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Start your holiday reads in November

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A feel good romance that'll get you in the holiday spirit...


Excerpt of Up on the Housetop by Suzanne Rock

Purchase


Kyron Pack #1
Loose Id
December 2009
On Sale: December 16, 2009
Featuring: Zack; Chloe
ISBN: 1607374870
EAN: 9781607374879
e-Book
$4.99
Add to Wish List

Romance Paranormal, Romance Erotica Sensual

Also by Suzanne Rock:

Ecstasy Spa, Volume III, August 2015
e-Book
Caught on Camera, July 2015
e-Book
Hot Beach Romance: Sand, Sunshine and Sizzle, July 2015
e-Book
At His Service, June 2015
Paperback
Hydrotherapy, June 2014
Paperback
Seduction in the Sun, January 2014
e-Book
Whispers, November 2011
e-Book
Honor Bound, October 2011
e-Book
Unholy Pursuits, October 2011
e-Book
Dark Obsession, March 2011
e-Book
Dark Deception, September 2010
e-Book
Down on the Boardwalk, August 2010
e-Book
Cria, May 2010
e-Book
Up on the Housetop, December 2009
e-Book
Spyder's Web, July 2009
e-Book

Excerpt of Up on the Housetop by Suzanne Rock

This time her father had gone too far.

Chloe Bradford threw open the window, grabbed the open bottle of Cristal, and walked out onto her third-floor bedroom balcony. After a few minutes of pitiful acrobatics and a long string of curses, she managed to pull herself up onto the roof. For some reason, the climb had seemed much easier when she was sixteen.

“Damn, my glass.” Chloe carefully placed the bottle down and climbed back into her bedroom.

“Where did it go?” She scanned the pink and white walls in disgust. Chloe had loved the color scheme back when her mother had picked it out. Then again, she'd been only eight at the time. Now, at thirty-two, it made her think of a bottle of Pepto-Bismol. When she'd gone off to college, she thought she'd never see this place again. She'd been wrong. Funny how some things come full circle.

Frowning, she crossed her arms in front of her chest. No glass. Maybe she left it downstairs. Too bad. She'd much rather drink from the bottle than go back down there and subject herself to that humiliation again. It was a “drink from the bottle” type of night, anyway.

She shimmied back out to her champagne on the roof. The Spanish-style mansion was like a lot of the other houses in the area. The roof was very flat and a nightmare during times of rain, but it was perfect for a teenager or two to get away from their parents for a few hours.

Or for a middle-aged woman to hide from a marriage proposal.

Chloe took a seat and placed her almost-full bottle next to her. It had been a long time since she'd come out here to wish on the stars and dream of her future.

Now she just wanted to escape it.

She sighed and held up the bottle of Cristal to the full moon hanging low in the sky. She wasn't much of a drinker and wasn't exactly a fan of champagne, but desperate times called for desperate measures. After the huge fight, she just wanted to get out of there. She had grabbed the closest bottle and left her parents and boyfriend gaping in the dining room below.

She brought the champagne to her lips. The bubbly liquid tickled her throat as she gulped it down. What happened to her life?

When she was a little girl, she had dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. Her senior year in high school, she'd gotten accepted into a program at Juilliard. A few months later, she'd become engaged to her high school sweetheart. For a while it seemed like everything was going great.

Then, a semester before she was due to graduate, her life changed forever.

Chloe blinked back tears and took another sip of champagne.

Marcus, her older brother, and her fiancé, Zach, had gone backpacking in Montana. They never returned. A frenzied search turned up her brother's body but not Zach's. She shivered as she thought back to that day when they had heard the news. The autopsy revealed that Marcus was mauled by some large animal, a bear or a wolf or something. Zach's body was never found.

Marcus had been groomed to take over the family business and control the bulk of their inheritance. Chloe would receive a small stipend from the family coffers to live on, but she could otherwise do as she pleased. After that day, she was the sole heir to the Bradford family fortune. Now it was now up to her, not Marcus, to keep the business going when her father retired.

That meant no more school.

No more friends.

No more life.

She should've told her father to shove the inheritance, but Chloe loved her parents and knew they were grieving. She'd only intended to stay in Texas for a short time, but somehow she had ended up being her father's shadow for the past eleven years.

She took another sip of champagne and leaned back on her elbows. Clouds had moved in, hiding the stars and blanketing the moon. She remembered when she and Zach used to climb up here at night to have sex underneath the night sky. It had been so wonderful back then. Before her new responsibilities. Before Karl.

“Why did Karl have to propose tonight? On Christmas Eve?” she asked the moon.

It didn't answer.

Her father was behind the proposal; she knew it. They were all expecting her to say yes, but the words caught in her throat. She just couldn't.

She refused to spend the rest of her days as boring Mrs. Karl Radcliffe, heiress to the Bradford billions. Karl was nice enough, but there was no chemistry between them, at least not the type of chemistry she had shared with Zach. But Zach was gone, and it was her duty as daddy's girl to carry on the family name. At least with Karl, there was a warm body beside her at night. But she wanted more for her life. She wanted adventure, excitement.

Zach.

Get over it, Chloe. It's time to move on.

Accepting Karl's proposal was like giving up on the idea that Zach would return and free her from this miserable life. After a marriage to Karl, there would be no more going back. No more hope. No more dreaming of what could have been. The young, innocent, fun-loving Chloe would finally be dead.

“I wish I could escape this place.” She stood and swayed slightly. “Escape my family.” Tilting her head back and raising her arms, she shouted at the moon. “I don't want this life anymore, do you hear me? Take it back.”

Silence.

“What's wrong with me?” Chloe dropped her arms and pushed her curly mop of hair from her face. “Why can't I just tell them to take the inheritance and shove it?”

She knew why. She was chicken. Her parents were the only family she had left. They'd been through so much with her brother's death, and she didn't want to add to their grief. “For once I wish I didn't have to do what was expected of me,” she said to the moon. “I just want to be me.”

Who was she, anyway? At one time she thought she knew. She was a dreamer, an artist, a lover. Now…

Now she was just going through the motions. Sighing, she took one last slug from the champagne bottle and tossed it over the side of the house.

As the bottle left her hand, guilt immediately took hold. Good girls didn't throw bottles of Cristal. Nor did they yell at the moon.

A giggle welled up in her throat, and she covered her mouth. She knew she would eventually have to marry boring Karl to appease her parents, but for tonight she'd pretend she was that hopeful teenager, and Zach was once again by her side.

Wait a minute.

Chloe frowned. No crash. If you throw a bottle of champagne over the edge of the house, you would expect it to crash when it hit the ground, right? She made her way over to the edge of the roof and peered down. It was so hard to see anything in the dark. Sinking to her hands and knees, she squinted into the darkness below.

There was movement, a shifting of shadow. Then…nothing.

“Who's there?” And where's my Cristal? She bent farther over the side of the house.

There it was again. Something was down there.

“Come out into the streetlight where I can see you.”

She counted to ten, or maybe it was three. It was hard to tell in her present state. Still nothing happened.

“I know someone is down there. Show yourself.”

The wind picked up, rustling the wind chimes on the front of the house. The unseasonably cool Texas night gave her a chill. She shivered and pulled the shawl her mother had made for her over her strapless blouse.

“Shouldn't you be with your family?”

Chloe jumped up and whirled around. A large, muscular figure stood on the rooftop behind her, just a few feet away. His hair hung loose around his shoulders, and the bottom of his open trench coat lifted slightly in the breeze. Shadows fell over his face, masking his identity. He tilted his head to the side, as if to study her.

How did he get up here?

Her eyes shifted to the large tree, looming behind him. Okay, one question answered. Now for another one…

“Who are you?”

“I think a more relevant question is: why are you out here on Christmas Eve when your family is having dinner inside?” His low voice sounded gravelly, as if he had a cold or sore throat, yet it seemed strangely familiar. The stranger took a step closer to the tree and deeper into the shadows.

“How did you know…?” She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “What I do up here is my business. You're intruding.”

“You asked me to come up here.”

Chloe snorted and put her hands on her hips. “I did not.”

“You did. You said 'show yourself.'”

Oh yeah, she did say that, didn't she? “What are you doing out here? A late-night stroll?”

He chuckled. “You could say that.”

Chloe shifted her gaze down to the long, winding driveway below them. It led from the front steps, down around a sculpture her father had commissioned long ago, between two thin rows of trees, and stopped at the gate leading into the property.

Late-night stroll, her ass. Nobody got on or off this property unless it was approved. How did he get past the guards? “You must have gotten lost, then. This is private property, you know.”

He laughed again, a deep, rich laugh that sent tingles over her skin. “I see you haven't changed much.”

So, he knew her. The voice sounded familiar, but with the man's face in shadow, Chloe couldn't tell his identity.

