Stronger Than Sin

stronger than sinstronger than sin Paranormal Romantic Suspense

STRONGER THAN SIN
November 2010
GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING
Re-released August 2014
The second book in the SIN HUNTERS paranormal romantic suspense series
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Reviews
Teaser
Excerpt
Behind the Scenes


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Reviews

NY Times Bestseller Maggie Shayne: “A love story like nothing you’ve read before! This premise is utterly unique, and so original and brilliant that I wish I’d thought of it first. Caridad Pineiro is breaking the mold with her ‘Sins’ series. If you want something wonderfully different, do not miss STRONGER THAN SIN.”

4 Stars, RT Bookclub: “This second book in the SINS series follows SINS OF THE FLESH with an equally compelling and scintillating tale of mad scientists, devoted doctors and wounded warriors. There isn’t a thing missing in this imaginative and fast-paced love story.”

RomFan Reviews: “I enjoyed this book more than I expected to, which is always a wonderful surprise. The character interaction would have been enough to propel the story forward, but the author added suspense, intrigue, and conspiracy to the mix and the finished product was a book I was unable to put down until I finished it. Anyone who enjoys a medical mystery or contemporary suspense will enjoy this book.” Read more…

Genre Go Round Reviews: “The second scintillating Sin story (see Sins of the Flesh) is a stupendous action-packed science fiction romance starring two survivors. She is a dedicated doctor while he is tacked behind the line between saving his sister and his soul mate. With a terrific medical twist re his health, fans will enjoy the latest ‘mad scientists’’ saga as love is Stronger than Sin, but love also leads to conflicting multiple relationships.” Read more…

Fresh Fiction: “STRONGER THAN SIN had one of the best endings I’ve read in a long time. It set up the next novel in the series perfectly, and I’m now eagerly awaiting the release of the next novel. Pineiro has changed the face of Paranormal Romance and is definitely an author to watch.” Read more…

Bitten by Books: “Caridad has done it — made me a willing captive to her tale of intrigue and romance involving her sexy as sin football player. Yes, me, the lover of all things hockey admits it freely that I was ensnared by this hunky man. Truly a touchdown was scored with this suspenseful, witty, exciting and balls-out action-packed thrill ride.” Read more…

Author Kelly Moran Blogspot: “ Though part of a series, this is a standalone read….A hero you can fall for and a heroine to admire. Highly recommended! No, scratch that. Not to be missed!”

Romance Reviews Magazine: “Second in this series and just as tightly written as the first. It stands alone. This is suspenseful and the passion is strong. Interesting ending also.”

Books for Life Blogspot: “It’s an easy book to read, even when she in the lab being all smart. I could not turn the pages any faster to see what is going to happen. It was even better than book 1. And when it ends, omg, I do not know what to say. Perfect ending, but also an opening and I sure hopes she writes more. I will give it a 4, because that it kept me entertained and I didn’t want to put it down.”

SingleTitles.com: “A thoroughly believable premise makes STRONGER THAN SIN an engrossing plus absolutely fascinating paranormal romance.” Read more…

Fallen Angel Reviews:: “Be prepared to be sitting on the edge of your seat anxiously awaiting the next book. Caridad Pineiro writes these books with cliffhangers for endings.” Read more…

Once Upon a Chapter: “A well written story like this is a rare find indeed. Any paranormal fan will love this powerful and passionate story.” Read more…

Night Owl ReviewsNight Owl Reviews: “This novel was an action-packed roller coaster ride that will have anyone hooked from the very first chapter and the ending was perfect for these two. I’m going to pick up the first one, Sins of the Flesh, just so I can read more about these great characters and I can’t wait to read more from this author.” Read more…

Paranormal Haven: ” would be very interested in reading the next book and see what happens there was a small twist at the end I didn’t see coming and I’d like to see how that plays out.”

