my cold, dead hands.

The weight of his gun and holster pressed against his side as he marched down the hallway, then branched to the left. SSD. Luke shoved open the perfectly clear glass door. Phones rang. Voices hummed. Luke took a breath and glanced around, wondering if he’d be able to sneak—

“About time, partner.”

Luke’s gaze shot to the right.

“I was beginning to think you’d bailed on me and—ah…” The guy, tall, lean, with close-cropped black hair, winced and his gray eyes narrowed. “Trouble at home, eh?” There was a hint of laughter beneath the question.

He grunted. “Armed robbery. Had to take a perp down.”

“Showoff.” The agent shook his head even as he extended his hand. “Trying to make the rest of us look bad on your first day? Real bad business, that…”

Luke took the hand, squeezed once, then dropped his hold. “Sorry,” Luke said and cleared his throat. “Maybe next time I’ll let the bad guy get away.”

A smile broke the man’s face. “Name’s Kenton Lake. And Dante, I think it’ll be… interesting having you here.”

Here. The only unit in the Bureau solely dedicated to tracking and trapping serials. Rapists. Killers. Even the serial kidnappers who stalked the streets.

“I’d heard you were a bit… strong-willed when it comes to your work,” Kenton said.

Yeah, and Luke could just imagine where the guy had heard that. But he was pretty sure “strong-willed” hadn’t quite been the adjective used. “I believe in getting the job done.”

One brow rose. “By any means necessary?”

“Damn close.” He’d clashed with other agents before. So if the guy thought he was reckless for chasing down that perp, well, it wouldn’t be the first time.

And it wouldn’t be the last.

“We’re a team here, Dante. No one-man show. Remember that, and you’ll be fine.”

Luke inclined his head. He wasn’t about stealing glory. Just helping the victims. His eyes scanned the line of offices. “Everyone here is part of the team?”

“Part, but not the core. The core’s waiting for you—” He jerked his thumb toward a closed conference room door. “Right inside.”

And he got to meet them all covered in blood. Fair enough.

“Lead the way.”

The smile widened. “You know, I can’t decide, but I think I’m going to like you, Dante.”

Then he turned and headed toward the conference room. Luke took a deep breath.

When he crossed the threshold into the room, the first person he saw was…

Her. Oh, Jesus.

Luke wasn’t aware that he’d sucked in a sharp breath. He just knew his cock was twitching, and the temperature in the room had gotten very—

A snort from beside him. “Don’t even think it, man. Not going to happen.”

But Luke didn’t take his eyes off her as he and Kenton slid into two empty chairs in the back.

The woman stood at the front of the room, her hands lightly gripping either side of a podium. Her midnight black hair teased her cheeks, the short blunt cut ending just under her slightly pointed chin. The woman’s skin was smooth, perfect and pale, and her eyes—

So blue.

Monica Davenport. Already a legend in the department, and she was barely easing past thirty. One of the best profilers going. She had like, what? Three, four degrees?

And a hell of a lot of field experience. An agent who didn’t take shit.

One who also had a reputation for being pure ice.

Pity, because from the outside, she sure was the stuff hot, wet dreams were made of.

His dreams, anyway.

Those brilliant eyes locked on him. His lips started to curl. But not even a flicker of recognition crossed her face.

Ice.

Her voice, smooth and easy, continued without so much as a hitch. “With assistance from our team, local authorities in Waylon, Virginia, apprehended the perpetrator last night, and the Midnight Strangler’s latest victim, Julia Marcus, was returned alive to her family.”

A round of applause. A whistle from the Lucy Liu lookalike up front.

“This is the ninth serial case closed by the SSD since its inception six months ago—”

“But our work is just getting started,” a deep, could-be-the-voice-of-God rumble interrupted. Luke straightened. He knew that voice. Keith Hyde. Hell, the guy was the Serial Services Division. The group was his idea, his baby, and he’d handpicked every member of the team.

Luke had been passed over in that first hand-picking, but when Mark Lane had taken a leave of absence from the team, he’d fought and finally shoved his way inside the all but closed door. This was where he wanted to be. Needed to be.

