Cold-blooded murder and hot-blooded passion... Memphis homicide detective Tony Costa's life is twisted with both. A killer is stalking prey in the bitter winter nights leaving a trail of victims with hauntingly familiar features. The blond-haired, blue-eyed young men resemble the vice cop whose bed he secretly shares. Afraid of revealing his secret to the world, he may be too late to tell the one person who matters. Ryan Nilsson wants more than a friend with benefits. Out about his sexuality since high school, Ryan doesn't like hiding his relationship with Tony, but he's not willing to end it. Asked to work with Tony on a series of murders, things heat up and not always in a good way. When an old lover resurfaces during the investigation, Ryan makes a decision that may be his last.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Hidden Force by Shayla Kersten
The young man groaned as his brutalized flesh hit the icy pavement. His mind cried out for help but his raw throat wouldn't let sound form.
Screeching tires and the smell of burning rubber haunted his senses. His swollen eyes couldn't open enough to see the fleeing car.
Relief spread through him for a brief moment. His tormentor was gone. But relief passed into despair. Alone, naked against the freezing concrete, his pain faded into the long shadows of the night.
* * * * *
Memphis homicide detective Tony Costa stood in the chill early morning air. His breath hung over the dead, naked form of a young blond man. Vacant blue eyes accused and challenged him.
"Tony!" Jeff Payton's voice cut through the murmur of the crowd gathering at the end of the alley.
Tony turned and watched as his partner ducked under the yellow tape across the narrow entrance. The tall black man strode down the middle of the alley with the crime scene team following in his wake.
"Another one." Tony turned back to the pale, still form. The cloudy January morning sky filtered a dull gray light that matched his mood. A light flurry of snow swirled around the young man's body adding insult to injury.
Jeff's footsteps stopped next to him.
"Just like the last two." The last two similar deaths left an ache in Tony's stomach he couldn't shake.
One of the crime scene investigators motioned Jeff and Tony out of the way.
The snap and whirl of the camera startled Tony out of his reverie. "We need to follow up at the Paradiso where the other two were seen."
The gay bar where someone was picking up young blond men then killing them.
* * * * *
Ryan Nilsson flipped the water tap to off then yanked the shower curtain open. As he stepped out, steam swirled and curled around his dripping body. Using a corner of his towel, he wiped the fog from the mirror. The squeaking sound of the terrycloth on the wet glass nearly drowned the sound of his apartment door clicking shut.
He grabbed his robe from the hook. Wrapping the thick, warm cloth around his damp body, he eased the bathroom door open. His instincts warned him to be cautious but his mind reminded him that only one person had access to his apartment.
"Ryan," Tony's deep voice boomed down the hall.
"In the bathroom." Ryan pushed the door shut before the cold draft entered his warm domain.
Urgent footsteps clattered down wooden floor of the hallway. With only the short warning click of the latch, the door pushed in.
"Wha--" Ryan didn't have time to finish his words before Tony's hard body knocked him against the wall. The door slammed shut. Rough lips covered his. Shaking fingers tore at the belt of his robe then pulled away the warm material.
Tony's long coat carried the chill of the early Memphis morning. Scratchy wool pressed against his skin. Cold hands slid up Ryan's back and pulled him into a tight embrace.
Desperate need in Tony's eyes kept Ryan from pushing him away or asking any questions.
The thrill of Tony's rough desire sent heat scorching through him. His cock responded with record speed. An ache of longing clutched at his throat as his balls tightened in surprised anticipation.
Although they'd been lovers for over a year, Tony rarely instigated sex. And those few times his courage had come from several bottles of beer. In what Ryan thought was denial over his attraction to a man Tony just let things happen. But right now...
A calloused hand slid over his waist then down his stomach. Fingers combed through his damp pubic hair then clutched his cock. Lips kissed a moist line down his jaw to the curve where his neck met his shoulder.
A shudder of excitement raced through Ryan. His hands slid around Tony's neck and held him tight. His lover's clean, cold scent added to the rush of pleasure.
Ryan almost missed the words whispered against his skin. "You have me." He kissed the side of Tony's throat. "What are you going to do with me?"