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Authors: Mary Behre

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Spirited 1

BOOK: Spirited 1
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Praise for

SPIRITED

“Great! A real page-turner. Once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down until you’re done!”

—Lynsay Sands,
New York Times
bestselling author of the Argeneau Vampire series

“Rich with mystery, hot romance, and sneaky humor, Mary Behre’s
Spirited
absolutely delighted me! The solid dose of supernatural thrills it offered—along with one of the hottest, most divine heroes EVER—had me curled beneath a blanket, shivering with the thrill of being swept up in the drama, magic, and unexpected fun of heroine Jules Scott’s paranormal encounters. Beneath the ghostly mysteries lurks a sexual chemistry between Jules and detective Seth English that sets fire to the pages. It’s been a long time since I’ve come across as unique a premise as Ms. Behre offers her readers in
Spirited
. No magic crystal ball is needed to foresee this writer is bursting with talent! I can’t wait for more from her!”

—Shelby Reed, author of
Games People Play

“From the moment the heroine, dressed like a hooker, stumbles through the window of the cop hero’s bedroom, you know you’re in for an unusual story. Behre’s sweet, sexy, funny debut has twists and turns (and an occasional ghost!) to keep suspense readers happy, and a poignant love story that will have you grabbing for a Kleenex.”

—Lena Diaz, author of the Nursery Rhyme series

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

SPIRITED

A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author

Copyright © 2014 by Mary Behre.

Excerpt from
Guarded
by Mary Behre copyright © 2014 by Mary Behre.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.
BERKLEY SENSATION
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-0-425-26861-2

eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-63024-2

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / March 2014

Cover illustration by Tony Mauro.

Cover design by Sarah Oberrender.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1
CONTENTS
Praise for SPIRITED
Title Page
Copyright
Dedication
Acknowledgments
PROLOGUE
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
EPILOGUE
Sneak Peek of GUARDED

For Donna Graham,
who believed this was possible from the moment she read the first story I wrote.
I miss you, every day.

And for Valerie Bowman,
who refused to let me give up on her
book boyfriend
.
This one’s for you.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

So many people influenced me, guided me, or just plain buoyed my spirits as I endeavored to put words to paper, it’s only fair to thank them here.

My editor, Leis Pederson, thank you for taking a chance on me. Nalini Akolekar, I’m so grateful for your guidance and that you’re my agent.

Elle Cosimano, your idea for writing retreat weekends was brilliant. I’ve never pushed myself harder or written more in one sitting than in those cabins.

Kim Kenealy, you’ll always be my best friend. Too late to run now. It’s in print.

The Berry Best Betas: Valerie Bowman, Elizabeth Clark, Jamie Disterhaupt, Kim Kenealy, Yvonne Richard, Chris Behre Sr., and Gayle Shlafer, thank you for the excellent feedback. Thank you, LaLaLas for being such an amazing writers’ group.

Also, thank you KG YMCA staff for letting me hide in your offices and write while my children played or took classes.

A quick shout of thanks to Lee Lofland for introducing me to Chief Scott Silverii at the Writers’ Police Academy. Any mistakes made in this book were purely my own and sometimes intentional.

And thank you to Lynsay Sands, Shelby Reed, and Lena Diaz for the fabulous cover quotes. All three of you are brilliant authors and to have received your praise means so much to me.

And finally, to Indy, the Captain, and Chris. You are the most important people in my life. I love you three so much, it amazes me when I wake each morning and discover I love you all a little more than before.

PROLOGUE

“W
HAT DO YOU
mean, she took the diamonds?” He tightened his grip on the cell phone.

“She says she can’t find them now.”

I’ll just bet she can’t.

Little whore probably had this planned from the moment she found out what they were doing. She’d assured him he needn’t worry about her. Convinced him to trust her.

And this is how she thanks me?

The voice on the crackling line rambled on. “We’ll find the diamonds. You’ll get them back.
I’ll
fix this, I swear!”

More broken promises. More lies.

His fingernails dug crescents into his palm and he imagined repaying her for her betrayal.

It wouldn’t take much. Just the right placement of his fingers on her throat and a little pressure. Then a little more. Her lovely swan neck would feel like silk beneath his fingers. He’d kill her slowly. Give her time to catch a wisp of breath before he strangled her again.

The idea of making her suffer and beg him to spare her worthless life brought a smile to his face.

“Okay?” The idiot stopped rambling.

“Sure.” He didn’t know what he’d agreed to but didn’t care. He’d stopped listening. Tapping out a text, he chose his words carefully. The message was brief, but believable. She’d come out of hiding . . . and he’d make her pay.

CHAPTER 1

J
ULIANA
S
COTT LOOPED
the strap of her black Prada clutch over her wrist and imagined scaling her apartment building in five-inch stiletto boots.

Where was a radioactive spider when you needed one?

BOOK: Spirited 1
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