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.
The balmy breeze drifted through the open French doors. Lucia stretched. A pleasant ache lingered from making love yesterday. So different from other Christmas Eve mornings she’d spent in cold Chicago. She’d struggled being alone. After spending the day volunteering at the local food bank and soup kitchen, she’d gone home and cried. This year would be different. Swept up in the love and excitement of the Royce clan, everyone belonged whether or not they were related.
Even Joe exclaimed his heartfelt thanks for including him in the festivities. She’d learned he too was an orphan after his parents died, one of the reasons he claimed made him an excellent candidate for protection services. That thought buzzed around her head for the last few days. Because of what he did for a living, Houston shouldn’t be considering a serious relationship.
He turned, reached out, and tugged her closer. “Sweetheart, it’s early. Why are you awake?”
She kissed his forehead. “I’m excited. I need to shower before I head to the kitchen where Louisa and I are going to bake a Christmas tree cake. Jose ordered the pans and supplies for us with his last delivery.”
“Mm.” He flopped on his back. “Okay, I’ll let you leave. But only because we had a great time yesterday afternoon.”
“It was, wasn’t it? You’re one creative lover. I’ll never look at an ice cube the same way.” She scooted out of bed and trotted into the bathroom. With a quick shower to wake her up, she slipped into a white thong and bra set, surveying her darkened skin against the virginal color. She snorted then chuckled. Virginal, she wasn’t.
“What are you laughing about in there?” Houston tapped on the door.
Swinging it wide, she posed in the skimpy lingerie. “Do I look virginal?”
“Nope. As a matter of fact, you look delicious. Sure you don’t wanna play?”
“Tonight. For now, take a cold shower.” She zipped past him and shimmied into her navy blue shorts and red halter crop top, the perfect placement of the back buttons covered her long horizontal scars.
Since she’d be baking, she knotted her hair on the top of her head, slipped on her sandals, and hustled out the door, waving at Houston as she left. After their frank discussion the day before, he’d relaxed. No sign of jealousy when she did a few more poses with Liam for Colleen. Nor did he get upset when she helped Jose finish the jerk pork. He’d actually watched as the meal came together, complimenting the chef on a delicious dish. The rest of the gang gobbled up every last bite, leaving nothing behind as if they were ants devouring everything in their path.
Giggles reached her from the kitchen. She entered and found Jose decorating a cup of hot chocolate for Louisa.
“There you are.” The young girl sighed. “I thought you weren’t coming.”
“I’m only two minutes late. Besides, this is the best part of Christmas. Eat your breakfast while I add a splash of hot chocolate and whipped cream to my coffee. It’s a fun day to celebrate. We’ll get started in a minute.”
“Chef Jose said we could use this island. He’ll put the breakfast spread on the dining room table since nobody eats there, ’cause we’re always outside.”
“That’s nice of him. We’ll need all this space.” She acknowledged the man with a smile.
Kevin poked his head around the corner. “Is Houston still in bed?”
“I think he’s in the shower. Is there a problem?”
“Henley wants to talk.” He jogged away, leaving her curious about the possible conversation.
“Good morning,” Harlow said as she entered.
“Hi, Aunt Harlow. You gonna bake with us?”
“I don’t want to intrude if you two want to do it yourselves.”
With big puppy dog eyes, Louisa looked at Lucia.
“The more the merrier,” Lucia said. “Maybe we can make some Christmas fudge too.”
“If we’re not careful, we’ll eat our way out of modeling jobs,” Harlow joked.
“We burn a lot of calories.” Lucia arched her brow, and Harlow choked on her first sip of coffee.
“True. I don’t know about you, but I exercise morning and night.”
“At least.” By now, Lucia had laughter tears threatening to escape over her lashes.
Louisa rolled her eyes. “You guys really like to exercise. I prefer to dance.”
“It doesn’t matter what you call it, dancing’s good too,” Harlow agreed with a spurt of giggles.
“What has you ladies all happy this morning?” Xander entered and made a direct line to the coffee pot.
With a serious voice, Harlow said, “Lucia and I were telling Louisa how much we love to exercise to keep in shape.”
He furrowed his brow. “And that’s funny?”
“I think it’s the amount of exercise we do.”
“Do you believe they exercise morning and night?” Louisa put in with the innocence of an eleven-year-old. “I dance.”
Xander’s cup barely made it to the island surface before he arched his eyebrow toward Harlow with a you’re-a-naughty-girl look. Lucia didn’t miss the shiver that added to her friend’s youthful blush. Maybe Xander had his own way of handling a naughty girl. Houston surely did.
“We’re going to bake now,” Louisa announced with annoyance in her voice as Houston entered the kitchen.
“I’m just getting a cup of coffee and grabbing Xander. We’ll leave you budding bakers to it. Don’t forget brownies,” he said as he filled his cup.
Lucia didn’t miss his subtle head jerk for Xander to follow him. She’d need to corner him when they finished and find out the latest on Casey and Victor.
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What I love most about the holiday season:
It brings people together. Even when we were isolated last year, people found ways to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Whether you celebrate with long-standing family traditions, or create new ones, it brings a sense of togetherness to a community and offers hope for a better year ahead.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
You can’t go wrong with a holiday book spent with family and friends on a tropical island over Christmas and New Year. What’s more romantic than celebrating an engagement and a wedding during the holidays? For readers who love suspense, surviving a sadistic Dominant adds tension to this love story. It’s filled with romance, family, and sizzling hot sex to spice up your celebrations.
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