Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke

NOT DEAD YET
Series: Not Dead Yet #1
Genre: Paranormal Mystery Romance, MM Romance
Author: Jenn Burke
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: February 4, 2019

Dying isn’t what it used to be.

Wes Cooper was dead. Then he wasn’t—though he’s not exactly alive, either. As an immortal not-ghost, he can transition between this world and the otherplane, which makes him the perfect thief for hire. For seventy years he’s made a “living” returning items to their rightful owners, seeing his fair share of the bizarre in the process. But he’s never witnessed murder. Until now.

His latest mission brings him more than he bargained for: a very-dead actor who is definitely going to stay that way. It’s just Wes’s luck that his ex-boyfriend, Detective Hudson Rojas, is assigned to the case. Hudson broke Wes’s heart years ago—and could again, given he’s rocking a hot silver-fox look that shouldn’t be legal.

As they work together to track down the murderer before anyone else gets hurt, it becomes clear Wes and Hudson have unfinished business. And when a secret Hudson’s been keeping threatens more than just their happiness, it might mean the end of their not-life together—permanently.

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“You are single, right?”“Yeah.” He turned back to watch Gemma’s condo. “We should pay attention to—”“And kids?”

“We need to—”

“We don’t have to look at each other to talk.” To make my point, I turned my gaze back to the empty front entrance too.

Hudson didn’t respond, and he was quiet for long enough that I thought he really wasn’t going to share anything. But then he said, “We talked about this.”

“Yeah. But it’s been thirty-three years. I figured some things were bound to change.”

He’d been—well, adamant wasn’t too strong of a word. No kids for Hudson. His upbringing hadn’t been the best, with an alcoholic father he hated to talk about, a series of stepmothers who rarely lasted more than a year, and a half-brother named Lance who was ten years his junior and lived overseas with his mother—or at least, he had, back in the eighties. Hudson had called him every Christmas we’d been together. He’d shared that there were some good memories of his parents from his childhood, back before his mother had died in a car accident. After that, his family life had descended into something less than tolerable.

So yeah, I got the no-kids thing. Hell if I wanted spawn of my own. I didn’t even know what they’d be—human? Not-ghost? Something else? It was probably best I never find out, and I couldn’t see that attitude changing. But then, like Hudson had pointed out, I was constant and unevolving. My perspective was set. His could have easily changed as he grew older.

“Not about kids,” Hudson said definitively.

“But a husband?”

“Why?” he demanded. “You fishing? You want to get back together?”

I gave up all pretense of watching what I was supposed to be watching, and turned to look at him. “Don’t you ever think about the good times?”

Off and on throughout the day, the happy moments we’d shared had been on replay in my brain, maybe as a way to try to convince myself that Hudson was still Hudson. I wasn’t sure if they were successful or not, but damn, they were some good memories.

“Of course I do.” His expression softened. “Like going up to Algonquin Park and camping under the stars.”

I smiled. I’d hated the obnoxiousness of Hudson’s El Camino, with its noisy engine and excessively large aftermarket tires, but the truck bed had been pretty sweet. Throw an air mattress back there with a few sleeping bags, and…yeah. “Hearing the wolves was pretty magical.”

Hudson laughed. “You were terrified.”

“I was n—” I scrunched up my nose. “Okay, maybe I was. A little. They sounded really close.”

“They weren’t.”

“But they sounded like they were and that was all that mattered.”

“You were…” He paused before voicing the rest of his thought. “So honest.”

“What do you mean?”

“You were scared and you didn’t try to hide it. You wanted me to comfort you, so you asked for it. You were…you are a lot braver than you give yourself credit for.”

I snorted. “Like that small shit matters.”

“Of course it matters. You’ve always been unapologetically you. It was something—something I aspired to.”

“Then why did you leave?”

“Because you weren’t happy, and I sure as hell wasn’t happy, and we were never going to make each other happy. I wasn’t what you needed.”

“That’s bullshit.”

“Is it? Think about it. You needed someone to accept you, to welcome you, to love you as openly as they could, and that wasn’t me.”

“It could have been.”

“Not a chance. Not in 1985.” Hudson lifted his hand as though he were going to cup my cheek.

Despite the questions that still lingered between us, I wanted to feel his skin on mine. I wanted to feel the roughness of his hands, the calluses that had always made his touch that little bit more interesting. I closed my eyes—

“And not now.”

Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

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2 prize packs:

  • One signed paperback copy of Not Dead Yet (exclusive; you can’t buy it in print!) with some Canadian swag – will ship internationally
  • $10 Amazon gift card

  
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