With: Alicia Anthony
What would you risk to come home again?
Returning to Just Romantic Suspense to announce the release of Inherent Fate is a bit like coming home. Which is fitting since that’s exactly what Liv Sullivan sets out to do in this third installment of the Blood Secrets series. And in honor of that, I thought I’d share a special recipe, passed down from my grandmother, that makes an appearance in Inherent Fate.
Book 3, of course, brings Liv and Ridge back together to retaliate against GenLink, the psychic intelligence operation that’s had its claws in Liv since the beginning. And what do all reunions need? Food! In Inherent Fate, Liv makes a special chicken and noodle dinner for Ridge, so I thought I’d share this family recipe for noodles from scratch that inspired the menu. After all, scratch is always better than boxed.
(I say this as one who rarely makes recipes from scratch anymore…I mean really? Who has time for that?)
As I mentioned, this installment circles back to GenLink. And we even get to meet a few new characters, most notably, Tony Medici, Liv’s bodyguard appointed by the US Attorney’s Office. I had a great time writing Tony, and I have a feeling there’s more to his story than meets the eye.
And it wouldn’t be a Blood Secrets story if some of our old favorites didn’t make an appearance. Adam, Brian, Skylar, and Bridget all figure prominently in book 3. The real question is, when friends become enemies, who can you trust?
I invite you to catch up if you need to and grab a copy of Inherent Fate, Blood Secrets Book 3, to find out.
And, without further ado, sit a spell and enjoy this snippet of Liv and Ridge from Inherent Fate:
Ridge blinked and pressed his shoulder against the doorframe, bracing against the emerald eyes staring back at him. His heart jumped as she stepped closer, pounding an uneven arrhythmia in his chest. Porcelain skin, with a spatter of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Long auburn curls kissed by the sun.
“Should we go inside?” Her voice sent a knot of unwelcome emotion to the back of his throat.
He closed his eyes tight, fighting the tickle of paranoia that unwound from deep in his brain. She’s dead. His mind replayed the explosion. It’s a delusion, the voice said, an echo of words his shrink had used more than once. This can happen when you’re under stress.
He forced an even exhale and nodded, opening his eyes. She was still there. Close enough to touch. The sudden ache to feel her pulsed through him. His hand shook as he pulled the keycard from his back pocket, jamming it against the front of the lock. A red light blinked defiantly at him.
“Here, let me.” Liv slipped the card from his hand and hovered the rectangle of plastic just above the sensor until a mechanical click registered in the silence, the green light fully lit as she pushed the door inward and stepped through.
Ridge stood in the doorway. His eyes locked on the woman now standing in his room. The gentle part of her full lips. The sloping curve of her jawline. The soft twists of her hair. She slid the keycard onto the credenza, turned to face him. She hadn’t changed. She was the embodiment of the memories he allowed to play out in the quiet of the dark. Except now, she was here.
Liv looked away, toward the floor, scuffing the toe of her tennis shoe across the burgundy carpet. “I don’t really have a speech prepared.” She sucked in a jagged breath. Her lungs still recovering from whatever happened in the hall. “Please say something.”
Her voice was a punch to the gut, unleashing hot ribbons of emotion. Pleasant waves of relief warred with the slicing knife of blame. Suddenly aware that he was shaking his head, he forced himself still. He stepped to the side, waiting for the door to swing closed sealing them alone–together.
“I heard you hit the wall. Are you okay?” He could already see the slight oval of pink developing along her cheekbone.
She nodded, pressing her fingers against her cheek. “Evan gets a little carried away sometimes. But he’s harmless.”
Harmless. The word echoed. Of course. Nothing like what she’d already been through–what he’d put her through. The reminder forced him back a step. Another beat of silence passed between them before a single tear cut loose from her eye, skimming down her cheek to her jawline. He reached to brush it away, but hesitated, and she palmed it away herself–hard and unyielding against her bruised cheek. Fingers of skepticism climbed through him, tempered by the ache of loss.
“I’m so sorry I wasn’t the one to tell you. I never wanted to wait this long.” Her eyes drifted downward again, and she tucked the corner of her lower lip between her teeth.
He couldn’t stop watching. The muscles in his core tightened, a reminder of the nights they’d spent tangled in each other’s arms. She released the hold on her lip and his gaze gravitated to it, ripe and swollen.
“Can I touch you?” It was all he could think of to say.
Her eyes sparked up to meet his, a barely perceptible nod.
He reached out a hand and she stepped into him. Tucking her cheek against the curve of his palm. A suck of air caught in his chest, pressing hard against the knot of resentment he’d carried since November. His fingers trembled against the warmth of her skin. Pinpricks of panic disintegrating. A second tear slipped from her eye. The wetness of it on the pad of his thumb tangible proof of her existence.
He folded her into him in a slow dance, tangling his hand in her hair and breathing in her scent. It was different now. Better somehow. Beachy coconut traded for hints of vanilla and something fresh and sweet–strawberries, maybe. He twisted a curl. Soft and silky, her hair slipped in a circle around his index finger and fell away. She closed the remaining space between them, her body molding to his as if she’d never been gone.
Uncover more of Ridge and Liv’s story in Inherent Fate.
Meet the Author:
Alicia Anthony’s first novels were illegible scribbles on the back of her truck driver father’s logbook trip tickets. Having graduated from scribbles to laptop, she now pens novels of psychological suspense in the quiet of the wee morning hours. A full-time elementary school Literacy Specialist, Alicia hopes to pass on her passion for books and writing to the students she teaches. Her works of fiction have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Golden Heart®, Claymore, and Daphne DuMaurier Award for Mystery/Suspense. The second installment of the Blood Secrets Saga, Inherent Lies, was a 2018 Silver Quill Award winner. Alicia finds her inspiration in exploring the dark, dusty corners of the human experience.
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To celebrate the release of INHERENT FATE by Alicia Anthony, we're giving away a paperback set of Inherent Truth and Inherent Lies, the first two books in the Blood Secrets series, to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of Inherent Truth and Inherent Lies by Alicia Anthony. This giveaway is administered by BookMojo on behalf of Alicia Anthony. Giveaway ends 8/31/2020 @ 11:59pm EST.