Rookie detective Avalisse Ross finds herself entangled in a series of murders where the killer has a favorite type of victim… and they all look just like her.
When Ava catches her fiancé in a compromising position, she decides it is time to take out the trash. Newly single and heartbroken, she agrees to accompany her best friend to a private dating club, which boasts an intriguing new world of seduction through the use of virtual reality. All the pleasures of an affair, without the brutal consequences…
The death of a prominent socialite leads Detective Leo Alexander to investigate the new club outside of town. Shocked to discover Ava at Virtually Yours, he corners her, dragging the truth behind her breakup from her reluctant lips. However, when her ex’s new girlfriend–a mirror image of Ava–shows up strangled, Ava must shelf her anger to catch a murderer.
Against Leo’s wishes, she returns to Virtually Yours as bait. The plan works perfectly, except for one small hitch…how do you defend yourself when you are strapped to a chair?
Fans of Jayne Ann Krentz and Marie Force will savor the premiere book in the Avalisse Ross Mysteries series. Propelling the reader into the ultimate 21st century hookup, this steamy contemporary suspense which will have you devouring every page to catch a killer.
KEEP READING TO SEE AN EXCERPT & ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
About the Book
by Bella Emy & Alyssa Drake
Avalisse Ross Mysteries Book One
Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
July 29, 2019
He slipped across the floor, a shadow hiding in the soft folds of the room’s heavy curtains, which lined the walls and rose to the ceiling like a black forest of velvet. His stocking feet made no sound as he glided over the plush, deep red carpet. The color stretched halfway across the room and melted into the silvery hue of the company’s elegant logo. Virtually Yours, a notoriously exclusive dating club, boasted all the pleasures and passion of an affair without the consequences.
He paused next to a black leather chair, halfway reclined in the center of the room. His thumb caressed the embroidered silver and pink emblem stitched into the headrest. Black nylon restraints, poised in stiff half-circles, waited impatiently for the next patron. The unusual precaution, a necessity after an unnamed—and well compensated—customer fractured their cheekbone during a particularly violent sexual encounter, prevented the participant from falling to the ground during ecstasy. He smirked. The very same automated safety restraint system also prevented the person from escaping.
His fingers trailed lightly down one of the leather arms, stroking the supple material. Memories flooded his mind—her body writhing beneath him, blood trailing from the corner of her lips, dripping seductively down her soft skin—a crimson river of death—and the screaming… Desire coursed through his veins.
Caressing the arm, his fingertips brushed over tiny gouge marks dug into the underside of the arm—little half-moon shapes of anguish. Savannah. How she shrieked with pleasure… and with pain. His only regret was killing her too quickly. This time would be different. This time he would draw out his ecstasy.
An odd humming crawled across his skin, tickling the hairs on the back of his neck. His eyes flicked to the VR goggles attached to the headrest. Tiny white lights danced over their surface, indicating a program was being loaded. Soon. He shivered with delight, pressed a kiss to his palm, and laid his hand against the chair. Very soon.
Sliding across the room, he slipped behind a velvet covered partition and entered the changing area. His body disappeared just as the entrance to room 3A opened. Overhead lighting purred, bathing the room in dim pink highlights, painting his silhouette on the wall. He stepped backward, disappearing behind a rack of plastic-covered black bodysuits. Pressing himself against the wall’s cool, slick surface, he trembled, his heart pounding thunderously. The outer door opened.
Body tingling, he sucked in his stomach and froze in an unnatural position—the hunter waiting for his prey. A metal hook gouged his shoulder blade, heightening his craving until his body hummed in synchronization with the VR goggles. So very soon. He could not keep the smile from his lips.
Two pairs of heels padded into the room. The door clicked shut, followed by the sound of a key twisting in the lock—another Virtually Yours policy meant to protect the guest. A pen scratched languidly on a clipboard, then a page flipped, and the pen resumed writing. The sound was interrupted by the irritated stomp of a foot.
“Miss Piper Laurie?” The attendant waited expectantly.
“You know who I am!” A haughty voice seethed the response. “I’ve been a client of this company for several years.”
“Yes, Miss Laurie. However, it’s company policy that I confirm this information with you every time you visit. And as a long-time member of this club, I am certain you are well aware of the protocols of this arrangement. If you have a problem with these rules, I suggest you bring your concerns up with Marco. He has a free appointment next Thursday. However, you will not be able to participate in any session until you resolve the matter.”
“I apologize, I could not hear your comment, Miss Laurie.”
He snorted. It had to be Stella. No other assistant would speak to the clients with such disdain. She enjoyed toying with them, like dangling candy in front of a screaming baby. Stella’s feelings on the clients who visited the club were well-known among both the staff and the clientele—spoiled, rich, entitled, lazy brats—a sentiment she frequently announced as she stalked down the hallways, teetering on four-inch heels. Her acrimony did not stop the customers from pouring in. Instead, it seemed to encourage more business. Virtually Yours was flourishing.
“My name is Piper Laurie,” she ground through clenched teeth.
