Love Is Murder [NOOK Book]

Overview

Prepare for heart-racing suspense in this original collection by thirty of the hottest bestselling authors and new voices writing romance suspense today. Bodyguards, vigilantes, stalkers, serial killers, women (and men!) in jeopardy, cops, thieves, P.I.s, killers—these all-new stories will keep you thrilled and chilled late into the night.

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Love Is Murder

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Overview

Prepare for heart-racing suspense in this original collection by thirty of the hottest bestselling authors and new voices writing romance suspense today. Bodyguards, vigilantes, stalkers, serial killers, women (and men!) in jeopardy, cops, thieves, P.I.s, killers—these all-new stories will keep you thrilled and chilled late into the night.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459245631
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 2/26/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 41,580
  • File size: 479 KB

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown is the author of fifty-seven New York Times bestsellers, including Smoke Screen. Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, most of which remain in print. As of 1990, when Mirror Image made the New York Times bestseller list, each subsequent novel, including reprints of earlier books, have become Times bestsellers. Sandra and her husband, Michael Brown, live in Arlington, Texas.

Biography

In 1979, Sandra Brown lost her job at a television program and decided to give writing a try. She bought an armful of romance novels and writing books, set up a typewriter on a card table and wrote her first novel. Harlequin passed but Dell bit, and Brown was off and writing, publishing her works under an assortment of pseudonyms.

From such modest beginnings, Brown has evolved into multimillion publishing empire of one, the CEO of her own literary brand; she towers over the landscape of romantic fiction. Brown has used her growing clout to insist her publishers drop the bosom-and-biceps covers and has added more intricate subplots, suspense, and even unhappy endings to her work. The result: A near-constant presence on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 1992, she had three on the list at the same time, joining that exclusive club of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steel.

Her work in the mainstream realm has taken her readers into The White House, where the president's newborn dies mysteriously; the oil fields and bedrooms of a Dallas-like family dynasty; and the sexual complications surrounding an investigation into an evangelist's murder. Such inventions have made her a distinct presence in a crowded genre.

"Brown is perhaps best known now for her longer novels of romantic suspense. The basic outline for these stories has passionate love, lust, and violence playing out against a background of unraveling secrets and skeletons jumping out of family closets," wrote Barbara E. Kemp in the book Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers . Kemp also praises Brown's sharp dialogue and richly detailed characters. "However, her greatest key to success is probably that she invites her readers into a fantasy world of passion, intrigue, and danger," she wrote. "They too can face the moral and emotional dilemmas of the heroine, safe in the knowledge that justice and love will prevail."

Critics give her points for nimble storytelling but are cooler to her "serviceable prose," in the words of one Publishers Weekly reviewer. Still, when writing a crack page-turner, the plot's the thing. A 1992 New York Times review placed Brown among a group of a writers "who have mastered the art of the slow tease."

Staggeringly prolific, Brown found her writing pace ground to a halt when she was given a different assignment. A magazine had asked her for an autobiographical piece, and it took her months to complete. Her life in the suburbs, though personally fulfilling, was nonetheless blander than fiction. That may be why she dives into her fiction writing with such workhorse gusto. "I love being the bad guy," she told Publishers Weekly in 1995, "simply because I was always so responsible, so predictable growing up. I made straight A's and never got into any trouble, and I still impose those standards on myself. So writing is my chance to escape and become the sleaziest, scummiest role."

When she started writing, her goal was always to break out of the parameters of romance. After about 45 romances, the woman who counts Tennessee Williams and Taylor Caldwell among her influences told The New York Times that felt she had reached a plateau. In fact, she doesn't even look at her books as romances anymore. "I think of my books now as suspense novels, usually with a love story incorporated," she said. "They're absolutely a lot harder to write than romances. They take more plotting and real character development. Each book is a stretch for me, and I try something interesting each time that males will like as well as women."

Good To Know

  • "I hate to exercise and only do so because I absolutely must."

  • "I love to eat and my favorite foods are all bad for the body. Fried chicken and gravy, TexMex, red meat (hey, I'm from Texas!). My only saving grace is that I'm not that fond of sweets. Salty is my thing. Chocolate cake and ice cream I can skip. But a bag of Fritos. . ."

  • "It takes me a long time to go to sleep, usually because I read in bed and hate to put down the book. But when I do nod off, I'm a champion sleeper. I can easily do eight or nine hours a night."

