He lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching . . . And once he has you, all you can do is. . .
BEG FOR MERCY
Megan Flynn thought she was falling in love. Cole Williams wasn't just handsome and passionate, he was one of the good guys. Or so she thought, until he arrested her brother-the only family she has left-for a murder she knows he couldn't have possibly committed. Now, with her heart broken and her brother's life hanging in the balance, Megan will risk everything to prove his innocence. Even if that means throwing herself into the path of a sadistic killer with a hauntingly familiar MO.
Seattle Detective Cole Williams had given up on making Megan see reason where her brother is concerned. But when she insinuates herself into the most shockingly brutal case Cole has ever worked, he can't stand idly by. Plunged into a secret world where the city's elite indulge their darkest desires, Cole will do whatever it takes to bring down a madman who has made Megan his most coveted prey.
|Publisher:||Grand Central Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.62(w) x 4.28(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Jami Alden is the Holt Medallion-nominated author for sexy romantic suspense. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her socially well-adjusted alpha male husband, her sons, and a German Shepherd who patiently listens to dialogue and helps her work out plot points.
You can learn more at:
Read an Excerpt
Beg for Mercy
By Alden, Jami
ForeverCopyright © 2011 Alden, Jami
All right reserved.
It wasn’t quite over yet, but Megan Flynn was 99 percent sure this was going to go down as one of the best days of her life.
And judging from the molten look Cole Williams was giving her across her tiny kitchen table, her perfect day was about to glide seamlessly into a perfect night.
“That was amazing,” he said, leaning back in his chair, relaxed after a day spent on the water, followed by a home-cooked meal of fresh-caught local salmon accompanied by a bottle of Columbia Valley Pinot Noir. His plate was so clean he might have licked it, and Megan felt a ridiculous spurt of feminine pride in having provided a meal he’d so obviously enjoyed.
Megan traced the edge of her wineglass with her finger and gave him a sly smile. “So maybe next time you make salmon you’ll listen to me and not cook it down to a fine dust?”
Cole laughed and leaned across the table to refill her wineglass. “My mom always said you had to cook it enough to kill the bacteria.” He set the bottle down and took her free hand in his, his thumb tracing slow circles in the sensitive hollow of her palm.
Megan took a swallow of wine and smiled. “Since you grew up in a landlocked state, I’ll let you off the hook. But from now on, leave the seafood to us natives. Deal?”
“Deal. I’ll grill the steaks; you do the fish.”
Megan tried not to let herself get too carried away with fantasies of a lifetime of quiet dinners like this and wiped what she knew was a completely moony look off her face.
But it was impossible for her not to get carried away with Cole, all smoldering and intense across the table from her. With his dark eyes, dark skin, and bold, almost craggy features, Cole was a little too rough to be classically handsome. But when his full lips pulled into that sexy smile, Megan felt like she was going to melt into a puddle and spill right off her chair.
He pushed back from the table and kept hold of her hand as he walked the few steps to the couch. He settled against the cushions and she sank down next to him, her legs folded under her short skirt.
The short, flowered halter dress was completely inappropriate for a day out on Puget Sound on Cole’s boat. Even in early June, the temperature out on the water didn’t get much above sixty degrees. But when she’d gotten dressed that morning, she’d chosen the dress as a key part of her mission.
Namely, to finally break through Detective Cole Williams’s ironclad control.
Up until tonight, every date with the broodingly sexy detective had ended the same. With a kiss. Then more kisses that started with soft pecks and worked their way up to deep, wet, tongue-sliding, lip-sucking, blood-boiling kisses. Kisses that got Megan hotter than she’d ever been with any other man.
But no matter how hot she got, he never pushed it past hot kisses and light caresses, leaving her humming and thrumming with unsatisfied desire.
She was done with taking it slow. She wanted Cole, she wanted him now, and judging from the way his dark gaze kept straying down to the curves of her breasts swelling over the neckline of her dress, he was finally done too.
He tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear. “I missed you these last couple of weeks.”
He looked a little worn around the edges, and for good reason. Cole was a homicide detective for the Seattle PD, and his latest case had him working such long hours that she’d hardly seen him.
“You sound a little surprised by that.”
“I am,” Cole replied, then held up a hand at her look of mock offense. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Then how did you mean it, smooth talker?” Megan gave him a playful swat on the leg that left her hand resting on the top of his thigh.
