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Lone Star Surrender [NOOK Book]

Overview


Undercover agent Constantine Vega sacrificed three years of his life building up the case of a sinister drug lord. But only days before the trial, after threats against his life, Constantine is on the run with tantalizing federal prosecutor Nicole Ward--a desperate journey promising both sin and sensation...

Nicole has been trying her best to follow the rules...rules that she once broke with disastrous results. But the magnetic and passionate force of Constantine Vega threatens...

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Lone Star Surrender

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Overview


Undercover agent Constantine Vega sacrificed three years of his life building up the case of a sinister drug lord. But only days before the trial, after threats against his life, Constantine is on the run with tantalizing federal prosecutor Nicole Ward--a desperate journey promising both sin and sensation...

Nicole has been trying her best to follow the rules...rules that she once broke with disastrous results. But the magnetic and passionate force of Constantine Vega threatens to unleash every tempestuous feeling inside her. With so much at stake, can she trust Constantine with her body--and her life?


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426826269
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series , #442
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 243,244
  • File size: 200 KB

Meet the Author

Visit Lisa at www.lisareneejones.com
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Read an Excerpt

Heat. Desire. Attraction.

He watched her from across the ritzy Hyatt Regency Hotel bar, his attention riveted by her every move. Her every nuance. The sultry beat of a slow song filtered through the smoke-filled bar, echoing the thrum of awareness dancing through his body. She shifted in her chair, her baby-blue skirt riding high… exposing long, sexy legs.

Legs he'd love to have wrapped around his waist, her body pressed close.

His reaction to his target, the woman he'd been following for two days now, came as a surprise. He didn't normally find his work distracting. But a woman like this one could make a man forget that business and pleasure didn't mix. She could make a man debate the merits of crossing the line to do things he might later regret. A line he had no intention of crossing.

Nicole Ward sat among a group of people, all there to congratulate her sister, Brenda, for passing the bar exam. His target's sleek blond hair still in the prim-and-proper knot she wore at work. He wondered what it took to get her to set it free, to let the woman run wild.

The idea of finding out appealed to him far too much.

He suspected she allowed the world to see only certain parts of her life. To see the uptight federal-prosecutor persona who lived for her job.

Even there, amongst a crowd, with a celebration underway, she remained reserved and well in check. There had to be another side to her… one she kept concealed. Perhaps too carefully. Perhaps hiding something she didn't want explored.

Which was why he was here.

He intended to find out what was beneath her exterior.

Constantine Vega knew everything that a file could tell him about Nicole Ward, down to hershoe size. Seven. Narrow. She took two creamers in her coffee and drank at least three cups each morning, in place of breakfast, but not until she completed an hour in the gym.

She'd come straight out of the University of Texas here in Austin to work for her father's law firm—a firm where decisions were made based on money, not justice. A job she'd excelled at.

Shortly after joining the law firm, she'd married her father's young protégé, Mike Parker. Divorced a year later, she took back her maiden name, and left the firm to join the U.S. Attorney's office, and now fought for people rather than power and wealth. From his observations, thus far, he thought that was true, but he had to know for sure.

After all, this blond beauty could very well hold his life in her hands. In just a few days, she'd know what few did—that he wasn't the drug lord Alvarez's right-hand man. What he was, was an undercover FBI agent who'd spent the past few years with Alvarez, preparing to take him down.

Alvarez could control people in high places; the mighty dollar, his weapon. Ironic, considering it was also the weapon of choice that Nicole's father and ex-husband had chosen. When money didn't work, Alvarez could find other ways to be persuasive. Constantine had to be sure Nicole couldn't be influenced by money, as she once had been.

Tomorrow his team would arrest another big player in the cartel, and with that takedown, Constantine's cover would be blown. Not a minute too soon, either. Just in time for him to testify against Alvarez. Although the cartel would see him dead before that happened… if given the chance.

Constantine chugged his beer with that thought, images of some of the things he'd seen, some of the things he'd done, twisting his gut. Hating himself for the blind eye he'd turned to so many wrongs.

But it was all for the greater good, he reminded himself, setting his bottle down and swallowing the bile forming in his throat. He'd made choices he wasn't proud of in order to save thousands. A few sacrificed to save many. The problem was, he wasn't so sure he believed that what he did made a difference anymore.

He'd lost too much. Gambled too much. There was just… too much.

The final cards would be played soon.

Glancing at Nicole Ward, he took in her innocent looks. Ah, but he'd seen devils who looked like angels. He had a way of getting people to share their secrets, of getting them to talk. A little sweet talk and a smile, and he'd either confirm her honesty or expose her nasty side.

