Susan Rae’s newest sizzling suspense!
(For information on freefall and heartbeats (DeLuca Family 1) please scroll down the page.)
5 Stars!– “ICE Blue is a wonderful weaving of love that blooms amid the sad problems of poor people being exploited by ruthless powerful money seekers. Well done.” – Alberta, Manic Readers
5 Stars! – Fast Paced – Cold Drama – “Aptly titled, ‘Ice Blue’ is an action packed page turning mystery thriller with a steamy romance thrown in to keep things interesting..Rae is my hero for placing the human trafficking issue in the United States at the forefront of good fiction. James Patterson can stand aside as I can’t wait to read the third volume of the DeLuca series when it comes out next year.” –Gregory S. Lamb, PDX Author
5 Stars! –“Don’t let the fact that it’s the second in a series detract you. This book fully stands on its own. I loved Angela and Troy. Ms. Rae weaves a story that sticks with you.” –Brianna Soloski
“…great Romantic Suspense!” –Cami Hensley, My Addiction is Reading
“With her well developed characters, Susan keeps you glued to the pages.” –Susan Peck, My Cozie Corner
“…this romance,thriller was something that took hold of your heart as you read.” –Beth Cutwright, Beth Art From The Heart
The weather outside may be frightful, but the heat is rising between Chicago Fire Paramedic Angela DeLuca and ICE Special Agent Troy Deavers.
Born into a Chicago cop family, while her brothers get their rush from catching bad guys, Angela gets hers from saving lives. A tough beauty with a heart perhaps too big, she champions the underdog because, as the youngest of six siblings, she often felt like one.
Troy became a cop to prove he wasn’t like his father—a southern politician who brought his family down with greed and corruption. He doesn’t suffer victims well. At first intrigued by Angela’s passion, Troy soon fears that the fire in Angela’s heart will be her undoing.
What happens when Troy falls in love with the lovely but infuriating Angela who insists on protecting a young witness and her unborn baby—a witness who could break his case wide open?
If you haven’t met the DeLuca’s yet from heartbeats, get to know them in ICE blue.
THE EXCERPT :
“Looks like we’ve got vehicle number one!” Chicago paramedic Angela DeLuca called to her partner above the din of the siren as they eased their rig up behind the squad cars that ringed the carnage on the eastbound lanes of the Eisenhower Expressway.
With her feet threatening to fly out from under her as she stepped out onto the icy pavement, she caught herself with the door handle and eased her way along the side of the rig to retrieve her jump bag. At six forty-five a.m., touches of light were just reaching the city’s skyline. Up above, a light snow fell, sparkling innocently in the glare of the streetlights. Last night’s ice storm had brought Chicago to its knees, coating the streets and everything else in a good half-inch of the slick sheathing before plummeting temperatures turned the falling ice to snow. Now the temperature hovered just below zero and the three inches or so of the white stuff that covered the ice only served to make the roads even more treacherous. The salt trucks and plows were having a tough time clearing them as the morning rush began. Salt did little to melt ice in subzero temperatures.
Angela’s rig was the first ambulance on scene. She and her partner, Josie, had approached from the east, down the deserted eastbound lanes, as the traffic had already cleared out ahead of the accident. As she negotiated the four lanes of treacherous pavement, she counted at least six vehicles involved in the crash. Two cars were smashed up against the median wall, another was stalled in the center lane, water vapor hissing from its demolished front, and yet another was crushed like an accordion against the overpass viaduct with a pickup truck rammed up its rear. The pickup’s own mangled bed was pinned in by the trailer of a jack-knifed semi which was effectively blocking all lanes of traffic. Cars were backing up quickly behind it, probably halfway to the suburbs by now.
A rush of adrenaline shot through Angela as she approached the accordioned car where a cop stood, adamantly motioning her over.
“What’ve we got?” she asked the officer. Another man, not a cop or rescue person she presumed, as he wore no uniform jacket—hell, he wasn’t wearing a jacket at all—stood beside the officer, his back to her. His head and arms disappeared into the opening where the driver’s window should be. Blood, bright red and vibrant against the white snow, trickled from beneath the door at the man’s feet.
“The driver’s the only occupant of this vehicle,” the officer yelled. “He’s conscious, barely, but his legs are pretty smashed up. We can’t get either door open. Jaws are on their way.”
Angela knew he meant the Jaws of Life. Fire and Rescue would use the mechanical jaws to rip the car apart and extricate the victim, but it’d take time, something she wasn’t sure the driver had, given that blood flow. She touched the shoulder of the man leaning through the window.
“Hey, it’s okay, we’ll take it from here.”
The guy didn’t seem to hear her. More rescue vehicles were arriving on scene, sirens blaring.
She called more loudly. “Hey, I said we’ve got it!”
Finally he turned and gave her a quick assessment. She could swear she saw a touch of amusement in those blue-green eyes he flashed at her.
“Listen, lady, if I ease up on this,” he said smoothly, “this guy’ll bleed out.” Turning his back to her, he said to the driver, “Hang in there, buddy. I’ve got you covered.”
The heat rose in Angela’s cheeks, but she refused to let the anger bite. Hell, she’d been underestimated before. Lots of times. Her CFD parka practically dwarfed her slim five-foot-six frame, but she’d learned to make up for her lack of stature with her muscle-building workouts at the gym. She could run with the best of them and she wasn’t about to let this jerk get to her now. Setting down her jump bag, she grabbed her flashlight out of her pocket and nudged the guy’s shoulder.
“Hey, give me a little room here!” she yelled into his ear. In response, he glanced back at her briefly again. He adjusted his shoulders a few inches, graciously allowing her to direct the beam of the flashlight into the car.
Angela did a quick visual of the driver. His face was pale, his forehead bleeding from a gash above his right eye; his hands, still grasping the steering wheel, also bled from multiple lacerations. The driver’s legs were pinned against the console and ragged metal from the car door, which had buckled with the impact of the crash, had mangled his thighs. Bare hands, the man-in-the-window’s, covered in blood, pressed a wad of something—a jacket?—against the driver’s left thigh. The pressure was slowing the flow of blood for now, but it was clear to Angela that a main artery was severed. In this cold, if they didn’t get him out soon, the driver would very likely lose his leg, if not his life.
“Hey, how are we doing?” she called in to the driver. He barely blinked. Something inaudible escaped his lips. Josie arrived with blankets and another equipment bag.
“See if you can get at him from the other side,” Angela called as she squeezed her arm in beside the man-in-the-window’s shoulder and pressed her fingers against the driver’s throat. He was tachy. His skin cold and clammy.
Withdrawing her hand, she bent, unzipped her jump bag, and grabbed a handful of trauma dressings. “Listen, thanks for your help,” she said firmly to the man beside her, “but we’ve got it now.” She ripped a couple of gauze packs open with her teeth and added, “You’d better get into a warm car yourself or we’ll be treating you next.” The guy’s wavy, mid-length hair and cotton-shirted shoulders were quickly becoming coated with snow. It was clear he wasn’t from around here given his lack of outerwear.
He cocked his head toward her again and this time there was no mistaking that amused look. Angela shot him her most official glare. Her hands, loaded with supplies, were poised, ready to do battle just as soon as he got the hell out of her way.
His eyes narrowed ever so slightly on her. He glanced back into the car where Josie was squeezing in through the passenger window and settled his gaze once more on Angela. “If you’re sure you’re ready?”
Shit! Was this guy for real? “Out of my way,” she ordered.
“Fine, he’s all yours.”
Before she was barely aware of it, he had backed out of the window and was holding his bloodied hands up into the air.
With an irritated shake of her head, Angela shoved past him, head and hands diving through the open window. With the pressure released, blood soaked more quickly through the jacket. She eased the jacket aside to expose the gash and slammed the gauze dressing against the pulsing artery. In the slight gap that remained of the front passenger compartment, Josie ripped I.V. packages open and readied a needle to pump the guy with fluids.
The driver started to shake, shock taking hold.
“Hold on there, buddy,” she called to him, but he drifted into unconsciousness; his eyes rolled back in his head. The sweet smell of warm blood against the crisp, frigid air burned Angela’s nostrils. She felt a chill snake up her own spine. She and Josie were locked in a battle against time and the cold—they had to keep this guy alive until Rescue could get him out of here.
Glancing out the window, she noted that Mr. Helpful was gone. Thank God!
“Where the hell are those Jaws?” she yelled at the officer.
It’d been a long night. She’d already lost one patient on her watch, she’d be damned if she’d lose another.
Copyright © 2013 by Susan Rae
More Sizzling Suspense from Susan Rae
(Scroll down for Heartbeats info and buy links!)
Latest Reviews Just In!
Susan Rae pens another masterful suspense, with twists and turns to keep things running smoothly…If you’re a fan of suspense, I highly suggest checking out Susan Rae’s books.–nikki, Storm Goddess Book Reviews and More
An excellent read I was really touched by the story, it seemed so real, Susan Rae wrote a creative plot with great character development…This one had great twist and turns!–ana, The Adventures Within
…the story immediately took off and I was hooked. I chose to read this book because I love a good romantic suspense. This book had both the suspense and romance. I definitely could compare this to a Sandra Brown type book…I would recommend this book to all lovers of romantic suspense. The mystery plot is something new to me. I have not read it in other romantic suspense books. I liked the newness of that whole idea. I would give this book 4 stars as it got me hooked and kept me reading to the end. –Dalene, A Date With a Book
romantic suspense novel should have — action, adventure, plenty of romance and a heap of suspense. Well done to this author.– The Romance Studio
freefall is a suspensful, mystery romance where Kate’s brother is in a coma after surviving a plane accident…or was it murder. The author, Susan Rae pens the story with well written plot with good character development. I found it to be an entertaining story that all romance mystery/suspense fans will like.– My Cozie Corner Book Reviews
This was a mystery romance read and I truthfully enjoyed the book very much. Character development was spot on as was the pace of the writing and action. I pretty much had the villain picked out before the halfway mark, but there were other characters who threw in a surprise of their own along the way. Somewhat typical of romance novels, I wanted to shake some sense into Kate Reynolds and Everett Larson for not being honest with each other and keeping pertinent information to themselves. That didn’t stop their animal magnetism for one another . Definitely an adult read as the physical aspect of a couple scenes was very steamy and sizzled my socks off!– Beth Cutwright, Beth Art From the Heart
Drawn by a cryptic message Keith left on his answering machine the day before his crash, Everett “Spike” Larsen flies to Milwaukee for answers, but he is unprepared for the assault of emotion he feels when he comes face to face with Kate. After the death of his wife, he thought himself no longer capable of such emotion. He is afraid to give into his feelings for Kate—afraid to love again. But when Kate insists on helping out at her brother’s aircraft repair shop and gets too close to the truth, he is even more afraid to lose her.
by Susan Rae
The pilot gazed off into the clear blue Midwestern sky for a final safety check to make sure no planes were coming in. Satisfied all was clear, he thrust the throttles forward.
“Okay baby, here we go!”
The plane’s powerful engines roared. The twin-engine Comanche started to roll, slowly at first, then quickly gained momentum. The pilot’s blood raced as the ground flew past him. An excitement he found nowhere else coursed through his veins. He pulled back on the column, knew the moment the wheels left the ground, and smiled in wonder—no matter how many times he did this, the rush was always the same.
The plane soared up past the terminal, up over the hangars and the land-locked cars in the parking lot below. As the Comanche gained altitude, the pilot marveled at the sleek phenomenon of speed slowing down.
Then all hell broke loose.
He felt rather than heard the loud “bang” in the starboard engine.
