Spotlight & Giveaway: Dangerous Desires by Dawn Altieri

Posted July 17th, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 30 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Dawn Altieri to HJ!

Hi Dawn and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Dangerous Desires!

Hello, fellow junkies! I’m so excited to be here!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Dangerous Desires is the first book in my Killer Instincts series. It’s the story of Emma Sloane, a young woman stuck in a boring job who has always played by the rules and done exactly what everyone around her expects her to do. She recently lost her fiance in a tragic hit-and-run accident, and now she’s desperate for a fresh start, but her plans are stifled when she is attacked outside her apartment.

NYPD homicide detective Jake Quinn is assigned to Emma’s case, and he quickly realizes he already knows her – he worked her fiance’s case not long ago. He’s never forgotten her, or the fact that he couldn’t solve that hit-and-run. Now he suspects the man who attacked Emma might be the serial killer who has been targeting women who look just like her all around the city. When it becomes clear Emma is the killer’s ultimate target, Jake will stop at nothing to keep her safe.

And the best thing about Dangerous Desires is that right now, it’s on sale for only 99 cents!

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

Oh, I have a few…

– He slid his fingers to the handgun at his waist. If he hadn’t been searching her apartment for a killer, it would’ve been an incredibly sexy move.

– It may have been a while since Jake had had sex, but he’d never had sex like that.

– This wasn’t just some fling he was going to be able to shake off once she was out of danger and free to live on her own again.

– “That sounds like an abuse of power, Detective,” she said.
“You want to see an abuse of power? I’ll bring my cuffs home tonight.”

– “You’re not the first person to make bad decisions because you thought you were in love.” Not that he knew anything about being in love. Bad decisions? Yes. Love? He still had a thing or two to learn about that.”

– He’d told her he couldn’t make her happy. So why had she been so damned happy with him? Why had she felt like she had everything she wanted when she’d believed she could have him?

– He’d put solving the case above Emma’s safety, and he’d sworn he’d never make that mistake again. He deserved every ounce of her anger.


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • Detective Jake Quinn was inspired by the actor Henry Cavill. After watching him in The Tudors, I imagined him in a contemporary crime drama, and he was the only person I could picture as Jake once I started writing. His starring role as a detective tracking a serial killer in last year’s movie “Night Hunter” proved my hunch he’d make the perfect gruff, no-nonsense cop was right!
  • In related news, I’m obsessed with Henry Cavill.
  • Dangerous Desires was originally titled Waiting for You, because Jake has waited so long to be with Emma, but I didn’t think that sounded “suspensey” enough.
  • I’m a dog lover and animal rescue volunteer. I originally intended to include a dog in every one of my books, and my first book Burn includes firehouse mascot Max. But alas, I couldn’t find a way to fit a dog into this story.
  • I learned some very interesting and disturbing things while Google-researching serial killers like Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz, and the Richard Ramirez. If the FBI ever checks my search history, I might have some explaining to do.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

Jake was attracted to Emma when he first met her soon after her fiance’s death, and though she
impressed him with her strength and poise in such a difficult situation, he couldn’t pursue her then, for obvious reasons. He never forgot her, nor did he ever expect to see her again, but acting on his infatuation now could cost him his job and put her life in danger.

Emma is intrigued by Jake’s dangerous career – so far removed from the boring daily grind of her own life. Of course, she noticed the sexy detective when he’d been assigned to her fiance’s case, but his inability to solve that case makes her leery about trusting him on this one. Once he becomes her self-appointed bodyguard, Emma has no choice but to get to know him better, and she sees he wants many of the same things she wants out of life, things she’d just recently gained the courage to go after for herself.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

After weeks of an unsuccessful investigation, Jake reluctantly agrees with his lieutenant’s plan to try to lure the killer out. Jake brings Emma to the annual police department fundraiser, a high profile event covered by all the New York news media. Emma enjoys a fairy tale evening, only to realize Jake has used her as bait.

This scene was particularly difficult to write – I felt every bit of Emma’s roller coaster ride of emotions! She has just begun to trust Jake and believe they could have a future together, but now she feels so thoroughly betrayed, she can’t see how things could possibly work between them. It was hard not give up hope myself, even though I know they’d find a way!

