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.
Thud. A woman with wild black hair slammed into him, her face smashing against his chest. He steadied her so she wouldn’t topple back. “You okay?”
“Kiss me.” She threw her arms around his neck and didn’t wait for a response as she pulled his head down and latched on to his lips.
Cinnamon assailed his taste buds, a pleasant connection sending a signal through his body. He embraced her, not caring about the gawking bystanders. He wanted more.
“Hey.” A hard finger poked his shoulder, and he grudgingly lifted his head. “You know her?” the dude snarled.
“I told you I have a boyfriend.” The spitfire in his arms spoke first. “Leave me alone.”
With his lip half curled, the man surveyed Houston. “If you’re her boyfriend, what’s her name?”
Instinctively, he shifted the woman, shielding her with his body. It didn’t take a moron to figure out the situation. The way she shook, fear had a tight grip on her. “First, it’s none of your damn business what her name is. I call her sweetheart, or baby. Neither of which you’ll ever call her.”
The thug poked Houston’s chest. “You’re a liar. No matter. I can wait until she’s alone. Or get rid of you. Either way, I’ll get my way.” He turned and stalked off. The crowd parted to let him pass.
“God, I’m so sorry.”
“Let’s get out of here.” He guided her into the deli and added another sandwich and salad to the lunch order. “Come on, I have a place you’ll be safe. I promise.”
She hesitated. “I don’t believe in promises.”
“See the top floor of the building across the street?” He pointed with his chin so he wouldn’t drop the food box. “That’s Colleen Royce’s studio. Right now, she has a dozen or so women and men posing for ads she’s shooting. They can vouch for me. The guard in the foyer knows me. If you don’t feel safe after you ask questions, you can leave. But trust me. That asshole hasn’t gone far. I’ve dealt with guys like that, and they don’t give up.”
“You seem the safer choice. Let me help you carry the food.” She took the bag dangling from his fingers and followed him across the street and into the stone building. The guard acknowledged him with a smile. “Hey, Houston, did you bring me anything?”
“Yep.” He set the box on the guard’s desk and removed the bag marked with a large P. “Just how you like it. Pastrami with mustard and pickles.”
“Thanks. If you think of it, send down a lovely lady to keep me company.”
Houston laughed. “What would your wife say?” He lifted the box and headed to the elevator with the black-haired beauty following. Good, she didn’t even ask any questions. But he had plenty and planned to get answers.
“Houston, we send you for lunch and you bring back a beautiful woman,” Colleen teased as he placed the box on the table in the break room.
“I rescued her from an evil ogre. Can I keep her?” he joked and winked at the young woman.
“She should be so lucky.” Colleen laughed at his blush. “I’m Colleen Royce, and you are?” she asked as she held out her hand.
“Lucia Larrson. Nice to meet you.”
“Chicago accent mixed with a bit of island twang and Swedish lilt,” Colleen assessed.
“Correct. I’m from Chicago. My mother was Puerto Rican, and my father was Swedish.”
“Any friend of Houston’s is welcome here. There’s plenty of food. The models will pick at the sandwiches and salads between shoots. Have you ever considered modeling? You and Harlow would make quite a splash for a contract I just landed.” Colleen pointed at the redhead coming toward them.
“I’ve never thought about it.”
Houston introduced Harlow then said, “Let’s eat in the other room before Colleen twists your arm into modeling. You can think about it and give her your answer after we’re done.” He guided her to a small space with a window and a two-person table. “You can hang your coat on the hook on the wall. Water, coffee, or something stronger?”
“Water’s good. Houston, do you have a last name?”
“Well, Houston Templeton, I appreciate you taking the time to help me, but I don’t want to be your problem. I can head out and hopefully avoid Ballard Moore.”
“You’re no problem. Although if you ask Harlow or Colleen, they’ll tell you I thrive on problems. Sit. Tell me how you know Mr. Moore.”
“We met at a grief workshop. He claimed he’d lost his parents as well, so we had coffee together. The more he talked, the more I got the sense he lied. Others who were grieving couldn’t get through their story without tearing up or outright crying. But this guy appeared cold and indifferent to his loss.”
“Did you continue to see him?”
“Not on purpose. He kept appearing in places where I went. Auctions, restaurants, even my church.”
“How long has this been happening?”
“For about three weeks.” She fiddled with her chips. “I came to New York City to visit jewelry dealers and check out the auctions and estate sales. When I got off the elevator at my hotel this morning and spied him talking to the desk clerk, I bolted out the side door. He must’ve seen me and followed.” She closed her eyes. “I’m scared.”
“Hey, you kissed the right frog today.”
“She blinked and then laughed. “You’re going to be my prince?”
“Maybe not a prince, but I’m the next best thing. I’m a bodyguard.”
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What’s your favorite way to combat stress?
I try reading and mediating. If that doesn’t work I go for a walk by the water. Finally, if all else fails I bake something chocolaty!
Why is your featured book a stress busting read?
Houston continues the story from book one of the Choice and Consequence series. Although a standalone read, you can relax and enjoy the familiar characters from book one, HARLOW. HOUSTON will take you on a rollercoaster ride filled with suspense, sex and as always a happily ever which hopefully leaves you satisfied and stress free.
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Runs May 1 – 31, 2021.
Drawing will be held on June 1, 2021.