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Series: Relek City, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Superhero Romance
Publication Date: April, 2015 (Re-released October 18, 2016)
From now till Nov. 14, 2016, get Vigilante Mine for $0.99 only!
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Internal Affairs be damned, Detective Amanda Werner’s ditching protocol to hunt the vigilante whose bullet landed her on the bench. But this is no vendetta. Evidence suggests he’s the zealot offing corrupt public officials–the same zealot who’s promised to set the city ablaze by week’s end–and she’ll risk her career and her life to save her hometown. Too bad she can’t find anything stronger than Kevlar to guard her heart against her primary suspect: a masked man with a telepathic German shepherd, unstable supernatural hearing, and lips that invite a whole different brand of investigation.
All businessman Ryan McLelas, a.k.a. Klepto, wants is redemption. But even if Amanda could forgive his itchy trigger finger, Ryan still has to convince her that his alter ego’s no serial killer. No small task, with syndicate-paid police officers turning up among the dead. He’d better keep his own syndicate ties close to his chest and Amanda even closer, because if Klepto is unmasked while he’s hunting the real killer, their passionate affair could mark Amanda as the next dirty cop on the hit list.
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Ryan McLelas was no superhero. Sure, the alter ego he shared with his brothers wore a mask and used a different name—Klepto—to hide their true identities, and they had each been gifted with certain . . . abilities. But Klepto hid in the shadows, cutting deals with crime syndicates. For all that it meant keeping the peace in Relek City’s streets, after dark, the McLelas family stood on the wrong side of the law.
Tonight’s stakeout only served as more proof.
What hero would bring a bag of cash to slip to some drug lord’s courier?
A late courier, at that. Ryan worked off a glove and rubbed his aching temples with chilled fingers.
How long will you give him? I’m hungry, Romeo whined over their telepathic link. The German shepherd rolled a loose block of pavement into an overflowing puddle.
“If it wouldn’t trash the ceasefire, I’d let you eat Captain Punctual.” He burrowed his bare hand into the damp, thick ruff of Romeo’s neck. “We wait.”
His inhumanly-sensitive ears were already tuned to a wide perimeter, seeking footsteps, raised voices, anything out of the ordinary. “I’ll keep an ear or two open, yes.”
He’d be a fool not to. Everything about this rendezvous set Ryan’s nerves on edge. Blaine had rushed the exchange, offered the schedules and manifests for upcoming port shipments too readily, insisted on a courier instead of coming himself. He’d been too urgent in his need for cash. The meet was set at the border of another syndicate’s territory. Dull yellow squares and dots, Shaw Family’s marks, were spray-painted on a wall not far away, and Blaine’s “8’s” decorated the opposite side of the road. A few steps in the wrong direction, not to mention an unsanctioned trade done on the wrong side of syndicate lines, would bring trouble.
Worse still, after a rain, those lines blurred. The whole damned alley reeked of sushi and visibility was minimal, steam curling up from the pavement.
He opened his mouth to send Romeo on a patrol when his supercharged ears finally caught something new: the crystalline hiss of shattering glass. A slurred series of curses followed, and then weaving footsteps. Only one pair. A drunk, perhaps. Still not—
“Klepto! Bet your sister’s gotta pay the johns t’get some action,” came a slurred greeting from down the street. Footsteps staggered closer. “Where are ya?”
The courier. Ryan sucked in an irritated breath. Better drunk than dead. Now, to keep him that way until the trade was done and Blaine had his money. Ruthlessly, he smothered the concern. His father had never failed to keep the syndicates from each other’s throats. Behind the same mask, Ryan wouldn’t either.
As if the universe heard—and laughed—his ears caught static from a distant police radio.
He ground his teeth. Police interference wasn’t any more an option than a dead courier.
As the courier came into view, Romeo shifted on his haunches. Muted lamplight gleamed in ribbons over his black fur. He’s on the right side of the border.
Make sure it stays that way, Ryan sent back through the link. Klepto’s persona came with a wealth of arrogance, and he embraced it, burying his doubt as he stalked forward. All teeth, Romeo edged out beside him.
“Cops are close,” Ryan growled. “Make this quick.”
“Don’t be rushin’ me, Klepto.” Soaked by the earlier downpour, the courier huddled in an oversized coat that likely hid multiple knives, as well as a gun. The smell of alcohol-borne courage tangled with the lingering odor of fish carcasses. He sneered. “Cash.”
Ryan crossed his arms, dangling a duffel bag from his fingers. “The information better be dry.”
A small device sealed in plastic sailed through the air and smacked the toe of one of his combat boots. He summoned Romeo to check it and kept his gaze fixed on the courier. Would booze make him belligerent enough to pull a weapon on Klepto? Stupid enough to try to walk away with both the information and the cash? Both? Ryan flexed his hands, feeling the promise of adrenaline.
Micro USB, Romeo confirmed. Water-proofed.
Ryan sent approval through their mental connection. If the shipping data’s not all there, we’ll make a quiet return visit. Once the ceasefire was secure.
Romeo’s bared teeth flashed wider.
About Cera Daniels
Cera Daniels writes paranormal, science fiction, and steampunk romance. Sexy superheroes. Delicious shifters. Infernal machines. Sometimes behind the same cover. Her heroes are broken and often on the wrong side of good, their worlds are crumbling, but the love her characters find in all that chaos stands on an unshakable foundation.
She hails from South Carolina with her own superhero husband, daughter, and three cats who don’t think they’re cats at all. Life is especially good in her world when there’s Game of Thrones, Shadowrun and board games, chocolate coffee, and an overabundance of yarn on tap.
Visit the Official Cera Daniels Website:
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