Title: The First Cut
Series: Doctors of Darkness #3
Author: Ellery Kane
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: January 8, 2019
When “Love Doctors” Ian and Kate Culpepper arebrutally murdered in their Carmel mansion on Valentine’s Day, Ava knows it’skarma. Because Ian’s leaving her for perfect Kate four years ago had cut herbone deep. And then they had the nerve to show up here, on her turf. With theirperfect house and their perfect daughter and their matching perfect smiles.It’s no wonder Ava can’t stop watching. It’s no wonder she can’t let go.
But Ian is far from perfect, and Ava owes a debt too. For the unforgivable
thing they’d done together. The dark deed that severed their marriage in two.
When Ava’s name is found inked in blood at the crime scene, a reckoning seems inevitable. Someone knows what she’s hiding. Someone sees what she’s done. And karma is ready to collect its pound of flesh.
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I believe in karma. Because Ian’s dead. Kate, too. But mostly because the news is delivered to me by the half-naked man in my bed.
“Are you okay?”
Luke’s voice is measured. Ninety-nine percent hotshot cop. Which he is.One percent boyfriend. Which he wants to be but isn’t. Not officially anyway. The faint furrow between his brows deepens. How cute. His first wrinkle.
“Talk to me. Please.”
“Is Madison alright?” I ask, my own voice high and breathy as a child’s. Ian’s daughter is quite possibly the only good thing he ever did. And I swear I’m not a heartless bitch. Though Ian had branded me one more than once. Back in the days of old when I’d called him a poor excuse for a husband and an even poorer excuse for a man.
“She’s fine. At least that’s what Coop said. He was first on the scene.” Luke gestures to his cell on the nightstand. The one that had buzzed us awake five minutes ago and exploded the world as I’d known it. “I’ll know more when I get there.”
Guilt, that slippery eel, writhes in my stomach, reminding me I’ve done something wrong. But I lop off its head. To hell with guilt. Whatever happened, Ian brought it on himself. He’d all but asked for it coming back here to my hometown. Invading my turf. With her. Besides, guilt is a useless emotion. Ian had said it himself years ago, after I’d told him I didn’t want any special treatment in his class. The back-row girls will talk, I’d said. And he’d pushed me up against his desk and kissed me like a pathetic cliché. Dr. Culpepper always had his favorites. Easy come, easy go.
“Ava? Are you sure you’re okay?”
Luke strips off the covers, hurries into his jeans, and tucks his badge into his back pocket. I can’t look away from the lean muscle of him. Ian never had abs like that. Though to be fair, he’d been pushing forty when I met him.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Because I don’t have to leave if—”
“You do. And I am. I promise.”
When Luke leans down to kiss me, his lips impossibly warm, I run my hand across his taut stomach and stifle a grin. Then, a grimace. Karma may be as slow moving as a freight train, but boy does she pack a wallop.
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Forensic psychologist by day, novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing–professionally and creatively–for as long as she can remember. Just like many of her main characters, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. And she’s heard her fair share of real life thrillers. An avid short story writer as a teenager, Ellery recently began writing for enjoyment again, and she hasn’t stopped since.
Ellery’s debut novel, Legacy, has received several awards, including winning the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, young adult, e-book category, and the Gold Medal in the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards, teenage category. In 2016, Ellery was selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition.