Related to: 'The Silenced'

December Book of the Month

Nikki and Damien continue in Take Me

I awake to an empty bed and the smell of frying bacon. I roll over to find my phone on the bedside table, then glance at the time. Not yet six. I groan and fall back among the pillows, but I don't really want to go back to sleep. What I want is Damien. I slide out of bed, then grab the tank top and yoga pants I'd left draped across a nearby armchair. I head barefoot out of the bedroom and move the short distance down the hall to the third-floor kitchen. We're standing in Damien's Malibu house, and the wall of windows that faces the ocean is wide open, the glass panels having been thrust aside to let in the breeze. The smell of the ocean mingles with the scent of breakfast and I breathe deep, realizing that I am content. Whatever demons had poked at me during the night, Damien effectively banished them. I glance toward the windows and out at the darkened Pacific. Waves glow white in the fading moonlight as they break upon the shore. There is beauty there, and part of me wants to walk to the balcony and stare out at the roiling, frothing water. But the siren call of the ocean is nothing compared to my desire to see Damien, and so I turn away from the windows and head straight to the kitchen. It is larger than the one in the condo I used to share with my best friend, Jamie, and it is not even the primary kitchen for this house. That is on the first floor, and could easily service a one-hundred-table restaurant. But this - the "small" kitchen - was installed as an adjunct to the open area that serves as a venue for entertaining, and since it is just down the hall from our bedroom, Damien and I have gotten into the habit of cooking our meals and eating in this cozier, more informal area. Usually we're joined by Lady Meow-Meow, the fluffy white cat I took custody over when Jamie moved out. I know Lady M misses Jamie, but she's also enjoying having the run of this huge house, and Gregory - the valet, butler, and all around house-running guy - spoils her rotten. Now I lean against the half wall that marks the break from hallway to kitchen. Damien is standing at the stove cooking an omelette as if he were nothing more than an ordinary guy. Except there is nothing ordinary about Damien Stark. He is grace and power, beauty and heat. He is exceptional, and he has captured me completely. At the moment, he is shirtless, and I cannot help the way my breath stutters as my eyes skim over the defined muscles of his back and his taut, strong arms. Damien's first fortune came not form business, but from his original career as a champion tennis player. Even now, years later, he has both the look and the power of an elite athlete. I let my gaze drift down appreciatively. He is wearing simple gray sweatpants that sit low on his narrow hips and cling to the curves of his perfectly toned ass. Like me, he is barefoot. He looks young and sexy and completely delicious. Yet despite his casual appearance, I can still see the executive. The powerful businessman who harnessed the world, who shifted it to his own liking and made a fortune in the process. He is strength and control. And I am humbled by the knowledge that I am what he values most of all, and that I will spend the rest of my life at his side. "You're staring," he says, his eyes still on the stove. I grin happily, like a child. "I enjoy looking at pretty things." He turns now, and his eyes rake over me, starting at my toes. "So do I," he says when his gaze reaches my face, and there is so much heat in his voice that my legs go weak and my body quivers with want. His mouth curves into a slow, sexy smile, and I am absolutely certain in that moment that I am going to melt. "You spoiled my surprise," he says, then nods toward the breakfast table where a tray sits with a glass bud vase displaying a single, red rose. "Breakfast in bed."

Headline

The Disciple

Stephen Lloyd Jones
Authors:
Stephen Lloyd Jones

'Ferocious and masterful' Starburst magazineStephen Lloyd Jones - acclaimed author of THE STRING DIARIES - returns with a richly imagined thrill ride for fans of Stephen King, Lauren Beukes and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS. They are coming...On a storm-battered road at the edge of the Devil's Kitchen, a woman survives a fatal accident and gives birth to a girl who should never have lived.The child's protection lies in the hands of Edward Schwinn - a loner who must draw himself out of darkness to keep her safe - and her arrival will trigger a chain of terrifying events that no one can explain.She is a child like no other, being hunted by an evil beyond measure.For if the potential within her is realised, nothing will be the same. Not for Edward. Not for any who live to see it.