The Comanche shuddered and careened to the right. The pilot wrestled with the controls—trying to make the adjustments to the flaps, ailerons, and rudder—trying to bring the Comanche back to level flight. Sweat beaded on his brow. An errant lock of hair fell down over his eye. He slammed his fist against the engine restart button. Nothing!
“Damn!” He didn’t have the altitude for this! He didn’t have the speed. The plane groaned, fighting the stall, fighting the frantic movements of his hands and feet.
He had two options: bring the plane back to level flight, straighten the turn, lengthen the glide, and pray it picked up enough speed to climb—if he didn’t succeed, he’d crash into the apartment complex northeast of the runway—or, work with the plane, letting it bring him back to the airport, to an almost certain crash.
The words “Take no collateral damage” echoed in his mind. He knew there really was no decision; but even as he stopped fighting the turn, the north wind grabbed the left wing, further aggravating the attitude of the Comanche. The plane careened back past the control tower. The ground raced back toward him. He stared at it, mesmerized by the sensation of speed returning. He could taste his own salty sweat on his lips, could almost smell the green grass of the airfield as it rushed toward him, and an icy fist of cold certainty seized his chest.
Just like the rocket grenade that had blown his helicopter out of the sky inAfghanistanfour years ago—this was no accident.
Seconds later, the plane met the earth, cartwheeled, and burst into flames.
…Kate’s high heels beat a steady tattoo across the tile floor as she made her way toward the sign that read Surgical Intensive Care…
“Excuse me,” she said, her voice sounding amazingly calm despite the butterflies that swept and dove in her stomach. “I’m Kate Reynolds. I’m here to see my brother.”
The nurse glanced up, then spoke to another nurse who was in conversation with a man who stood just a few feet from Kate. “Julie, the sister’s here.”
Kate looked over to them. Almost as one, they turned to gaze at her. Both seemed to hesitate, then the nurse smiled, but her eyes took on a sympathetic cast. Kate’s heart skipped a beat.
“My brother, Keith…is he…?” Her words trailed off and she swallowed, unable to voice her greatest fear. The trip from San Francisco to Milwaukee had taken a long, grueling, and quite turbulent seven hours. During her layover in Denver, she’d checked in with the hospital. Keith was in surgery, and although his condition was grave, he was still alive—then.
“Your brother is holding his own, Miss Reynolds,” the nurse assured her. “At least for now.”
Kate’s knees began to buckle. She hadn’t realized until now that she’d been holding her breath.
The man reached for her, grabbed her arm, steadied her.
She stared down at his hand—stunned by his touch, stunned by her own weakness. The weakness wasn’t like her. It was just that it was all so much like that other time—the time her parents had crashed in their experimental plane. She was nine. Her parents had died. Then, just a few years ago, she thought she’d lost Keith, too…
Everett Larsen stepped up to the glass partition, careful not to draw attention to himself. Glancing at the monitor, he studied it briefly, then allowed his gaze to settle on the woman seated beside the bed.
So this was Keith’s little sister, he thought. He knew he shouldn’t have allowed himself to come face to face with her earlier. It was a mistake. Still, despite the shell-shocked look in those blue eyes, there was no denying the fact that Kate Reynolds had blossomed into one helluva woman.
His cell phone vibrated at his side. Cell phones weren’t allowed in this part of the hospital—he should have turned it off. He glanced at the incoming number. He’d make it short.
“Larsen here,” he said quietly.
He listened to the guy on the other end for a few seconds.
“Great. You’ll let me know the minute you find something.”
Again he listened.
Returning the phone to its holster, he turned back to the room. This time it was Keith he studied. Just what had his good buddy Keith been up to?
Copyright © 2012 by Susan Rae
heartbeats–DeLuca Family 1
Four Stars! Romantic Times Magazine “A terrific tale of romantic intrigue, with characters who are intelligent, skilled professionals and to whom we can easily relate.”— Marilyn Weigel, RTM
Buy Links: MusaPublishing.com Amazon.com Barnes & Noble
(Also available at all other major e-book retailers.)