  • "My worst "thing" is mean-spirited people. People who deliberately belittle or embarrass someone really irk me. The people I admire most are the ones who find something good about even the most undesirable individual. That was a quality my mother had, the one I hope most to emulate."

  • "I have a fear of gravity. Recently my whole family went to Belize. We had several adventures. We tubed a river through miles of cave, wearing head lamps so we'd have illumination. No problem. I scaled Mayan ruins. I rode horseback (on a monster named Al Capone) through the rain forest. No problem. But I couldn't zip line. Even though my five-year-old grandsons did it with glee, I just couldn't make that leap."

  • "I and my husband are huge fans of Jeopardy! We never miss it if we can help it. Does that make us complete dorks?"

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan and Erin St. Claire
      2. Hometown:
        Arlington, TX
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 12, 1948
      2. Place of Birth:
        Waco, Texas
      1. Education:
        Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    In spite of the cacophony under the marble dome of Antwerp's Central Station, Donovan Rush heard the distinct tap of high heels about ten feet behind him. The main terminal echoed with a hundred different languages and shook with the shrill whine of high-speed train brakes on the platform levels, but the music of that familiar feminine drumbeat reached his ears and slowed his step.

    The footsteps grew closer, preceded by a whiff of peppery perfume, a whisper of a silky sleeve, a subtle clearing of a woman's throat…and she passed him without a glance.

    But he stole one, and then stayed two strides behind her just for the fun of it.

    Mahogany waves clipped in a careful French twist revealed a slender column of a neck, squared but narrow shoulders casually draped in a bloodred scarf. Hip-hugging black leather pants molded to a heartbreaker of a backside then tapered over long, lean thighs.

    And then there were the noisemaking shoes. Five inches if they were a centimeter, platforms, open toes and little silver buckles that he'd like to unfasten with his teeth.

    Deadly.

    Too bad he'd only be in Antwerp for the brief hour it would take to pass security at the Beurs voor Diaman-thandel, meet with the client's sightholder, take delivery of two million dollars worth of rough-cut diamonds and get back on the Thalys for the return trip to Paris.

    There was no time for lovelies clad in leather. Especially when his boss had sent a text from New York just moments ago reminding him that the client for this routine diamond drop, Boisvert Jewelers, was run by a CEO who evidently did not tolerate tardiness. Lucy Sharpe had ended her brief text with three simple words: don't be late.

    When the owner of the Bullet Catchers—and queen of understatement—issued a warning like that, no one who wanted to keep his job with her elite security firm would dare disobey. Especially not because he was, uh, sightseeing.

    The woman in front of him slowed almost imperceptibly, glancing to her left, then quickly pretending she hadn't.

    Donovan did the same, noticing a man outside a cafe entrance, a cell phone to his ear, but his gaze on the leathers, as well. That made him human, since Donovan would guess that most male eyes in the terminal would take the same trip his had.

    But the highly trained bodyguard in him noticed the woman's hesitation, the change in her heel-to-toe tempo and the aura of awareness that shot up around her.

    She shifted to the right just as the man ended his call. When he took a single step forward, she turned on one of those spikes and beelined in the opposite direction.

    The heels clicked into a trot.

    The gold-embellished station clock read twenty-one minutes to ten. Donovan had been doing the Antwerp diamond drops long enough to know he needed twelve minutes to clear security at the Bourse, and two minutes to cross the cobblestone street that led there. That left seven minutes to follow his instinct…and a woman who'd just upped her speed from purposeful to petrified.

    The man hustled toward her, small and spare and quick on his feet, smoky gray eyes locked on the lady, one hand in the pocket of a loose-fitting jacket.

    With the reassuring weight of a Glock under his sport jacket, Donovan kept his attention evenly divided between the two people. She took a sharp left toward stairs leading to the upper level train platforms, snaking her way through the crowd with a quick burst of speed.

    She paused once to glance over her shoulder, her gaze locking on Donovan's for a split second before she looked away. At the top of the stairs she blended in with a pack of travelers on the train platform, but Donovan kept sight of the ruby scarf.

    So did the other man, who attempted the same maneuver up the stairs, but didn't nail it as gracefully as the woman. His failure let Donovan get right behind him and stay there.

    Leather lady was on a tear now, running down the platform as the scream of the next high-speed train reverberated through the second level's glassdomed ceiling. She spun around, giving Donovan his first chance to really see her face.

    Normally, he'd register the contours of beauty, the appeal of every feature from a whisper of a widow's peak to a shadow of a cleft in her chin. But this wasn't normal. That expression of raw, ripe terror was not normal.