Headline

Written in the Blood

Stephen Lloyd Jones
Authors:
Stephen Lloyd Jones
Headline

The String Diaries

Stephen Lloyd Jones
Authors:
Stephen Lloyd Jones

Selected for the Radio 2 Book Club.He has a face you love. A voice you trust. To survive you must kill him. The rules of survival are handed from mother to daughter. Inherited, like the curse that has stalked Hannah and her family across centuries.He changes his appearance at will, speaks with a stolen voice and hides behind the face of a beloved, waiting to strike. Generation after generation, he has destroyed them. And all they could do was to run.Until now. Now, it is time for Hannah to turn and fight.

Headline

The Faithless

Martina Cole
Authors:
Martina Cole

Gabby looked at the woman she had hated nearly all her life. Then she sat down on the ladder-backed chair, put her face into her bloodied hands and cried.To the outside world, Cynthia Tailor is a woman to envy; she has a devoted husband, a lovely home and two gorgeous children. But Cynthia is deeply unhappy with her lot; she has always craved the best things in life, and is determined to see that she gets them. Cynthia will let nothing stand in her way, even if it means devastation and tragedy for those nearest to her. And the casualties are many: her husband Jimmy, weak and unable to fight the wife he can never please; her sister Celeste, from whom Cynthia steals her most precious possession; and her parents, Mary and Jack, who pick up the pieces. But the victims who suffer the most are Cynthia's children. For James Junior and Gabby, the pain she causes will stay with them for ever...

Headline

88 Killer (Harper and Levene 2)

Oliver Stark
Authors:
Oliver Stark

Three unconnected crimes are about to be linked in the most chilling way imaginable. The abduction of a teenage girl, heading towards a bus stop. A woman shot, point-blank during a brutal robbery. A young man tortured, his body found wrapped in barbed wire.With nothing to indicate that the three are connected, NYPD detective Tom Harper and psychologist Denise Levene must look beyond the surface to find a killer's true motivation. And they believe that they have found a murderer conditioned to hate and willing to go to any lengths to make his victims suffer.The killer has nothing to lose. Harper and Levene have one chance to catch him. Sometimes hate is just the beginning . . .

Ann Granger

Ann Granger has lived in cities all over the world, since for many years she worked for the Foreign Office and received postings to British embassies as far apart as Munich and Lusaka. She is now permanently based in Oxfordshire.

Chloe Benjamin

Chloe Benjamin is the author of The Anatomy of Dreams, which won the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. She lives with her husband in Wisconsin.

Claire McGowan

Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland and now lives in London, where she runs an MA in creative writing at City University. THE KILLING HOUSE is Claire's seventh crime novel, and the sixth in the highly-acclaimed Paula Maguire series. She also writes women's fiction as Eva Woods.

Daniela Sacerdoti

Daniela Sacerdoti is a phenomenon. Over one million copies of her novels have been sold in eBook, her debut novel WATCH OVER ME was the 8th bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015 and she was also ranked as the 11th top-selling Kindle author. Daniela writes beautiful, haunting and bestselling fiction for adults (the Glen Avich series), young adults (the Sarah Midnight trilogy) and children. Her novels have been translated in twelve languages. Daniela was born and raised in Italy. She studied Classics, then lived in Scotland for fourteen years, where she married and taught in a primary school. Daniela's children's book Really Weird Removals.Com was shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards. She has also written for the BBC. Daniela, her husband and their two sons make their home in a tiny village in the Alps. To discover more about Daniela and her world, visit www.danielasacerdoti.com.

