A thrilling, white-hot second-chance romance duet from USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise…
Exclusive Excerpt #1
BOOK #1: Under the Lights
by Tia Louise
(c) TLM Productions LLC, 2017
Chapter 1: “Survival is an inside job.” -Anonymous
The first thing I see is the gun on the floor.
Fear tightens my neck, and I’m frozen in the doorway. My backpack slides from my shoulder down my arm as ice trickles down into my veins. The room smells like the fourth of July, firecrackers mixed with the musty odor of smoke and damp.
The air barely moves in New Orleans at this time of year.
The dog days.
“Uncle Rick?” My voice is low and even.
My closest relative, a man I barely know, is hunched in the fetal position on the couch. Eyes closed, both his hands are between his knees, and his lips have disappeared between his teeth.
He could be sleeping, napping while watching a television show. Only the screen is black, and he’s not responding.
Fuck. The ice in my veins melts into panic. My eyes dart around the room assessing the scene. Drawers open. Papers spread across the hardwood floor. The corner of the rug is curled under… Signs of a struggle?
I should slowly leave the room, go downstairs, and call 911 to report a crime.
I swallow the fear and pick my way forward, across the small apartment to where my few possessions are stashed. I’ve been in here less than a week, long enough to grow suspicious of his late-night errands, the jerk of surprise when the phone rings after hours, the presence of a .44 Magnum at the dinner table.
Uncle Rick was annoyed when I showed up on his doorstep last week, looking for a place to crash. My plan was to come here, study hard, and get into the police academy.
“You can crash until you’ve found a place to live,” he growled. “By the end of the week.”
He was my father’s only sibling, and I’d taken a gamble coming here. Then, when he found out my plans, he was even more pissed.
He’d say, “Why the fuck you wanna be a pig?”
Or he’d say I was “part of the problem.”
Naturally, I disagree.
“I want to fight crime, find men like the ones who ruined my dad and bring them to justice,” I’d say.
The ones who run the off-track betting rings. The ones who own the prostitutes. The ones who take everything men have and ruin them.
I want to be a hero.
He said I was a fool.
Now who’s the fool…
My eyes fix on the handgun on the floor. Don’t touch anything.
Covering my hand with my sleeve, I open the closet door and scoop my few hanging clothes off the rack. A fatigue-green army-surplus bag is in the corner. I shove my extra pair of boots, shirts, underwear… everything I brought with me in it, then I do my best to retrace my steps to the door…
* * *
BOOK #1: UNDER THE LIGHTS is coming Jan. 8, 2018!
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BOOK #2: UNDER THE STARS is coming Jan. 22, 2018!
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SEE the Inspiration Board for the duet on Pinterest: https://goo.gl/1L8F4n
* * *
UNDER THE LIGHTS
Heroes don’t last long around here…
Fall in love with the sexiest girl in New Orleans?
Prepare to die for her?
Larissa Hale is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.
She’s the rising star of the Pussycat Angels, the hottest burlesque show in the French Quarter.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw her.
The curve of her breasts outlined by sparkling rhinestones.
Slim hips wrapped in black fishnets.
Long, dark hair…
She’s the Dark Angel who stole my heart.
Her body is intoxicating, our love overwhelming.
Cat eyes and blood red lips.
Sizzling lips on white-hot skin.
I couldn’t keep my hands off her…
But her fame had a dark side,
A sinister shadow lurking under the lights.
I would do anything to save her…
He would do anything to see me dead.
Coming Jan. 8, 2018!
* * *
UNDER THE STARS
All around us was darkness and night…
I’m not a hero. I’m a survivor.
I had one way out, and I took it.
Now all I want is peace,
A place to pick up the pieces and start over.
But she wants justice.
Names on a list, strangers in the crowd.
I vowed to help her, but helping her brings us face to face with the demons.
Until Mark appears.
I thought he died in the fight.
I was wrong.
Stronger, more powerful…
Sexier, and more dangerous.
The boy I loved is now the man we have to fear the most.
When he tried to save me, he had no power.
Now he carries a gun, and he won’t stop until I’m his.
Coming Jan. 22, 2018!