He watched as she sipped from her second Tequila Sunrise. The "ice princess"—as she'd been nicknamed by the federal investigators who couldn't score with her—had broken her own one-drink rule. Did this mean she was feeling good?

Ah… but he didn't believe she was cold, this one. Not at all. Constantine had seen her ex-husband's file. The man had a thing for kinky sex clubs and a variety of women. A habit that dated back to his married days.

Either a naughty side lurked beneath Nicole Ward's conservative exterior, or she'd been burned badly when she'd learned of her ex's habits and gone into withdrawal. Constantine's gut said she had a well-concealed kinky side. And his gut had never steered him wrong before.

If ever he'd seen a woman in need of some loving, it was this one. She was wound tight and ready for release. He could tell by the way she crossed those gorgeous legs and let her shoe dangle from her foot. He bet that her toenails were painted red, not some soft pink-and-cream color. Red for seductress. A seductress who hadn't come out to play in a very long time.

An innocent game of flirtation would get him past her defenses. Too bad he'd have to stop at a bit of wordplay. Even at that, if Nicole was, indeed, innocent of wrongdoing, she'd be mad as hell when she met him again— as her new witness. When she calmed down, she'd understand. She had to. He'd acted out of necessity, faced with what might be a decision of life or death… his.

Constantine shoved off his bar stool, and started walking toward his target. A long time ago, he'd learned to never look back.

Tonight, he would play the game, consequences be damned.

"I shouldn't be here," Nicole said, raising her voice to be heard over the familiar pop tune the DJ played. "I have a trial starting in less than a week."

Brenda sipped from her straw. "This night is big for me, so you will just have to deal with it. Besides," she added, "it's about time you had fun." She waved two fingers at an all-American-looking, football type across the bar. "Oooh, he's cute."

"Enjoy him, now," Nicole said, wishing Brenda would take a different path. She'd been trying to convince her to rethink her plans for months. "Going to work for Daddy means you have no life."

Brenda snorted. "Unlike you, I'm not giving up sex. I don't need a relationship, but, honey, I need a good man and I need one often."

"Right," Nicole said with disbelief. Brenda really didn't get how their father's world would consume her. How it could destroy her individuality and steal her life. "You'll be so buried in work, you won't remember what goes where. Sex will be a distant memory."

"You and Mike seemed to find time for sex. I seem to remember a laundry list of places you 'did it.' The storage room, the elevat—"

"Enough!" Nicole said, hating that subject. Even after three years, thinking about what she'd allowed herself to become still bothered her. "Don't remind me about Mike."

"Don't avoid the subject," Brenda retorted. "You and Mike might not have talked, but you had lots of sex, despite working at Daddy's firm. You found time and so will I. Admit it. You know it's true."

Nicole took another long sip from her straw, suddenly needing a drink. Yes, she'd had lots of sex with her ex. Too much. It had controlled her, just as money had. "Life is not about sex. That's my point." Silently she added, Or money, as Daddy would have you believe.

"Aha," Brenda said, crossing her arms in front of her chest and nodding as though in mock cross-examination of a witness. Her baby-blue eyes sparkled with mischief. "So you were having lots of sex."

"That's all I had with Mike," Nicole replied dryly.

"I see." Brenda pursed her lips as she reached for her Tequila Sunrise. "He was one of those. I figured as much."

Nicole's brows inched upward. "One of those?"

"You know," Brenda said. "The 'fuck you and roll over' types."

Running a finger over the rim of her glass, Nicole pondered her response, seeing no reason to hold back at that point. "Actually, he was the 'fuck me three times and roll over' kind of guy."

They shared a laugh and suddenly, having spoken the painfully true words out loud, Nicole felt better.

With a new, more relaxed mood, Nicole enjoyed a playful conversation with Brenda, even finding humor in her sister's ongoing flirtation with the jock guy.

Finally, when Brenda had teased the man enough, he sauntered over to the table. When the jock asked Brenda to dance, she accepted, and then cut Nicole a look. "I'll be back." She pinched the straw in Nicole's Tequila Sunrise and leaned close to her ear. "S-e-x. I need it and so do you. Find you some, honey."

Nicole cast a wry glance at the ceiling as Brenda scurried off to the dance floor, her hand in the jock's. A second later, as if he'd been beckoned by Brenda's naughty intentions on her sister's behalf, a stranger appeared.

And what a stranger he was. The man could heat an iceberg.

Shoulder-length raven hair, with a slight wave, framed a square jaw and high cheekbones. Chocolate-brown skin and a dark goatee spoke of a Hispanic heritage; the indentation in his chin and the small scar above his full top lip, of a renegade.

"Hello," he said, his voice hard to make out over the music.

