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What do you get when you mix a mad scientist, a psychopath, an ice cream lady and a repo man? Something perfectly toxic…
Melanie Scarlet is a knife-wielding badass who knows how to dispose of a body, and make evidence disappear. But Mel, a.k.a., the Ice Cream Lady, draws the line at one thing: she refuses to live with her husband, Cash Maddox, unless he quits the repo business that nearly got him killed—no matter how much she loves him.
To thaw Mel’s heart and convince her to leave the Everglades and move back home to Tallahassee, Cash is finally ready to retire from his adrenaline-fueled job…until homeless men begin vanishing. As Mel investigates the disappearances, Cash’s temper goes into overdrive when he realizes his wife has been keeping a dangerous secret from him. She’s been doing more than scooping ice cream—she’s a cleaner for the underground criminal investigation agency, Above the Law.
Mel isn’t the only one with a secret. A scientist has created a drug that will cure psychopaths by deadening the urge to dominate, hurt and murder. To prove his chemical combination works, he uses the homeless as test subjects. He breaks and scrambles their minds, turns them into killers, then tries to fix them. But what if the scientist creates a killer he can’t fix? A true psychopath he can’t control? As Cash joins Mel and the ATL crew, they learn firsthand, the results could be…toxic.
“You’re seriously not staying here?” Since she’d left him, there hadn’t been a time that she hadn’t stayed with him when she’d returned to Tallahassee. And those times had been great, until the topic of their marriage and his job had come into play. Then they’d fight, she’d leave and they wouldn’t speak for weeks. A vicious cycle, but one he’d become familiar with—until now. She was changing things up on him, and he didn’t know how to react. He did, but his therapist would likely have a frickin’ stroke.
“Well, you’re seriously not going to change and I seriously want a divorce. So, yeah. I think it’s best if I stay at a hotel.”
He pulled her close. “Stay with me.”
Her gaze dropped to his mouth. “No.”
He pressed his body against hers and slid his hand along her rear. “Give me a few days.”
“I’ve given you two years,” she said, breathless, her gaze shifting from his mouth to his eyes.
She had him there, and he had nothing to counter her argument. She had given him two years, and he arrogantly figured she’d eventually come back to him.
“You’re right,” he said honestly.
He nodded and walked her backward. “I don’t want a divorce, but we can’t keep going on the way we’ve been.” He pressed her against the foyer wall. “Give me the time you’re here to prove we can make this work.”
“I’m here to find Bobby, not deal with our marriage.”
“I know, baby. We’ll find him. I promise. I’ve already put word out on the street that we’re looking for him.” He leaned closer. “Just give us a chance.”
Her eyes filled with tears again. “I can’t keep doing this. It hurts too much.”
Knowing he was hurting her left him hollow and shameful. “I’m sorry.”
She punched him in the arm. “You’ve said you’re sorry more times than I can count. Do something about it.”
He kissed her.
She pushed him away. “Not with sex.”
“That’s right. You have your period.”
“And I just want to kiss you.”
She stared at him, her eyes unreadable. “Sometimes I hate you,” she said, then shoved her hands through his hair and captured his lips.
His therapist would tell him to end the kiss, that they weren’t solving anything, only prolonging the hurt. His therapist could go fuck himself. He had his woman in his arms and she was kissing him. Running her hands through his hair in that possessive way he loved. Pressing her breasts against his chest as if she couldn’t get close enough. Skimming her tongue along his in a way that him hard and ready.
The damned horn beeped again. Mel tore her mouth away from his, then gave him a push. “I’m leaving.”
Kristine Mason is the bestselling author of the popular romantic suspense trilogies, C.O.R.E. Shadow and Ultimate C.O.R.E. She is currently working on her next trilogy, C.O.R.E. Above the Law, along with a series of Psychic C.O.R.E. novellas.
Although Kristine has published a few contemporary romance novels, she focuses most of her energy on her romantic suspense stories, which she loves for their blend of dark mystery/suspense and sexy romance. She is fascinated with what makes people afraid, and is famous for her depraved villains whose crimes present massive obstacles for her heroes and heroines to overcome.
Kristine has a degree in journalism from Ohio State University and lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, four kids, and two dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s chauffeuring kids, gardening, or collecting gnomes. Oh, and she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie!
Connect with Kristine on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kristinemasonauthor, Twitter https://twitter.com/KristineMason7 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more about Kristine’s books at http://www.kristinemason.net