    The man had her in his sights, then reached deeper into his pocket, shifting his weight like he was bracing to fire.

    Donovan pounced. An arm to the throat, a knee to the thighs, and the guy was down and done.

    "Hey!" He tried to thrust an elbow, but Donovan twisted the offending arm and locked it into a position of paralyzing pain. Certain he was immobilized, Donovan peered through the wall of the gathering crowd as the train doors zipped open.

    A red scarf fluttered as its owner darted on board. Holding on to the door, she leaned into the light to look straight at him.

    "Thank you," she mouthed and then disappeared into the train.

    Donovan released his captive and stood slowly.

    "What the hell?" the man croaked with a heavy British accent, pushing himself up and whipping around to Donovan.

    Donovan stepped back and held up his hands. "Sorry. Had you confused with someone." He turned to leave, but the man grabbed his jacket.

    "What's your fucking problem, mate?"

    "Excuse me." Donovan brushed the hand off and glanced at the clock above the platform. "I'm late for an appointment."


    "You are free to enter, Mr. Rush." The last of three security guards handed Donovan his clearance papers with an officious nod, his heavily accented English flawless. "Monsieur Pelletier is waiting for you at table fourteen."

    Donovan tucked his paperwork in the breast pocket of his sport jacket and entered the double doors to the main room. Sunshine poured through a hundred skylights, built for the express purpose of giving the jewel traders the best possible natural light.

    Dozens of tables flanked a center aisle where men sat in small groups, face-to-face, nearly every one wearing a jeweler's loupe, examining stones.

    A middle-aged man sat alone at the far end of table fourteen, a black velvet cloth spread with an array of cloudy white diamonds in front of him. He looked up as Donovan approached and stood, no smile on his angular, harsh features.

    Donovan slipped into the space behind the table, reaching out his hand in greeting, introducing himself. "I'm delighted to welcome Boisvert Jewelers to the Bullet Catchers client roster," he added.

    "We understand your company provides the finest security couriers in the business."

    "You understand correctly," Donovan assured him, gesturing toward the diamonds. There was no time for small talk if he was going to make the train back to Paris and meet the client's timelines.

    "This is what I've selected for you to deliver," he said. "I know the CEO of Boisvert to be a connoisseur of excellence. I've no doubt these diamonds will meet the highest standards."

    There were at least forty sizable stones, many that would be cut to make two or three multicarat diamonds. Pelletier had probably spent the past three days poring through hundreds and hundreds of rough-cut rocks delivered from Africa and Australia, his job as a sight-holder to be the "eyes" for the parent jeweler back in Paris. A parent company with deep pockets, if they could manage this purchase.

    "You've chosen well," Donovan said. Although it wasn't his job to pass judgment on the diamonds Pelletier had purchased; his job was to safely deliver them to the Parisian jeweler whom he worked for. On time. "Is the paperwork complete?" If Pelletier had filled it out ahead of time, they were in luck.

    The man slid a packet toward Donovan. "Yes. I'll need your signature in all the right places, while I pack this parcel and sign off on what you've taken."

    The transaction was so standard, Donovan barely looked up from the pages he had to sign, flipping through each with just a cursory glance, until Pelletier pulled a cell phone from his pocket to take a call.

    "Excuse me," he said softly before launching into rapid French. Unable to follow the foreign language spoken that fast, Donovan continued to sign, until a note of alarm in the other man's voice made him look

    "Is there a problem?" he asked softly. Pelletier just held up one finger. "Tres bien. Merci." He hung up. "That was the CEO of Boisvert Jewelers."

    "Really."

    "We have an issue that I am obligated to bring to your attention. There has been a credible threat to this diamond delivery. Apparently, the details were leaked."

    "By whom?"

    He shook his head, unable to hide disgust. "The CEO's assistant. She's been arrested and detained, but we don't know how secure these diamonds will be between Antwerp and Paris."

    "I have them," Donovan said, scooping them into a red velvet pouch that would fit in his jacket pocket. "So you can assure Boisvert management that they will be quite secure."

    The other man looked relieved, but dubious. "Tres bien, mais…a word of advice, Monsieur Rush?"

    "Don't be late?"

    "Trust no one," he replied. "And don't be late."


    He didn't alter his travel plans. Whoever was tracking this diamond drop would assume that an experienced—and forewarned—courier would choose a different form of transportation back to Paris. But getting to the airport or renting a car would cause unnecessary delays and play right into a thief's expectations.

