Wicked Game of the Hunter by Tracey L Ryan


In the first book of the Wicked Game of the Hunter romantic suspense series, buried secrets from the past can't stay hidden in this deadly cat-and-mouse game fueled by greed. Finally, everything seems to be falling into place for Emma Sharpeton after her father's tragic death. Little does she suspect that this recent good fortune will bring her face-to-face with a past she thought had been obscured by her future. Her long-lost love and British millionaire, Hunter Logan, suddenly reappears in her life. While the pair begin to rekindle what they once had, dark and disturbing events lead them down an ominous path. Emma becomes the obsession of a dangerous stalker with nefarious intentions who will stop at nothing to win this game. Her pursuer taunts her with cryptic messages that point in the direction of long-ago buried secrets. In this chilling first installment, everything Emma has is on the line - including her life. And at the final hour, she doesn't know whom to trust or who may be reaching out from beyond the grave.

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In the near distance, the man saw headlights coming toward him and slowed the Jeep to almost a crawl as both vehicles approached the hairpin turn on Old Ravine Road. His thoughts drifted back to work. Why hadn’t his employer returned his call yet? Although the cell reception was sometimes sporadic, he hoped that his employer received the message—it was so unlike him not to call back. In fact, his employer was a micro-manager to the point of being absurd. He usually stayed in the city in bad weather, but his employer was hounding him to work from home with the pending snowstorm instead—which was very odd behavior. But he didn’t argue because that meant he could spend more time with his daughter, the apple of his eye, who was home from college.

The man brought his thoughts back to driving in the fast-deteriorating conditions. This road, perfectly serene in the good weather as it overlooked the tranquil houses down below, was downright murderous in the winter months with its countless accidents into the ravine. Hardwicke was one of those rare places that still possessed all its natural beauty. Even the snow seemed to glisten in a mystical way that could only be seen far away from any city influence. There was a purity about the town that only its inhabitants could truly understand and appreciate.

The high beam headlights of the other vehicle were now directly in his view and almost blinding him, snapping him out of his nostalgia. The other driver must not know the road or somehow hadn’t see him. The man gripped the steering wheel a little tighter. He flashed his lights, but it looked like the other car was going to hit him head-on. He tried to swerve. The road was narrow and without guardrails. There was nowhere for him to go. The Jeep’s tires rattled dangerously close to the edge of the embankment that led down to the ravine. Why wasn’t the other car returning to their lane? Must be a drunk driver, the man immediately thought.

The Jeep started to fishtail. As the front tires hit the snow-covered gravel on the edge of the road it spun 180 degrees. It teetered and started to go over. The vehicle lost any remaining balance and rolled over on its driver’s side, then again onto its roof while it continued to slide down the embankment. Glass shattered like confetti at a birthday party as the metal made an unnerving crunch sound. The Jeep’s driver’s seatbelt became unhooked. He was tossed around the front seat of the vehicle as it virtually collapsed around him. Only the steering wheel prevented him from being thrown out of the vehicle where the front windshield used to be.

The seconds felt like an eternity for the driver as the Jeep tumbled downward. A large boulder brought it to a stop at the bottom of the ravine. What used to be the front-end of the Jeep was now melded with the boulder so that it looked like an abstract piece of art. The engine hissed as smoke poured out, shrouding the Jeep in a white and grey cloak.

When the world stopped moving, the man was semi-conscious. Not quite in this world but not in the next either. In his last moments before heading to the great beyond, his only thoughts were of his precious daughter. Then eternal darkness fell on him, and all his secrets were forever hidden as the snow gently covered the vehicle in a plush, white blanket. The dark SUV idled on the road at the top of the ravine for a few more moments. Then the passenger rolled down the window. The air started to smell like gasoline. The passenger threw their still lit Macanudo cigar down into the ravine. Satisfied that there was no movement in the vehicle at the bottom, the passenger signaled the driver. The SUV drove away unnoticed as the Jeep burst into flames.

About the Author

Tracey L. Ryan has been a lover of mysteries all her life. Growing up in a small town, Tracey spent her younger years devouring any mystery or suspense books she could find at the local library. That is when her writing skills started to flourish with her ultimate dream of becoming a mystery author.

Tracey is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced suspense and mystery sprinkled with heart-pounding romance. She creates well-thought-out characters and descriptive details that brings the story to life on the page for her readers, drawing them into the mystery.

By day, Tracey has turned her passion for creativity into a successful financial services marketing career.

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