Our November Romance column features Jaci Burton's newest romantic suspense, The Heart of a Killer. It's a story of murder and gritty romance featuring Special Forces soldier Dante Renaldi and police detective Anna Pallino. Columnist Christie Ridgway loved it: "These are lovers to root for and worry over as violent death dogs their every step."

We chatted with Burton about hot guys and all the many reasons she loves to be a writer. I just love her description of the sexiest type of hero! Read our 7 Questions interview.

The following excerpt gives you just a taste of the tension in The Heart of a Killer (read more at Jaci Burton's website):

Anna Pallino's steps faltered when she entered the alley.

First, because she was in this godforsaken alley again, a place she hadn't set foot in since that night twelve years ago. Now she was back again, and someone was dead in the alley. Again.

Second, Dante Renaldi was back.

Those were enough to justify the stutter in her step.

Roman greeted her.

"What the hell is this?" she asked as she caught sight of Gabe standing next to Dante. "Old-home week? Dante comes back and you three decide to have a reunion here?"

"Not exactly."

"Then why am I here?" Something had obviously happened, but why would Roman call her to this crime scene? Because Dante was here?

And why the hell was Dante here?

She hated questions with no answers.

"Thought you'd want to know. That's George Clemons back there."

Third reason she almost tripped over her own feet. "George? Oh, my God, Roman. I'm so sorry. What happened?"

He laid his hand on her arm to halt her forward progress. "You need to know, Anna. He's been beaten to death."

She sucked in a breath and grabbed onto Roman, fighting to stay in the here and now. "And? There's more. Tell me."

She saw the reluctance in his eyes. "Tell me."

"Someone carved a heart in his chest. Right where..." He glanced down at her shirt, at her left breast.

Oh, God. No. The heart carving just like hers. Her scar throbbed and she resisted the urge to touch it, to rub the ache away.

George Clemons, beaten just like the guys had beaten Tony Maclin that night.

She took a slow long breath, then let it out. "I don't understand."

"Anna."

Dante appeared beside her, but she had no time for him. Not now, not when her vision was nothing more than a pinpoint of light.


Will you be picking up a copy of The Heart of a Killer?

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