“Excellent.” The pen scratched. “What is your age?”
“It does not ask that question on the form!” Piper sputtered indignantly.
“Yes, it does.” Stella’s retort was a mixture of sugar and venom.
“Lying on your application is grounds for expulsion from Virtually Yours.”
“Thank you.” Stella wrote another note, drawing out the silence. Piper shifted uncomfortably, rubbing her legs together.
“Will this be much longer?” He detected a faint whine in the undercurrent of Piper’s question.
“I promise you will be coming soon, Miss Laurie,” replied Stella.
Piper gasped. “How dare you! I’ll have you fired!”
“For what, telling the truth?”
“You can’t speak to me this way.”
“I can. You paid for a service, I’m part of that service.”
“Marco will hear of this.” The doorknob jiggled.
“Thank you for my raise.” Stella laughed throatily and resumed scribbling on the clipboard.
“Let me out,” Piper demanded. She slapped the clipboard from Stella’s hands. It crashed into the door and dropped to the floor.
“You are free to leave at any time, Miss Laurie.” Stella’s bored tone indicated her expectation of Piper’s childish behavior. Removing a set of keys, Stella jingled them as she approached the door. She inserted the key and unlatched the lock, flinging the door open. It swung wide and smashed into the wall. The room vibrated.
“Thank you.” Piper sniffed.
“Before you go, Miss Laurie…” Stella’s voice melted into butter. “Perhaps you’d like to ease some of that anxiety I see coursing through your body. You look as though you’re suffering, and stress is not good for your health.”
“You can see that?” Piper hissed. Her voice hovered in the doorway.
“I can.” Stella oozed silk. “But I can help you feel better, Miss Laurie. I can take all your troubles away.”
“Really?” Piper wavered hesitantly.
“No one understands what you go through, the constant pressure you’re under.”
“No, they don’t.” Piper stepped back into the room.
“I do.” Stella paused, her voice dropped an octave, enveloping Piper in a honeyed trap. “You deserve this.”
“Yes,” Piper murmured, the door clicking shut again.
“Now, shall I charge you for two sessions?” Stella resumed her arrogant attitude. “One round may not be enough for someone as heavily burdened as you.”
He smirked, covering his laugh. Stella was excellent at managing her clients. She could insult them, humiliate them, and still convince them to spend thousands of dollars in one evening. A firecracker packed into a five-foot frame.
“The Ultra package is guaranteed to provide at least two orgasms from any available member of your choosing. And as we are quite busy, I would suggest choosing quickly.”
“Number seventeen.” Piper’s voice hitched, breathy with anticipation.
“An excellent choice, Miss Laurie.” Stella walked to the center of the room and punched a six-number sequence into a silver keypad inserted in the back of the chair. She waited a moment, drumming the side of her thumb impatiently against the keypad. It beeped twice.
“Number seventeen is still available, Miss Laurie, I have connected your rooms. Now, before you change into your bodysuit, I have just a few more formalities.”
Piper huffed. “The rules.”
“That is correct.” Stella retrieved the clipboard and rustled through the attached papers. Clearing her throat, she recited the written statement in a formal tone. “Welcome to Virtually Yours, an exclusive club created to provide a safe and healthy alternative to hooking up through the use of virtual reality. Here, we invite you to experience pleasure without all the tangles of a messy relationship. We only have three rules, and they must be followed at all times. Do not reveal any personal information. Do not meet in real life. And do not hook up with the same person more than three times. If you violate any of these rules, your membership will be revoked, and you will be permanently prohibited from returning to Virtually Yours. Do you understand these rules as I have set forth?”
The pen scratched over the clipboard. “Enjoy your visit to Virtually Yours, Miss Laurie. I shall return in sixty minutes.” The door opened and closed, the lock clicked—the sound of finality echoed in the room.
Alone. With her. He closed his eyes and inhaled, her perfume wafting into the changing area, expensive, floral. Just like she used to wear. He squished himself against the wall, shrinking behind the rack of bodysuits, the hook digging into his flesh.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of VIRTUALLY YOURS by Bella Emy & Alyssa Drake, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Bella Emy & Alyssa Drake. Giveaway ends 8/3/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Bella Emy
USA Today bestselling author BELLA EMY loves all books, but her favorite genre to read, as well as write, is romance. Bella loves creating heartbreaking stories that will deeply touch her readers, but in the end, a good HEA is usually the turnout.
Whenever Bella is not typing away on her computer with a nice hot cup of coffee, she loves spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite places to go are the movies, the beach, or just on a good plain old road trip. Some of her must haves are coffee, chocolate, pizza, music, & movies.
About Alyssa Drake
USA Today bestselling author ALYSSA DRAKE has been creating stories since she could hold a crayon, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. A multi-genre author, Alyssa currently writes Historical romance, Paranormal romance, Contemporary romance, and Cozy mystery. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when imagining conversations between her characters.
Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, with a B.S. in business and a concentration in French literature. Currently she resides in Northern California with her blended family, where she works full-time at a chocolate factory.
She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her on public transportation. Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.