Here’s a snippet:

His footsteps came up slowly behind her, and he placed his hands on her arms, rubbing them gently. “Emma…” he began, but his voice trailed off.
She turned to face him. “You were trying to lure him out. Bringing me here tonight, showing me off outside. You even had this room reserved, in case you needed to hide me. You were hoping he’d try to get to me. That’s why you put a tracking device on my earring.”
“I had no choice. I could have lost my job—”
“I could have lost my life!”
The color drained from his face, and a rush of air burst from his chest as if she’d punched him in the stomach. Good. He deserved to feel as sick over this as she did.
“I would never have let that happen,” he said, his voice low and tortured. “It was the lieutenant’s plan, not mine. I had orders to follow, but I never would’ve let anything happen to you.”


Readers should read this book….

…because I absolutely loved writing it! Jake and Emma’s story was the first full-length novel I actually FINISHED writing (I started many others over the years, but we won’t go into that…) It took me a while to polish it up and get it published, and I’m so proud of the final result. These characters lived in my heart for so long, it’s a thrill to finally see them out in the world. If you love a forbidden romance with heart-pounding suspense, you’ll love Dangerous Desires. And it’s on sale for only 99 cents!


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’ve got at least two more books in the works for the Killer Instincts series, one of which will feature Jake’s colleague, Officer Adam Markowitz. Also in the pipeline are two more stories in the Romance in Ridgeport series, the first of which was my debut novel, Burn.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: One reader from the comment will win a signed paperback copy of Dangerous Desires. US only.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Who are some of your favorite romantic suspense authors?

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Excerpt from Dangerous Desires:

Emma pulled herself up onto the barstool, and Jake moved into the space next to her, touching
his glass to her bottle with a clink. “I did not expect to see you here,” he said with a hint of admonishment before he took a sip.
She started to stifle the burst of indignation that flashed through her, as she’d done so many times when her fiance had tried to keep her at home and under his thumb. But she quickly changed her mind. Who was Jake to tell her where she could and couldn’t go?
“Should I just never leave my apartment again?” she demanded.
He shook his head, unfazed by her defiance. “No. As long as you’re smart about it and stick close to your friends. There’s not much the department can do unless there’s a specific, direct threat against you, so you just have to be careful. Everything okay since this morning?”
“Yes.” Although her nerves had yet to recover from both the mysterious bouquet of lilacs delivered to her office and the police questioning her coworkers.
“Good,” he said with a nod. His eyes took on a playful glimmer. “So…come here often?”
It took her a minute to realize he was joking, another minute for her resentment to melt away. And when it did, she chuckled and let down her guard. “Actually, this is my first time. My friends suggested it. Sort of a forget-your-troubles kind of night.”
“Ah, this place is perfect for that. Wait till you hear the band. They’re awesome.” He glanced down and twirled the ice in his glass. His lighthearted air faded. “We didn’t get any information from anyone at your office.”
Her heart sank. “I was afraid of that.”
“Your boss is quite a character.”
She chuckled. “That’s one way to describe him. Probably wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on him.”
“I’m keeping an eye on everyone, Emma.” Any hint of humor in his voice was gone as he stared into his drink.
She cleared her throat. “Everyone?”
“Yes. Everyone.” He turned to face her fully. “This is someone you know. Or at least, someone who knows you. Possibly someone who wants you but feels he can’t have you.”
“Oh God,” she muttered, fighting the nausea his assessment brought up. How could there be someone in her life who fit that description without her knowing it?
Jake swiveled back to the bar. Several long moments passed before he spoke again. “We haven’t come up with anything on the lilacs yet, either. The clerk at the flower shop couldn’t remember who placed the order. They paid in cash and didn’t leave a name.”
Emma shook her head and took a generous sip from her beer. “Can we not talk about the investigation anymore tonight? I’m forgetting my troubles, remember?”
“Oh, that’s right. Forgive me.” His shoulders relaxed the slightest bit, and a thin smile graced his tempting lips.
Up on the stage, the band broke into the grinding guitar riff of an Aerosmith tune for their opening number, and Emma took Jake’s interest in the band as an opportunity to study his profile. The muscle in his jaw clenched as he nodded his head in time to the drumbeat. Like everything else about him, it was sexy as hell, and just as aggravating. As if he felt her eyes on him, he turned to her and lifted his brow.
She took another long pull from her beer, savoring the surge of warmth as the alcohol seeped into her system. She’d never been much of a drinker. “Sorry,” she said, barely loud enough for him to hear her over the music. “Just…enjoying the view.”
She wasn’t sure why she’d said it, but now that it was out there, it was too late to reel it back in.
He threw an arm around her shoulder and tugged her into his side as he leaned toward her ear. “Stare all you want. Then I won’t feel bad when you catch me doing the same.” He released her, lifted his drink to his lips, and returned his attention to the stage, as though the remark were a simple statement of fact and not an attempt at flirtation.
What was he doing? And why did she like it so much? This could be her chance to have some fun. Her friends had encouraged her for years to lighten up, let go, and live a little, and damn it, she was ready to do it. This man had consumed her thoughts over the last few days for reasons she still fought to deny. Now that she had the opportunity to experience off-duty-Jake—though not far removed from interrogator-Jake who’d stared her down in the interview room at the police station—she was even more drawn to him. Intimidating and broody were one thing, but the bold confidence he was going with now was sexy on a whole different level.
But what was he doing? He was hanging back from the stage to keep an eye on her and keep her safe, which was part of his job. He may have hinted at an attraction, but that was a far cry from wanting a relationship with her. Well, she didn’t want a relationship, anyway.
Confused by her own thoughts, she pushed them aside and shimmied a little to the rhythm of the music. The crowd grew, with several patrons squeezing toward the stage, and she drank some more.
Jake faced her during a lull between songs. “You’re just itching to dance, aren’t you?”
Dancing was something she hadn’t done much of after she met Justin, a man who avoided dance floors like they were quicksand pits that would suck him under and never release him. He wouldn’t even consent to dance lessons to prepare for their upcoming wedding. She imagined Jake dressed to the nines, twirling her around a ballroom. He’d make a stunning dance partner, if he was into that sort of thing. “It’s been a while, but yeah, I love to dance.” She hesitated, then added, “Do you?”
He tilted his head and scrutinized her once more. “I should warn you, I’m good.”
She gasped as he gripped her hand, tugged her off the stool, and whisked her to the back edge of the crowd watching the band. He positioned her in front of him, turned her to face him, and dropped his hands to her waist.
His fingers rested there for a moment before he raised her hand, spinning her beneath his arm until she was wrapped tight against him with her back to his chest. He unraveled her to her original position, circling his arm around her, pulling her close to whisper in her ear. “I still can’t believe you’re here.”
His seductive tone made the tiny hairs at the nape of her neck stand at attention. His fingers brushed the bare skin of her waist where her shirt had ridden up. The brief embrace filled her with a sense of safety she hadn’t felt since this mess began…along with a hint of possession she never would’ve expected to thrill her as much as it did.
What the hell was going on between them?
As the band segued into a David Bowie tune, for the first time in a long while, she made a deliberate choice to enjoy herself. And Jake was the perfect man to keep her safe while she did so.
She faced him again, draping her arms over his shoulders. She sang along with the vocalist, giggling through the song’s lyric about dead hair and underwear and wiggling her hips.
She hadn’t had much to eat all day, which would explain the carefree buzz that had come over her after only one beer.
Jake’s eyes glittered in obvious amusement as he watched her with his palms still loose on her waist, refusing to fully give in to the smile that pinched the corners of his mouth. The musicians ran through a handful of classic rock tunes, and after a while, she was out of breath, desperate for a break. She grabbed Jake’s hand and pulled him with her toward the bar.
