Will Tessa find the killer before another person falls victim to him?
Deceitful, an all-new fantasy romance full of suspense from USA Today bestselling author Cora Reilly writing as C. Reilly is available now!
When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, a young woman with special powers might be the only person able to stop him. As part of a secret branch of the FBI, Tessa is sent on a mission to impersonate Madison, a local teen and the last victim of the brutal attacker, to find the killer before he strikes again.
As if absorbing the DNA of someone else and pretending to be them wasn’t hard enough, Alec, the guy she’s been in love with for years, is joining her on the dangerous mission. Tessa knows she can’t let her feelings for him get in the way, especially as her crush seems hopeless. Not only is Alec her self-defence teacher but he’s also taken. If only the attraction between them would stop complicating everything!
Will Tessa find the killer before another person falls victim to him? Or will she lose herself in a life she’s always longed for but never had?
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Alec was practicing high-kicks on one of the bags. I stopped short in the doorway. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, only black training pants. His muscles tensed with every kick and the artificial light of the halogen lamps made his skin look golden. A large black dragon tattoo covered his right shoulder, hiding the scar he got as a small boy. He’d fallen through a banister, down two floors, after his parents had abandoned him in a crowded mall the day before Christmas. He shouldn’t have survived the fall, but his Variation saved him. Alec always said his Variation helped him cheat death but the FEA helped him survive. He had more scars scattered across his body, from missions I had been too inexperienced to join—until now.
Without looking over at me, he said, “You’re two minutes late.” He did another kick before he turned around.
His eyes immediately dropped to read the words on my chest. Warmth crawled up my neck and I promised myself I’d thank Holly later.
He tore his gaze away from my breasts and looked at my face, showing not a hint of embarrassment. “Nice shirt,” he said dryly. “Oh, and twenty push-ups for being late.”
My smile faded. I walked up to him, trying my best not to openly admire the display of muscles on his chest. “Oh come on, Alec. Don’t act all high and mighty. You’re not Major.”
His gray eyes held mine, his expression hard. “Thirty push-ups, Tess.” His voice was strained.
Every time he used that nickname, I wanted to bury my nose in his neck and let him hold me. Many years ago, my mom had called me that. Back when she’d still cared for me, maybe even loved me.
I got down on my knees and supported my weight with my arms. The first few push-ups were okay, the following ones not as much, and by the time I reached number twenty my arms began to quiver.
“You should work out more often. Your arm muscles are almost nonexistent.”
What the hell. Was he trying to be funny? My arms weren’t that bad. Not everyone could be as strong and muscley as Alec. Actually, nobody was.
“Shut up,” I retorted.
I pushed myself up again. Only ten more to go. The mat beneath my body was the same pale green as the hospital gown Madison wore. A vivid image of her frail body flashed before my eyes. My arms gave way and my face hit the mat. The faint smell of feet and sweat crawled into my nose.
“Tess?” Alec put a warm hand on my shoulder. His voice was colored with worry.
He sat down beside me and silence settled around us. “Do you want to talk about it?” Suddenly, I wanted to talk to him, wanted to tell him everything—much more than my thoughts about Madison.
Cora Reilly is the author of the Born in Blood Mafia Series, The Camorra Chronicles and many other books, most of them featuring dangerously sexy bad boys. Before she found her passion in romance books, she was a traditionally published author of young adult literature.
Cora lives in Germany with a cute but crazy Bearded Collie, as well as the cute but crazy man at her side. When she doesn’t spend her days dreaming up sexy books, she plans her next travel adventure or cooks too spicy dishes from all over the world.
Despite her law degree, Cora prefers to talk books to laws any day.
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