    Instead, Donovan slipped back into the train station, and purchased a new Comfort One ticket on the highspeed Thalys to Paris using different identification. He boarded the first car the moment the giant red wedge-shaped train blew into the station, before most of the other passengers had even reached the platform. Strolling the length of the train, he memorized the face of every passenger already on board since Amsterdam or Rotterdam.

    Under the guise of a traveler looking for the most privacy and comfort, he perused nearly four hundred seats in a dozen connected cars, including the bar and cafe, and every lavatory. And he had no doubt where he would sit.

    The last set of glass doors whisked open with an automatic vacuum that responded to the slightest pressure. This small compartment seated only eight, with two rows of seats facing each other, separated by a narrow aisle. Well protected, away from most passengers, and with a single entrance that he could watch every minute of the hour and a half trip to Paris, it made the perfect place to detect a thief.

    But, shit, someone had beat him there. He could see the top of dark hair, not quite tall enough to extend above the orange headrest, facing the back seats. No matter. He drew his weapon. He would convince the passenger to leave.

    But the person shifted positions to cross a foot into the aisle. A foot wearing a platform peep toe with an unforgettable silver buckle.

    Trust no one.

    Especially damsels in distress and leather. There were no coincidences in this business; his experience as a Bullet Catcher taught him that. She identified him this morning, got a good look at him and no doubt had the Boisvert informant tell her what train he'd be on.

    Of course, he could simply turn and take another before she even saw him.

    But that's not what Lucy Sharpe demanded from her men. She wanted to impress the new client? All right, then. He'd deliver the diamonds and the thief. On time.

    He cleared his throat. "May I join you?"

    "I was hoping you would." A sultry and feminine American voice answered.

    He came around the seat back, his gun drawn, but not yet aimed at her. Let her know he had it and wasn't afraid to use it. "Although I'd prefer not to have to kill anyone who's chasing you on the way to Paris."

    "On the contrary." She lifted amber eyes and met his gaze, not even a flicker of surprise. "You've done your good deed for the day."

    "So this is no coincidence?" Not that he thought it was for a moment.

    Her lips widened in a sexy smile. "I was on the platform and saw you get on board. I decided you were the type of man who would choose the back compartment for…privacy."

    "So you're just riding the rails for fun today."

    She shrugged. "I did have to take an unexpected trip to Rotterdam, thanks to you giving me that chance to escape, but I easily made it back here on a return train. Going to Paris?" I am.

    "Then we'll travel together." Her smile was warm. No, hot. And inviting. "That guy is gone now, so you can put the gun away."

    Not a chance. "I prefer to err on the side of caution." He took the seat across from her—the one he would have taken anyway, because it allowed for a direct view through the doors and into the next car—and kept the pistol in his hand, resting on the seat next to him.

    "I'm Claudia Greenwood," she said.

    "Donovan Rush." No reason to lie. Obviously, she either knew exactly who he was—in which case he'd either kill her or deliver her to the authorities at the Gare du Nord in Paris—or she really was just a beautiful American on holiday or business in Belgium. Not too hard to guess which. "And who was your pushy friend in the station?"

    She exhaled a breath of disgust. "A bad choice from my past."

    Yeah, right. "A woman who looks like you involved with a guy who looks like that? C'mon, I might be big and ugly, but I'm not dumb."

    "You're quite big—" she let her gaze slide over his shoulders and chest "—but you are definitely not ugly. Sadly, I wouldn't be the last woman who got swayed by an impressive…bank account. What brings you to Belgium, Donovan?"

    As if she didn't know. "Business."

    "Business that requires you to carry a gun?"

    "It is Antwerp," he said, as though that explained it. That would explain it to a diamond thief, which, he'd bet the entire pouchful in his pocket, she was. "And you?"

    "Business, as well." Her fingers flicked the end of her scarf. "Fashion accessories. I'm headed to Paris for a trade show."

    "Then we have a whole hour and a half to get to know each other." And to see just how long it would take for her to make her move.

    She settled back into her seat with an alluring smile. "I can't imagine a better way to spend my time."

