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Born into the wealthy Simpson family, free-spirited Willow is determined to make her own way in life. Cooking is her one true love, and she is content to keep it that way. Romance has never been on her agenda, but she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a deliciously decadent love triangle. With two gorgeous men vying for her attention, she vows to keep her distance from both, but the tantalizing chemistry is hard to ignore.
Unfortunately, it seems that someone wants to get rid of Willow, making her already tricky situation that much more difficult. One crazy night changes everything, and Willow’s life is turned upside down. Between thwarting her own murder plot, keeping her divinely tasty admirers at bay, and trying to stay on the good side of her finicky cat, Omelet, Willow’s plate is full. With far too many cooks in the kitchen, will she be able to stay alive long enough to figure out who wants to kill her?
Unfortunately, my sense of self-preservation seemed to be on vacation. I was completely
frozen in fear, unable to move for what seemed like years. The giant didn’t move either, and I
wondered why. Strangely enough, he seemed just as surprised as I was that he was in my living
room. We looked at each other, his beady eyes visible through the holes of his ski mask. The
synapses in my brain finally began to fire, and I jumped into action, kicking the intruder as hard
as I could in the groin. He groaned in pain and clumsily took a swipe at me with the knife as he
sank to his knees.
I rolled out of his path and jumped swiftly to my feet. Unfortunately, the maneuver didn’t
work exactly as I planned. I lost my towel in the process and was startled to remember that I was
completely naked underneath. My lack of clothing was the least of my worries. I had far bigger
fish to fry.
I darted into the kitchen and ducked behind the counter. He rose slowly and lumbered
toward me. Think, Willow, think!
The man was huge, larger than any human I’d ever seen. I made a quick mental note that
his terrifying size might also work against him. Conversely, I was small and quick, and I was
determined to use these things to my advantage. I didn’t have much else. As he drew close to me,
I sprinted back into the living room. Until I figured out what to do next, I had to stay out of his
To be honest, I didn’t have much to offer in the strength department, and I fleetingly
wished that I would have paid more attention to weight training at some point in my life. There
was no time for regrets at that moment though, so I took quick stock of what I could use to fight
back. There was a large paperweight on the table in the foyer. If I could get to that, I could smash
him in the head with it. Of course, if I managed to get that far, I’d be better off running out the front door. I thought about my ballet classes and made a list of moves I could use for self-
defense. Granted, it wasn’t much, but it was all I had.
A grand battement might do the trick. I could bring my foot right up to his face and take
him out, with my toes perfectly pointed of course. Given his size though, I doubted if my foot
would reach that far. I groaned, wishing I had some martial arts experience instead. Ballet wasn’t
exactly famous for its self-defense tactics, but it would have to do. Rich girls weren’t brought up
to fight intruders. That’s what Dad paid the bodyguards to do.
I jumped behind the couch, thankful that there was at least a large piece of furniture
between me and the colossus. I was hopeful that one of my neighbors might overhear the
altercation, although I knew that was a long shot. I could die there and no one would know until
some unlucky neighbor smelled my rotting flesh from the hallway.
Heidi Renee Mason is a passionate romance novelist and crafter of your next Happily Ever After. She loves listening to the voices in her head (from her characters, of course!) and creating worlds in which her readers can lose themselves for a little while. A native of the Midwest, Heidi now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters.