Wednesday, July 12, 2023

❀New Dark Urban Fantasy Romance Book Alert❀: Hush Hush City by Jo Denning

Hush Hush City
Jo Denning
Leabhar & Fola Publishing House

330 pages
Dark Urban Fantasy Romance

Cruel Prince meets Law & Order in Hush Hush City, the thrilling sequel to Dead Blood City and second installment in the Saoirse Reilly series! Saoirse Reilly, police detective and wayward psychic, is still reeling from the events of Dead Blood City. Her lies are piling up but there’s no time to deal. She and her loved ones are in danger once again. While investigating the murder of a Boston blueblood, Reilly is drawn into a supernatural power struggle centuries in the making. 

Ancient monsters are prowling the streets and Domenico Alderisi, newly installed vrykolakas master, needs Reilly’s help securing his territory – which just so happens to be her hometown. Alderisi, once her enemy, may be the only one who can save the city. But he has his own agenda and a taste for Reilly’s blood. The only way for Reilly to protect all she holds dear may be to rely on her two-faced teacher, Dr. Emrys Somerled. The criminal psychologist and occult expert is something more than human. If anyone can take on monsters, it’s him. And he’d like to get closer to Reilly than ever before. There’s just one problem. Somerled is keeping secrets, too, and there’s nothing more dangerous. After all…

Stepping out of the silence is scary but secrets can kill.

Will Reilly escape the web of death and deception?

Find out in this urban fantasy meets gritty noir detective novel featuring imperfect heroes and slow burn dark romance with beautiful monsters who can’t be trusted.


Book Excerpt

I felt a shift in the air as the winding road through Boston’s jumbled brick became a straight shot cutting through the tidy squares of Cambridge. Full trees obscured my view of the pastel mansions along Brattle Street aka The King’s Highway, a moniker worth a thousand words. While a sense of belonging was a rarity in my life, the disconnect was inescapable in the well-to-do neighborhood Somerled beckoned me to. 

West Cambridge once housed revolutionaries and artists. Now the historic homes priced the average resident right out the door. 

The good doctor must feel at ease here. 

Me? I wanted to go back to bed in my barely-within-the-realm-of-reasonably-priced, cramped South End apartment. 

What the fuck was I doing? 

Not three months ago, I would’ve told Somerled to jump in the Harbor if he told me to meet him anywhere at three thirty-two a.m. 

Or anywhere at any time of day, for that matter. 

Now I was parking my dusty Jeep on the street in front of some Boston Brahmin’s inviting eight-foot-high steel fence. The vehicle took the brunt of my frustration as I slammed the door. Manicured hedges might have softened the fence but their lines were even harsher than the metal tines piercing the night sky. 

There was an intercom by the entrance. Before I could lift my hand to it, the gate creaked open. 

Because that wasn’t creepy at all. 

A fountain percolated in the center of the verdant grounds. Some people milled around near the entryway. On closer inspection, I realized they were statues. Bronze approximations of regular humans, unlike the residents of the butter-yellow mansion at the other end of the cobblestone path. 

If the front yard was fancy, the house itself was fucking excessive. 

It was at least four stories. Towering columns banked the grand entrance and fussy white trim wrapped the windows. Multiple brick chimneys stacked along the exterior walls for the multiple fireplaces inside. The whole display was topped off with a balcony fit for Juliet to hang from. 

Jamming my hands in my pockets, I trotted down the stupidly long front walk. I took the many, many front steps two at a time and stopped at the front door. Now what? 

The pure white door opened, depositing Somerled’s unfairly dapper form onto the piazza. He wore a three-piece suit in burgundy plaid despite the late summer heat because, well, you already know why. 

“Ah, Saoirse,” he said, “I see you have arrived without issue. I wondered if you would be too inebriated for travel at this time of day.” 

“Fuck you,” the curse dropped from my lips without conscious thought. “What do you want? And you’re welcome, by the way.” 

I could be polite. 

He smiled. “Of course. It is gratifying to find you here.” 

“You told me to come here. And I stopped drinking! Fuck knows why. You’re the one—” 

“So I did. Shall we go inside?” 

I planted my feet on the piazza, arms crossing over my chest. “Not until you tell me what’s going on.” 

“It appears one of my patients has been the victim of a homicide,” Somerled said as though commenting on the muggy weather. 


“I believe—” 

“No, I heard you just… what?” I scrubbed my hands over my face. “What happened? Why are you here?” 

He clicked his tongue. “His family requested my support with this delicate matter.” “Okay,” I said, “you need to do whatever the cops tell you.” 

“Yes, and what is that?” 

No. This is not happening. 

“You did call the cops, right?” 

“Obviously, I am currently engaged in that process,” he scoffed. 

An inadvertent sound encompassing all of the frustration of interacting with Somerled escaped me. 


“No, not me,” I shouted. “Like the actual— Like dispatch!” 

He laughed. He actually fucking laughed at me. “The actual police? To whom am I speaking?” 

“What if the guy’s not dead?” My voice pitched higher with disbelief and a touch of panic. 

“I assure you he is.” 

My hands went from cradling my forehead to ripping out my hair. “Is the scene secure? Do you even know if it’s safe? What if—” 

“Calm yourself,” he said. “It is your job to attend to such eventualities, is it not?” “For fuck’s sake. You stay out here.” 

“It is a bit late for that, I am afraid.” 

“Stay. Here.” I pointed to a patch of wood planking. “And call nine-one-one!” I threw open the door and stepped inside.

About the Author

Jo Denning is the author of the Saoirse Reilly series. She has spent her career as a behavioral health therapist supporting kids and teens who struggle with addiction. Jo began writing supernatural crime thrillers as a way of processing the traumatic things she has seen and heard. Her characters may be supernatural but their stories, their fear, and their pain are real. So, too, are the triumphs over impossible odds.

When she’s not writing, Jo enjoys baking, drawing, and watching trashy reality TV. She makes her home somewhere in the contiguous United States with her husband, one fluffy cat, and one barely domesticated cat.

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