Relentless Excerpt

Praise for Relentless

“RELENTLESS is an intensely suspenseful book that will have you turning the pages wanting to know who the killer is, as well as find out who Remy really is and what is he running from.”—The Romance Reviews

“Well written. Fast moving page turner. Characters were rounded with such a depth that you grew to know them like you would a friend. Loved the authors writing style.”—Credoroza

Chapter One

Of all the witnesses, in all the homicides, in all of Dallas, she would have to be one.

Detective Remy LeBeau stared at the cowgirl sitting in a chair in the far corner of the Stanton Enterprise Stadium meeting room. Cody Lewis hugged her body, gnawing on her lip. A coiled red lock slipped from her right ear and fell against her cheek. Lifting a trembling hand, she tucked the strand behind her ear and let her hand fall limp in her lap.

This wasn’t the same confident woman who strode into the homicide offices three days ago to hand him a pair of tickets to the Dallas Roundup. A rodeo that had now become a crime scene. Remy hated off-duty calls. The lieutenant better have a good reason for dragging him away from a hot bowl of gumbo and out of his dry condo.

Cody bowed her head and seemed to curl up on herself. Remy knew the disjointed sensations she was experiencing, the need to withdraw from the real world in order to maintain some kind of control.

He tugged the detective cloak about him and inhaled a long breath. No need to return to that place and time. Exhaling, he approached the unfortunate redhead.

His partner, Detective Heath Anderson, glanced up, fatigue circling his blue eyes. Another late night on the job. He combed his fingers through his sandy-blond hair, making a mess of it. “LeBeau.”

Cody’s head snapped back like she’d taken an uppercut to the chin. Pink stained her cheeks. “Detective?”

“Hello, Ms. Lewis.” He looked at Anderson. “Grab a coffee, I’ll take it from here.” When they were alone, Remy crouched in front of her. Close up, he compared her features to those of the victim’s. Why hadn’t he noticed the freckles on her nose and cheeks when they first met? Her scent, a mixture of spice and sweet — vanilla maybe — combated with the sharp odor of wet men and manure.

Her green eyes locked with his. “Guess you didn’t need those tickets.”

He gave her a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry ’bout it.” He withdrew his notepad. “Why don’t you tell me what happened.”

Breaking eye contact, she slumped against the backrest. “Again?” The dusting of makeup couldn’t hide the fatigue.

“You’re a witness, Ms. Lewis. We need to make sure you remember what you can.”

She lifted her head. A wet sheen coated her eyes. “Witnesses see the crime as it happens. I didn’t. I found her like that.”

His armor cracked and compassion wiggled inside, wrapping around his heart like a warm embrace. He cleared his throat, desperate to hold the jagged pieces together. Stick to business. “Did you know her?”

She shook her head and drew in a hasty breath. “How could someone do this?”

How indeed? If Remy knew the answer to that, he wouldn’t be doing this job. “I plan to find that out. Just tell me how your night went before you found the body.”

“Body?” Red streaks spread from her flared nostrils to her hairline. “She’s not a body. She was a person.”

Cut right to the matter. Merci! This woman was a firecracker. “Ms. Lewis, I’m well aware of that fact. Until we know her identity … ” Why was he explaining himself to her? “We’ll continue this tomorrow. After you get some sleep.”

She straightened, stiff as a pirogue pole, and glared at him. Whatever rapport he might’ve had with her fled. She must be holding her emotions together with a thread. If he pushed any harder, he wouldn’t like the outcome.

Cody tilted her chin a notch. “As if I could sleep.”

Her hard line crushed his compassion. Clenching his teeth, Remy stood. “Thank you for your time.” He pulled a business card from the inside pocket of his jacket and scribbled on the back. “If you need anything, or remember something, don’t hesitate to call. Or show up. You know where I work.” He thrust the slip of paper in her direction.

Swallowing, she took it, careful to avoid contact with him. Her hand trembled a fraction, and she clenched her fist around the paper, pressing it to her chest. “When can I go? I need to take my horse home.”

“You’re free to leave, but you won’t be able to take your truck or the trailer.”

Her face blanched. “How am I supposed to get home?”

Remy stashed the notepad in his jacket and stood. “I’d suggest asking a friend.”