The briefest hint of a smile lifted Monica’s full lips as she ceded the floor to Hyde.

Hyde nodded to the assembled agents. The guy was huge, with thick shoulders and skin as dark as night. He smiled, a real smile, not like Monica’s, and flashed his perfect, white teeth. “We’re kicking ass, people, and I’m proud of every single one of you.”

Some laughter there. Grins lightened the tense faces of some of the other agents in the room.

“But we’re just gettin’ started. Nine down, the fucking rest of the serials to go.” Hyde’s eyes zeroed in on him. “And… we’ve got a new member on our team. One who finally decided to show up.”

Luke winced.

“Better late than never, huh, buddy?” Kenton murmured.

When Hyde’s eyes narrowed, Luke shot to his feet. “Sir. Glad to be a part of the division—”

“You should be. We’re the best in the business.” He pointed to the lady beside him. Lucy Liu. Uh, no, she was—“This is Kim Donalds, and don’t let her size fool you, she’s one of the toughest agents I’ve ever seen.”

Kim turned to face him fully. Almond shaped eyes—dark green—stared up at him, measuring him. Weighing.

A sprinkle of freckles covered her nose. Small, delicate, but—

Deadly.

He knew about Kim, too. Pretty package, one slyly concealing the perfect hunter inside.

“You’ve already met Kenton.”

The guy saluted him.

“This is Jon Ramirez, he’s an—”

“Ex-sniper.” Luke gave the hard-eyed shooter a nod. “I’ve been doing my homework, sir.” Jon Ramirez had fought like hell with the army in the Middle East, only to come home and join the Bureau.

“Then do you know me, too?” Another woman. A tall, thin redhead with wire-framed glasses. Her lips pursed as her gaze met his.

“Samantha Kennedy, computer genius extraordinaire.” Yeah, he knew about her. She’d gotten her Ph.D. in computer sciences from MIT before she’d turned eighteen, and been drafted by the government within the year. She’d made a switch to the Bureau just a few months back.

Samantha flushed and dropped her gaze. “Ah… yeah. That’s me.”

“And you’re Luke Dante…” Low, husky.

Monica.

“The bad-ass from the South who managed to bring down the Sorority Stalker all by yourself.” One black brow rose. “Impressive.”

Not really. He’d stumbled onto the asshole when he’d been tracking down witnesses. He’d gotten lucky—another two inches, and Carl Malone’s knife would have driven into his heart, instead of just giving Luke his latest tough-guy scar.

He forced a smile. “I do what I can.”

Hyde glanced between them. “So I’m guessing you also know our lead profiler, Monica Davenport.”

Yeah, he did. “We’ve met.”

Glacial blue eyes held his.

“Good.” Hyde reached into his briefcase and yanked out a stack of manila files. He passed one to Luke and handed another to Monica. “You two are heading out on a plane to Jasper, Mississippi, in about…” A quick glance at the gold watch on his wrist. “Three hours.” Two more folders were tossed to Kenton and Samantha. “You two are backup.”

Luke’s hold on the file tightened when Hyde added, “The sheriff down there thinks he’s got himself a serial.”

Monica cocked her head. “Does he?”

“Don’t know—that’s for you and Dante to figure out. The guy’s got two dead bodies. Different CODs, but the sheriff thinks he’s looking for the same killer.”

Usually a serial used the same manner of death for his victims. Almost like performing a ritual again and again. Two different causes of death didn’t seem to fit—

“Read the files,” Hyde ordered. “Then get your asses on the plane.” He clapped his hands once. “That’s it, get back to work—and damn good job.”

Luke blinked and glanced down at the file. Kenton patted him on the shoulder. “Get ready to pop that cherry, man, looks like you’re up—”

Luke cut him off, firing out, “Thought we were working together, partner.”

A wide grin. His dad would have called it a shit-eating grin. “Ah, man, that was just bullshit. Teams change here every week. You trust us all, or you don’t trust anyone.”

Good to know.

