Journey to Seduction (Chasing Love)

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9780373863921: Journey to Seduction (Chasing Love)
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All the right moves 

Ever since their families were joined by marriage, Sydney Chase has been driving attorney Bryce Monroe crazy. Whether she's in biker gear or stilettos, no other woman can compare. No one else combines tough and tender in such a sexy, irresistible package. Though Syd has him pegged as a spoiled brat, a spur-of-the-moment Vegas road trip is Bryce's one chance to prove otherwise. 

As a criminal profiler, Syd's job is to figure people out. Somehow, beyond Bryce's privileged background is a depth she never expected. Their cross-country trek to a motorcycle fest is turning into the hottest ride of her life—one she knows has to eventually end. Yet what happens in Vegas is impossible to forget, and Bryce isn't letting go until he's crashed through every single one of her defenses...

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Candace Shaw writes romance novels because she believes that happily-ever-after isn't found only in fairy tales. When she's not writing or researching information for a book, you can find Candace in her gardens, shopping, reading or learning how to cook a new dish.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her loving husband and their loyal dog, Ali. She is currently working on her next fun, flirty and sexy romance. You can contact Candace on her website at www.CandaceShaw.net.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"Anyone have any pain killers?" Sydney Chase asked the five other agents on her team of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that sat around the conference room table. "I feel a headache coming on." Actually, she felt light-headed, nauseous, hot and achy. Sydney would've thought she was having pregnancy symptoms if it wasn't for the fact she was single and couldn't even remember the last time she'd had sex. However, she couldn't let the team made up of all men know that she felt like crap.

Once they all responded no, she waved it off and convinced herself that she'd be fine. She tried to place her concentration on her boss, Joseph Mumford, as he munched on a jelly-filled doughnut. They'd just wrapped up a big high-profile case, and Mumford was going around the table giving everyone accolades for a job well done.

"Syd," he began, wearing a huge, fatherly grin, "I'm so proud of your level of expertise on this case. By figuring out the perps weaknesses, we were able to use them against him to bring that sucker down. You're the best criminal profiler this organization has."

Not only was she the best; she was also the youngest at age twenty-nine and the only female in her division.

She wiped the sweat that had formed on her hairline before it could trickle down her brow. "Thanks, Mumford," she said, flashing him a smile as best as she could. "We all did an outstanding job."

Syd glanced at her watch and hoped that he would hurry up and dismiss them. It was one o'clock in the afternoon on a Friday. It was also Valentine's Day. While her only plans were to order a pizza, sip a cool glass of white zinfandel and watch Breakfast at Tiffany's, she needed to beat the Atlanta rush hour and dinner traffic. She lived in the downtown area of Decatur, where all the popular restaurants would be overcrowded with couples celebrating a day she couldn't care less about. She wanted to make it home before she sat stuck in traffic. She chastised herself for driving her Mustang that day. She should've ridden her pink Harley so she could've weaved in and out of the cars.

Thirty minutes later, she was grateful to head back to her office to grab her purse and coat so she could skedaddle to the parking lot before the technical analyst—who had a crush on her—asked her out for the hundredth time that day.

When she reached her office, Sydney made a bee-line to the desk drawer to grab her purse but instead she stopped in her tracks. Her heart thumped hard against her chest as if it were being kicked by a dinosaur's foot. The sweat she'd tried to suppress earlier rushed down her brow. She staggered toward her desk chair but stumbled as she reached out for it, falling onto the floor with the chair following. The last sound she heard in the distance was Mumford yelling her name in a panic-stricken tone just as darkness engulfed her.

"Calm down, Megan," Bryce Monroe spoke in a soothing tone to his brother's wife. She was already a fast talker but when she was nervous or overly excited, he couldn't understand her at all. "Now slowly repeat what you said." He tossed his name plate in a box, grabbed it up and strode out of the office doors of Baxter, Clemmons and Strouse for the last time without looking back.

Megan Chase-Monroe took a deep breath. "I just spoke to Syd. She passed out at work from exhaustion and dehydration. She said she's fine, but I'm worried sick. Goodness, I wish I was there, but Steven and I just landed in Hilton Head for Valentine's weekend."

The fear in her voice seeped through the phone, and he had a feeling where this conversation was going. He dreaded the outcome.

"Where's Braxton?" he questioned, wondering why Megan called him and not their big, overprotective brother.

"He's out of town with his jazz band, and Syd made me promise not to call our parents."

Bryce let out a long sigh. "Where is she?"

"DeKalb Medical Center." He heard a hopeful tone in her response.

"Okay, I'll swing by there on my way home. Will that make you feel better?" He nodded and smiled at a few people who were still in the law firm finishing up important cases, some of which used to belong to him. He couldn't focus on that at the present moment. His sister-in-law was distraught over her twin sister. The twin sister that disliked him... No, wait...hated him.

"Thank you so much, Bryce. I sincerely appreciate this."

He stepped onto the elevator and pushed the ground floor button. "No problem. I'll call you later with an update."

Bryce chuckled. His original plans for the evening were to go home, drink a beer and watch Miami beat whoever they were playing. But this unwelcomed distraction might be just what he needed to get his mind off the fact that he'd just quit his job at one of the top law firms in the country. He'd worked his ass off for the past seven years at the firm, and at age thirty-two, was the youngest junior partner amid men ten years his senior. However, over a month ago, the senior partners had informed him that he would never make it to their position. That was all the ammunition he needed to change his current situation. Shortly thereafter, he'd submitted his two-week notice.

After placing the box into the trunk of his black Mercedes S-65 AMG, he slammed it a little too hard and unloosened his Burberry tie as he thought about his upcoming task. He'd known Sydney Chase for about five years. They ran in the same circles, and, considering he was a criminal defense attorney, some of his clients had been arrested by her division of the GBI. Their conversations were always heated. And she was ruthless. Sydney never backed down during court hearings whenever she was called to the stand to give her opinion as a criminal profiler. However, he rarely lost a case, and she'd often glare at him when the jury would read the not guilty verdicts. He'd wink and offer her his most gracious smile, which always resulted in a huff and an eye roll from her. Then she'd swing her head away from his gaze as her sexy, layered bob cut swooshed across her delicate face.

When his older brother, Steven, married her twin sister a year ago, Bryce tried to be cordial whenever he saw Sydney at family gatherings. She'd ignore him unless the topic was an upcoming case. Their conversations would then become intense, and he sometimes figured if he'd just kiss her luscious lips then maybe she'd be quiet for once. He'd definitely found her attractive when he'd first laid eyes on her across the courtroom some years ago, but her stubbornness and aloofness toward him had changed his mind about ever asking her out. Though there was something about her that still always held his attention. He sometimes looked forward to their heated discussions just to see her cinnamon eyes turn chocolate and the quiver of her lips while she disagreed with him.

For some reason Sydney thought he was a spoiled rich brat even though she didn't think that about Steven. Bryce figured that was probably because his brother was more modest and did a lot for the community. While there was a rumor going around that everything had been handed to them on a silver platter, their father believed in hard work. Despite the fact that the Monroe family was worth millions and considered to be the black Kennedys, Bryce had lived a normal life growing up because of their mother. Claire Monroe, who had come from humble beginnings, refused to raise her children as sheltered, spoiled brats who would look down on those less fortunate.

As Bryce approached the nurses' station, a sign caught his attention that read Immediate Family Only. He figured he'd be fine considering he was Sydney's brother-in-law by way of marriage even though that wasn't considered immediate family. He stroked his goatee and shrugged. I'll just say she's my sister.

A young nurse looked up from her paperwork and blinked several times at him wearing a saucy grin. She leaned toward him, resting her elbows on the counter. "May I help you, sir?" she asked in a seductive way as if she wanted to give him a lap dance.

While that would be great considering he was in between girlfriends—the nurse in front of him wasn't his type. She wore way too much makeup for his taste, plus, he preferred women who didn't throw themselves at him—at least not for anything more than a fling. He glanced down at her name tag and stepped back.

"Um..." He cleared his throat and slid his hands in his pants' pockets, "Joan, I'm here to check on my...s...my wife, Sydney. Sydney Chase." Why the heck did I say that?