The lines around Cole’s deep-set eyes crinkled with his sheepish grin. “Usually when I’m head down in a case, I’m totally focused. I forget to eat, forget to sleep, everything.” He leaned in closer, close enough she could feel his warm, wine-scented breath tease her lips. “But I couldn’t forget about you.”
“I missed you too,” Megan whispered right before his mouth covered hers. She parted her lips willingly, eager for the heat, the taste of him as his tongue thrust in. Pushing her back against the cushions, he licked, sucked, nipped, until Megan was clutching at him, practically shaking with need.
Please let tonight be the night.
As though he heard her silent plea, his kiss turned fierce and demanding. There was something different in his touch, in the way he kissed her. Like he was starving and she was the most delicious thing on earth.
Megan struggled to catch her breath as he pushed her back onto the couch. She’d known there was passion simmering under that stony cop surface, but nothing had prepared her for this.
Megan slid her hand up Cole’s back, dragging the hem of his T-shirt from the waistband of his jeans. She purred in pleasure at the feel of his hot, smooth skin, the sound swallowed up by a sleek thrust of his tongue against hers. She traced her fingers up the hard slabs of muscle, her mouth moving eagerly under his as she sought to drink in every touch, every taste.
Cole pulled the strap off the other shoulder and tugged the bodice of her dress down to her waist. His groan of satisfaction rumbled through her core, sending a pulse of heat between her legs. He held himself still above her, muscles quivering as his hot, dark eyes locked on her naked breasts. Her nipples were hard, aching and tingling, begging for his touch.
A vivid flush rode his sharp cheekbones. His mouth was kiss swollen, his lips parted as his breath came in hot pants. “Jesus Christ,” he said in a low, strained voice. “I’ve been thinking about this from the second I laid eyes on you, and even then… You’re so goddamn gorgeous I don’t know how I kept my hands off you this long.”
He tugged his T-shirt the rest of the way over his head. Megan was treated to a glimpse of a wide, defined chest and rippling six-pack dusted with fine dark hair before he settled himself back on top of her. She let out an “ooh” at the first brush of skin on skin, a little surprised not to see sparks flying from where their bodies touched. He settled between her thighs, letting her feel the rock-hard ridge of his erection straining at the fly of his pants, leaving no doubt as to how much he wanted her. He kissed her again, his tongue thrusting in deep, lazy strokes that had her aching and shifting against him in an agony of need.
Megan kissed him back with everything she had, her heart twisting in her chest with the knowledge that sex with Cole was going to be amazing. Momentous.
Sex with Cole would change everything.
But that was okay. Because she was in love with Cole Williams. It had taken some convincing on her part to get him here, but she was pretty sure he was on his way to being in love with her too.
As scary as the idea of love was, Megan knew that with Cole by her side, everything would be okay.
Cole jerked in her embrace, his lips stilling against hers as the harsh ring pierced through the sound of fast breath and wet kisses.
Megan tensed. A cop to his core, Cole never let anything get between him and his sworn duty. Even on his day off. She closed her eyes and started to count to one hundred, trying to cool her body and bring herself back from the edge as she prepared for yet another night on the razor’s edge of sexual frustration.
To her shock, the cell phone kept ringing. Cole curled his fingers more tightly in her hair and resumed kissing her with that almost primitive intensity. Wow. Cole must really want me if he’s ignoring it. A thrill rippled through her at the thought.
A second after the ringing stopped, it started again.
“Fuck!” Cole roared.
Exactly what I had in mind, she thought. “I guess you better get that,” she sighed.
Cole nodded and let out a string of curses as he pushed himself off of her and grabbed his cell from the end table. “Jorgensen, why the hell are you calling me on my afternoon off?”
It was his partner, Nick Jorgensen. Megan sighed and tried to swallow back her disappointment. If she really wanted a relationship with Cole, she would have to get used to the demands of the career he loved.
Party’s over. Megan sat up and pulled her dress back over her breasts and tugged her skirt down to cover her legs. Cole was silent for several seconds, his dark brows pulling into a tight frown over eyes that were losing their sensual haze.
She could make out a little bit of what Jorgensen was saying on the other line, but not enough to figure out exactly what was going on. Something bad, she guessed from the grim look on Cole’s face.
