A Flare of Heat
Hey everyone! Today I have an excerpt from Flare of Heat by Nicola Claire! I've read books from Nicola before, and they were beyond awesome - so I have great hopes for this book! Hope you enjoy!There are times when I truly believe humanity will not survive.
Some of the last words spoken to Detective Lara Keen by her Criminal Investigations Bureau partner Carl Forrester before he died. They have haunted her ever since.
With a spate of murders to solve, a tip off about suspicious activities in a popular sex club, and the return into her life of the one man she never wanted to trust again, Lara's world becomes darker and much more sinister indeed. Having to rely on HEAT, Hauraki Emergency Assistance Team, Chief Investigator Damon Michaels in order to discover the reason behind a grisly body in a car boot fire just proves how disturbing Lara's life has become... on so many levels.
But with Carl's wise words in her head and a gut instinct many detectives would long to have, Lara is determined to join the dots before the killer strikes again. And if she has to get up close and personal with her new hot HEAT partner to achieve that? Well, that's just what good detectives do.
A sexy, sizzling crime-thriller sure to add a flare of heat to your night.
A Problem With HEAT...
"So, what's next?" Damon asked, bringing me back from the moment and probably a good a thing too. I may have been able to stand Pierce talking about Carl, but left any longer my mind would always fuck it up with dark memories I should have filed a long time ago now.
"Next," I said, starting the car and pulling away from the curb, "is you telling me what the hell is going on at HEAT."
"We've been over this," he said with strained care.
"And I let you have your little moment to work out on your own that it would be better to share this with your partner than try to handle it alone, and then you went all territorial at an arson scene and blew your chance."
"Why do you insist on there being a problem at HEAT anyway?"
"Gee, let me see," I said sarcastically. "Could be that I'm a police detective with a pretty good bullshit meter." He snorted. "And you have a tell when you're trying to hide something."
"A tell?" He sounded distraught over that fact. "What tell?"
"That would be ill advised to disclose. It's still useful for me to keep that information close to my chest."
I could feel his eyes slide down my body to rest on said chest. I refused to squirm in my seat.
"Also," I added. "You were a little too eager to team up with me, and as I have already pointed out, I am sure that's because you want something."
"That makes no sense at all," he argued. "If I wanted something, then why would I be keeping a secret about HEAT?"
"Because you're a slippery bugger and like fucking with me."
He burst out laughing, big, full body shudders through his entire frame. I waited for the shaking to subside a little, then went on.
"We've established that it's not me you want."
"Yes, it is."
"So," I said, ignoring that last statement, "it's what I can do for you."
"You could do a hell of a lot for me, I'm sure." He was doing this on purpose, trying to deflect with sexual innuendo. "But all that would take is you spending a night in my bed."
"Wow, one night. How can I resist?"
"Oh, one night to start. Then we'd see about what comes next."
"So, I'd have to pass a test to get more than one night in your bed, is that right?"
Hold on, what were we talking about?
"Or one night at Zero Gravity, playing the part of my sub."
And the world stopped on its axis while Damon managed again to turn the topic to something else. Something he knew damn well I couldn't ignore. The sexual innuendos alone weren't doing it, at least not well enough, so he had to bring in the big guns. My case, and his assistance in getting into the back rooms at the clubs.
"You've got the invite," I said, stunned he'd managed to organise something so quickly.
"I thought time was of the essence and the chance to attend one of their masquerades came up."
"Your young lad up on Karangahape Road said they were expecting you. If he just meant the Police, then it's not much of a problem. But if the club's expecting you, Lara Keen, Detective at Auckland CIB, then we do have a problem. The only way to circumnavigate that hurdle in a timely fashion is to attend one of their mystique nights."
"Mystique nights?" I asked, stunned at his familiarity with this scene. A scene I was investigating. A scene he had never hinted at when we'd dated all those months ago.
Did I even know this man?
"Yes, mystique. Everyone wears a facial mask to hide their identity. It heightens the illicit, makes for an intriguing and irresistible opportunity for some; fucking someone you can't really see."
Well, that was putting it bluntly.
"Who said anything about fucking?" I blurted, brain and mouth filter malfunctioning.
Damon chuckled. "Lara, you really can't be that naive."
My hands gripped the steering wheel, but I had to say it.
"Not every proposition has to be accepted, you said so yourself. We can just watch."
"Sweetheart," - another tell, this time when Damon was being facetious - "do you really think that I'd finally get you into a sex club and not plan to have my wicked way with you?"
I smiled, I was sure it wasn't pretty.
"You come within one foot of me with any part of your body not appropriate for public viewing, and I'll chop the fucking thing off."
Due out March 14, 2014.
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