But she didn't need to hear him. Her gaze locked with his, and the impact was nothing short of explosive. Awareness sent a rush of heat straight between her legs. Awareness that spoke of the kind of instant attraction rarely shared between strangers. Potent. Electric.

She swallowed hard, looking into deep, dark eyes. Dim light hid their exact color but, again, it didn't matter. They were soulful. Rich with mystery and seduction, perhaps a hint of danger.

Before she knew his intentions, he closed the distance between them, kneeling down beside her. With her legs crossed, her knee was angled toward him. His gaze dropped to the sandal dangling from her toes, and then did a slow glide up her calf, leaving goose bumps in its wake.

When his eyes lifted, his lips hinted at a smile and one right dimple. "Nice color," he said, glancing at her ruby-red toenail polish.

She uncrossed her legs, feeling amazingly aroused by something as silly as a man noticing her toenail polish. If he was this detailed in his observations out of bed, well, she couldn't help but wonder what detail he'd manage in bed.

Tugging on her slim blue dress, she pushed her knees together, despite an incredible yearning to simply spread them for this stranger. Compliments of the intense scrutiny she'd just endured from those seductive eyes of his, she could distinctly feel the gathering of wetness on her panties.

The man got her that ready, that fast.

It's what she called talent, because no one had done that to her in a very, very long time. So long she'd started to wonder if her sexuality switch had been flipped to a permanent off.

He inched forward, still kneeling, now so close he could lean in and be touching her. She wanted him, too. Almost as much as she wanted to reach out and feel the silky strands of his hair.

He offered her his palm, but the invitation of more sizzled in the air. "Dance?"

Her gaze dropped to his hand. A strong hand with long fingers. A hand that could be gentle and forceful. A hand that could deliver both pleasure and pain. And for the briefest of moments, she wondered what his hands would feel like on her body. Relax, she told herself. Enjoy this brief interlude. Enjoy.

"No name?" she asked, a playful note in her voice matching how she was feeling. "No introduction? Just straight to the dance floor?"

His hand settled on his leg and her gaze followed, a quick summation of his appearance in progress. Black boots, black slacks. Her eyes traveled, heart racing as her attention skimmed his midsection, his zipper. She swallowed hard and jerked her attention upward, away from the temptation, to his matching V-neck sweater that stretched snugly over a nice, broad chest. He was nothing like the men in her world in their conservative suits and ties, and she liked it. She liked it a lot.

Suddenly, his cheek was next to hers, the warmth of his body surrounding her. "The name is Constantine," he whispered seductively, drawing her attention back to his face. To the dimple in his chin and his dark, mesmerizing eyes. He offered his hand again. "Now we dance?"

She should say no. She didn't have time for sex games and drama. She'd seen what they did to her ex and had almost done to her. How they distorted perceptions, shifted priorities. But then, this was nothing more than a simple dance, a fun diversion that meant nothing. It was crazy to think she couldn't have a little enjoyment without losing touch with reality.

Nicole slid her palm against Constantine's, suppressing a shiver as he closed long, sensual fingers around hers. "Now we dance," she declared.

Nicole Ward made him hot. Plain and simple. Far more than he'd expected at a distance.

And with her soft curves pressed against his body, swaying to the rhythmic beat of a slow song, dangerously hot possibilities played in his mind. To say he was aroused would be an understatement. He was aroused all right, cock stiff, hands burning for exploration.

She was a petite little thing, and his chin easily rested on her head; he inhaled the floral scent of her hair. Jasmine, he decided, with just a hint of vanilla. Would her skin smell like that, too?

Suddenly, the dance floor was far too crowded. Bending at the knees, he nuzzled her neck and ear, and then whispered, "Let's go to the lobby bar where we can… talk."

She flexed her fingers on his chest and then tilted her chin up to look at him, her eyes probing, intent. Finally, she eyed the table she'd been sharing with her sister. Following her lead, he eased her around for a better view, still working with the flow of the music.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    Couldn't put down

    I couldn't put this book down. Read in 2 days almost continually! Great plot, unbelievable chemistry, and great characters in Constantine and Nicole.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fast paced and addictive!

    Review by Jamaica:
    It had been a long time since I curled up with a novel from Harlequin's red-hot Blaze line, so when the good folks at Book Talk asked me to review this book as my first guest review on the blog, I jumped at the chance. It had been quite a while since I'd read any series romance at all; in fact, so I was curious if the line had changed any in the four or five years it's been since I last read it. As an erotic romance author myself, I'd been a fan of Blaze (Harlequin's sexiest line of traditional romances until they began the Spice line a year or two ago) from its earliest days.