    Read More Show Less

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 3.5
    ( 27 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (10)

    4 Star

    (4)

    3 Star

    (2)

    2 Star

    (7)

    1 Star

    (4)

    Your Rating:

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 12, 2012

      Would not recommendo

      Did not realize it was not a sandra brown novel stories okay but nothing special

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

      Posted October 24, 2012

      Annoyed

      Number of reviews state they were disappointed it was not a Sandra Brown novel. Anthology in title and overview should of tipped them off! To give any book a poor rating because you didnt bother to look up a word you did not know its meaning of is spiteful. If you enjoy a good short story. If you are looking for some new writers to enjoy. You should buy the book. If you are looking for strictly Sandra Brown you should noy buy.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 6, 2012

      Highly recommend this book.

      I am a avid fan of Sandra Brown. I throughly enjoyed this book. Each of the story lines were great. Some of the authors I was familiar with the others will be added to my list of read.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted September 8, 2012

      Disappointing

      Thought I was getting just a Sandra Brown book but I stead got a lot of short stories written by many authors whose books I've never read. Some were goodbur most were just Ok.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 13, 2012

      Anonymous

      I listened to the audio book while traveling, I usually buy anything Sandra Brown but this really let me down. I will be more careful next time SB does something like this again.

      1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 10, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      "Love Is Murder" by all these wonderful authors: by S


      "Love Is Murder" by all these wonderful authors: by Sandra Brown (Goodreads Author) (Editor), Lee Child, Carla Neggers (Goodreads Author), Beverly Barton, Robert Gregory Browne (Goodreads Author), Pamela Callow (Goodreads Author), Jeff Ayers & Jon Land, William Bernhardt (Goodreads Author) , Bill Floyd, J.T. Ellison (Goodreads Author), and Vicki Hinze (Goodreads Author) was indeed some read that many of the 29 romantic suspense short stores were very enjoyable...some well....you will have to read this "Love Is Murder" to pick yours likes out. However, on a whole I did enjoy the long read. You will not get bored...so hang in there and let the reading begin. Many of the authors were new to me...which I did like having some new authors to add to my already long list. The short stores were full of action packed adventure with many twist and turns that will keep you reading to find out out how the story was going to turn out...some even left you hanging. Be ready for the characters to be...serial killers, private detectives, hostages, kidnapping, theft, murder, robbers, police officers, lawyers, vigilantes and I will stop here but there are even more! The locations for this short stories are all over the globe. Be prepared for a long read but it will be worth it.

      If you are into romance, suspense, mystery and even thrillers..."Love Is Murder" is for you. I feel you will not be disappointed and I would recommend this long read.

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

      Posted April 17, 2013

      A few of the stories were very good. But did not care for the s

      A few of the stories were very good. But did not care for the sci-fi, zombie and vampire genre mixed in.
      Afraid the big names of Lee Child and Sandra Brown pulled me into purchasing this book.

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

      Posted December 9, 2012

      not your typical Sanvdra Brown book

      Although I knew this book was not a typical.Sandra Brown book I didn't expect the number of sci fi stories. I usually can not put her books down, this one was a struggle to finish....

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted October 22, 2012

      only ok.

      Wasn't impressed.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 6, 2012

      False author

      I read all of her books, but this was not a book by her. Very disappointed, the stories were ok but if I knew they were short stories by others I would have saved my money to buy Low Pressure which was GREAT.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 19, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      Good Stories.

      Love is Murder is a collection of romantic suspense short stories. It contains a variety of authors including, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, Andrea Kane, Allison Brennan, and the list goes on and on. The stories in this book are all short, thrilling tales set in the suspenseful situations. They range from police investigations to stories with a paranormal twists. I like the variety that this book offers. Every story is different. I think any reader could find something that they'd like in this book. I also discovered some 'new to me' authors in this book as well. The only thing I don't like about short stories is they leave me wanting more. If you like romantic suspense then you'll love this book.

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

      Posted July 17, 2012

      I thought this book would be another Sandra Brown great story. I

      I thought this book would be another Sandra Brown great story. I was surprised that it turned out to be many authors with short stories. The book was a waste of money and left me dissatisfied with my purchase.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 4, 2012

      Great work! Quick entertaining reads.

      Great work! Quick entertaining reads.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted June 30, 2012

      Another Great Compilation of Short Stories

      All of the authors in this book write fantastic short stories! Well worth the read!

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted June 24, 2012

      Great collection from some of the best writers of thrillers and suspense

      Great sellection of short stories by some of my favorite authors, plus a chance to try out new authors. Great way to "meet" new authors.

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

      Posted July 3, 2013

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted April 6, 2013

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted July 14, 2012

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted July 18, 2013

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted February 11, 2013

      No text was provided for this review.

    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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