Desperate Acts

Book 4 in Pike, Wisconsin

In Pike, Wisconsin, a small town full of deadly secrets, a woman searches for the truth about a long-ago night, while a killer prepares to silence her forever, in New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy’s chilling tale of romantic suspense. 


Teenager Lia Porter shouldn’t have been anywhere near the railroad bridge that night. Sneaking home after a party in the fields outside Pike, Wisconsin, she glimpsed a woman in a leather jacket, running in terror. Lia puts the incident from her mind—until a body is found near the same spot fifteen years later, wearing the same jacket. The police rule it a suicide. Lia knows different. The woman she saw was trying to save her own life, not end it. But whatever she was fleeing from found her first…


The stranger who arrives at Lia’s store shares her suspicions. Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn has come home to Wisconsin to learn the truth about what happened to his brother’s fiancée years ago. The leather jacket, the timing—he believes the dead woman is Vanna, and that Lia may be the only person who can help. Together they retrace Vanna’s steps, but the more they dig, the darker the secrets become.


The killer is still out there, stalking the streets of Pike again, willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the truth locked in mystery. One by one, all those who know something about that night must be silenced, until there is no one left to tell…

Praise for Don’t Look

“Exciting. . . . Once the pieces fall into place, the novel settles into an engaging rhythm.” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers will still eagerly turn the pages to see if their suspicions about the killer’s identity are correct.” —Library Journal

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series: Pike, Wisconsin, Book 4

Characters: Kaden Vaughn Lia Porter

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Read an Excerpt


Pike, WI
December 14, 2007

Tugging her coat tight around her shivering body, Lia Porter scurried down the dark pathway. It was past midnight, and the late December air was cold enough to burn her lungs as she sucked in deep breaths. She deeply regretted sneaking out of her house to attend the party. Even at fifteen she knew that a gathering of kids in an old barn in the middle of winter was a lame idea. Some of her friends might enjoy shivering around a small fire, listening to country music and drinking cheap beer, but she’d been bored out of her mind.

So why had she allowed herself to be cajoled into going?

Lia wrinkled her nose. She’d told herself that she was tired of being called Lia-Killjoy by her classmates. Okay. She liked to follow the rules. She wasn’t a maverick. Or a risk taker. She didn’t cheat on tests or skip classes. She didn’t even go skinny dipping at the local lake. In fact, if she wasn’t at school, she was helping her mother at the grocery store she owned in the center of town. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t have a good time, right?

But deep in her heart she knew that wasn’t why she spent an hour straightening her strawberry blond hair until it fell in a smooth curtain down her back. Or added a layer of mascara to her long lashes that surrounded her green eyes. Or why she’d climbed out of her window and trudged two miles to the middle of the frozen field.

She’d been hoping to attract the attention of Chuck Moore, the guy she’d nursed a secret crush on for an entire year. He wasn’t the most popular boy in class. Or the cutest. He had frizzy black hair and an overbite that was prominent despite his braces. But he was one of the few guys who pretended to listen when she spoke. That was far more attractive to a girl who’d spent her school life in the shadows than perfect features or bulging muscles.

Unfortunately, she’d had to wait until her mother was asleep before sneaking out. They lived above the store and she had to slip down the fire escape at the back of the two-story brick building. By the time she arrived at the barn, the party was in full swing, and Chuck was already in the hayloft with her best friend, Karen Cranford.

Calling herself an idiot, she’d forced herself to stay long enough to drink a beer and pretend to laugh at the antics of the guys who thought it was a great idea to try and push each other into the fire. As if nursing second-degree burns were a hilarious way to spend the evening. Then, assuring herself that she’d proved whatever stupid point she’d come there to make, she’d slipped out the door and headed across the dark field.

Lia muttered a bad word as she slipped on a patch of ice. Pike, Wisconsin wasn’t the best location to take a midnight stroll. Especially in the middle of winter. If she fell and broke a leg, she was going to be in so much trouble.

The thought of her mother made Lia grimace. Trina Porter had only been sixteen when she’d become a mother. That had been tough enough, but Lia’s father had disappeared just months after she’d been born, and her grandparents had died in a tragic car accident a couple years later. Trina was forced to work endless hours to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table. She’d sacrificed everything to give her child a warm and loving home.

Lia felt the constant weight of those sacrifices pressing down on her like an anchor. If she knowingly added to her mom’s daily struggle, she could never forgive herself.

Rounding a bend in the pathway, Lia breathed a sigh of relief. Ahead she could see the soft glow of streetlights. Soon she would be back in her room, tucked in her warm bed with one of the books she’d borrowed from the library. Exactly where she wanted to be.

Lost in the fantasy of being curled beneath her thick comforter with a cup of hot cocoa, Lia came to an abrupt halt. She heard a sound in the distance. Not a car. Or an animal. It sounded like…like running footsteps.

End of Excerpt

Desperate Acts is available in the following formats:

Zebra • 1420155504

February 21, 2023

Pike, Wisconsin

Romantic Suspense

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Desperate Acts

Pike, Wisconsin, Book 4

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