Author: Kendra Elliot
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Montlake Romance
After a brutal snowstorm in the Cascade Mountains, Chris Jacobs discovers two things he never expected to see: the charred shell of a cabin, and Gianna Trask and her sixteen-year-old daughter huddled in an SUV, having barely escaped from their burning vacation rental.
Still scarred from a childhood ordeal, Chris knows there’s something sinister about the scene—it’s the stench of burned flesh.
Forced to wait out the blizzard in their rescuer’s retreat, medical examiner Gianna Trask wonders if her hidden past has finally caught up with her. When a body is found in the destroyed cabin’s ashes and a forest ranger is brutally murdered, both Gianna and Chris must confront their secrets if they want to escape the violent threat lurking outside.
In the fifth book in the Bone Secrets series, Kendra Elliot leads readers on a dangerous, twisting journey of two lives forever changed by a fiery snowstorm in the mountains.
KNOWN by Kendra Elliot Exclusive Excerpt
Chris had talked more in the last twenty-four hours than in the previous month.
At home Brian talked enough for the both of them. When Chris was a boy, he’d had the same habit.
Would he still be a talker if he hadn’t spent two years with the Ghostman? Before he’d been kidnapped, he’d wanted to be a politician like his father, and boasted he’d be president one day. He’d been confident and self-assured, brimming with the brashness of youth.
Now the thought of being in the public’s eye made him want to vomit. He’d learned to keep his thoughts to himself and silently observe. Don’t rock the boat, but always be present. Be ready, flexible, and quietly alive. Stay in the background. Don’t be prey. Retain the posture of the predator. Act when necessary.
He rarely stepped outside his comfort zone. He did so only when the needs of his family dictated the action. He would kill to protect his family. Brian, Michael, and Jamie. He’d been forced to prove it.
Now he’d extended his circle of protection to Gianna and Violet.
Anyone would have done the same.
Gianna hadn’t agreed that anyone else would have helped them, and he knew she was right. Chris didn’t consider himself anything special, but only an asshole would have left the women behind. And one could have crossed their path. The world was a dangerous place. A person didn’t need to travel to the Middle East to find danger. It was present in every American’s backyard and looked perfectly normal at first glance. Even at second glance. The evil being who had stolen his life and murdered children had smoothly interacted with society for years.
During that time Chris had hidden, terrified the Ghostman would find him again. He’d moved on in his life, keeping a low profile and constantly looking over his shoulder. When Brian came, Chris kept him in seclusion to protect him from all predators.
His greatest fear was that he’d learn he’d placed his son in danger’s path by letting him move about in public. He had frequent nightmares about Brian’s being in the hands of a killer or snatched off a public street.
Gianna finished her water. “I’m going back to bed.” She paused. “You should get some sleep.”
She didn’t move, and he felt her disbelief. She opened her mouth and closed it, changing her mind about speaking. Knowing what his sister would have said, Chris guessed she was about to argue with him. Instead she looked toward the drawn curtains. “It’s very dark outside. And too quiet. I struggled to sleep in the cabin because of the silence. I’m used to some sort of noise.”
She continued, “When it’s this still, I find myself listening hard for a sound. Any sound. I think it makes my brain work harder and keeps me awake. Then my mind is off and running through a million different things.”
Even in the poor lighting, he saw the stress around her eyes. She turned away and headed toward the ladder back to the loft.
“Good night, Chris.”
She disappeared and then the cabin was still.
He stood in the silence and listened.
Kendra Elliot won the 2015 and 2014 Daphne du Maurier awards for Romantic Suspense. She was also an International Thriller Writers finalist for Best Paperback Original and a Romantic Times finalist for Romantic Suspense. She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her husband, three daughters, two cats, and a Pomeranian. She’s always been fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and loves a strong mai tai on the beach on Kauai. Visit Kendra at www.kendraelliot.com.
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