Friday, June 12, 2015

After Midnight and Cries in the Night (Denver Heroes #1 & 2) by Kathy Clark - Book Blast, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway

After Midnight and Cries in the Night
Denver Heroes # 1 & 2
By: Kathy Clark
Re-issued June 9, 2015

After Midnight: Denver Heroes # 1

Perfect for fans of Nora Roberts and Karen Robards, Kathy Clark’s suspenseful, seductive Denver Heroes series kicks off as a dedicated cop and a beautiful actress get wrapped up in a world of danger and desire.

Aside from the reporter riding along in the passenger seat of his cruiser, it’s a typical Saturday night on the job for Sam Morgan of the Denver Police Department. Then shots ring out, and a routine stop involving a pimp and a hooker spirals into senseless violence. Now Sam is lying in a hospital bed, haunted by fleeting memories of the stunning blonde who saved his life—and then just disappeared.

Kate McKinney was hired to play a prostitute on a reality-TV show, not stand around as actual bullets start flying. Unable to shake the feeling that trouble is stalking her, Kate turns to the only man she can trust: the wounded cop whose blue eyes send chills through her body. He doesn’t believe she was just playing a role, but the predator hiding in the shadows is all too real—and, as Sam and Kate edge closer to the truth, so is the heat that ignites between them.

Cries in the Night: Denver Heroes # 2
Fans of Nora Roberts and Karen Robards will love this pulse-pounding novel of romantic suspense, as a red-hot firefighter reaches out to save a courageous beauty from the terrors of the night.

As a victim’s advocate for the Denver Police Department, Julie Lawrence is always on call for survivors of abuse, fighting for the justice she never got for herself. It’s a high-risk job that makes a lot of enemies—one of whom seems to be now targeting Julie. But teaming up with firefighter and local hero Rusty Wilson sparks a different kind of danger. As Julie surrenders to intoxicating passion, she finds herself breaking her own rules, caring about Rusty in a way she thought she’d sworn off forever.

When a domestic incident escalates into a deadly hostage crisis, Rusty is willing to risk everything to protect those who really need his help—like Julie, the breath of fresh air who fills his days with purpose and his nights with pleasure. He just hopes he’s not too late to stop a chillingly orchestrated act of payback that puts the woman he loves at the mercy of a madman’s rage.

After Midnight: Denver Heroes # 1 
Cries in the Night: Denver Heroes # 2

“It’s not that I can’t do what I want. But with a father who has much higher ambitions, I can’t do anything that will screw up his career. You know how presidential candidates are vetted. He hasn’t been the best father in the world, but he’s a great governor and would be a really good president. I would hate myself if I did anything to distract from his personal and professional qualifications.”
“Okay, so that’s an added complication,” Sam agreed. “Let me see if I can work something out so that you can remain anonymous.”
“Do you think that’s possible?”
“I can’t make any promises, but I’ll do what I can.”
Kate visibly relaxed for the first time that evening. “That would be fantastic.”
Sam gave her a distracted smile. He wasn’t sure what the policy was, but it would be tricky to keep her identity confidential. Especially since it was widely suspected that she was a prostitute. Maybe he could use her fear for her personal safety as an excuse. He’d have to come up with a good excuse for that since Jameel was dead, and there wasn’t anyone else who would want to harm her.
But then there was the matter of who had actually hired her and why. It could all have been legitimate—the film crew could have gotten sidetracked or frightened off by the blood. Bottom line was, it wasn’t as straightforward as it had seemed.
He met her grateful gaze across the table. Minus the blond wig and slutty clothes, she looked much different than on that night. Long medium-brown hair with reddish-gold highlights fell softly around her shoulders. Soft translucent skin, a straight nose, and full red lips combined in a face that was undeniably beautiful. And her eyes that were that serene shade of turquoise were exactly the same. She had been flashy and hot before, but now she was very pretty . . . and still hot. She spoke intelligently and with a slight Texas drawl that he was finding particularly irresistible. His first impression of her was quickly being replaced by that of a strong, ambitious young woman who was trying to deal with an extraordinary event with grace and honesty.
Or he could be entirely wrong. A little detective work would prove it one way or the other, and he had plenty of time to follow through. But he wanted to keep her close until he discovered the truth.
“I’ve really got to be going,” she said, interrupting his thoughts. “I work the morning shift at the bookstore, and then I have another show tomorrow night.”
He picked up the check and waved away her halfhearted offer to pay her share. “No, this was almost official police business,” he assured her. He left enough to cover the check and a generous tip and followed her out of the restaurant.
The silence as they drove back to the parking lot where her car was parked was much more comfortable than earlier in the evening. They weren’t exactly in the chatty friend stage, but at least there wasn’t the confrontational suspicion that had hung in the air before.
He parked his Mustang next to her yellow SUV, but neither made a move to open their doors. He turned to her in the semidarkness. “Hey, I’m sorry about what I said in the hospital.”
She didn’t say anything, and he rushed to add, “You really were there, weren’t you?”
She nodded and smiled. “I forgive you. You were drugged out of your mind.”
“It made for some crazy dreams.”
“I wanted to make sure you were okay.” She hesitated a moment before continuing. “I really do feel responsible for all this.”
“You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We both were. But I’ll help you get through the process.”
“Thanks.” She reached for the door handle, and he hurried to get out and hold her door, although she was halfway out by the time he got around his car.
Kate already had her keys out of her purse and quickly unlocked her doors. Chivalrously he opened her driver’s-side door. Just before she climbed inside, she turned to him. “I just have to ask, how did you find me?”
Sam reached out and lifted the locket that hung between her breasts. The brush of his fingers against her bare skin sent unexpected tingles through her. Her startled gaze lifted to meet his. Gently, he ran his thumb over the gracefully engraved “K.”
“I started calling around to all the local theater companies and asked about a beautiful young actress whose name started with a ‘K.’ It only took a couple of hours before I found out there was a Kate McKinney meeting your description acting in a play at the Music Hall tonight. Sure enough, there you were.”
“So, you finally believe that I am a professional actress?” Her voice was soft and just a touch defensive.
His lips stretched into a slow, slightly crooked grin. “I wasn’t sure why, but it became very important to me that you were.”
His admission momentarily took her breath away, and she didn’t know how to respond. “I suppose you know how to get in touch with me about going to the station.”
“It would make it easier if I had your phone number.”
“You’re spoiling my opinion of your detective skills,” she shot back at him with a teasing grin to match his. But she dug through her purse and found an old receipt on which she jotted down her cell phone number.
“What if I call you for something other than business?”
She didn’t pretend she didn’t know what he was talking about. Instead, she met his gaze steadily. “I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.” Before he could respond, she slid inside her car and shut the door. He was still standing in the parking lot as she started her car and headed back to Denver. For the first time in over a week, she felt like the cloud that had been hanging over her was gone. She realized she was still smiling, and she turned up the radio and sang along with Katy Perry. Fireworks indeed!

After Midnight: Denver Heroes # 1 

Sam and Kate's relationship is flirty and fun with a side of danger. The book is well written and I enjoyed their story even though I guessed who was behind the threats and why very early. I am looking forward to reading about Sam's brothers Rusty and Chris in the next two books. 

ARC via NetGalley

Kathy Clark is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have sold more than three million copies in eleven languages. Her plot lines have always championed women’s empowerment, placing strong female characters in real-life situations. Her stories will make you laugh and cry, and her characters will live in your heart forever. She lives with her husband and co-author, Bob Wernly.

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