“You’re too young to know these tunes,” he called from behind her.
She held his hands in place on her waist as she worked an exaggerated strut back to their seats, which were still empty since everyone had moved toward the stage. “I’m not that much younger than you,” she said. He waved the bartender over for another round of drinks as she pulled
herself onto a barstool. “But,” she said, catching her breath, “I am completely out of shape.”
“Oh, I beg to differ, Ms. Sloane.” He passed her the beer bottle from the bartender. “You are in fine shape. I should know. I’ve been checking you out all night.”
She poked her finger in the middle of his chest. “You’re too kind, Detective. If we were really dancing, I bet I’d barely be able to keep up with you.”
He lifted his drink. “It bodes well for me that you’ve got such confidence in my stamina.”
She landed a playful punch to his shoulder, pretending to be offended when she was anything but. The way his gaze remained fixated on her as she took a sip of her beer, the way he raked it down her body, was totally unprofessional. She was the victim of a crime, a crime he was investigating. She should be offended. Angry. Furious, even.
But she wasn’t.
She enjoyed being the focus of his attention, whether he was babysitting her or not. The sight of him towering over her left her breathless all over again, with those strong, broad shoulders and lean muscles, that mischievous grin that warned of nothing but trouble, but in the best way she
could imagine. Maybe her friends were right. Emma had been alone for too long. Somehow, the sexy detective had managed to stir a fire in her she’d long forgotten. And now she had the added
thought in her head of testing his stamina.
The drummer kicked into the opening beat of a Black Crowes tune. “Ooh, I love this song.” She slid off the stool, grabbed Jake’s hand, and pulled him back to the dance floor. He twirled her under his arm again and finished the spin by yanking her into him once more.
It felt so good to let go. To forget all the stress of the last few days and lose herself in this man. He kept one hand on her waist while the other held her fingers against his chest, and they moved together in perfect sync, him stepping forward as she stepped back and toward him again.
Without warning, he gripped her waist to stop her movements and stared down at her with such intensity her cheeks blazed. She gazed up at him expectantly, her eyes wide, lips slightly parted, her breath sawing in and out of her lungs. Her palms flattened against his chest, which rose and fell just as hard and heavy as hers.
Cold realization dawned on her. “We shouldn’t be doing this, should we?” she murmured.
“No. We really shouldn’t.”
His mouth crashed onto hers with an urgency she hadn’t anticipated, as if he’d been dying to kiss her all along. With one hand at the nape of her neck and the other still wrapped around her back, he pulled her closer, completely enveloping her.
Her body sparked to life, reawakening in a way she hadn’t thought possible. The bite of whiskey lingered on his tongue as it tangled with hers. His toned biceps clenched beneath her fingers as she gripped his arms to steady herself. Those two beers she’d downed had to be somewhat to
blame for her lightheadedness, but this was a different sort of intoxication. An energy moved through her like nothing she’d ever experienced, certainly not with Justin.
Her stomach fluttered with guilt for allowing the thought of Justin to creep in, but there was no comparison. Jake’s kiss transformed her entire body into one giant nerve ending, pleading for more—or for as much as was possible on a crowded dance floor. She slipped her hands around
his waist to the lean muscles of his back, caught off guard when her fingers bumped the handgun tucked into his jeans beneath his T-shirt.
And there it was. The reminder of how dangerous and powerful this man might really be.
He withdrew from her suddenly, stepping back and moving his hand from her neck to her cheek. The look on his face was one she couldn’t read at first, and a knot formed in the pit of her stomach.
He uttered a curse. “I can’t do this.”
Her heart plummeted.
He shot a gaze through the crowd before he led her back to the bar. “Do you want another drink?” he asked.
Just what I need, she thought, though she’d instantly sobered at the abrupt halt to their kiss. “I’ll take a club soda with lemon.”
Jake ordered one for himself, as well. He ran his palm over his mouth and chin, reclaiming his firmly held composure while the bartender set off to get the drinks.
“Emma, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
He was still holding the breath that filled his chest. It took every ounce of self-restraint she had not to grab him by his T-shirt and kiss him again, just to force him to release it.
She beckoned him closer with her finger, exhaling warmth on his neck as she whispered in his ear. “I kinda liked it, Detective.”
His lips curled into that crooked, wicked grin for the slightest moment before the playfulness shut down and he was all business again. “I mean it, Emma. You’re a witness.”
She swore the quivering chill that ran up her spine was in response to his comment, until the vibration of her phone in her back pocket registered in her mind. She held up a finger and dug the phone from her jeans, not bothering to read the screen before she raised it to her ear.
“Hello?” The crowd and the loud music made it hard to hear, and she placed her finger over her other ear to block some of the noise. “Hello?”
The activity around her slowed to a crawl as sounds of labored breathing came through the line.
“Black lace is my favorite,” the deep voice grunted in a whisper. Emma glanced down at her black lace top and her stomach wrenched.
Jake gripped her shoulder. “Emma?”
“Seems like the detective likes it, too,” the man on the phone said. “Is that the only black lace you’re wearing tonight? Gonna let him see the rest of it?”
Her vision blurred in a fit of panic. All around her, the other patrons continued to dance and sing along to the music…but somewhere, this madman was watching her.
“Emma.” Jake squeezed her again and gave her a slight shake, but he only drew a sliver of her attention. His voice drifted farther away as she concentrated on the man on the phone.
“This girl here isn’t wearing black lace like you are. I really wish she was. But I’m still going to pretend she’s you.”
Jake tore the phone from her fingers and spoke into it in a controlled, even tone. “Listen, you sick son of a bitch.” He pulled the phone away from his ear and glanced down at the screen that had gone black when the caller disconnected. “Goddamnit!” He shifted his position, shielding Emma as best he could as he surveyed the area around the bar.
“He knows what I’m wearing,” she murmured. “He can see us. And he said he has another girl.”
Raw fury riddled Jake’s face as he threw an arm across her shoulders and tugged her off the barstool with his free hand. “I have to get you out of here.”

