TCO is very excited to have LaQuette here today, talking about her new Dreamspinner Press release, Under His Protection. In her guest post, she talks about that one moment…where you fall in love in that instant. Check it out!
Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.
Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.
The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.
Hello, I’m LaQuette, and I’m so happy to be here at Two Chicks Obsessed. Sending a huge shout-out to Denise for inviting me to chat for a bit.
As both a romance author and reader, I’m always looking at life events through a romance lens. It’s a quirky habit of mine, but it also makes it so much fun to live in my head.
When writing my latest release, Under His Protection, I was thinking of how sometimes a single experience with a certain person can have an enormous impact on our future lives. Hence, when crafting Elijah and Camden’s story, I wondered if one night with the right person could lead to forever.
Love at first sight is something we all laugh at. It’s improbable if not impossible, and no one can build a future on today’s whim.
Although I don’t know how wise it is to jump in with both feet so to speak, I do believe that all it takes is an instant for hearts to connect. Camden and Elijah are the perfect example of that. They met once, had an amazing encounter, and five years later when their paths crossed again, they still couldn’t forget that one night.
Perhaps the idea of wagering your future on a whim seems ridiculous. But, if there is magic in the world, I believe it’s love. How great would the world be if we all stopped for a second to embrace the magic of love the way romance novel characters do? It might not be realistic, but it sure is an amazing thought to have.
Check out the excerpt below to see how the sparks still fly between Camden and Elijah when they meet for the first time five years after their initial encounter.
Camden turned around at the call of his name. His gaze followed the familiar sound until he was staring into eyes he hadn’t seen for five years.
Still tall, with long locs still hanging just below his shoulders, and a trimmed goatee. Skin still the same color as smooth, tanned oak. Camden’s eyes continued to travel down a broad chest and shoulders that made his fingers itch to caress them. Arms still wide with carved muscle, and a lean waist that tapered down into a thin vee made Camden swallow to push the dry knot blocking his airway free.
He forced his eyes closed as his gaze fell on the metal belt buckle sitting at the bottom of this walking memory’s waist. If he continued his perusal, if he kept remembering the fire that burned through him with every touch and taste of his tormentor’s body parts, this encounter was liable to turn into something very different from a police matter.
Camden shook his head, uncertain why he’d said the man’s name as if it were a question. This was Elijah Stephenson. Hard, beautiful, and so sexy he made Camden’s mouth water.
“You remember my name? I’m impressed,” Elijah added.
Remember? Camden laughed at that. Who in the hell could forget a real-life walking sex dream? If big, muscular men with an imposing presence were your cup of tea, Elijah Stephenson was a person you wouldn’t soon forget.
Camden was no slouch. His bulk remained tight with a personalized fitness plan that kept his muscle shirts filled and his jeans fitted. But Elijah didn’t need a gym plan or a personal trainer. His physique and power came from things like running down criminals on the street and lifting cinder blocks or some such real-world thing Camden would never engage in. He didn’t care to get his own hands soiled, but a man who liked to play in the grit of life was always Camden’s weakness.
Camden blinked his eyes again, flipped the switch in his head that turned on his prosecutor’s facade. Hands on his waist, shoulders pushed back, and eyes narrowed at his target. Camden stepped toward Elijah, refusing to let his memories or the delicious sight Elijah made shake his fortitude.
“Why are you here, Elijah? How are you involved with my case?”
“I’m your assigned babysitter, Counselor.”
Camden caught the faint hint of amusement in Elijah’s voice, and his mood soured. To keep his calm, he dismissed Elijah with a cold glare and turned to the captain at his side. “Not a possibility. Get someone else,” he demanded.
“Mr. Warren,” Captain Searlington began. If the deep breath she’d taken just before she said his name was any sign, she wasn’t all that thrilled with Camden now.
Camden sighed and pressed his fingers firmly against his temple. If he were the man his father raised him to be, he’d be throwing his weight around right now, making demands of everyone in the room. But after how poorly Camden behaved five years ago, treating Elijah like a discarded one-off, he found it difficult to muster up his practiced asshole tendencies.
“Mr. Warren, Lieutenant Stephenson has an impressive career record. He is the best at what he does.”
Camden ran a frantic hand through his raven locks. “And what does Lieutenant Stephenson do?”
“He has a nose for sniffing out the bad guys. He’s the best tactical mind I’ve seen in our house in a long time. He also has a protective streak for simpletons who find themselves in situations they can’t get out of. And when he’s called on to protect someone who can’t defend themselves, he locks like a Pit and doesn’t let go until either he or the threat is destroyed.”
Camden’s shoulders rose with every breath he drew in through his flared nostrils. Did she call him a simpleton? Did she reprimand him without so much as raising her voice?
“So,” Captain Searlington continued, “are there other officers I can assign this case? Yes. But if you want to live through this experience, I’d suggest Lieutenant Stephenson is the man for the job.”
Not gonna lie. It was the cover that sucked me in. I mean. Did you see it? Because damn.
Camden and Elijah are a second chance love story. I guess my biggest issue was that really they had one date, one night before Camden ghosted. So ya, there was chemistry and attraction and everything. But I wish there was more than a one time thing between them to spark back up five years later.
Still, I really enjoyed this story.
Camden is prosecuting the leaders of a cult who want him dead. Because they think that will stop the trial I guess? So Elijah, a lieutenant in the police force coming back from medical leave after almost dying in a bust gone wrong is tasked with keeping him safe for a week. Elijah was hoping to sit at a desk and work cyber crimes but he can’t say no to this job and the one that got away.
The hide out in Elijah’s house outside the city thinking they will have peace and quiet. Except Elijah forgot he invited his family for a long weekend. What could have been awkward was really just kind of fun. Mom wasn’t too over bearing, Dad wasn’t too scary, brother wasn’t too annoying. It was just a family enjoying themselves and hanging out. And Camden and Elijah rediscovering each other.
There was a few things that were just far too convenient- a house Elijah bought with a shell company (plus what cop can afford a house in Westchester AND an apartment in Brooklyn?), a garage apartment at his house that is unoccupied, etc.
The chemistry between the men was undeniable. And she can write a sex scene like no one’s business. They flowed though, the scenes weren’t forced at all.
The entire book only took place over the course of a week but it wasn’t rushed at all. Elijah’s family added to the story instead of getting in the way and the ending wrap up was well done without being contrived.
Won’t be my last story by this author, that’s for sure.
3.75 pieces of eye candy
LaQuette is the 2016 Golden Apple Award Author of the year winner. She writes bold & sexy tales for diverse characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page. Represented by Latoya C. Smith of LCS Literary Agency. Visit her at LaQuette.com and LaQuette@LaQuette.com