Kenton leaned toward him. “Good luck with Ice. You’re going to need it.”

Ice.

Monica shoved the file into her bag and walked toward him. The room had emptied, fast. Other than Kenton, he and Monica were the only agents left.

“You screw up, she’ll eat you alive.” Another slap on his shoulder. “Have fun down South.”

He’d just come from the South. Hot as hell weather. Humidity that killed. And southern drawls that he loved.

Drawls like the one that whispered just beneath Monica’s words.

Monica brushed by him, not even saying a word.

Well, damn. So much for a big, warm welcome.

He kinda would have expected a bit more from the woman who’d once given him the best sex of his life.

Ice… his ass.

Shit but she had bad luck.

Monica sucked in a deep breath. Then another one. And another. Her heart thudded against her ribs.

Here. Of all the divisions and teams in the Bureau, Luke Dante had come

“What do you think of the hot guy?”

Her eyes snapped closed. Samantha.

“Did you see him?”

It would have been kind of hard not to see him, considering Luke had been in the meeting with them. Her lashes lifted.

A long sigh from Samantha, then she said, “When he turned those eyes on me—and did you see those eyes?—I swear I felt my skin burn.”

Kicking with her right foot, Monica swiveled her chair away from the window and turned to face the agent. “May I help you with something, Sam?” She let more than a hint of impatience slip into her voice. She didn’t have time to listen to Sam moon over Dante. She sounded bitchy. So what?

Being a cold bitch let her avoid conversations like this one. Usually.

This wasn’t Gossip High. This was the FBI, for God’s sake. But Samantha, who’d just celebrated her twenty-third birthday, had a hard time respecting boundaries.

Samantha’s eyes widened behind her glasses.

Kid genius. Super smart, but not too socially savvy.

“Uh… I—I… was just…”

Great. Now Monica felt like she’d kicked a puppy. One with really big brown eyes.

“Hyde wanted you to have this.”

Another file.

Monica reached for the file. “Thanks, Samantha.” Apologize? She probably should, but the words stuck in her throat.

For someone who was supposed to be so adept at figuring people out, she pretty much sucked at the social scene, too.

Samantha whirled around and hurried for the door.

“Sam—”

She froze.

“Thanks for the file,” Monica said softly.

A curt nod.

The door clicked closed behind the other woman. Didn’t slam, just… closed.

Monica shook her head. Oh, yes, she knew how to make friends fast. It had always been a strength for her.

She glanced at the file, flipped it open—

And saw the ravaged body of a woman.

Blood and death—now that was what she understood.

Hyde stopped Monica just as she was leaving the office. His dark eyes were hooded as he stared at her. “You okay with this case?”

They were in the hallway, just beside her door. She glanced to the left, then the right, making sure they wouldn’t be overheard. “I told you I didn’t think bringing Dante on the team was the best plan.” Oh, she’d told him more than a few times.

But Hyde shook his head. “Not talking about Dante, we need him.” A long exhalation. “You work the killers, he works the victims. It’s the perfect setup.”

Perfect, maybe, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.

“If you need me on this one, you call right away, got it?”

She nodded. Hyde was always there if she needed him. If any of the agents needed him. “I will.” But she could handle the case—and Luke Dante.



Continues...

Excerpted from Deadly Fear by Eden, Cynthia Copyright © 2010 by Eden, Cynthia. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 22, 2010

    AMAZING GUT WRETCHING ROMANTIC SUSPENSE!