"Humph. All the fine, suited-up ones are taken." She turned toward the hallway to his right and pointed. "She's in room 908. I'll walk with you. I need to check on a patient."

"Thank you."

"Lucky girl," Joan whispered just loud enough for him to hear.

"Me, too. She's...something else." He chuckled sarcastically. Syd was definitely a pistol.

Bryce hadn't seen her since Steven and Megan's one-year anniversary celebration on New Year's Eve. Normally, he'd be in Colorado for his annual ski vacation during that time, but Bryce rarely saw his brother because he was a United States senator and spent a lot of time in Washington, DC. Postponing the trip with his friends wasn't an issue. He believed that family came first no matter what and even though he and Sydney never saw eye to eye, Megan was depending on him.

His thoughts trekked back to the last time he saw Sydney. Bryce remembered gazing at the way her red dress fit her body like a glove and how the red pumps she'd worn showcased her caramel-coated legs. A diamond choker graced her swanlike, elegant neckline and her thick, classy bob bounced when she strutted across the room. Whenever he ran into her at the GBI headquarters to speak with a client, she was usually clad in a pair of jeans, a women's T-shirt that did nothing to hide the six pack that was underneath and a leather jacket. Either way, she was sexy as hell.

When he entered the room, his eyes zoomed immediately onto to Syd as she sat propped up on the bed fussing at another nurse who was checking her IV bag.

"Look, I feel fine. I just need to go home and sleep for the rest of the weekend. That's all. So please remove the IV from my arm," Sydney demanded, holding out her left arm to the nurse, who ignored her.

Nurse Joan stepped inside the room as Bryce leaned on the door analyzing the scene before him. Even hooked up to heart monitors, an IV machine and with a pale face, Sydney still was the little spitfire he was used to dealing with. His eyes scanned the room. A hospital gown lay on the chair with her purse and leather jacket. Apparently, she'd refused to put on the gown because she still wore her usual attire of jeans and a white, low-cut ribbed T-shirt that left just enough room for the heart monitor pads to sit on her upper chest. His eyes traveled a few inches lower as the top of her cleavage jiggled, and he tried to tear his gaze away from the provocative sight. He may not care for her attitude toward him, but he couldn't deny how sexy she was. Her hair rested just below her chin, complemented by her cute pert nose above her pouty lips and her cinnamon, almond-shaped eyes. Even though Sydney and Megan were identical twins, Megan didn't possess the same blaze in her eyes as Sydney did. He hated to admit that was one of the few reasons he actually loved to debate with her. She only seemed to have them with him, though. With others, she was pleasant and just as sweet as Megan.

His cell phone beeped, indicating he had a text message, and Sydney's stare rested on him for the first time. Shock crossed her face as she sized him up with a disdainful expression.

"Your loving husband is here," Joan said in an upbeat manner as she gave a pleasant smile.

"My.?" Sydney stopped as her eyes grew wide as saucers. "What are you doing here and why—"

Bryce dashed into the room and grabbed her to him, imprisoning her lips with his to muffle her protests. He had kissed her deeply at first just so she wouldn't yell out, "He's not my husband." However, when his tongue touched hers, a fervent shiver slammed through him, and he slowed down to savor her juicy lips and their warmth on his. A soft moan erupted from her throat, and he opened his eyes just enough to peer out through the slits to see hers completely closed as she willingly responded to him. Bryce's hand sank into her thick hair, pulling her farther into him as their tongues wound in a kiss so passion-filled that for a moment he forgot they couldn't stand each other. His other hand ran along her smooth arm and down to her jean-clad hip as he clutched it, releasing another moan from her that he muted with his mouth.

Somewhere in the back of his subconscious, he heard the nurses dismiss themselves and shut the door. A forceful jolt pushed him back. When he opened his eyes, he realized Sydney had shoved him off her. Her chest heaved up and down at a fast pace as she wiped his kiss from her mouth.

"Why the hell did you kiss me? I don't even like you!

A sly smile crossed his face as he ran his tongue along his bottom lip. He stepped toward her and rested his forehead on hers as he stared into her rage-filled eyes that made him want to kiss her all over again.

"You may not, but your lips certainly do."

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