The Reading Reviewer: “Such a delight, not to be missed!…This 2nd book in the series following the wonderful 2009 Sins of the Flesh is just as amazing. Jesse as the alpha male is complicated and well written to show the depth of his desire and feelings. Lilianna as the female counterpart is a sassy, brash and powerful woman who knows how much she will take. It is a great match and adding the family, friends and complexities of the medical drama you have a great mix and when the bad guys come off this strong you know you have a winning combination.” Read more…


Teaser


Dr. Liliana Carrera has had a few rough months. First her fiancé’s depression turns her into his punching bag. Then her brother – a gun for hire – involves her in a dangerous assignment to save world famous cellist Caterina Shaw. Now Liliana has even made a new life for herself and has found a new friend in her brother Mick’s newlywed wife. With stability returning to her life, Liliana turns her attention to keeping Caterina healthy and overcoming the trauma of the violent incidents which have colored her life in recent months.

Jesse Bradford had wanted only one thing when he approached Wardwell Laboratories in order to participate in their gene therapy trials – to stop the deterioration of his bones brought so he could return to his career as a football player. Jesse had never imagined that the cure would be worse than the disease.

Liliana knows of Jesse’s checkered past as a high profile celebrity and sees the rage in Jesse. Both bring back painful memories and awaken fear in Liliana. But she cannot be blind to Jesse’s suffering and just walk away. Especially when Liliana begins to see the honorable and caring man struggling to emerge. Together, Liliana and Jesse will battle to recover Jesse’s humanity and explore the dangerous love taking hold in their hearts.


Behind the Scenes

I knew as soon as Liliana came onto the scene in SINS OF THE FLESH that her story was not done. As her character developed little by little, my mind already started thinking about who would make the perfect hero for her, what the story would be about and where the story would be set.

The setting was easy – the Jersey Shore. I had long ago decided to do the SINS series all along the different towns on the Jersey Shore. For STRONGER THAN SIN, I’m giving you a peek at Ocean Grove and Spring Lake, where Liliana and Jesse live respectively. You’ll also get some glimpses of Asbury Park and Belmar, adjacent towns. You can click on these links to check out some photos from these locations!

The hero was not as easy. I needed an alpha male, but one with immense heart. I also needed a man who was familiar with violence and possibly walked a fine edge in restraining that violence. Being a sports fan, I knew that the hero needed to be a football player and Jesse Bradford was born!

As for what the story would be about — I knew it was time to bring Edwards and Morales to justice for the evils they had done against their patients.

I loved how all these elements came together in STRONGER THAN SIN and I hope you will as well!


Excerpt

Prologue
Meadowlands, New Jersey
Mid-November, 2008

“Slant right on two,” Jesse Bradford said, clapped his hands and led his offense out of the huddle.

Squaring up behind the center, he watched as the other team’s defense adjusted, linebackers, safeties and linemen shifting positions in answer to his team’s formation. Glancing back and forth, he realized he was going to have to call an audible if they were going to have any chance of breaking through the defense for the last few yards to the goal line.

He changed the play and barked out the new count. From the periphery of his eye, he noted his wide receivers responding as well as his linemen. The defense swung into action, attempting to compensate for his team’s actions.

With a final call, the center snapped the ball solidly into Jesse’s hands. He took the two or three steps back and turned in the direction of the fullback coming up from behind him.

Faking a handoff, his fullback plowed ahead of him toward the left, further opening the hole at the line of scrimmage created by his tackles and guards. His wide receivers raced for the end zone, pulling the linebackers away from the line. Seeing his opportunity, Jesse tucked the football tight against him, whirled and raced for the opening.

Feinting and dodging, he avoided the first hit at the line, lowered his head and plowed forward. With his size and strength, he was a match for most on the field, so the first solid contact slowed him, but didn’t take him down.

The goal line was now just a few feet away and with a powerful surge, Jesse launched himself toward the end zone.

He was in midair when the lineman clipped his thigh.

Pain seared up his leg and into his gut as he spun around from the force of the hit.

When he landed, the impact drove the air from his lungs. Lightheaded from both the lack of oxygen and the agony in his leg, the lights from the stadium whirled around in his vision before a shadow fell across him.

