November 21st, 2019
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Start your holiday reads in November

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Being naughty was nice, but now these friends-turned-lovers are in for an unforgettable Christmas...

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Surviving the holidays will take a Christmas miracle...

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Cozy animal mystery

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She disappeared without a trace seven years ago, now he’s about to discover the secrets she’s guarded with her life…

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Her holidays have never looked so promising...

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

Excerpt of Hell on Heels by Carla Cassidy


Silhouette Bombshell
March 2006
Featuring: Chantal Worthington; Luke Coleman
304 pages
ISBN: 0373513968
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Romance Series

Also by Carla Cassidy:

Desperate Intentions, February 2019
Colton Cowboy Hideout, July 2016
Tough Justice: Hunted, January 2016
Tough Justice: Exposed, January 2016
The Colton Bodyguard, November 2015
Mass Market Paperback
Scene of the Crime: Killer Cove, April 2015
A Mistletoe Christmas, December 2014
Deadman's Bluff, March 2013
Cowboy With a Cause, December 2012
The Cowboy's Claim, October 2012
Mercenary's Perfect Mission, May 2012
Scene of the Crime: Mystic Lake, February 2012
Tool Belt Defender, January 2012
Cowboy's Triplet Trouble, October 2011
Rancher Under Cover, September 2011
Shattered Trust, September 2011
Special Agent's Surrender, March 2011
Scene of the Crime: Bachelor Moon, February 2011
Cowboy Deputy, January 2011
The Lawman's Nanny Op, July 2010
The Cowboy's Secret Twins, November 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Up Close And Personal, October 2009
Heiress Recon, June 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Interrogating The Bride, May 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Last Gasp, April 2009
The Rancher Bodyguard, March 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Profile Durango, February 2009
Mass Market Paperback
A Hero Of Her Own, February 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Sunset Promises, November 2008
Natural-Born Protector, September 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Broken Pieces, September 2008
The Sheriff's Secretary, August 2008
Snowbound With The Bodyguard, July 2008
With The Material Witness In The Safehouse, May 2008
His New Nanny, October 2007
Mass Market Paperback
Safety in Numbers, May 2007
The Bodyguard's Return, January 2007
Pawn, July 2006
Under the Boardwalk, July 2006
The Bodyguard's Promise, June 2006
Are You Afraid?, March 2006
Hell on Heels, March 2006
Hot Pursuit, December 2005
Defending the Rancher's Daughter, July 2005
Protecting The Princess, February 2005
Shadows '93, September 1993

Excerpt of Hell on Heels by Carla Cassidy

The fundraiser had been a smashing success. The staff at the exclusive Kansas City Club had worked overtime to ensure that the decor and the service for the two-hundred- dollar-a-plate dinner was impeccable.

Everyone who was anyone had been there, afraid that if they weren't then they'd be fodder for gossip during the evening. Of course if there was one thing the wealthy of Kansas City loved to do more than spend money, it was to talk about one another.

"I could live on this." Belinda Carlyle scooped up a cracker full of caviar and popped it into her mouth.

Chantal Worthington wrinkled her nose at her best friend. "Not me, I can't stand the stuff."

The two women stood next to a buffet table. The fancy appetizers had been picked over hours earlier. Chantal would have left long ago but her mother had been in charge. Chantal knew her mother would expect her to stay until the last party gasp.

"See the waiter over there? The one with the flashing dark eyes and tight pants? I'm thinking of having him on a cracker later this evening."

"Honestly, Belinda..." Chantal bit back the lecture that sprang to her lips, knowing from past experience that it wouldn't do any good.

Belinda had been on a path of self-destruction for years and Chantal knew there was nothing she could do except be there when her friend fell...which she did often.

"Your mother looks good. Botox?" Belinda asked as she grabbed another cracker.

Chantal looked across the room where her mother stood talking with the mayor. At sixty-five years old Katherine Worthington was still a beautiful woman, thanks to a man named Pepe who was paid an inordinately large amount of money to keep her hair the perfect shade of champagne blond and her skin like that on a baby's butt.

"If she's had it, she'll never admit to it," Chantal replied dryly. "She'll simply say her ageless beauty is the result of good genes."

"I met a guy in the bar earlier whom I would have liked to talk right out of his jeans." When Belinda got no rise from Chantal she changed the subject. "How's the bounty- hunting business?" Belinda shook her head, her highlighted brown curls dancing on her painfully thin shoulders. "I still can't believe my best friend is a bounty hunter."

Chantal grinned. "There are times I can't believe it myself. Mother insists it's a form of late rebellion." Belinda was one of only a few people who knew what Chantal did during her free time.

Belinda raised a perfectly waxed eyebrow. "Is it?" Chantal didn't answer immediately. "I'm not sure," she admitted. "I was bored, looking to challenge myself with something more than shopping and doing lunch."

"Seems a little extreme," Belinda observed.

"So does taking home waiters you don't know to have meaningless sex," Chantal retorted.

"Darling, don't knock it until you've tried it," Belinda purred. Then she widened her eyes. "Oops, I forgot, you did try it. What was his name? Larry or Harry?"

Chantal laughed and nudged her friend with her elbow. "Gary, and that was definitely a wild, crazy rebellion." Gary Burkett was a poet she'd met at a literacy function.

He'd been intensely handsome with soulful eyes. They'd spent thirty minutes talking at the bookstore then had left and had spent the next two days in bed.

Chantal had begun to believe she'd found Mr. Right, then they'd gotten out of bed. What was it about silk sheets that could make a man irresistible but once the sheets were off transformed him into an asshole?

"I can tell you why you were so bored with your life," Belinda continued. "You don't have enough dysfunction. You're the only person I know who doesn't have a therapist."

"You have two. Me not having one keeps the world in perfect balance."