Love makes your heart race, but passion can kill…
Dr. Elizabeth Iverson’s career is on track–she’s just landed a prestigious position as a cardiologist at a renowned cardiac care center in Chicago. Meeting her former lover, Drake McGuire at an alumni banquet where she is the keynote speaker is decidedly disconcerting, but she vows to put him out of her mind–she can’t, won’t let him stir up her life now! Her plans for a quiet, controlled life are shattered, though, when she discovers her one-time college roommate stabbed to death in her apartment. When Drake shows up on her doorstep with the cops, he sparks a storm in her heart that further threatens to destroy the life she’s managed to create for herself and her daughter, Allison.
Although known for getting his man, dark, explosive Drake McGuire’s maverick ways have earned him a forced vacation from his FBI post. Returning to Chicago, he is amused to find “love ‘em and leave ‘em” Elizabeth’s life plan on track. But her seemingly innocent amber eyes and quiet smile twist at his heart, fueling a desire to make those amber eyes smolder, those heart-shaped lips once more cry out his name in passion–even as his instinct for self-preservation screams at him to run the other way. When it seems Elizabeth might have been the intended target for murder, he can’t help himself as he is compelled to protect both her and her precocious daughter.
heartbeats–An RWA Golden Heart Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense!
Best First Book–First Coast Romance Writers!
…She recognized him instantly. There was no mistaking the identity of the man who stood in the entrance to the ballroom, nametag in hand, as if he had just arrived. She stood, motionless, staring, unaware of the murmurs of uneasiness arising from the gathering. She watched, mesmerized, as his lips curved into that slow, Mona-Lisa smile of his and his chin lifted in acknowledgment of her awareness of him. Although quite a distance away, Elizabeth could easily make out the slight cleft in his chin, the sexy, firm line of his jaw—and those deep set eyes which she knew were the most amazing shade of midnight blue…
Later that night—
Elizabeth pushed the door open and stepped inside. The glow from the streetlights spilled in through the lace curtains…It caught her eye as it danced eerily with the tree shadows upon the ceiling. Turning her gaze to the right, down the dark hallway, she spotted a sliver of light coming from the bathroom.
…She flicked on the light, aware of the click of the apartment door as it closed behind her…a quick scan of the living room revealed Julie’s evening gown draped across the sofa, the plastic dry-cleaning bag still covering it.
She glanced to the left where Allison’s door stood ajar. Sensing nothing there, she turned toward the hallway, debating whether to continue on or call the police. Now she was really being paranoid… Julie probably just changed her mind about attending the banquet, or—her husband had shown up.
She set her briefcase down, took her cell phone out of her evening bag, just in case, then started down the hallway. At the bathroom, she paused. Glancing around the partially opened door, she discovered Julie’s makeup scattered on the counter along with her own toiletries. A damp towel lay on the floor. She pushed the door open further, but the bathroom was clearly unoccupied.
She took another step toward the bedroom, then stopped as a dark spot on the beige carpet caught her eye. Bending down, she stretched her fingers out to touch it. The familiar texture of the moisture that wicked against her fingertips left her feeling somewhat dazed. She turned her fingers to the light, although her mind already knew what her eyes would tell her. The sticky substance was blood—spent blood—already drying with time.
…“Thirty-two-year-old woman—multiple stab wounds.”
Drake’s steps faltered. A cold sweat iced his back and he was sure his heart stopped, if only for a second…A muffled shout sounded from inside. “In Here! Hurry!” Elizabeth’s voice? Drake couldn’t tell… Leading with his weapon, he shoved through the door…
“In here!” the woman cried from around the next doorway. This time he was sure it was Elizabeth.
He paused to peer around the corner and scan the room… Finally, he allowed himself to look down toward her voice.
His stomach turned at the ghastly sight that met his eyes.
“Elizabeth…” he breathed.
Copyright © 2005 by Susan Rae