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Three years after Emma Sloane’s wealthy fiancé’s mysterious death, she’s finally ready to move on and pursue her own dreams. But her plans are derailed when she’s attacked outside her New York City apartment in what she thinks is a random violent incident. Then other women who look just like her start turning up dead…

Homicide Detective Jake Quinn is haunted by the one case he couldn’t solve. When he’s put in charge of a new high-profile murder case, he interviews a victim who escaped a similar attack—and to his shock it’s Emma, the former fiancée of his unsolved murder victim.

Neither expects the sparks of attraction between them. But the killer escalates, clearly targeting Emma, and Jake’s job is on the line. Can he solve this case before it’s too late for both of them?
Book Links:  Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

With an overactive imagination and a slightly twisted mind, Dawn Altieri has been scribbling stories practically since birth. When she’s not curled up on the sofa with her laptop, her latest story, a box of chocolates and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, depending on the time of day), she can be found volunteering in the world of animal rescue. She shares her home with her husband and daughter, and a menagerie of rescued fur-babies.
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30 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Dangerous Desires by Dawn Altieri”

  1. Lilah Chavez

    Julie Ann Walker!
    Julie James
    Lori Foster!
    Katie Reus!
    Just to name a few

  2. EC

    Hmm…that’s tough.

    Even though it has some paranormal elements to it, the GhostWalkers series by Christine Feehan can be considered as romantic suspense, right?

  3. Laura

    some of my favorite romantic suspense authors authors are Dianne Duvall, Tina Folsom and N. J. Walters.

  4. Pamela Conway

    I have too many favorite authors! For suspense Kat Martin, Jayne Ann Krentz are a couple!

  5. dbranigan

    I just finished a Linda Castillo novel. I like Sandra Brown, Tess Gerritsen, Kay Hooper and Lisa Jackson among many others.

  6. Kim

    The first romantic suspense author I read was Mariah Stewart. I’m not sure if I knew it was a suspense book initially. I had just started loving to read and she was my author of choice.

    But true suspense favorite is Theresa Burrell. I read into her at a BN and she was trying to sell her books. I tried to blow her off. But she gave me a bookmark. The tag line was something like all the killer left was a knife and a rosary. I ended up looking up the book in the car. That was the second book. So I had to read the first one first. I read both books in 3 days.

  7. isisthe12th

    I love Laurelin Paige, Amy Harmon, K. Ryan, Marie Force, Lisa Suzanne and many more. Thank you

  8. Jana Leah

    Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick & Christina Dodd are probably my favorites.

  9. Diana Hardt

    I have a long list of favorite romantic suspense authors. Among them are Christine Feehan, Lori Foster, Juno Rushdan, Patricia Bradley, Nora Roberts.

  10. Patricia B.

    Pamela Clare, B. J. Daniels, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Tara Taylor Quinn, Kat Martin, Lindsay McKenna, Debra Webb, Deloris Fossen, and many more.

  11. bunnyclem

    Nora Roberts, Karen Robards, Lisa Jackson, Catherine Coulter, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner