Excerpt Reveal for Motive by Kennedy Layne
The next book in Kennedy Layne’s Office Roulette series, MOTIVE, releases July 17th! You can read part of the first chapter below!
About MOTIVE (Office Roulette #2)
Available July 17th
The Office Roulette trilogy continues with an epic battle between blame and forgiveness…
Rye Marshall had it all—wealth, prominence, and the love of his life. But nothing lasts forever, and his perfect world came crashing down around him. When the dust settled, he found himself alone and starting from a clean slate.
Grace Dorrance had made many mistakes in her life, but one stood out above the rest—an epic ending to a complex and passionate relationship. She left her former lover’s life in complete ruins and tried her best never to look back at the wreckage.
Seconds chances are hard to come by, but even more difficult when Grace is arrested for a murder she didn’t commit. This gives Rye the perfect motive to forgive and forget, allowing for new beginnings. Unfortunately, someone’s playing a game of office roulette with everyone’s lives.
MOTIVE releases July 17th – preorder your copy now!
Read an excerpt from MOTIVE
“Grace Dorrance? Please sign inside the box.”
The police officer behind the security window slid a manila envelope through the slot. It contained her jewelry, though some pieces were expensive and some not. It was all she’d had on her person, besides the designer clothes on her back and the clip in her hair, when Detective Fred Nielsen had arrested her for murder in front of all her colleagues.
One would think that would have been the most humiliating moment of the past twenty-four hours.
Not even close.
What came while being processed for committing said murder was mortifying and had the ability to crush an individual’s resolve. At least, for those who were innocent of the offense for which she had been charged.
She was innocent… or had been, depending on a person’s outlook.
Grace had not taken a knife and slit the throat of her boss, no matter how many times she might have imagined doing away with him during her employment at Manon Investments.
“The box,” the officer directed again rather abruptly when she’d hovered the pen over the blank space, deep in thought. “Stay inside the box.”
There was no imaginary place where Grace could cover up the fact that her hands were still trembling with fear as she scrawled her signature inside the highlighted area.
Okay, so she was more than scared. She was downright terrified she’d spend the rest of her life in prison for a crime she didn’t commit.
She’d been placed in a cell with other women who could have easily taken on the prison staff. They had created a dynamic where those minimum wage guards seemed like complete amateurs ignoring the fact of who was actually running the place.
It had been downright chilling.
Some of her fellow so-called bunkies had muscles in places she wasn’t sure was possible. She’d done her best to be invisible by sitting in a corner and minding her own business.
“Thank you,” Grace managed to say after clearing her throat of the frog lodged there. She might be horrified and on the brink of a full-blown panic attack on the inside, but damned if she’d let that show to anyone outside her own inner circle. A part of her felt disconnected, drifting on a rapid river current all alone. It was easier to go through the motions without a single defined emotion crushing the unusual fragile state she’d found herself in at the moment. “Is there anything else I need to do, Officer?”
“No,” the uniformed functionary replied curtly as he took the clipboard and set it just inside the window, preparing for the next individual who made bail. Somehow, she’d been redefined as a hardened criminal in the matter of a few hours. “You’re free to go.”
Grace automatically turned on the heels she would have gladly given up to Bertha the Bulldog, one of the women with whom she’d shared her cell, but they had thankfully been the wrong size.
Bertha the Bulldog had eventually lost interest.
“Are you okay?” Laurel Calanthe asked as she wrapped her arms tightly around Grace, pulling her close. It was all she could do to hold back the tears that had threatened to fall ever since those cold steel handcuffs had been slapped on her wrists. It was good to have her friends close by to remind her that she could get through this with her head held high. “All that matters right now is that you made bail. We’ll worry about the details soon enough, once you’ve had a shower and a good night’s sleep.”
“She wasn’t granted bail.” Justin Monroe, the criminal defense attorney who had been brought in to represent Grace, stood off to the side with his briefcase in hand. He couldn’t have been much older than herself, yet he had a reputation of being one of the best peer-rated lawyers in the city. She was just happy he’d done a good job dispelling the charges against her, no matter what outrageous hourly rate he’d most likely include in his invoice. “Grace, the police were provided with proof via the parking garage’s video CCTV footage that someone else had placed the bloody knife in the back of your vehicle. All charges have been dropped. You are free to go.”
Grace wasn’t sure she’d heard Justin correctly, but the round of cheers that came from her small group of friends told her otherwise. It seemed they’d all missed the catch he’d so eloquently hidden in the middle of his speech.
Had Justin just made the accusation that someone had tried to frame her for murder?
As the shock of that stark realization settled over her, Grace thought back to this morning when she’d been arrested on charges of killing her boss even though she’d supplied the police with a completely solid alibi.
Well, she’d actually fabricated that story, but Detective Nielsen didn’t need to know the specifics at the moment.
All the police had to do was concentrate on the fact that Brad Manon had been killed in his office and that the person responsible was currently running around the streets of Minneapolis a free man or woman trying to frame innocent people.
What had been the motive to kill the portfolio manager of Manon Investments?
Who could have possibly benefited from his death?
Grace certainly hadn’t profited from Brad’s death. In her opinion, the fact that Brad had been found dead at his desk with his throat slit symbolized to her that his demise was personal. There were numerous suspects according to the police, but no one had been arrested… until today, that is.
Who would have had the audacity to try and frame her?
Better yet, who else knew that she’d lied to the police about that fateful night?
Missed MEANS (Office Roulette #1) and need to catch up? Get your hands on it now!
About MEANS (Office Roulette #1)
From USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne comes a sexy trilogy that involves greed, power, and the desire to do it all over again…
Smith Gallo has everything a man could ever want at the tip of his fingertips, except of course the woman he loves. To what lengths will he be willing to go to make his ambitions come true?
Laurel Calanthe is one successful stock pick away from making partner when she finds herself in desperate need of an alibi. There’s only one problem. The man who can save her from being arrested is her only competitor and the one who now holds her fate in his hands.
Greed is a powerful motivator in the game of making money, but desire can overcome even the strongest motive.
About Kennedy Layne
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.