by Cynthia Eden
Killer Instinct Book 0.5
When untried FBI profiler Samantha Dark is face-to-face with a killer, there's no room for fear. Her best weapon is her instincts. Those same dark impulses that allow her to get inside the mind of a murderer, to locate victims—or to pull the trigger before she's next. She can't afford to have those instincts clouded by anything…especially her far-too-sexy new partner.
Former SEAL Blake Gamble plays everything by the book. Except, of course, when it comes to the increasingly simmering attraction between them. But when a vengeful serial killer targets them both, Samantha once again reaches into the sinister, shadowed part of herself. Even as she begins to fear that the only way to catch this killer is to become one…
Genre: Contemporary Romantic SuspenseA note from Cynthia Eden:
Content/Theme(s): FBI Profiler, SEAL, Thriller
Release Date: January 1, 2017
Author Note, Excerpt & More
Do you have a killer instinct? Can you look at a person and figure out that individual’s strengths and weaknesses? And could you use those weaknesses against your prey?
Samantha Dark, the heroine of The Gathering Dusk, has spent years trying to understand the behavior of serial killers. She’s worked hard to earn the respect of her fellow FBI agents, and her profiles are always dead-on. In The Gathering Dusk, Samantha sets in motion a series of events that will forever change her life...and the lives of those closest to her. Because while Samantha thinks that she knows killers so very well, she’s about to discover that sometimes the most dangerous enemy can be the one that is closest to you.
The Gathering Dusk is a prequel story. It will introduce you to Samantha and her FBI partner, Blake Gamble.
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Samantha Dark didn’t let her fear show. In her job, there wasn’t supposed to be any room for fear. FBI agents were tough and strong and they got the job done—no matter the circumstances. They didn’t let nausea twist in their stomachs. They didn’t let doubt bloom in their minds.
An FBI agent didn’t hold a weapon with too tight a grip with a pounding heart.
But I am.
Samantha tried to steady herself. She forced herself to take a deep breath. Her eyes never left the house nestled so perfectly on the little cul-de-sac. The house with the tall, swaying pine trees in the front yard. The house that had all the blinds pulled down to cover every single window.
It’s just a house. Just a house on a street.
“You ready, Samantha?’
At the deep, rumbling voice, Samantha gave a nod. Her new partner, Blake Gamble, was right at her side. He didn’t seem scared, didn’t seem to be filled with reservation and apprehension—but then, from what she could tell, Blake didn’t have room for those kinds of emotions.
She tore her gaze from the house just long enough to send an assessing glance his way. Blake was tall, about six foot two—maybe three inches—and muscled. His wide shoulders told her that he might have played football back in the day, and his hard strength assured Samantha that her new partner worked out far more than the FBI required.
He was handsome, in a rough, rugged way. Square jaw, high cheeks, sensually curved lips...and the greenest eyes that she’d ever seen. Those green eyes were a sharp contrast to his dark, almost perfectly arranged black hair.
Tall, dark and dangerous. Only Blake wasn’t the bad guy...he was the good guy. The real true-blue sort. The kind of a guy that a person could count on... The kind of partner you need at your side when you’re worried the situation is about to go straight to hell.
She swallowed down her fear and lifted her chin. “I’m ready.” They had the all clear to go into that little house, and waiting longer—well, that would just give the man inside a chance to either attack or flee.
He won’t get away from me.
George Farris lived in that quiet house on the cul-de-sac. George Farris...a twenty-seven-year-old software designer. A man who hadn’t shown up for work in the past two days and who had withdrawn from his friends and his family after exhibiting increasingly paranoid behavior. A man who...
Fits my profile to a T.
“You still think he has the victim in there?” Blake asked her.
“Missy Johnson has been missing for two days.” Her voice was barely a whisper. “If he’s our guy...he has always kept the victims alive for seventy-two hours.” That was the reason they were moving in on the house. They couldn’t afford to waste time. This was it.
“Then let’s do this,” Blake said, his voice little more than a growl. “I’ve got your back.”
They advanced toward the house. She could see a car sitting in the driveway. Her left hand touched the hood, found it warm. Used recently, so our perp is probably inside. It was late afternoon, and there wasn’t exactly a way to hide their advance with so little cover. Those twisting pine trees weren’t going to cut it—
“Movement,” Samantha whispered as her body tightened. “Curtain near the right front window just slid back. He’s watching us.”
And he’d either panic and try to run...
Or he’d attack.
I made the profile on this guy. He’s been deteriorating, losing his humanity more and more. He won’t go down easy. He—
The front window shattered and the muzzle of a gun poked through the broken glass. “Go!” Samantha yelled. “Weapon!”
She ducked and ran, even as Blake did the same. A bullet thudded into the ground near her foot, and she felt the heat of another as it seemed to lance across her arm. She ran fast and hard, and she got to that front door even as bullets kept flying. Blake was right behind her.
“FBI!” Samantha shouted. “Put down your weapon!”
If his victim was inside, George Farris could be turning that gun on her.
She nodded toward Blake. One powerful kick, and he had that door flying inward as the lock shattered beneath his foot. She heard the frantic thud of footsteps running inside and then—
Samantha slammed into Blake, knocking him down just as a bullet sank into the wood near his head.
“Fuck,” his deep voice rumbled.
“You’re welcome,” she said, then jumped back to her feet.
George was rushing down the hallway—she could see the back of his red hair.
“Farris!” Samantha yelled. “Stop! Put down your weapon—”
He swung toward her, his eyes seeming to bulge from his face. Terror and fury strained the lines of his pale skin and—
“Don’t,” Samantha ordered but he wasn’t listening. Please, don’t. He was going to shoot. Shoot her, shoot Blake.
Her finger squeezed the trigger, two fast pops that came from a hand gone dead steady. George’s mouth dropped open in shock even as a red circle of blood appeared on his chest. His gun fell from his fingers and he staggered back.
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Other titles by Cynthia Eden:
with a Spy
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Be on the lookout for Cynthia Eden's future release(s): Abduction coming Mar 2017, After the Dark coming Mar 2017, Wrecked coming May 2017 and Before the Dawn coming July 2017
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