“I’m off today,” Cole said. “Why don’t you handle it—”
Jorgensen answered loud and clear. She heard every word. “This is a slam dunk, asshole. Get over here now.”
Cole’s broad shoulders slumped, and he clawed his fingers through his hair. “Fine, I’ll be there as soon as I can.” I’m sorry, he mouthed to her.
Megan gave him a feeble imitation of an understanding smile, her sexual glow dimming by several watts.
“What’s the address?”
Megan’s stomach seized as she heard Jorgensen give Cole the number and street.
She had to have misheard.
Cole disconnected the call, zipped up his pants, and reached for his shirt. “I’m sorry, Megan, but I have to go—”
“Did he just say the address is Forty-five Appleton Street?”
He didn’t confirm. His face was cold and wiped clean of all expression.
“Cole, that’s my brother’s address. What’s going on?” Panic roared through her veins, stealing her breath, replacing the heat of arousal with the cold bite of fear. Cole was a homicide detective. There was only one reason he would be called to Sean’s house. She sprang from the couch and grabbed his arm. “Is my brother dead? Did something happen? You have to tell me!”
Cole grabbed her in a brief, fierce hug. “I don’t know the details. I’ll call you as soon as I can.” He pulled away, and when she looked up, she saw that he’d gone into full-on Robocop mode. He reached for his phone and his jacket. “Just stay here and wait for my call.”
The door hadn’t even closed behind him before she grabbed her phone and dialed her brother’s house. Straight to voice mail. “Sean, pick up!” she yelled, even though she knew he couldn’t hear her. She yanked on a fleece pullover and stuffed her feet into flip-flops, dialing Sean’s cell phone as she rushed out the door.
Her call went straight to voice mail and she left another message.
She slipped on the damp wooden stairs that led out, barely catching herself before she tumbled down the last two to the paved driveway below. She took a deep breath and gathered her trembling legs under her before continuing.
Please God, let everything be all right. Please let Sean be okay. Sean had done ten years in the military, including his last tour in Afghanistan. He couldn’t have survived that only to return home and…
She wouldn’t let herself think it. Her fingers shook so hard she could barely get the keys into the ignition. She made the drive in five minutes flat.
Her heart seized in her chest as she pulled over. Flashing lights from an ambulance and two Seattle PD squad cars created a swirling eddy of blue and red in the twilight. Cole’s Jeep was parked behind a black-and-white, but he was nowhere in sight.
Neither was Sean. Megan sprinted across the street, hearing the harsh catch of her breath and the pounding of her heart in her head. The ambulance blocked the driveway. She skirted around and saw two EMTs standing by the back door.
“What’s happening?” she said. “Is someone dead? Is my brother dead?”
“Hey, you can’t be here,” one of them said.
“Somebody tell me what the hell is going on.”
Neither responded, but the two men shared a look.
She didn’t realize she’d started screaming Sean’s name until a uniformed cop got right up in her face.
“Hey, this is a crime scene.” The cop, with his blond hair sticking out from under his cap and ruddy cheeks, looked barely old enough to shave.
“This is my brother’s house,” she yelled, and tried to shove past him. “You have to tell me if he’s okay.”
The cop grabbed her by the shoulders and gently but firmly made her move. “Back it up.”
“Get your hands off of me!”
“Is there a problem, Officer Dicks?”
Megan whipped her head in the direction of the familiar voice just in time to see Cole’s partner, Nick Jorgensen, rounding the ambulance.
“Megan?” He motioned for the cop to let her go but caught her as she attempted to sprint up to the ambulance. “You need to get out of here.”
“Is my brother in there, Nick? Is he dead? You have to tell me.”
His closed, careful expression didn’t provide any reassurance. “Megan, go home. Wait for someone to call you—”
“Not until I know—” She stopped when she saw Sean appear in the doorway. The constant strobe of emergency lights made him fade in and out. He looked out of it, like he didn’t know exactly where he was.
“Sean,” she yelled, a half sob, half laugh, so relieved to see him alive she almost fell to her knees. Sean’s head turned at the sound of her voice. He took a step toward her, his leg nearly buckling under him as he stumbled on the first step.
Someone jerked him hard from behind, halting his fall. Then Sean staggered forward a few more steps as though someone was pushing him, his hands cuffed behind his back.