    DEADLY FEAR by Cynthia Eden is a Romantic suspense set in modern day Louisiana and Jasper, Mississippi. It is well written with details and depth. It is a gut wrenching, heart pounding, action paced thriller/suspense. It has FBI agents, murder, a serial killer, an FBI profiler and a new SSD (Serial Services Division). It is packed full of danger, suspicions, secrets, sexual passion, sweet sensuality and romance. The characters are determined to find a serial killer.Our heroine, FBI Special Agent Monica Davenport is a serial killer profiler, who has solved several cases by being able to get inside the twisted mind of the killer. She also has a past she is trying hard to leave behind, but her past is what makes her a great profiler. The hero, Luke Dante, is an FBI agent just joining the SSD.He has the ability to put the victims at ease and obtain more information. Luke's victims ability and Monica's serial killer instinct makes them the perfect team,but they had a brief affair years before at the academy. He has never forgotten her, she got to him, and he got to her but she doesn't let anyone to close. Sparks fly once again between them during this case. They must face their deadest fears to out smart this serial killer. This story will make a great movie. If you enjoy Criminal Minds you will definitely enjoy this one. It is a keeper, a page turner, set on the edge of your seat read. From the first page to the last page you will be intrigued, crossing your fingers hoping our hero and heroine survive their ordeal. What an amazing beginning for a new series. I would highly recommend this book. This book was received for review and details can be found at Forever Hachette Book Group an imprint of Grand Central Publishing and My Book Addiction and More.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This terrific book will scare you into nonstop reading

    What becomes of a person when we have been through the worst of times and pushed further than you ever could have anticipated while still a child? In the case of Monica Davenport you become a Special Agent with the FBI and show all the doubters that you truly do know how to profile and help capture serial killers and she had a gift for closing the case. The downside of Monica's expertise is that she has walls built up so high and thick around her heart that it has turned her to ice. But leave it to Luke Dante, one handsome; alpha male to knock those walls down and step right over them showing that he is as determined to be with Monica and she is to keep him out. Game On!

    Luke is a Special Agent with the FBI as well who already knows how amazing Monica is from when they met during their academy days. He has experienced her on an intimate level and now they are reunited to work on with an elite team of agents who do nothing but hunt down serial killers until the murderer is caught. Being back together with her Luke has both his head and body screaming for him to use any means available to get her back in his life on a personal level as much as a professional one.

    Their first assignment together is horrific and has all the signs of an out of control serial killer who is torturing and brutalizing young women. Both Luke and Monica have to fight off their demons that still lurk in the night to scare them and for Monica déjà vu sets in as this case mirrors another that she was personally involved in and may interfere with her ability to keep her head clear. Luke knows that he can work with Monica and hopes that he is finally able to break down her barriers and warm her heart and help her turn the lights off when the night has come.

    Luke is also determined to protect Monica regardless of her protesting when the killer marks her as a target and preys on her fear. All bets are off on what Luke will do to find this maniac and make sure one way or another the perp is gone forever.

    The discovery of love not just lust and passion between Luke and Monica is a hard traveled road but one worth the ride as they realize that together they are a formidable team in and out of bed. But there is so much past that each of them has lived through and both are working out the demons and making sure that what scares them they are able to conquer and ensure that it does not kill them.

    The most pleasurable yet difficult journey a reader takes is one where you actually feel the emotions and pain the characters are experiencing along with her fear. It is great authors that can have the reader feel as if they are literally walking in the character's footsteps and taste the same terror as the character. Ms. Eden has done just that with this book and knows that the scary parts are offset with the tenderness and emotion from Luke and Monica. Great book and this series is off to an amazing start.

    Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer at www.marygramlich.com

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Loved it

    ## This book was incredible! The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Ms. Eden really knows how to tell a story. The characters were so well developed and I loved her writing style. Holy crap, the hero Luke was hot. Jeez, he kept getting better and better. And the chemistry he had with the heroine was sizzling, as was the sex. Did I mention the hero was hot? A must read for romantic suspense fans!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Dead on!

    FBI Special Agent Luke Dante is excited about joining the Serial Services Division (SSD) a new unit of the agency dedicated to tracking serial killers, rapists and arsonists. He's surprised to learn on his first day that the woman he's never forgotten, Monica Davenport, is part of the unit and is assigned as the leader of his first case. He's all about picking up where they left off; she's staying true to her nickname...Ice.

    The case they're assigned is in Jasper, Mississippi where two women have been murdered, appearing to be the work of the same killer. All signs are leading them to believe the killer subjects the victims to confronting their worst fears before dying. There also seems to be a connection to an incarcerated killer nicknamed Romeo.