Hannah Tinti

Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts and has worked as a writer, editor and teacher. She is the author of the short story collection ANIMAL CRACKERS and co-founder and editor-in-chief of One Story magazine. Her first novel, THE GOOD THIEF, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Centre for Fiction's First Novel Prize and a recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman is the No. 1 international bestselling author of more than three dozen bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, THE BUTCHER'S THEATRE, BILLY STRAIGHT, THE CONSPIRACY CLUB, TWISTED and TRUE DETECTIVES. With his wife, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored DOUBLE HOMICIDE and CAPITAL CRIMES. With his son, bestselling novelist Jesse Kellerman, he co-authored THE GOLEM OF HOLLYWOOD and THE GOLEM OF PARIS. He is also the author of two children's books and numerous non-fiction works. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar and Anthony Awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico and New York.

Karen Rose

Karen Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe's The Pit and The Pendulum and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep. Karen lives in Florida with her family, their cat, Bella, and two dogs, Loki and Freya. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, and her new hobby - knitting.

Katherine Clements

Katherine Clements is a critically acclaimed novelist, self-confessed costume drama addict and current Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Manchester. She is editor of Historia, the online magazine of the Historical Writers' Association, and is a member of the HWA committee. @KL_Clements

Lisa Coleman

Lisa Coleman has been working professionally as an actress from the age of 6 in film, TV and radio.She is most recognisable as her role of 'Jude' in Casualty and more recently 'Cam' in Tracy Beaker (BBC TV.) She loves reading audiobooks and has voiced over 50 of them.

Lyn Andrews

Lyn Andrews was born in Liverpool in 1944; her father Joseph was killed on D-Day just nine months later. Lyn was brought up in Liverpool and became a secretary before she married and gave birth to triplets. Once the children had gone to school Lyn began writing, and her first novel was quickly accepted for publication. She has since written over thirty books, many of them Sunday Times bestsellers. Lyn lives on the Isle of Man, but spends many weeks of the year back on Merseyside, seeing her children and grandchildren.www.lynandrewsbooks.co.ukwww.facebook.com/LynAndrewsBooksTwitter: @LynSagaAuthor

Martina Cole

Martina Cole is the acknowledged queen of crime drama with more than twenty novels to her name, of which over a dozen have been No.1 bestsellers.Several of Martina's novels have been adapted for the screen, including The Take and The Runaway which were shown on Sky 1 to remarkable reviews. In addition, Two Women and The Graft have been adapted for the stage; both were highly acclaimed when performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, which also staged Dangerous Lady in 2012, celebrating twenty years since Martina's debut novel was published.Martina Cole is a phenomenon. She continues to smash sales records with each of her books, which have sold thirteen million copies. In 2011 Martina surpassed the £50 million sales mark since records began and was the first British female novelist for adult audiences to achieve this - and she has spent more weeks in the No. 1 slot on the original fiction bestseller list than any other adult novelist. Her hard-hitting, uncompromising and haunting writing is in a genre all its own - no one writes like Martina.

Mary Torjussen

Mary Torjussen grew up in Stoke-on-Trent. There was no television in her family home so books have always been her escape - she spent hours reading and writing stories as a child. Mary has an MA in Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University, and worked as a teacher in Liverpool before becoming a full-time writer. She has two adult children and lives on the Wirral, where her debut novel, GONE WITHOUT A TRACE, is set.

Michelle Adams

Michelle Adams grew up in the UK and now lives in Cyprus, where she works as a part-time scientist. She read her first Stephen King novel at the tender age of nine, and has been addicted to suspense fiction ever since. MY SISTER is her first novel.

Oliver Stark

Oliver Stark made his first attempt at crime fiction at the age of sixteen. Needless to say, this never reached publication.After trying a wide variety of jobs he finally gave in to his passion for reading and went on to study and then teach literature. Oliver now lives in London with his wife and children.

Patrick Gale

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester before going to Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. One of this country's best-loved novelists, his most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition, and the Costa-shortlisted A Place Called Winter. His original BBC television drama, Man In An Orange Shirt, was shown to great acclaim in 2017 as part of the BBC's Queer Britannia series, leading viewers around the world to discover his novels.