Title: Haunted Love
Author: Jessica Frances
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015Summary:
My name is Thea Bell and I was murdered.
I always assumed that death was the end. So when my life was cruelly taken away from me, I never thought I would get a second chance to say what I needed to.
But then I was given a choice, a choice that allowed me to see the people I had left behind, and I knew I had to take it.
I wanted to say a proper goodbye. I needed justice for what happened to me.
But even in death, things rarely go to plan.
I never expected to meet him. I didn’t anticipate falling in love. I hadn’t considered the repercussions of coming back. I never realized I would put another person in danger.
I didn’t know my actions were going to haunt us forever.
My name is Detective Aiden Mercer, and I think I have gone insane.
I am seeing the murder victim of my current case alive and in the flesh, and that is simply not possible.
I can see her, hear her, touch her. She’s real to me, however I know this cannot be real. Right?
But try telling my heart that, because as I grow closer to catching Thea’s killer, I also fall deeper into trouble.
Because love is rarely anything but trouble and I know this love will haunt me forever.
For the first time since I have been here, Aiden wakes up before me. Or perhaps he never went back to sleep. Either way, the first thing I see when I open my eyes is Aiden walking towards me holding a tray. He sets it down carefully on the bed before he cautiously hops back in next to me, pulling the tray to rest between us.
“You made breakfast?”
“It’s the least I can do since you’ve made me breakfast every morning. I’m not as good as you, but I do know how to make a mean toasted bacon sandwich.”
I smile at him, pick up the uncut sandwich, and take a small bite, pulling half of the crispy bacon out with me.
“Good?” he asks me nervously.
“Perfect,” I reply around my mouthful, sounding incredibly unladylike.
He gives me a true smile, and my heart suddenly squeezes in my chest. Is that not the best smile I have ever seen in my life? I desperately want to see him smile again.
He takes a huge bite out of his own sandwich, drowning it with a mouthful of hot coffee. I also decide to try the coffee he made, barely swallowing any before I spit it back out into the mug.
“What the hell is that?”
“It’s coffee, I think.”
“Did you just grab some dirt from outside and add hot water?” I don’t filter my response, realizing afterwards how harsh I sound, but he replies by laughing at my comment.
“Max used to say the same thing to me when I made him coffee. It’s not that bad.”
“Actually, it is.” I slowly put the mug down, acting like I expect it to explode at any moment, and I am thrilled when he again laughs over my antics.
Was I actually excited about his smile before? Because his laugh is so much better. Deep, hearty, and his eyes light up with his mirth.
“Why are you staring at me? Do I have mayo on my face?” As he wipes his lips, I mentally slap myself.
I shouldn’t care about his smile or his laugh. Well, not in the my heart is skipping kind of way. The most Aiden can be is my friend, and friends don’t stare longingly at each other.
I leave Aiden scanning over the boxes, moving back through my house and taking time to look over the photos I have hanging up. It’s strange how I had them along my walls, in my eye line for years yet never took the time to look at them. I used the photos as decoration instead of a reminder of the good times I shared with friends and family as well as the few amazing places I got to visit.
I take my time now, smiling at the memories sparked of Flynn, laughing at the reminders of the fun times we shared and yearning for the places I will never get to visit. I had a list of countries and activities I wanted to do for my summer vacation. I wanted to take at least one trip every summer and slowly work away at the list. Now I’ll never get to see any of those places, never have the chance to skydive in New Zealand, eat gelato in Italy, or go skiing in Switzerland. The most exciting thing I managed is a school field trip to New Orleans where we toured the main tourist destinations, and I ate beignets and gumbo.
I shake my head, slowly moving through the lower level of my house, checking over the mess made from the forensics people who appear to have coated every surface looking for foreign fingerprints. I don’t find anything suspicious here or out of place. There is nothing I can see that is missing, and nothing screams to me that there is a clue here. While I’m disheartened to still have nothing to give Aiden to go on, I stare up my staircase, knowing I will need to check up there, too.
With each step, my legs grow heavier. Soon, I’m dragging my feet. I purposely check every other room, leaving my bedroom for last. I’m dreading what will happen when I glance back inside that room. I feel ill as I approach the still ajar door.
I know I need to get this over with. I might remember something about the murderer in there. If anything is going to be amiss that might help us figure out who my killer is, it will be in my bedroom.
But how am I supposed to enter the room where I lost my life?
The room where I was beaten and violated?
Even if it means catching my killer, can I face what I might see in there? Do I really want that memory etched into my brain? Isn’t already having a good idea what I went through bad enough?
Then again, what if he is out there right now, terrorizing other women? What if my reluctance to walk into this room means another person will lose their life?
I take a deep breath, my hand reaching out to push the door open.
“You don’t have to go in there,” Aiden tells me.
I glance over my shoulder, seeing both worry and fury in his eyes. “I do.” I sound more sure then I feel, but I force my feet forward. Within two steps, I am standing inside my bedroom.
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.