Other details became clear in that split second, her brain registering them in a series of high-definition freeze-frames. Snap. She saw that her military-neat brother was wearing a torn khaki undershirt stained with reddish brown streaks. Snap. Her brain registered those same streaks on his pants. Snap. A spattering of it across the part of his arm she could see with his hands handcuffed behind him.
Oh my God. Blood.
Snap. The man walking behind her brother, shoving him down the sidewalk, was none other than her would-be lover, Detective Cole Williams.
Megan leaped from her frozen stupor. She tried to shake off Nick, but he held her arm in an iron grip. “Sean, are you all right?”
Cole’s dark eyes locked on her for a fraction of a second. He didn’t make a move in her direction, but instead steered Sean to a squad car. Sean’s mouth moved, but the words were obliterated by the din of radios squawking and shouted orders. Neighbors came out to their front stoops to gawk.
Megan’s stomach lurched as she watched Cole with her brother. She had been at the scene of enough arrests to recognize someone being Mirandized.
“Let go of me!” She shoved at Nick and yanked until her shoulder threatened to pop from its socket, but he wasn’t about to let her go anywhere. “Cole, tell me what’s happening.”
He shoved her brother into the back of a black-and-white and slammed the door behind him.
“Cole, answer me!”
His wide shoulders were vibrating with tension as he stalked up the lawn toward her, giving a nearly imperceptible nod at Nick. The grip on her arm eased.
She ran, not toward Cole, but to the squad car where Sean waited. She could see his face in the window, panic in his eyes. “Sean, Sean, it’s going to be okay.” Strong arms wrapped around her waist before she could reach the car. “No, let me go! I need to talk to him!” she screamed. In another second the squad car pulled away from the curb.
Megan wheeled on her captor, shoving at Cole’s chest. “How could you? How could you arrest my brother?”
“I told you to stay home—” he started, his low, too-calm voice kicking her fury higher.
“Fuck you! You can’t expect me to stay home and wait by the phone. You should have told me what was happening—”
“Megan, I can’t give you details—”
“I told you this was my brother’s house!”
“I have a job to do. I can’t break the rules. Even for you.”
His eyes were flat, black chips of ice. Megan stepped back, unable to believe this was the same man who had spent the day laughing and flirting with her. The same man who less than half an hour ago had his hand up her skirt and his mouth on hers, holding on to his control by a thread as he slid her panties down her legs.
Right now he stared at her as though she was just another freak who’d showed up at a crime scene.
Rage dissolved into fear, leaving her desperate. “You have to help me, Cole. Help me get him out of this.”
Cole’s look thawed a degree, but his mouth stayed in a straight, bitter line. “I don’t know what to tell you. Sean’s in big trouble.”
“No! There has to be something you can do.”
He shook his head. “You really want my advice? Get a damn good lawyer.”
She went numb.
Cole looked over her head and spoke to someone behind her. “Get her out of here.”
“Come on, miss, let’s get you home.” Male hands gripped her arms, pulling her toward the street as the man she loved turned his back and walked away.
Excerpted from Beg for Mercy by Alden, Jami Copyright © 2011 by Alden, Jami. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
## This book is outstanding! I read another book by Ms. Alden "Unleashed" and loved it, so I thought I'd try this one. I'm so glad I did. What a terrific read. I couldn't put it down (so worth my sleepless night). Superbly written, it had mystery, intrigue, suspense, romance and sex, all wrapped in one. The heroine was incredible. She didn't give up no matter what, which was so inspiring. Nice job Ms. Alden.
