Big 'D' Dads: The Daltons
Excerpt from book:
"This is the crown of my collection, the surprise revelation I promised for my final US showing."
Jade Dalton stared in awe at the necklace. A cascade of flawless diamonds, separated by pure green emeralds dangled from Quaid Vaquero's fingertips.
"It's magnificent. It's
" She paused. "Mere words cannot do it justice."
"I'm glad you're impressed. It took over a year to find the perfect gems, almost three hundred of them, hand cut and set in platinum."
"I'm afraid to even ask the price," Jade said.
Quaid smiled. "Two twenty-five. No price bickering. I won't part with it for anyone who doesn't appreciate not only its quality but its beauty and artistic value."
"Two hundred twenty-five thousand?"
He smiled as if amused by her naivete. "Two hundred twenty-five million, my sweet."
"You're kidding, right?"
"Not at all."
"Now you're scaring me. What on earth are you doing with this in your hotel suite? I need to call someone from security immediately. I think Officer Reggie Lassiter is in charge tonight. He'll make sure this is placed in the showroom where he and his security detail can guard it."
"Relax. No one knows it's here but the two of us. Besides, it's well insured."
"Still, this isn't wise, Mr. Vaquero. Had you mentioned this to me, I would never have approved it. Neither would Reggie. And if I were your insurance provider, I would be in a state of pure panic."
"A piece such as this is created to be worn by an equally beautiful woman, not locked away. And not to change the subject, but you've worked closely with me for two weeks now. Don't you think it's time you start calling me Quaid?"
"Quaid it is. But I work for you, not with you. And as your event planner, I am very nervous now."
"I can tell." He put a hand to the small of her back and nudged her toward a full-length tilt mirror. The mirror support and frame were dark polished wood and, like everything else in his luxury suite, looked antique and no doubt far more expensive than it actually was.
"Look at yourself," Quaid urged. "I've never seen you this flustered."
Her nerves were edgy and with good reason. People didn't just walk around a New York hotel with a two-hundred-million-dollar-plus necklace in their pocket. Her ex-stepfather number three had worked as a hotel food manager. He'd told her plenty of stories about professional hotel thieves robbing guests, though admittedly, this was usually when they were out of their room. But you never knew when thieves would become emboldened.
Who'd inspire risk taking more than a world-renowned jewelry designer?
She turned and looked into the mirror, but it wasn't her uneasiness that she saw reflected in the glass. It was the incredibly handsome Spaniard standing behind her with his dark, soul-searing eyes and seductive glances. The man who had mesmerized her for the past two weeks.
His hands brushed her shoulders as he fastened the sparkling work of art around her neck. The shimmering jewels fell into the swell of her cleavage just above the spaghetti-strap red cocktail dress she'd splurged a month's wages on for tonight's event.
"It's breathtakingly beautiful," she murmured truthfully.
"It's you who is breathtaking, Jade. The jewels merely accentuate your natural beauty."
Charm oozed from Quaid every time he opened his mouth. Yet she sensed something more poignant in his manner tonight. Probably just more relaxed because it was the end of his visiFAILURE ISN'T AN OPTION FOR THIS NAVY SEAL IN JOANNA WAYNE'S LATEST BIG "D" DADS: THE DALTONS NOVEL
When Jade Dalton escapes a ruthless kidnapper on the trail of a multimillion-dollar necklace, she flees to the one place no one will find her: her estranged father's Texas ranch. Booker Knox is also on his way to Dry Gulch. After a potentially dangerous situation thrusts her into his arms, the navy SEAL appoints himself Jade's personal bodyguard.
It isn't every day Booker finds himself being kissed by a gorgeous stranger. Except Jade's a fugitive from justice who's also being hunted by a determined killer. Now Booker will do whatever it takes to protect the beautiful big-city event planner. Failure isn't an option. Neither is walking away when this is all over.