    If Lisa Renee Jones' Lone Star Surrender is any example, it seems Harlequin has turned up the heat in its Blaze line considerably. The book opens with a sex scene, in fact---and this is no ordinary sex scene, either. The book's heroine, Nicole Ward, a federal prosecutor in South Texas about to try the case of her career, meets a mysterious and sexy Latino man in a crowded bar, who without even giving his name, brings her to orgasm right in the middle of the bar. Nicole----freshly divorced and on the lookout for a one-off fling---doesn't yet know that this mysterious man is going to be a very big part of her life very soon.

    Nicole is about to prosecute a sinister drug lord named Alvarez. The feds have been building a case against him for three years, and Nicole is literally risking her life trying the case. After a threat on her life by one of Alvarez' men, she is placed under FBI protection until the trial begins by one of the undercover agents who helped the feds infiltrate Alvarez' drug empire. To Nicole's shock and surprise, the undercover agent assigned to protect her is none other than the mysterious stranger she hooked up with in the bar a night earlier. His name is Constantine Vega, and he's a dark, mysterious man, far more than Nicole ever bargained for.

    Lone Star Surrender is a cross between a traditional sexy romance and a suspense thriller. The story is fast-paced and addictive as it follows Nicole and Constantine as they try to evade Alvarez' assassins before Nicole has a chance to try and convict him. There are machine-gun-filled ambushes, sex-filled hideouts in caves, dirty cops and corrupt lawyers----along with plenty of red-hot sex. I had trouble putting this book down. Still, there are a few continuity issues (one scene has Nicole and Constantine seemingly trapped inside a desert shack while surrounded by gunmen; yet on the next page, they somehow have escaped to the woods, but no explanation is given how they managed it).

    Despite a few rough patches, Lone Star Surrender is an engaging, entertaining read. I'll look forward to Lisa Renee Jones' next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2009

    Highly Recommend!!!

    I truly enjoyed this book. It's the first book I've listened to from this author and it will NOT be my last. Kept me guessing till the end. I even let my friends borrow it and they also loved it (we love audio's as we have little time to read any books other than textbooks). I normally wouldn't comment on any other persons review, but the first one on the list here is truly misleading, perhaps she should stick to vet books and leave the Romance reviews to those of us that are looking to read a exactly what Mrs. Jones does so well, write a GREAT Romantic Suspense!! <BR/><BR/>Don't just take my word, buy it, read it, take the daydream it creates and enjoy, you will NOT regret it!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Lone Star Surrender is fabulous story full of action and hot romance!

    I am delighted to inform you readers out there that Lone Star Surrender by Lisa Renee Jones was an exciting and oh-so-very delicious read. This is a romantic suspense book and boy, it sure got my heart pounding! It was fast paced and did not lag at any point in the story. Ms. Jones wrote a story that just sucked you into the action, as well as the heat of the romance. Her characters were well-developed and the storyline flowed smoothly from beginning to end.<BR/><BR/>Constantine Vega is an FBI agent who has been undercover for the last three grueling years. He is disgusted with the life he has been forced to live and is now ready to bring down Vargas-a drug lord who will kill before he lets this happen to him.<BR/><BR/>Nicole Ward is the federal prosecutor who is ready to put Vargas behind bars. She is tough and is referred to as ¿The Ice Princess¿ by those around her. She tries to follow all the rules so that there is no chance of her committing the same mistake that nearly destroyed her years ago. She will not allow anything or anyone to interfere with her work or her life¿until Constantine steps into her world.<BR/><BR/>They are both forced to flee and hide in order to save their lives. Constantine and Nicole spark off one another with both lust and temper¿and are so sinfully good at both! Constantine will do anything and everything to keep Nicole safe, as well as to sate both their carnal hungers.<BR/><BR/>Ms. Jones, I thank you for writing such a wonderful story. I loved it from beginning to end. Readers, come and see why I have such high praise for this book. You want a hot, sexy, voracious man? Constantine is waiting for you! You want a smart, sinfully seductive woman? Nicole is here to please! <BR/><BR/>Go on, allow yourselves to be tempted. Read Lone Star Surrender and see what all the excitement is about.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    very good book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not good!

    If you could separate the plot line of this book from the awful romance side of it, it might be salvageable. What could have been a pretty interesting story is completely ruined by the most cliched and hackneyed excuse of erotica I've ever suffered through. To add insult to injury, I made the mistake of getting the audio book and had to endure a narrator that wouldn't know a Spanish accent if it bit her on the... well, if it bit her. She kept vacillating between bad Spanish and even worse Italian, and more often than not came off sounding like the Count from Sesame Street. Save yourself the aggravation and hours of your life you will never get back and pass on this one. It was SO not worth it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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