He didn't mean her harm; she knew it instinctively. There was something about the way he spoke, the way he moved, that didn't seem threatening. Then again, maybe it was just the Cristal that made her less wary. She closed her eyes in concentration. That voice… It was rough and sensual, like silk sheets against bare skin. So familiar…

“Do you know my father?”

“You could say that, yes.” His voice caressed her ears, making her heart flutter. “I knew your whole family, once.”

“Ha! I knew it.” This man worked for her father. He'd probably been over to the house numerous times. It explained why he was in the driveway, how he knew her, and why the voice sounded so familiar. “So does my father know you are up on the roof with me?” She opened her eyes.

Where did he go?

A light breeze blew over her, ruffling her blonde curls. She spun around in a circle. “Is this some sort of joke?”

“No, Chloe. No joke.” The stranger's warm breath brushed against the back of her neck. She shivered as the faint mix of sandalwood and spice reached her nose.

She knew that smell. Chloe started to turn, but firm hands grabbed her shoulders and faced her forward again.

“I never thought I'd see you again,” the stranger whispered.

No, he wasn't a stranger. He knew her. That voice… If she could just clear the fog of Cristal in her brain, she just knew she'd be able to identify him.

“Who are you?” she asked again.

He tugged the shawl from her hands and let it drop between them. Desire filtered through her as he slid his fingertips down over her bare arms. “You feel even better than I remember.”

Chloe closed her eyes. Heat tickled underneath her skin where he touched. It shot straight to her core and burned between her legs.

“I have a confession to make.” The low, harsh voice rippled over her ears.

“Yes?”

He shifted behind her, pressing his hard chest up against her back. “I was hoping you would come home for Christmas.”

“I live here, so I'm around most of the time. Last week I was in Europe, checking up on my father's hotels, but I'm done with that now.” Good Lord, stop babbling. She couldn't help it. For the first time in her life, Chloe was excited, perhaps a little nervous. If that made her babble, so be it.

“I know,” the stranger said.

“You do?” Chloe shivered as he ran his hands over her hips. Need bubbled inside her, like water in a teapot. Hidden, yet turbulent and ready to spill over the edge.

“I've been watching you all week, Chloe, waiting for the right moment.”

“You could've seen me anytime.” Especially if he was one of her father's employees. Maybe he was someone else, a guy from town? His name was there on the edges of her mind, just out of reach. There was something oddly familiar about this guy's rough, sexy voice and wicked fingers.

He removed one hand from her hip and brushed the hair from her neck. “I don't think visiting would've been wise.”

“Why not?” She gasped as his lips pressed against the sensitive skin between her neck and shoulder.

He straightened behind her, letting his fingers drop down to her hip. Silence stretched between them for one intense moment before he responded. “Your father doesn't like me very much.”

“Yeah, well. He doesn't like me very much right now either. So I guess we can both be in the doghouse together.”

“I'm sure you can think of a better place than a doghouse.” He reached around her front and laced his fingers with hers.

Heat surged in her core as the stranger guided her hands up to the moonlight.

“Such beautiful fingers,” he whispered. “Do you still play piano?”

This was one hell of a man, whoever he was. Chloe fought down the urge to wrap herself around him and purr like a cat. “No,” she said. Goodness, she hadn't touched a piano since…forever.

“Pity.” He guided their hands around her middle and tugged her back into his hips. His hard cock pressed through their thin clothing and against her backside. “You played very well.”

His heat penetrated her Cristal-induced haze, muddling her thoughts. Chloe struggled to form a coherent thought. “How do you know me?”

He kissed her neck. The soft press of his lips sent a vibration of desire through her body, as if striking a piano chord. Pulling her hands from his grasp, she gripped his forearms and leaned on him for support.

“Do you really want to know?” Keeping his arms crossed over her middle, he stroked her hips.

Chloe nodded.

Making a tsking noise, he curled his fingers into her skirt, inching it up over her thighs. “Come now, Chloe. I know when you're lying.”

“I'm not lying.”

Her skirt bunched around her waist, exposing her thong and thigh-high tights. Her thoughts shattered as he ran his fingers up her thigh. Chloe groaned and closed her eyes as pleasure filtered through her body.

“Admit it. You're lying.” He nibbled her neck, making her gasp with pleasure. “You find this exciting.”

She did. There was something about his voice, his scent, something about him, that made her feel safe, loved. “Yeah, I do.”

He ran his hand down her leg. “Then open up for me, Chloe, and let yourself go. Show me the real you.”

Excerpt from Up on the Housetop by Suzanne Rock
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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