Friday feature: Fatal Designs

A sample from the latest suspense novel

By Lucy Appadoo

Fatal Designs cover

Edward feathered her bottom lip and cheek. She closed her eyes and they inched forward. Then he pulled away. “This can’t happen.”

Joy angled her head. “Why not?”

He got up from the couch and stood cross-armed. Joy rose too and inched her way closer to Edward, but he stepped back and shook his head. “What’s going on, Edward?” He remained silent. “I thought you cared.”

“This won’t work.” 

“Care to explain?” She scowled. “I mean, here you are, inviting me out for dinner and a show, then getting kind of intimate. What do you expect me to think?”

He paced the floor with his hands on his hips. “We work together and it would be awkward for one thing.”

“For one. What other reasons are there?”

He glanced in her direction and sat back down on the couch, turning the TV off. He rubbed underneath his eye. “What if Thomas finds out?”

Joy averted her eyes. “What? He is not my boyfriend. You know that.”

“It could wreck our work with the Stubbles if Thomas finds out and doesn’t like the idea.”

“You invited me here, Edward. I think we can both be professional and keep our relationship discreet until after the project is done. Like you said yesterday, it is almost done. Maybe a few weeks at best.”

He didn’t reply. Was he trying to think of more reasons? It dawned on her that this might not be about Thomas or work at all. “This is more about Ray, isn’t it? You don’t want to hurt your brother, is that it? What do you truly want, Edward? Tell me. I know there’s an attraction here, but I want you to tell me you’re attracted to me and want this too. If not, then be straight with me. What is it you want?”

He hung his head down, elbows at his sides. “I don’t know what I want. I think this is a mistake.”

“But you were the one who made the first move.”

He breathed deeply, his eyes downcast. “I made a mistake and wasn’t thinking rationally.”

“Well, God forbid you need to be rational about your emotions, if you have any.”

“What does that mean? I am not a robot and I do have feelings.”

She sighed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean … You can be really frustrating, you know?”

Edward’s face paled and his shoulders appeared to tighten. He avoided looking at her and stared at his hands instead. “This won’t work anyway. I’m not the man for you. I … I … It won’t work. We work together and I’m not looking for a relationship. It’s too hard after …”

“After who? Evanthia? Are you still grieving for her?”

“There are too many complications with us. Ray, Thomas, our work, and yes, Evanthia. It’s too hard and I can’t manage this now, if ever.”

Her heartbeat slowed and her legs trembled. “God forbid. I should be worth it.” She felt a fleeting dizzy sensation. “I was willing to try, Edward. You don’t even want to try.” 

Joy got up and wiped at her face. A painful tightness in her throat made her want to scream, but she lifted her shoulders up high. “Fine. Next time, don’t even consider kissing me because I’ll be unavailable. Goodbye.” She headed to the front door and rushed out with tears in her eyes. Bowing down, she sniffed and walked on unsteady legs to her car. She didn’t care about Edward. He could go take a flying leap in the river for all she cared. Today was turning into a nightmare.

Fatal Designs

Fatal Designs cover

Passion becomes peril in a deadly dance of love and death.

Joy Warrier, a talented 25-year-old interior designer, experiences a harrowing ordeal when her colleague mysteriously vanishes only to be discovered dead. As Joy grapples with the shocking loss, fate intertwines her path with that of a handsome architect, Edward Astbury. Sparks fly as they clash, and an undeniable attraction simmers beneath the surface.

Joy’s world takes a terrifying turn when a series of chilling murders occur close to home. To her horror, the victims’ lifeless bodies are dumped in places she has visited, leaving her to question if it’s mere coincidence or something far more sinister.

With suspicion gnawing, Edward’s brother, Ray, displays an unsettling interest in her and becomes a prime suspect. When she rejects his advances, she delves deeper into the mystery, only to discover that appearances can be deceiving, and her loved ones may be in danger. Will anyone survive the deadly secrets that lie within the shadows?

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About the author

author Lucy Appadoo

Lucy Appadoo is a prolific reader and author. After a childhood spent reading and imagining escapist worlds, Lucy has put her imagination into stories. Her work as a rehabilitation counsellor, and former work as a counsellor in private practice, have led to an interest in writing inspirational stories about authentic, driven women who manage adversity with strength and heart. She writes in the genres of romantic suspense/thrillers with significant life themes and contemporary romance.

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