Karen’s Killer Book Bench: COVER STORIES, A Tense #Psychological #Suspense #Thriller by Lauren Claudare

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A Tense Psychological Suspense Thriller


What’s it like to be in a relationship with a trained liar who manipulates people for a living?

It’s 2006 and Annabelle Astley is a rising star at a 24-hour cable news network in New York when she learns her new boyfriend, Ryan Wyatt, is an undercover operative working in an elite unit of the CIA. Her decision to confront him with her discovery brings about the most extreme form of gaslighting imaginable, yet the allure of knowing something no one else does makes Annabelle fiercely protective of Ryan’s secret. Their relationship is tested when he is deployed to Afghanistan and the increasing paranoia and isolation she experiences while living her own lies to keep his cover story intact have devastating consequences.


A Tense Psychological Suspense Thriller


A blast of chilly air filled the tiny kitchen. Ryan stepped inside with a grin spread across his face. “Bon appétit,” he said, dropping a hunk of filet onto the center of her plate, splattering its juices across the front of her shirt. She watched as he made his way around the table toward the sink, where he slapped the light switch off. Two tiny electric candles flickered on the table. She blinked quickly in the darkness.

“That’s better,” he announced, taking the seat across from her.

She looked down at her plate. “I can hardly see.”

“Your eyes will adjust.”

She looked up at him. “It’s too dark like this.”

He shoved a piece of steak into his mouth. “It’s more romantic like this.”

A sudden rage churned inside her. Being dragged to a shitty cabin in the middle of nowhere didn’t feel very romantic to her. “Can’t we just turn the light back on?” she demanded.

His jaw stopped moving mid-chew. Carefully, he stood up, folded his napkin over his plate, his steak knife still in his hand. Panic flared behind her rib cage. What was he doing holding the knife like that? He didn’t need a knife to turn the lights back on. Why did he turn the lights off in the first place? She could hear Alex’s warning ringing loud and clear.

This will only end badly for you.

They’re trained liars. Some are trained killers.

The sooner you get out, the better.

She could practically see the tabloid headline the papers would run. Cabin Killing.  The script practically wrote itself. What was supposed to be a romantic weekend getaway ended with the brutal murder of news anchor Annabelle Astley. Who would Jon send to cover the story? How would any satellite trucks even make it up that winding mountain road? She pictured a somber Jake in the studio, reading the prompter. “And now, the news hits very close to home, with the tragic death of one of our own.”

Her hand closed over the handle of her own knife. Not like she’d have any hope of defending herself against him. The floor creaked as he moved closer. She had to hold her breath to stop herself from crying out. She kept one eye on him, the other on her BlackBerry. If she had to, she’d grab it and run. That was her only hope of making it out, and even that would be a long shot. He’d take her down in a second.

She flinched as he reached behind her, her breath lodging in her throat.

“The things I do for you,” he said, flicking the lights back on.

The horror movie in her mind ended abruptly. She sighed heavily. A chill worked its way down her spine.

He stared at her. “What’s the matter?”


“You look like you saw a ghost.”

Something like that.

“Come on, tell me,” he said, hacking through his steak again. “I like to know what’s swirling around in that head of yours.”

Too much wine, she thought as she took another sip. “Really. Nothing.”

“Come on. Don’t lie.”

You should talk. She set her glass down and cleared her throat. “You really wanna know?”

“I really wanna know.”

“I was thinking what the headline would be if you killed me in this place.”

About Author Lauren Claudare

Lauren Claudare spent nearly a decade as a producer for several live cable TV news programs. Cover Stories is her first novel. She lives in New York.


Links to Lauren’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cover-Stories-Psychological-Suspense-Thriller-ebook/product-reviews/B0CCLWSW46/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews

Website: https://laurenclaudare.com

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authorlauren


Special Giveaway: Lauren will gift a digital copy of COVER STORIES to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Good luck!

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Lauren, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

6 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench: COVER STORIES, A Tense #Psychological #Suspense #Thriller by Lauren Claudare”

  1. Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench, Lauren. Wow! What an excerpt. I’m sucked in and ready to read more. I love psychological suspense. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

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