Bleeding Hearts (Book #1)
by Dana Louise Provo
Publication Date: August 25, 2016
Publisher: Clean Reads
Red roses, a reminder of her parents' killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.
Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?
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With his free hand, he brushed my cheekbone. The pounding of my heart against my ribs faltered when he bent down. His lips were inches from mine, his hand slid to the back of my neck.
I nearly dropped the bouquet on the floor.
Without any hesitation, I fell into his arms, pressing my lips against his. He held me close and kissed me softly. My heart hammered in my chest as I wrapped my arm around his neck. A thud sounded as he flattened me against the door and we continued to kiss. I had never experienced this level of passion before. Carson was firm, but gentle, urgent, yet slow and persistent, all at once. Whatever his lips asked of me, they were welcomed to.
When he pulled away, our breathing was ragged and sharp. I lowered my arms to my sides, closing my eyes. He took the opportunity to place a gentle kiss on my forehead.
The silky voice of a man on his cell caught my attention. He was tall and debonair in his crisp, black suit with a red tie. I was drawn to him. The slight bend in his nose and his brown hair that reached his shoulders complemented his dark and wild eyes that seemed to hold a heavy secret.
He ended his call and tucked his cell into his pocket then turned to me. "It's quite a sight out here," he said, my ears melting to hear more of his velvety voice.
"Yes, it is. It's beautiful, but cold." I wrapped my arms around myself and hugged my torso.
"Are you waiting for the bus?" he asked. His hands were tucked in his black slacks, keeping warm from the bitter wind.
"I suppose so. To be honest, I don't think they are out tonight."
"Oh," he said, taking a few steps closer.
I felt the heat radiating off his body as he approached. My nose was in heaven as I caught the bold cologne he was wearing. It was just the right mix of musky and sweet. Even though I didn’t know his name, I was attracted to him and that scared me.
"I don’t mean to pry, but do you need a ride to wherever you are headed?" he asked, flashing a smile.
"Oh, um, I was just heading home. It's not too far. I can just walk." I looked up at him, then back at the heavy snowfall and mentally groaned.
"Let me take you home. I have a car. A woman like you shouldn’t be walking home alone at night, especially in this weather."
My arm trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms shake as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn't move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us.
We’re at a stalemate.
A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I'm another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind.
Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off.
“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it's no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now.
"Why are you doing this?" I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I'm wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong.
"It'll be over soon, sweetheart." His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs.
"Ms. Lucks, may we call you Camryn?" Detective Palmer asks as he reclaims his seat across from me next to Officer Bain.
"Cami. I prefer Cami," I say.
"Okay, Cami it is. Please tell us what happened tonight." Detective Palmer picks up the pen on his clipboard, ready to record my story.
"I don’t know how he got into my apartment," I say.
"Do you know who he is? His name?" Officer Bain asks.
Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.
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