Megan Flynn knew Sean, her ex-Army Ranger brother did not kill that woman even though the State of Washington was ready to put him to death for it. She has never stopped looking for answers and going over every detail available and still she finds that will alter her opinion that he was framed. Sean has given up but Megan moves on with her search and fate finds her face-to-face with the man she thought she loved Cole Williams. The problem with that man turned out to be a relationship breaker when Cole was the officer that arrested him and never changed his mind about what happened. However, a new set of serial murders that have too many similarities to Sean's case have alarms going off in everyone's head even Cole's. Cole is still not sure he believes Sean is innocent but once he starts to question himself he cannot walk away from Megan or the case. He lets his feelings for Megan compromise his duty as a by the book police officer and they both find themselves searching for answers without any support except each other. Megan is able to stumble upon some overlooked pieces of evidence and soon discovers that the serial killer not only knows Megan he sees her as his salvation. Megan chases through doors that lead nowhere and avenues that keep closing off but with Cole running alongside her things move faster but are they moving in the right direction or could they still be chasing ghosts? With time running out, the serial killer getting close and Megan unable to hold back her true feelings from Cole any longer what started as a small fire too soon becomes an eternal flame. Megan has to trust Cole but can she let herself completely forget the past and run into the arms of her future? What an amazing plot Ms. Alden has written here, not only unique but to close to reality. You are drawn to the story, intoxicated by the clues and rooting for Cole and Megan. I am a person who reads the last chapter first but not this time because I wanted to be surprised and shocked is a better word to use this time which makes for a scream when you read it discovery.
A mystery that keeps you engaged with well written characters and s plot that wasn't to predictable. The heroine is smart and mature, there was believeable romance, and danger and suspense that will keep you turning the pages.
Years ago, Megan's brother was arrested for murder. All the while, Megan believes he is innocent, and becomes an advocate to find the real killer. She refuses to give up, or to think he could be guilty. And now, Megan is brought face to face with Cole, the man she thought she loved, and the man who'd made the arrest. With conflicted feelings, Megan finds herself in the midst of trouble, and Cole can't stay away from her. A murderer is on the loose. Tension in the city if high. In this new case, Megan wonders if this will be the case that catches the real killer, and proves her brother's innocence. Not afraid to get her hands dirty, Megan dives in and begins her own sleuthing. The author created such a persistent, stubborn character in Megan. She's not the kind of woman who backs down, even when danger stares her right in the eye. With Cole back in her life, Megan hopes to find out the truth. The conflict set up between the couple sets the stage for an suspenseful romance. Indeed it was. Detective Cole Williams' career is on the line. With such an personal interest in the case, the police force questions his capabilities of handling this case. Torn between the feelings he still has for Megan and doing his job without conflict, Cole finds himself in some predicaments. But with the killer having an interest in Megan, he can't just walk away from her now. Beg For Mercy is a chilling suspenseful read that literally had me biting my nails in anticipation. The characters are memorable and the action kept the pages turning. Along with the suspense, this book also pulls on the emotions of the reader with Megan and Cole's fiery past, and the arrest that tore them apart. If you enjoy heart-stopping romantic suspense that sizzles the pages, a hero and heroine with a romantic past that have a second chance, then this is a book not to be missed. Originally posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
I loved the story...It kept me interested the whole time and with no repeating. Some books you think "I wish they would move on" or "get to the point". This book was not like that. I have just now started the second book in the series and this one is the same so far. Good series to read!
Great book. Could not put it down. It has been a long time since I have read book 1 in a series and actually WANTED to read book 2. Can't wait to get into book 2. Oh, P.S. it has a little 35 1/2 Shades of Grey in it with regard to the love story part that I really didn't think it needed, but understand why the author put it in there. The murders were graohic, but that was part of the story.
Megan and Cole once had a relationship with promise, but that all came crashing down when Cole arrested Megan's brother for murder. Megan is the only one who thinks he's innocent. A few years later, her brother is on death row, and has given up. Megan's now on a race against the clock to turn up any evidence to get the case reexamined, or her only family will be gone. What she wasn't expecting was to land smack in the middle of Cole's new case, or realize she still has feelings for him. I've never read anything by Alden before, but I will not even hesitate to buy future books. Well-written, fast-paced, and chock full of conflict---this was hard to put down. The romance was realistic and the characters three-dimensional. Best of all, there wasn't a tidy bow wrapped at the end. The insight and POV of the brother added sustenance. What this book boiled down to was faith. Faith in oneself, the person we fall in love with, and that good will prevail in the end. Recommended!
First book I have read by this author and loved it.. It had it all - large body count - sick twisted killer - an innocent brother on death row whose sister would go to any lengths to prove his innocence even putting her own life in jeopardy. A hunky homicide detective with whom the heroin has an unresolved past with.. Books ends with the perfect setup for the next book in the series - about the brother who is now free and the prosecuting attorney who put him behind bars.
Wow. Fast paced great read. I can't wait to start the next one. You will fall in love with the characters. I'm glad Jami Alden is going to continue with the other characters.