—Roni Loren, New York Times bestselling author of the Loving on the Edge series
The first thrilling installment in Joely Sue Burkhart's darkly erotic A Killer Need series tells the story of a couple bound together by their deepest, most wicked desires
Her needs are dark. His are dangerous.
Charlie MacNiall has been bringing his beautiful king shepherd to the vet clinic where Ranay Killian works for the better part of a year. She doesn't realize he's been slowly wooing her. She certainly has no idea that he picked her deliberately—that he's already decided she is to become his. A broken heart and a desperate desire to be dominated make her want to fall to her knees for him, right there in the office.
Charlie fixes Ranay, testing her emotional limits while pushing her sexual boundaries past anything she'd imagined possible. Pain is their shared pleasure…until Charlie disappears and Ranay is all but destroyed.
The FBI says the man she loves is a serial killer. Ranay can't deny there's a darkness in Charlie, a monstrous hunger that drives him to the brink. She even believes he could kill. But Charlie's hunger is what bonds them—it's the foundation of their love. Ranay might be the only one able to keep him from surrendering to his forbidden urges.
About the Author
Find her online at joelysueburkhart.com, twitter.com/joelysue, or facebook.com/joely.s.burkhart.
Read an Excerpt
I must have drifted to sleep. Something thudded in the distance. I tried to open my eyes, but it was like swimming through quicksand. My body wouldn't respond, even though I was awake. At least, I think I'm awake.
"So where were you tonight, Mr. MacNiall?"
Thud thud thud. That was the deputy again. I thought he was done with questioning.
"I was flying home from St. Paul. If you check Ranay's phone, you'll see that I texted her around 8 p.m. that I was on my way to the airport. Once I landed in Springfield, I saw her text that the alarm had gone off and I shut it off."
"So you don't have a monitoring company."
"No. This is a DIY system I put in myself."
"Oh, that's right. You said you were doing this kind of work on the side. What's your main job?"
Thud, thud. "I'm with Doctors Without Borders. I'm not a doctor, but I provide support for the team as needed."
"So you're gone a lot. Out of the country, even."
"Quite often, yes. That's why security on the house is so important to me."
Thud, thud, thud. What were they doing? It sounded like a coffin getting nailed shut. I strained to lift my head to see, but a thousand pounds of bricks lay on top of me. At least my arm was starting to tingle.
"Why were you in St. Paul?"
Thud. "St. Paul wasn't my original destination." Thud. "I started in New York. Had a meeting there two days ago with the team about our next trip. On a whim, I decided to fly through St. Paul and try to catch up with an old friend, but I missed him. He was out of town for the holiday."
Thud. My head was going to explode with all that pounding. Why was it so hard to breathe? I couldn't seem to inflate my lungs all the way.
"I forgot to ask earlierdo you have a video feed that might have captured anything?"
"The cameras are outside, and only start capturing video once the alarm's triggered. We can check, but I'm guessing all we got was the back of the guy's head as he ran away. The panel's in the bedroom. Hold on a second." The door creaked open and Charlie called softly, "Ranay?"
I tried to answer, but all I could do was wiggle my fingers. Had someone drugged me? I'd never felt like this before. Sweat beaded on my forehead. I could feel it, but I couldn't make my body move.
"She must have fallen asleep. Here's the panel. Let me pull up the video feed for you and I'll check her."
The panel beeped several times and then the bed dipped. Charlie's fingers smoothed across my face. "Sheba, you big lazy slug. Move over and give her some room."
The massive weight crawled off my chest and I took a deep breath. I wanted to scream, to tell him how scared I was that I couldn't wake up, but the deputy was still here. Somehow he sensed my fear, because he scooped me up into his arms. His heart beat against my cheek, his hands so gentle and strong. "It's all right. Just wait it out."
"Anything wrong?" the deputy asked.
"I think she has sleep paralysis. Relax, kitten. I've got you. Give your body time to catch up with your mind."
"You're rightnot much to go on," the deputy said. "But when you get the chance, can you send us the feed? I'll leave you my card with an email address on it. I doubt it'll lead to anything but you never know."
"Sure, I'd be glad to. Thanks for helping me with the plywood. We'd freeze to death before we could get a repairman out here to fix the glass, with it being a holiday and all."
"No problem. If you think of anything else, just call. I'll see myself out, Mr. MacNiall."
The front door shut. Charlie rocked me, his heart so strong and steady beneath my cheek. His body heat soaked into me and muscle by muscle, I relaxed against him.
"There you go. Stop fighting to wake up. Your body needs restthat's why you can't wake up all the way. It was probably all that pounding that woke you."
He lay me down and spooned behind me, his body a shield against the outside world. With Sheba against my stomach, I was sandwiched between two blazing hot furnaces. No chill could penetrate me here. No danger.
"That's my girl," he whispered against my ear, his fingers stroking up and down my arm. "Go back to sleep. Rest. I'm here. Nothing's going to get through me tonight. If you wake up and I'm not here, don't be afraid. I'm going to check the property and see if anyone's around, but Sheba's here. I'll be back in a flash if anything shows up again, okay?"
I managed to make a soft humming sound this time. He didn't leave, not yet, his heat against my back. Between one breath and another, I slid into the void of heavy sleep.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I could totally see this as a movie. Very dark but very well told.
I will admit, one of my guilty pleasures is to read some of the darker side of BDSM. This one actually hit my cringe point. We have a masochistic sub – Ranay – who has no limits, and a sadistic Dom – Charlie – who has no stopping point. Yep the scenes got very intense. Expect to read graphic depictions of biting, knife play and some rather violent sex play. Yes, there was blood. The manger saving grace, they did talk about everything fairly thoroughly. He made sure she had a safe word and insisted that she use it. However, in spite of the cringe, this was an amazing story. The dynamic between Ranay and Charlie was really very special. They both were broken to some degree, but they really did work to help fix the each other, in their own uniquely kinky ways. It was really quite beautiful in a twisted sort of way. I appreciated how the characters were developed and evolved throughout the story. Then there was the plot! This was an awesome suspense thriller. I have read this author for several years and I have to say that she out did herself with One Cut Deeper. I could not put this down. Yep! Another all-nighter for me! When my daughter came by today, I spent the first hour she was here going on and on and on, in great detail, about this book. I won’t do that here, because I really don’t want to give you any spoilers. But OMG! The twists and turns. The surprises. The climatic ending. I had to keep reminding myself to breath. So, calling all Joely Sue Burkhart fans, you have to get this one. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, but are a fan of suspense thrillers with a splash (okay, maybe a lot more than a splash) of sadomasochism, than you might want to run out and get this too. I loved it. It is going on my worth-a-second-read list, and I really can’t wait for the next book. That could be quite interesting too. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Well I must say this is not for the faint of heart. It is dark and intense you are really drawn into the story. Two people with secrets and dark pasts come together, Charlie sees the submissive in Raney and Raney loves how Charlie dominates her. And then he disappears… Will Raney learn the truth? Will we? Great story, the characters are excellent. Loved It!