Belinda picked up her purse from a nearby chair. "On that note, I'm going home. Call me tomorrow?"

"As always," Chantal replied.

Belinda pulled her keys from her purse, then looked at Chantal again, all trace of humor gone from her pretty features. "Did you hear that the case went to the jury late yesterday afternoon?"

Chantal didn't have to ask which case Belinda was referring to. The Willowby rape trial had been one of the most highly publicized cases ever tried in the state of Missouri.

Ten months before, Marcus Willowby, heir to the Willowby Whisky fortune had been arrested on two counts of rape. It was alleged that twenty-eight-year-old Marcus had drugged the victims with GHB, then videotaped himself raping the unconscious young women.

The crimes were brought to the attention of the police by a young woman and her friend who had spent the night at Willowby's condo after a night of dancing and partying at a local club.

According to the young women they had gone to Willowby's place and had a few drinks and neither of them remembered anything after that. They'd awakened the next morning in Willowby's spare bedroom, fully clothed on top of the bed. Willowby had been in the kitchen fixing them all breakfast.

It wasn't until one of the women went to use the bathroom and discovered her underwear inside out that she became suspicious that something had happened that shouldn't have. She and her friend had left Willowby's and gone directly to the nearest police station where rape kits were performed on the two women and traces of semen were found on their underwear and skin.

An investigation had yielded the videotape of the two women being raped by Willowby while they were unconscious. Although the police suspected there were other victims, no other videotapes had been found and no other women had come forward.

It was an ugly case, but there had been very little gossip among Chantal's friends and peers. Willowby was one of their own, but the heinous nature of the crime and the power wielded by Rebecca and Roger Willowby, Marcus's parents, had kept public gossip at a minimum.

But Belinda and Chantal had spent a lot of time talking about Willowby. Ten years ago Marcus had raped Belinda.

"I hope the bastard rots in hell," Belinda now said, her voice husky with suppressed emotion. "I hope somebody kills him in prison."

Chantal placed a hand on her friend's arm. She knew the devastation that single night had wreaked in Belinda's life. She knew the emotional scars had been ripped open again when details of Willowby's arrest had hit the news.

"Belinda, he's not going to get away this time," she said softly. "According to everyone there's no way the jury can come back with a not guilty verdict."

"I know...I just wish..." She shook her head once again. "I've got to go home. I'm getting one of my headaches." She leaned forward and kissed Chantal on the cheek, then turned and headed for the banquet-room exit.

Chantal watched her friend go, her heart aching. She and Belinda had been best friends since seventh grade when the two of them had attended an exclusive summer camp and discovered they both had a passion for mint chocolate truffles from the Tenth Street Bakery, Vogue magazines and late lunches at the Plaza.

During those early teenage years, they had shared their despair over the fact that high fashion came to Kansas City six months later than every place else on earth and that the grapefruit diet didn't really work.

They'd shared the joy of discovering that Calvin Klein jeans actually made their butts look good and that bitchy Susie Winchester had become a cliché and run off with her family's gardener.

Those had been the most carefree years Chantal had enjoyed, even though, looking back, she recognized that she and Belinda had been totally self-absorbed and shallow as only teenagers can be.

The night of the party at the Willowby mansion had changed everything. They'd been sixteen, and, despite not really hanging out with Marcus and his friends, they hadn't been able to resist a party at the Willowby home.

The house had crawled with teenagers. Drugs and liquor had flowed freely and in the space of the thirty minutes that Belinda and Chantal had been separated, Marcus Willowby had nearly destroyed Belinda's life.

Chantal had tried to talk Belinda into going to the authorities and reporting the crime, but Belinda had been afraid. She'd been afraid of what Marcus might do, what her parents would think, and the gossip that would surround her if she told.

While Chantal and Belinda's friendship had only grown stronger, Belinda had transformed from a happy, carefree teen to a neurotic mess who only occasionally allowed glimpses of the happy girl she had once been.

"Darling, where are you?"

Chantal blinked and realized her mother stood before her. She smiled. "I got lost in my thoughts for a moment." She leaned forward and kissed her mother on the cheek. "The evening was a huge success."

Katherine frowned, a dainty wrinkle forming in the center of her forehead. "The salmon was overcooked and the salad wasn't chilled enough, but the good thing is, according to my best guess, we raised almost twenty thousand dollars for Kansas City Kids."

Kansas City Kids was one of Katherine's pet charities, an organization that provided medical and dental treatment to the underprivileged children in the city.

"That's wonderful, but certainly not a surprise. You're definitely an expert at fundraising."

Katherine smiled. "Your father used to say that if necessary I could raise a million for a family of toads." Her smile grew wistful and Chantal knew she was thinking of Chantal's father, who had died unexpectedly of a heart attack five years before.

"He'd be proud of you," Chantal said softly. "Yes, I think he would be," she agreed. "So, are you heading straight home?"

"I'm not sure. I'm going to check in with Big Joey and see if anything is happening."

The frown that had disappeared from Katherine's forehead appeared again. "You will be careful?"

"Heavens, why would I want to do that?" Chantal teased. "You know I will be," she added and kissed her mother's cheek once again.

Minutes later she walked out of the lobby and into the sultry mid-June night and waited for the valet to bring her car around. She was glad the fundraiser was over. This had been her third one in the past two weeks. Friends of the Zoo, People for Pets, Save the Whales... everyone needed money and Chantal was on every-one's list as a benefactor.

As she waited for her car she pulled her cell phone from her purse and hit the speed dial for Big Joey's Bail Bonds.

Even though it was after eleven, she knew Joey would be in. Joey was almost always in. He slept, ate and drank his bail-bond business, and that business was never closed.

Excerpt from Hell on Heels by Carla Cassidy
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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