Title: HOUSTON: A CHOICE & CONSEQUENCE NOVEL
Author: Cadence Vonn
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense
Bodyguard Houston Templeton goes with his gut. Lucia Larrson believes in fate. Danger will test their skills—and trust—to stay alive.
It’s another dreary December day for Houston Templeton until a beautiful woman crashes into him on a busy New York City street. The kiss she steals ignites his desire for more. But the man chasing her threatens to kill them both, unless Houston intervenes. As their relationship intensifies, will it destroy his ability to keep her alive?
After surviving a sadistic Dominant, Lucia Larrson struggles to trust anyone. She panics when a stalker follows her to New York City from Chicago. Driven by fear, her chances of surviving alone are slim. Led by an inner voice, she discovers safety in the arms of a stranger. Now she’ll trust him with her life…and her heart.
If you love to read about a serial killer, a heartless Dominant, betrayal, and sex hot enough to sear your eyebrows, this book is for you.
“Merry Christmas,” Houston said as he kissed Lucia’s eyelids and then her lips.
“Mm. That’s never happened before.” She blinked.
“Being kissed awake on Christmas.” She hesitated. “Actually, it happened once. The time my mother kissed me on the forehead to wake me.” She frowned.
He smoothed the cluster of wrinkles above her nose. “Why does that make you sad?”
“It was the morning she died. She had some energy and wanted to go for a walk in the sunshine. That was the last time she held my hand and we talked about life. We made it around the block before she got tired, sat down on the steps of our townhouse, and died.”
“I’m sorry I triggered that memory.”
“Don’t be. It gets easier as time goes on. It’s nice to remember the moments that count the most. Now, let’s take a quick shower and meet everyone in the living room. I imagine Louisa is having a fit because everyone isn’t up. When Harlow proclaimed we’d all open presents together, in dramatic fashion, Louisa expressed her frustration.”
Houston laughed. “Yep, she was pretty upset.” He yanked back the covers and towed her out of bed. With a quick dance between the sink and shower, he trimmed his beard while she showered, and then she brushed her hair and teeth when they switched places.
Dressed in shorts and a funny Christmas t-shirt, he whistled at her when she emerged from the closet in a strapless red sundress. “Very nice. Let’s show you off.”
They entered the living room. After last night’s party, Stella looked a bit hung over, holding a mug of coffee and staring straight ahead, as she sat on the sofa. “Oh, good, you can entertain Louisa while I go shower,” she mumbled, got up, and shuffled away.
“Merry Christmas,” he said to the young girl. She sat on the floor next to the tree, rooting through the presents and shaking the ones with her name on them.
“Merry Christmas. Thank goodness you guys are up. You can call everyone else.” She clamped her hands together in a praying position, like she often did with Xander, wrapping him around her little finger.
“Coffee first. Do you want anything?”
“Nah, I’ve already had two cups of hot chocolate. Mom said I need to drink water now.”
“Okay. Lucia will keep you company while I get the coffee. Maybe she can help you guess what’s in the presents.”
Jose and the staff already had an array of breakfast treats set out with a large pot of coffee that would serve an army for the day. He grabbed two cups, adding sugar and cream to Lucia’s. He balanced a plate of goodies on the top of her mug and returned to the living room. Heads together, the two giggled at a box Louisa held near her ear.
“Toothbrushes and safety pins,” Louisa said then sputtered with laughter.
“Who on Earth would get you safety pins?” Houston asked, unable to fathom a more terrible gift.
“No one.” Lucia took the coffee he offered her. “We’re thinking of outrageous things that might be in the boxes.”
“It’s more fun, and then we won’t be disappointed when we open the box and find notebooks or something for school,” Louisa added.
He set the plate on the coffee table. “Help yourselves. Hand me a box. I’ll play.”
Lucia handed him one she’d wrapped yesterday.
“Let’s see. Too big and heavy for socks.”
“You’re not supposed to guess what’s in it. Guess what it isn’t,” Louisa instructed.
“Okay. It’s an alarm clock so I’m never late.”
She released an exasperated huff. “That’s stupid. You’re never late.”
He rolled his eyes at Lucia and held in his laugh. “Fine. It’s a sauce pan.”
“That’s a good one.” Louisa giggled. “Uncle Xander once told me you’re not a very good cook.”
“He did, did he? Let me tell you, I make tasty scrambled eggs and toast.”
“That should be an N instead of a T,” Xander said as he entered the room. “I recall nasty eggs filled with shell pieces.”
“That was only once.”
“Once was enough,” Xander quipped. “Why are you discussing your cooking skills?”
“Long story.” Houston tossed the box to Lucia, who placed it back under the tree. “Where’s Harlow? Louisa’s getting antsy to open gifts.”
“She’s in the dining room getting coffee. We’re still missing others.”
“Stella went to take a shower. We haven’t seen anyone else.”
Liam screeched to a halt in the doorway. “Sorry I’m late.”
“Merry Christmas, Liam. I’m glad you’re here. You’re not the last one missing,” Harlow said as she entered the room with a tray of food and two cups of coffee. “Help yourself to some breakfast snacks and join us so we can open gifts.” She set the tray down in front of Xander and shared the love seat he patted.
Colleen appeared. Dressed in a flowing red pantsuit, the regal look suited her demeanor. “Merry Christmas, everyone. I must admit this has been the best Christmas in years. We need to do this every year. The sun, the drinks, and all the handsome men. Mm. It’s been invigorating.”
Jose appeared and handed her a china cup on a small tray with a croissant on a delicate plate. Houston hadn’t seen the croissants when he retrieved the Danishes and coffee earlier. Apparently, the man baked them especially for the queen mother herself. And if he read the vibes between the two, Colleen had bewitched a younger man.
Xander smirked when Houston looked toward him. “I guess we’re missing Kevin and Joe.”
“They’ve been up for some time. I think you’ll find them in the office,” Jose supplied before he left the room.
“I’ll get them,” Houston said. He found them in the office. “Everyone’s waiting to open gifts. Join us, and we can return to this after we finish.”
The day flashed by in a haze of laughter and good food. It’d been his third Christmas with the Royces, but the first one after Harlow and Xander’s near death incident. And the first one he’d spent with his brother in years. The sense of family enfolded him, easing the past loneliness during the holidays. The tropical surroundings didn’t dampen the Christmas spirit. It added a relaxed, tranquil air to the festivities.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Eden Books: https://edenbooks.org/product/houston/
Share a holiday family tradition:
For as long as I can remember, my family invited friends who had nowhere to go for the holidays. We’d put tables together to enjoy a big Christmas dinner. My husband and I continued that tradition after we married. Even after grandparents and parents passed, we continue to embrace others as part of our family circle. The more the merrier…especially at Christmas!
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood?
The sense of family is strong in my Choice & Consequence novels. Houston and the gang love to celebrate together. Even during a time of stress and danger, they join together for fun, cooking, baking, and of course drinking! And as always, it’s filled with sexy times and a happily ever after. There’s even a surprise holiday wedding between characters readers have gotten to know and love. Perfect for the holiday season!
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Runs December 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on January 3, 2022.
Cadence is an award winning romance author with a BFA in photography and silversmithing. She’s an accomplished doodler and daydreamer who discovered she enjoys writing down the erotic stories that dance in her head. Lately villains have been screaming for attention in her dreams so she’s incorporated their POV’s into her new darker Choice & Consequence series. Check out HARLOW (book one), HOUSTON (book two), and KEVIN (book three) if you want to follow the excitement of the Templeton Agency Bodyguards.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.ca/Cadence-Vonn/e/B077H4PQYF/