By Rhyll Biest
Released: Feb 15, 2017
I’m still reading on the book but so far Kat and Luka have my attention. Their banter, sexual innuendo make me, the reader, want to stay up until four or five in the morning to finish it.
So, for your pleasure and to tease you into wanting to read more of this book I have excerpts along with the book’s blurb to show you what a great read this book is for all lovers of romantic suspense.
From the Blurb:
Raw and risky, a new rural romance that explores the dark side of small towns, and the people who put everything on the line to protect them…
Kat Daily is excited to trade her Sydney airport quarantine uniform for an RSPCA inspector’s uniform and a job in the rural town of Walgarra. A fresh start in a new place, where she can make a real difference in the lives of the animals that she loves.
But Walgarra doesn’t offer a peaceful, bucolic existence. Like many small towns, the distance from urban settings — and urban law enforcement — has allowed a criminal element to set in. Kat may only be looking after animals, but that doesn’t mean she will be immune to people with sinister agendas.
The previous RSCPCA inspector was murdered, and Officer Luka Belovuk is determined to keep the new inspector from the same fate. He may have very broad shoulders, but carrying the safety of the law-abiding community just trying to live their lives has weighed him down, and one more death might be more than he can take.
Not all small towns are quaint and quiet, but they all have one thing in common: a community of people willing to protect their population with everything they have.
The young eucalyptus forest whispered ‘rural bliss’ rather than ‘murder scene’ but Kat knew better.
Will be your murder scene too, Galenka muttered.
Since Galenka, who sometimes preferred to be called Galina, was merely the vestigial remains of Kat’s childhood imaginary friend—a sad, mean half-Russian girl with snakes for eyes who relished her role as a troublemaker and prophetess of doom and who only made an appearance during times of great stress—Kat felt justified in ignoring her. Especially since Galenka spoke with an east European accent and haphazard sentence structure eerily similar to that of Kat’s late mother, whereas Kat’s English was perfect.
You can’t forget us, Galenka sneered.
Just watch me. I’m going to do my new job well and forget about everything else. You included.
Galenka, the little bitch, had appeared as soon as Kat had crossed the state border. Any psychologist would have a field day with that. Despite working at an international airport, Kat had never left Australia, had lived her whole life in and around Sydney. So now that she’d split up with New South Wales to take a job in Victoria, it only made sense that—like a cat dumped a long way from home—she was spooked by the wrong colour of the sky, the strange-smelling air and the wrong number of trees.
How she longed for her comfortable former rut right now.
The fierce afternoon sun baked the hard plastic steering wheel, the heat transferring to her engagement ring to turn it branding hot. Handling the steering wheel gingerly, she took the turn-off indicated on her GPS before pulling over to tug her fake engagement ring from her finger and slip it in her pocket. Petra, her quarantine colleague, had suggested the fake engagement ring. ‘Unless you want every two-headed, potato-humping breeder pawing at you, toots.’
Not a fan of country life, Petra.
Serenaded by shrieking cicadas she squinted at two pock-marked road signs through the heat haze rising off the bitumen. One sign, the one with a black blob with a tail on a yellow background, warned of crossing kangaroos, the other indicated that the Walgarra RSPCA shelter was thirteen kilometres away. Some friendly local had blasted holes through both signs so that each looked like a chewed leaf.
A nice, friendly touch. The urge to turn around and drive right back home made her fingers twitch.
Minutes later she passed the Welcome to Walgarra sign, bullets centred together in one large gaping hole, a mortal wound designed to spill guts.
Like last RSPCA inspector, Galenka leered.
A cluster of blood red, rusting farm letterboxes flashed by.
Don’t think about the murder.
But it was a lot like telling herself not to think of a blue cow. As soon as she did, all she saw were blue cows. Bullet-ridden blue cows. And no amount of self-administered pep talks changed the fact that violence was an occupational hazard that any RSPCA inspector could expect. Galenka’s comments had nothing on the news stories that a cursory Google search produced. Inspectors who’d been choked out, stabbed, punched and spat on. It was a sad fact that the people most likely to neglect or abuse animals were also likely to react inappropriately, and sometimes violently, towards inspectors investigating a case. And sure, that violence smeared queasy doubt all over the joy of working with animals, but those animals needed her. If she didn’t help them just because she was afraid then she was just as bad as all the people who never helped her, or her mother, because they were afraid to. Because her dad was not only a mean bastard but also a cop.
So stuff the queasiness, stuff the sweat that slicked her hands whenever she thought too long about the murdered RSPCA inspector. Faith in people—and she had no such faith—was not enough to protect the weak and vulnerable. Only laws and protective authority could work that magic and she’d signed up to do her bit.
She’d seen too many terrapins stuffed down travellers’ pants, too many rare birds tucked into socks. The parrots, pangolins and pythons stuffed inside suitcases, the drugs sewed into the bellies of puppies, she was sick of it, choking on it.
And all she had to do to change things, to feel clean again, was to hang onto courage and do her job.
You can do this.
Kat, squinting against the glare, clocked a figure poised on the threshold like an intruder.
Great, more trouble.
The man wore a face made for scars. And then there was that body of his—jacked in a way that would arouse envy in the weights yard of a maximum security prison.
And the manner in which he took in the whole room, absorbed it with one look? She knew. Though there was no police uniform, no weapons, no cuffs nor utility belt to confirm it, everything about him screamed law enforcement, from the shoulders built for breaking down doors to the flatly assessing stare harder than a riot baton. She knew what he was.
Sweat drenched the neck of his grey t-shirt black and ran down his flushed face, but the gaze he turned upon the irate, cat-dumping dad was cold enough to freeze brand a steer. ‘Back it up, mate.’
The look on his clean-shaven, don’t-fuck-with-me face had the Father of the Year retreating several steps.
A white knight, one of the good guys, yet something about him left Kat feeling rattled rather than reassured.
Injury was not a worry, she knew from statistics that yoga or cycling could break bones or sprain limbs just as easily as a self-defence class. Still. She pictured herself wrestling a two-hundred-pound correctional officer or, worse, wrestling with this man. Her eyes went to the massive forearm resting on the car door and she couldn’t help picturing it hooked around her throat as Luka stood behind her applying a loving, therapeutic rear choke hold. A shockwave lurched through her, and it wasn’t fear. No, fear would have been too healthy, too normal for her.
See how great these excerpts are? Now, go grab a copy for yourself at any of the links below. I’m sure you’ll be wanting to stay up all night reading with me.
Living in Prague, Shanghai and Germany and studying several languages has given Rhyll a taste for the exotic, and she populates her writing with sexy Soviets, hot Aussie vixens and gratuitously attractive Teutonic gods. Outside of playing host to the United Nations of Hotness in her writer’s imagination, she can be found trying to pass for normal at her office job, twiddling with art, or reading. She’s also a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia.