Simon Says Die (Deadly Games Thrillers)

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9780062136367: Simon Says Die (Deadly Games Thrillers)

Madison McKinley knows someone is stalking her. The police tell her she's imagining things, and they're too busy trying to find the "Simon Says" killer to investigate. But day by day, hour by hour, Madison's terror grows stronger, and not even the return of FBI Special Agent Pierce Buchanan into her life can calm her fears. Besides, how can she ask Pierce for his help after the way she ended things between them?

Pierce still wants Madison's love, and his drive to protect her is more powerful than ever. He believes she's in danger, even if the cops don't. Finally, as more people start dying and the evidence mounts, the police turn their attention to Madison—as a suspect. Was Pierce a fool to trust her again, or are they both caught in a complex game that neither will survive?

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From the Author:

Excerpt

Prologue

 
Fear has a smell--sharp, tangy, with a biting edge--like sweat, but more intimate, more powerful and addictive than any drug.

Simon was an addict, and it had been too long, far too long, since he'd had his last fix.

That was about to change.

He stood by the computer desk and picked up the pile of paper from the printer. He ran his finger down the profile of the woman in the photograph on the first page, across the pale skin of her arms, the upper swells of her breasts. Her dark hair was silky, shiny, barely brushing her shoulders. Laughter filled her deep blue eyes, crinkling them at the corners. Who was she thinking about when she smiled that way? Someone she cared about? Someone who cared about her?

"Simon, was there anything else you wanted me to print?"

His gaze slid reluctantly from the photograph to the blonde, slightly overweight woman sitting at the computer. Her muddy brown eyes were framed with makeup she probably hadn't worn in years. Her dress was bright yellow, new. She must have looked forward to tonight all week, thinking he'd invited himself to her house to finally take the next step, to become her lover.


He was definitely ready to take the next step.

Her hands hovered over the keyboard as she looked at him expectantly.

"No, I have what I want." He set the pictures back down. "You're sure no one will be able to tell you hacked into those Web sites?"

She grinned. "I didn't have to hack in after all. I just created a fake profile and got some of them to friend me. From there it was easy to get access to the others, and all their information."

Stupid woman. "Erase the profile."

Her grin faded. "What's wrong?"

At her wary look, he forced himself to relax and give her a smile meant to charm and reassure. "I don't want them to know. Not yet. What's the fun of a practical joke if they find out too soon, right?"

Her smile returned, but it wasn't as bright as before. "Um, right."

He closely watched her this time, as she undid everything she'd done, deleting her profile from the site.

When she was finished, she pushed back her chair and stood to face him. "You've made me curious. What kind of joke are you going to play?"

"Curiosity can get you in trouble, my dear."

She gave a little laugh. "What, like curiosity killed the cat?"

He cocked his head to the side. "Actually, I was thinking more of something a bit . . . different. Have you ever played the game Simon says?"

"Simon says?" She gave another laugh--a nervous laugh. "A child's game. Isn't that a bit silly for adults?"

"Not the way I play." His voice was deep, seductive.

He edged behind her and she half-turned, looking up at him. Her body tensed as her subconscious began to sense the danger that her conscious mind wasn't ready to accept.

He settled his hands on her shoulders.

She jumped and tried to pull away. "Stop that. You're making me nervous."

"Hush, now," he whispered. "That's not how you play the game. You can't do anything unless Simon says you can."

Her swallow was so loud he could hear it. She jerked her head, looking around the room, as if she'd only just realized how alone they were, how vulnerable she was. "Wh--what does Simon say to do?" she croaked, her voice shaky.

He leaned to the side so he could see her face. Like a frightened rabbit, staring into the eyes of the snake that is about to strike, she stood unmoving, paralyzed. He inhaled deeply, briefly closing his eyes, reveling in the scent of fear oozing out of her pores.

Oh, he was going to enjoy this one.

Very much.

He squeezed her shoulder with one hand as he slid his other hand down her spine, delighting in her shiver. He reached behind his back, lifting up the edge of his jacket to pull out his knife.

The poor little rabbit didn't even try to get away. She stood frozen, her breaths coming out in short little bursts. He tightened his hand on her shoulder.

She shivered again, tensing . . . as if to run.

Too late.

He caressed the cold steel of the knife's blade behind her, closing his hand around the hilt. Leaning down, closer, he softly pressed his lips against her taut cheek. Some of the fear left her eyes, replaced with a pathetic spark of hope.

"Simon?" Her mouth curved in a tentative smile.

He moved his lips next to her ear. "Simon says . . . die." He plunged the knife into her back.

About the Author:

Originally from Kentucky, author Lena Diaz now lives in sunny northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she has won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence in mystery and suspense as well as the Booksellers’ Best Award for romantic suspense. She loves to watch action movies and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains, though not at the same time.

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Book Description AVON BOOKS, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Madison McKinley knows someone is stalking her. The police tell her she s imagining things, and they re too busy trying to find the Simon Says killer to investigate. But day by day, hour by hour, Madison s terror grows stronger, and not even the return of FBI Special Agent Pierce Buchanan into her life can calm her fears. Besides, how can she ask Pierce for his help after the way she ended things between them? Pierce still wants Madison s love, and his drive to protect her is more powerful than ever. He believes she s in danger, even if the cops don t. Finally, as more people start dying and the evidence mounts, the police turn their attention to Madison--as a suspect. Was Pierce a fool to trust her again, or are they both caught in a complex game that neither will survive?. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062136367

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Book Description AVON BOOKS, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Madison McKinley knows someone is stalking her. The police tell her she s imagining things, and they re too busy trying to find the Simon Says killer to investigate. But day by day, hour by hour, Madison s terror grows stronger, and not even the return of FBI Special Agent Pierce Buchanan into her life can calm her fears. Besides, how can she ask Pierce for his help after the way she ended things between them? Pierce still wants Madison s love, and his drive to protect her is more powerful than ever. He believes she s in danger, even if the cops don t. Finally, as more people start dying and the evidence mounts, the police turn their attention to Madison--as a suspect. Was Pierce a fool to trust her again, or are they both caught in a complex game that neither will survive?. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062136367

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