Black and white. A zebra raising its hands to signal a touchdown while more shadows came to dance in his vision. Blue and gold this time. Marauder colors.

Suddenly a voice came from directly beside him. “Jesse, man. Are you okay?”

One of his teammates in the blue and gold, only Jesse couldn’t move. Couldn’t think of anything but the blinding agony in his lower body.

The zebra started tweeting more loudly and waving his hands erratically. The ground beneath Jesse shook from the thundering vibrations of people racing his way.

Sucking in a breath through gritted teeth, Jesse finally focused, but when he did, the pain became overwhelming, filling his every conscious moment.

Another shadow fell across his face. Jesse turned his head and from beyond his faceguard saw one of the trainers.

“Don’t move, Jesse,” the trainer said, but as he touched his hand to Jesse’s thigh, pain exploded through Jesse’s brain, greater than any he had ever experienced. Blinding him with its intensity until darkness overwhelmed his vision, pulling him to blessed unconsciousness.

*****

Chapter 1
Jersey Shore
Two years later

Liliana Carrera stared over Carmen’s shoulder at the images her friend had brought up on the monitor.

She studied the cells, smiling as she comprehended the results of the blood test. “This is good, right?”

Carmen looked up at her. “Really good. There’s a noticeable reduction in the white blood cells plus there are fewer signs of inflammation and an immunoresponse.”

All good, Liliana thought. It meant that the inhibitor complex they had been refining for the last several months was less toxic to Caterina’s system. But less toxic wasn’t necessarily enough. Liliana had to be sure the inhibitor was controlling the non-human genes implanted in Caterina’s body by the rogue Wardwell Laboratory scientists.

“What about the gene replication? Any sign that it’s slowing down?” Liliana asked.

Carmen moved away from the microscope to the end of her work table where assorted stacks of paper crowded the surface. “What did you notice during the physical?” Carmen questioned.

“There was some evidence of the gene expression in spots, but based on my gross examination, I would say that the patient’s eye and skin tones had remained stable,” Liliana replied.

Carmen tsked and shook her head. “Why, Dr. Carrera. You sound downright clinical,” she chided.

She had sounded way too distant, Liliana realized. With a shrug, she explained. “I`m trying to keep emotion out of this, but it’s hard because I can’t think of Cat as only a patient. She’s my sister-in-law and I care for her a great deal.”

“And your brother loves Cat beyond words,” Carmen added as she grabbed a sheath of papers and headed back to where Liliana was standing.

As Liliana waited, Carmen flipped through the reports and said, “Now you know why I like my quiet little lab. Dealing with live patients is just too damned hard.”

Even though her friend lacked people skills, there was no denying Carmen was a dedicated physician. Her work in the pathology lab routinely saved others and her assistance over the last several months in dealing with Caterina had been invaluable.

She placed her hand on Carmen’s shoulder and gave an affectionate squeeze. “We wouldn’t have gotten this far with Caterina if it wasn’t for your help.”

Carmen smiled and nodded, but her full generous lips thinned into a tight line as she flipped to the last test analysis.

With a shake of her head, she said, “Your physical exam might not show the glowing skin caused by the genes, but we’ve only made a little progress in slowing down the replication.”

Damn, Liliana thought, but tried to keep positive. “Well, the good news is that our new inhibitor complex is taking less of a toll on her system – “

“And it’s slowed the multiplication of the non-human genes somewhat,” Carmen chimed in, trying to sound optimistic.

“We just have to keep on refining,” Liliana said and patted her friend on the back.

“What do you want to try next?” Carmen asked, but Liliana’s cell phone went off and as Liliana checked the caller id, she realized it was the number for the hospital administrator.

She lifted her index finger, asking Carmen to wait for a moment and answered.

“Dr. Carrera.”

In brusque fashion, the administrator’s assistant advised, “Dr. Hellman wishes to see you immediately.”

“I’ll be there in a few – “

“Immediately, Dr. Carrera. It’s quite important,” the assistant shot back before she abruptly ended the call.

Carmen had clearly overheard the exchange. “What bug is up his ass now?”

Liliana wished she knew.

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