Title: KEVIN: A CHOICE & CONSEQUENCE NOVEL
Author: CADENCE VONN
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense
Bodyguard Kevin Templeton is one of the best, and he’s not fazed when his FBI friend requests his help. But going undercover as a millionaire will test his skills and stretch his boundaries as he works to expose a blackmailing scheme and a killer-for-hire. What isn’t in the plan is falling for the enigmatic bartender who also catches the eye of the suspected kingpin. Keeping the woman safe without destroying his cover will be a challenge as his protective instincts and fake, wealthy persona collide.
Determined to expose her twin sister’s murderer, Genevieve Page, a former Interpol agent, will do anything to exact justice. She has no problem changing her appearance and bartending at a gentlemen’s club…until she’s expected to join in on the kinky fun. To maintain her alias, she agrees to a threesome with a mysterious millionaire and the owner’s sadistic partner.
Thrust together in a web of deceit, Kevin and Genevieve navigate the dangerous world of high rollers, high-priced sex, and an international crime syndicate. Gambling on a risky plan, one misstep could be fatal.
Plastic chips tinkled around the somber space. Each poker table occupied its own lighted circle from the overhead spots. No mirrors were present in the room. Instead, the walls were covered in rich polished rosewood, shipped in from Brazil specifically for making the room feel opulent and masculine. A few women played cards. Surely they weren’t wives. That would cramp members’ styles who preferred their personal life not mingle with this lavish fantasy one.
Ignored by the players, she mixed drinks that were delivered to the tables by inconspicuous male waiters. In between orders, she focused on each player. Their hand movements, nods, even the way they fanned their cards and held them close to their chest. She could tell the bluffers.
The self-assured bettors.
Men used to winning at all cost. If caught, cheaters would lose all privileges, so it wasn’t about cheating, but mastering the art of deceit.
“Can I have a beer?” the tall, broad-shouldered, and dangerous looking man asked as he occupied the stool at the end of the bar.
“Name the label.” She smiled, hoping to distract the heated look focused on her.
“Something German. Surprise me.”
She turned away from his intense gaze. No one in the city knew her. And she’d remember this man if they’d met before. Any resemblance to her dead sister, she eliminated before applying for the job using a fake name. Now with short blonde hair, cropped to barely an inch in length, twenty pounds lighter from working out, and spiked heels that added three inches to her height, being compared to her twin sister never happened anymore.
She plastered on a smile and set the glass down in front of the unnerving man. The impeccable workmanship of his black suit coat magnified his muscular build. The button on his starched white shirt, open at his neck, allowed his tanned chest to tease below the notch of his collarbone. His cologne filled the space around him, a scent reminiscent of pleasant afternoons in the mountains.
She inhaled and held the breath, savoring the emotions that went along with the woodsy fragrance. “Anything else?” Lingering in his space a moment longer allowed her one more gulp before she returned to the task at hand. Finding a murderer. Maybe even the man in front of her preferred to strangle a woman instead of paying her for sex.
She’d warned Izzie not to get involved with the mysterious man who paid her thousands of dollars for spice and kink. If she hadn’t been in London at the time, she might’ve prevented her twin from meeting the man for a third time. It’d taken over a month to find her broken body. And that’d been by accident. One unlucky fisherman had cast his line, snagged the heavy plastic wrapped around her body, and dragged it and her sister’s remains to the surface.
“Tap, tap. You still here?”
The male voice startled her out of her nightmare. “Sorry, did you want something else?”
“A smile instead of a frown. It’s drawing attention from that security guy at the door. I don’t want him to think I’m harassing you.”
She released a fake laugh and shrugged with an animated shoulder lift. “Thanks. I don’t need a lecture from him on maintaining an appropriate demeanor.” She busily arranged a bowl of mixed nuts and set it in front of him before she turned her attention to an approaching waiter to fill his order. Confrontation averted, she focused on her job and continued to study the men playing cards.
She didn’t think her sister waited tables in this room, since it appeared they used men to serve drinks, so there wouldn’t be any distractions from the card game. Although a few older men took second looks at the fit servers.
She’d observed most of the areas in the last two weeks. Nothing appeared to be what her sister had described. Still off limits to her, the VIP level might hold the answers. There, the entertaining space, as Izzie had called it, served the more affluent members. Being allowed on that level would require being noticed by the owner, Stefan van Deek, or his associate Nyia. Before she put herself in that position, she wanted to memorize all the other levels.
Izzie talked about the VIP level. Having perfected her pole dancing skills in college, she’d been a regular dancer the last month she was alive. The tips alone paid her sister’s rent and living expenses. When she’d finally gotten her emotions under control long enough to pack Izzie’s things, never worn clothes and expensive jewelry cluttered the bedroom. Now boxed and in her spare room, she’d have them at hand to examine in the off chance she located a suspect among this narcissistic group.
An hour later, she returned to the hunk nursing his beer. “If your drink isn’t to your liking, I’ll be glad to replace it with something else…maybe a stout?”
The guy swirled the liquid at the bottom of his pint glass. “Thanks, it’s good. I’m trying to keep a clear head for my chance at a poker game. Looks like tonight won’t be that night.” He chugged the amber liquid without releasing her gaze. “Maybe I could buy you a drink when you get off work?”
“No, thanks. I don’t socialize with guests.”
His smile turned boyish, accompanying his shrug. The look flipped her stomach. Nothing arrogant about this man. He didn’t belong here. Wasn’t that what Izzie said about the man who led her to her death? She’d liked his boyish charm. This man oozed it in spades.
“On second thought, maybe coffee.” She glanced at her watch. “Half hour in the lobby downstairs.”
“I’ll sync my watch with yours. Midnight—the witching hour. See you then.”
He slipped off the stool and strolled away. Lord almighty, what if he was a murderer? Lately, she’d been jumping before she looked. A public cafe would be appropriate. Nothing more.
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Giveaway: I’m one of the authors participating in the Resolve to Read More Books Giveaway and you can win a $5 Amazon gift card. https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db7750148 Runs January 1 - 31 and is open internationally for many prizes. Winners will be drawn on February 1, 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. If you like your romances sizzling hot with an edge of suspense and danger, but always with a happily ever after, this series is for you.
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