• Special to The Sun

Local author launches new romantic suspense series

Bourbon, Thoroughbred race horses, passion, politics, domestic terrorism and murder combine to make an intoxicating cocktail for readers with Versailles author Heather Sunseri's Exposed in Darkness, the first installment in her new romantic suspense In Darkness series. "This series represents a new and unique opportunity for readers to experience a fresh take on a genre with a strong, yet damaged female lead," Sunseri explained. "The main character is a former Virginia FBI agent who suffered a great loss in her personal and professional life and is brought to the Bluegrass State to help solve the murder of a prominent Kentucky politician." Exposed in Darkness was released in January and received a glowing review from USA Today's "Happy Ever After" book review website, saying the novel "hits the romantic suspense sweet spot with style and ease" with "intelligent twists and startling revelations abound, which steadily increase the reader's stake in the fate of the characters, their romance and the question of whodunit." Exposed in Darkness represents Sunseri's initial foray into the adult romantic suspense genre. Previously, she released five novels in the young adult romantic paranormal Mindspeak series, which explored the ramifications of unintended consequences from cloning humans. She also released a young adult romantic dystopian series that imagined how love could survive in a world devastated by an airborne Ebola-like virus. Like the Mindspeak series, the In Darkness novels are set in Central Kentucky, which gives Sunseri the opportunity to showcase both the natural beauty and amazing people of the area. "The new series leans heavily on signature Kentucky industries, from world-class Thoroughbred race horses to the best bourbon known to man," Sunseri said. "Brooke Fairfax, my main character, meets and eventually falls for a handsome, wealthy Irishman tied deeply into both worlds." Exposed in Darkness revolves around an attempted assassination of Kentucky's governor, who happens to be Brooke's deceased husband's brother, just days before the world's biggest horse race. Brooke, still an emotional wreck from the loss of her husband, reluctantly is drawn into the case. The investigation eventually leads her to international mogul Declan O'Roark, who not only becomes the focus of the FBI but also stirs a passion in Brooke she hasn't felt since her husband's murder. Sunseri has felt a calling to explore writing in a new genre for quite a while now. "As much as I enjoyed writing young adult books, as a huge Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb fan I've always felt a pull to craft adult romantic suspense stories," Sunseri said. "After my husband became the deputy director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security last year, story ideas that mixed romance with the ever-increasing threats facing our country began coming to me in droves." The next book in the series, Cut in Darkness, will be released April 4. While Exposed in Darkness has ties to bioterrorism and homegrown violent extremists, Cut in Darkness delves into the scourge of synthetic opioids plaguing Kentucky and the rest of the country. Future installments in the series already in the works involve an active shooter and an attempt to take down the power grid. Sunseri's books can be purchased at all the major online book retailers, including Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google Play. All of her novels can also be purchased in ebook format on her website at heathersunseri.com.

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