Read Love is Murder Online

Authors: Sandra Brown

Love is Murder

Prepare for heart-racing suspense in this original
collection by thirty of the hottest bestselling authors and new voices writing
romance suspense today.

Go on vacation with Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid, where she
saves a man from drowning, only to discover he is in far greater danger on land.
Meet Roxanne St. Claire’s “bullet catcher”—bodyguard Donovan Rush—who may have
met his match in the sexually charged “Diamond Drop.” Debut author William Simon
shows us what happens when the granddaughter of the president of the United
States is kidnapped. And Lee Child’s pitch-perfect “I Heard a Romantic Story”
puts a whole new spin on
Love Is Murder
.

Bodyguards, vigilantes, stalkers, serial killers, women (and
men!) in jeopardy, cops, thieves, P.I.s, killers—these all-new stories will keep
you thrilled and chilled late into the night.

* * *

Love Is Murder
is the third Thriller anthology written
exclusively by members of International Thriller Writers, Inc. Barely seven
years old, ITW has a roster that reads like a who’s who of thriller writing,
with 1,635 members representing 28 countries worldwide and over three billion
books in print. Headed by current copresidents Douglas Preston and Kathleen
Antrim, its board of directors has included such notables as Lee Child, Tess
Gerritsen, Steve Berry, James Rollins, M. J. Rose, Carla Neggers, Gayle Lynds,
David Morrell and David Hewson. More information is available on the ITW
website,
www.thrillerwriters.org
.

* * *

SANDRA BROWN

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty
New York Times
bestselling novels. Writing professionally since 1981, she has published more
than seventy novels and has upward of eighty million copies of her books in
print worldwide.

She holds an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Texas
Christian University, and in 2008 she was named Thriller Master, the top award
given by the International Thriller Writers Association. Other awards and
commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and a
Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

* * *

Lori Armstrong • Jeff Ayers & Jon Land • Beverly Barton •
William Bernhardt • Allison Brennan • Robert Browne • Pamela Callow • Lee Child
• J.T. Ellison • Bill Floyd • Cindy Gerard • Heather Graham • Laura Griffin •
Vicki Hinze • Andrea Kane • Julie Kenner • Sherrilyn Kenyon • Dianna Love • D.P.
Lyle • James Macomber • Toni McGee Causey • Carla Neggers • Brenda Novak •
Patricia Rosemoor • William Simon • Alexandra Sokoloff • Roxanne St. Claire •
Mariah Stewart • Debra Webb

PRAISE FOR THE THRILLER ANTHOLOGIES

“A slam-dunk collection of the best in the
business.”
—Steve Berry,
New York Times
bestselling author

“For romantic suspense lovers, this is magical mayhem loaded
with bark and bite. Downright beguiling.”
—Jeffery Deaver,
international #1 bestselling author

“It’s like a box of chocolates—each one is different, but
they’re all great.”
—Joseph Finder,
New York Times
bestselling author

“An absolute must-buy for thriller readers
everywhere.”
—Lisa Gardner, #1
New York Times
bestselling author

“I love this book and you will, too.”
—Tess Gerritsen,
International bestselling author

“Absolutely superb.”
—Doug Preston,
New York Times
bestselling author

“Gripping, exciting, engaging—every story will leave you
breathless.”
—Karin Slaughter, #1 internationally bestselling
author

Edited by
New York Times
Bestselling Author

Including original stories from bestselling thriller authors

Lori Armstrong • Jeff Ayers & John Land • Beverly Barton • William Bernhardt • Allison Brennan • Robert Browne • Pamela Callow • Lee Child • J.T. Ellison • Bill Floyd • Cindy Gerard • Heather Graham • Laura Griffin • Vicki Hinze • Andrea Kane • Julie Kenner • Sherrilyn Kenyon • Dianna Love • D.P. Lyle • James Macomber • Toni McGee Causey • Carla Neggers • Brenda Novak • Patricia Rosemoor • William Simon • Alexander Sokoloff • Roxanne St. Claire • Mariah Stewart • Debra Webb

On Thursday, April 21, 2011, Linda Jones and I lost our very
dear friend Beverly Barton; it hurts so much to realize anew every day that her
laughter has been stilled forever, and yet in a way, it hasn’t. Her voice and
her laughter live
on
in the words she wrote. Beverly
loved the romance genre. She loved writing about love, and threw herself into
her work with unbounded enthusiasm. I remember her emails to us when she was
invited to join all these talented writers in the
Love Is
Murder
anthology, how happy she was, how excited
about her story “Poisoned.” So here’s to you, Beverly. We love you. We miss
you. And, damn, you could write!

—Linda Howard

Foreward for
LOVE IS MURDER

Before I could read, my parents read to me, so I don’t recall a time in my life when I wasn’t losing myself in fictional worlds. On Mother’s and Daddy’s knees, I cultivated a passion for make-believe. I grew up with books as a staple and libraries as a second home. Reading was my favorite pastime as a child, and it became an addictive habit I never outgrew.

I can’t remember the first romantic suspense novel I read. It might have been
Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier, or perhaps one of Mary Stewart’s classic blends of mystery and romance, or Victoria Holt’s sweeping, gothic tales. I read and reread them. They left me enthralled and wanting more…largely because so few authors were writing what we now call romantic suspense.

But those who did write in that vein, though few in number, wrote it well and had an enormous impact on my professional future. They entertained me, but I also learned from them and continue to try to live up to the standards they set. Helen MacInnes and Evelyn Anthony come to mind. Charlotte Brontë’s
Jane Eyre
. One of the best cornerstone novels of the genre was Ken Follett’s
Eye of the Needle
. On the surface one could say that neither these authors nor their books have anything in common. Not so. They contain terror tinged with romance. Or is it the other way around? That depends upon the writer, but both elements are in their work.

Romantic suspense is a combination of genres—and the mix is
potent
. Mysteries are puzzles that tease and test our minds. We experience an adrenaline rush from the high-stakes plots of thrillers. Romances remind us of the eternal power of love, honor and self-sacrifice. Stories of romantic suspense offer the best of all these. They give readers an exciting and emotional thrill ride that engages the mind, the heart and all the senses. Merging a rocky romance with a fast-paced thriller makes for a story that crackles with electricity.

The element of love ratchets up the stakes for the characters. It intensifies their motivations, increases the tension and heightens the suspense. When a person one cares about—lover, spouse, child—is in jeopardy, all else ceases to matter. Failure isn’t an option. When what one stands to lose is the person most dear, terror is made manifold. But so are determination and courage.

This then is the essence of good storytelling—an individual overcoming incredible odds to save a loved one from peril. This is what makes romantic suspense satisfying on multiple levels.

And, lest I begin to sound too lofty, let’s face it—danger can be a turn-on.

Love Is Murder
is an anthology of short stories penned by some of our most popular romantic suspense authors. In addition, the anthology features stories by writers better known for their thrillers, but who often incorporate into their books the relationship layering that is the trademark of traditional romantic suspense.

Also included are three stories that were selected from more than sixty blind submissions—D. P. Lyle’s vigilante story “Even Steven”; Jim Macomber’s domestic abuse tale “Execution Dock”; and William Simon’s riveting, high-stakes kidnapping “Spider’s Tango.”
I’m overwhelmed by the quality of all twenty-nine stories and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

Inspired by the above-mentioned writers and others, many talented authors today write in this expansive genre that has diversified to include historical settings, the forensic sciences, police procedurals, the military, the justice system, espionage, the supernatural and plots ripped from the headlines. The variety offered by romantic suspense is vast, and so is the array of storytelling talent contained within this anthology.

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I introduce these stories written in a genre which might not have a
lengthy
heritage, but certainly an impressive one. I’m proud to be included.

~ Sandra Brown

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