    This a page-turning psychological thriller that will keep your brows knit as you try to keep track of and interpret the clues. There are many twists and turns as Monica and Luke race against time to anticipate the killler's next moves. Monica also has a past that seems to connect with the case, unbeknownst to Luke. In the end, I went against instinct and selected the wrong person as the culprit.

    Cynthia Eden has an unusual writing style that makes it difficult at times to follow the dialogue but not enough to affect the overall rythym of the story. It has multiple subplots and the romantic tension between Luke and Monica adds to the suspense. I fully intend to continue with this series.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great beginning of a series!

    This is the first book I have read of hers and really enjoyed it. I can't wait to read the 2nd book in the series, I didn't want to put it down. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    the start of a really great series

    loved this book. very well written. keeps you guessing the whole time. read it in about 2 days. easy read. if you like suspense and crime with the addition to sex. this is the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great suspense novel.

    I liked this book. It was so suspenseful. The romance part of the story was good, but I really like suspense. It's so intriguing to me.

    This one was one I really connected with. Given that everyone has fears I think this one was able to really get to me. While I was reading I kept thinking about the things that I'm scared of. I could almost feel the fear that the victims were feeling when they realized what was happening to them. It gave me chills quite a few times.

    The romance in this was pretty good. I didn't really connect with either Luke or Monica. They were believable characters, and they were really well written. In this one the victims were the ones that I had more of an emotional connection with. Although towards the end Monica did become a bit endearing.

    The writing was really good in this one. The story just flowed, it had a few lulls, but they were easily overcome. The images were so vivid I could see what was happening. I really didn't want to put it down.

    As much as I like to read suspense it always amazes me the way the authors can "get into the head" of the killers. It takes an emotional toll on me to read these books, I can't even imagine living with that in my head while writing.... This one had to be very disturbing to write.

    I really liked this one. I will have to pick up more of Eden's novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    By far Ms. Eden's best book!

    Once you start this story, you will NOT be able to put it down. It has all the qualities you want in a book: great, believable characters; drama; romance; thrills; suspense; sex. It has it all! Don't miss this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Love the book

    Love it Like Criminal Minds show loved Monica and Luke great couple and she is great as an SSD loved how that works

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Recommended

    I like all her books,would like to see more of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    N.

    I lie it but i think it needs a twist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Very intense thriller!

    This is a "Criminal Minds" type of book with romance. I found it very intense and extremely difficult to put down. Great editing job for the e-book as I didn't see any glaring errors that detracted from the flow of the story. I will definitely have to read the rest of this series. Glad I stumbled across this author and will be reading more of her stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Anonymous

    Could be a tiny bit more descriptive. I wont get inti details on this cause yhere is a lot i could say but i dont want to ruin it for you. But by story standards, excellent!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Amazing

    Hot, intense, keeping you on the edge. This book is amazing. Such a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Yikes! The F word was repeatly used throughout the book, hah, so

    Yikes! The F word was repeatly used throughout the book, hah, so funny, if she was being corrected by a 
    Teacher, Professor, I would think she would get the other F word in Failed.  Thankfully, this book only cost me 99cents, seems appropriate considering it was only 200 plus pages!  Readers money up if you want to read on!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Since I haven't read the book yet, cannot give a rating.

    Since I haven't read the book yet, cannot give a rating.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    O

    And of course harriet klausner comes along with her cliff note book report. Its bad enough with most of the reviews being plot spoilers, but what do you expect with ppl like klausner doing it for years, giving away the entire book including endings and getting away with it, others think they can too. Come on bn. Do something with this poster. Delete her spoilers. Ban her and other plot spoilers. Delete their posts. Show them they cannot ruin books for other readers. We like to read too and not have our enjoyment ruined by their rudeness and inconsideration.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Deadly fear

    252 pages.......a good thriller and romance book. I did notlike the language which made the rating lower.

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  • Posted April 14, 2013

    Worth the read

    Great Series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Exciting!

    I usually read paranormal romance. This got to me! I highly recommend!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 Customer Reviews

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