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Sadie Dawson thinks she has the perfect life until one Christmas Day when a misunderstanding leads to a brutal event that changes everything. Terrified, Sadie flees her boyfriend's wrath, two FBI agents, and her "perfect life." Lost in a Montana snowstorm and desperate for refuge, she's rescued by four guys on their annual holiday ski vacation. But even as her physical wounds heal, Sadie wonders is she will ever be able to escape the clutches of her wealthy and determined boyfriend. While her heart tells her there is more to a perfect life than diamond necklaces and elegant dinner parties, Sadie doesn't know who she can trust. And just when her heart settles, she finds herself abandoned by the one person who swore to protect her for a religion she doesn't understand. Will she have the courage to follow her heart and find the life that is perfect for her?
- Size: 6x9
- Pages: 384
About the Author
Originally from Utah, first-time novelist Rebecca Belliston now hails from Michigan. In addition to writing, Rebecca enjoys composing music and doing family history. Follow her at www.rebeccabelliston.com (Click Here)
“You’re making a mistake!”
The woman stopped midstride, realizing it should be them leaving, not her. “Get out of my room!” she yelled.
Neither agent moved.
“There’s a substantial reward involved,” the younger one said. “You’ll be able to pay off all those school loans.”
They know about . . .
Her skin began to crawl. What else did the FBI know about her? She felt researched . . . violated . . . but not coerced. She absolutely refused to feel coerced. “You think I’d betray him for . . . for money!”
“A large chunk of—”
The senior agent held up a hand, cutting off his younger counterpart. “Just be our eyes and ears tonight, Miss Dawson. That’s all we’re asking.”
“And I’m asking you to leave before I call the cops!”
“We are the cops,” he pointed out dryly.
Trembling with fury, she grabbed her purse and stormed out of her room. She didn’t dare glance over her shoulder as she raced down the hallway, nearly tripping in her high heels. Thankfully, Guillermo’s assistant was already waiting for her as she burst through the front doors of the ski lodge. He quickly pulled open the back door of the gleaming Mercedes.
“Is everything all right, Señorita Dawson?” he asked.
“Yes. Fine. Just get me out of here,” she replied, sliding in. “Fast!”
As Salvador brought the luxury engine to a soft purr, she pressed her hands against her stomach. Even as they pulled out of the crowded parking lot, her eyes stayed glued on the ski lodge, fully expecting the two agents to break out at any second.
So much for a Merry Christmas.
“Are you sufficiently warm, señorita?” Guillermo’s assistant asked.
She glanced at her bare shoulders and cursed. In all the tumult, she’d forgotten her ruby red wrap that matched the rest of her Christmas ensemble. There was no way she was going back for it now. “I’m warm enough,” she replied, leaning into the preheated leather. “I’m just anxious to get to the party.”
“Guillermo is anxious to see you as well.” Salvador’s gaze lifted to the rearview mirror. “And if I might say so, you look . . . wow.”
She laughed in spite of herself. With the ski lodge fading—and hopefully the last hour as well—she was already feeling much better. “Let’s hope so, Salvador. Let’s hope.”
* * *
“A toast!” Guillermo called. “To the most beautiful woman in the world, mi hermosa.”
It wasn’t until her mom elbowed her that she realized everyone was looking at her. Her cheeks colored, knowing her thoughts hadn’t been on her boyfriend or his exaggerated compliment, but instead on the thirty faces around the room. Guillermo’s world was lavish, jovial, exciting. And safe. Definitely safe. The FBI is wrong, she told herself for the hundredth time. She quickly held up her Argentine wine high with the rest of the room.
Guillermo smiled at her first, then at his guests. “And to her mother. Also a lovely woman who . . .”
His words faded out as her gaze lingered on each face around the room. Two mayors. A few judges. A couple of attorneys with their wives. She shook away her thoughts, refusing to let those agents ruin her Christmas. It’s lies. All of it!
Guillermo slipped an arm around her waist and pulled her into his side. She studied his waves of cobalt hair, his confident, million-dollar smile, and his black, gentle eyes. It simply couldn’t be true.
He held something toward her. “And now, my Christmas present for you.”
She stared at his gift. It was a box, a black velvet box. Her breath caught—a ring?—though she dismissed the notion almost immediately. The box was too large, too elongated to be a ring. Still, her heart sped up as she gently pried it open.
“Do you like it?” Guillermo asked softly.
She looked up at him and then back at her gift. How could she not? It was a necklace, pure platinum, and every inch around were delicate diamonds. It would have been rude to count, but her bulging eyes did anyway. Twelve diamonds. The necklace wasn’t haughty or overdone, but . . . diamonds! She hardly dare touch it.
Guillermo grinned as he moved behind her. When he finished with the clasp, he turned and kissed her in front of his thirty distinguished visitors. They responded with grand applause. And with his kiss, the last of her doubt melted away. She didn’t deserve him, she never would, but somehow he thought she did.
“Feliz Navidad, hermosa,” he whispered in her ear.
She smiled. “Merry Christmas, amor.”
Long after the guests had left or retired to their rooms, she sat in front of a full-length mirror admiring her necklace. Her mom had made a comment before leaving, saying she had a “new sparkle” about her. Looking in the mirror, she couldn’t see anything different in her face, but her cheeks were tired from smiling. That had to be a good sign.
Leaning forward, she admired her other Christmas gift. A black sweater, hand-knit, gracefully fit around her petite frame, complimenting the diamond necklace perfectly. Her mother had devoted every spare moment since Thanksgiving trying to finish it. Guillermo said the black brought out her dark eyes. She wasn’t sure if her eyes stood out any more now than when she’d been wearing her ruby red dress earlier, but all she knew was that she felt happy. And if things went how she hoped and dreamed, this would be only the first of many perfect Christmases. That brought another smile to her lips.
Her head came up. “I’m up here, mi amor,” she called back.
She whirled at the sound of alarm in Guillermo’s voice. She left the mirror and flew through his spacious cabin to meet him and Salvador at the bottom of the spiral staircase. The sight of the two of them, eyes blazing, brought her up short. “What, amor? What is it?”
Guillermo took a menacing step toward her. “What have you done!” he yelled in her face.
Stunned, she fell back. In the two years she had known Guillermo, he’d never, ever, raised his voice. “What?” she asked half as loud. “What is it?”
He lunged, hand flashing, and in one powerful move, ripped off the necklace. She cried out as the diamonds tore across her skin. “How could you do this to me!” he roared. He turned and hurled the necklace against the wall.
She stared at the small heap. “What?” her voice quivered, near to tears. “What did I do?”
Suddenly he was searching through a ruby red purse—hers—and in an instant, he shoved something in her face. Frightened and confused, she squinted, trying to make out the small object. It was tiny, the size of a watch battery, only square. She was sure she’d never seen it before. “I don’t know wh—”
Her stomach lurched. The agents! she breathed.
“What did you do!” he roared again.
She watched Guillermo’s fist form around the tiny object, the FBI’s listening device. She could see the fury in his eyes, yet she still refused to believe what was coming. Not Guillermo, she thought. Not the man that I—
Bright lights exploded. She spiraled backward, hit the hard tile, and everything went black.
by Jennie - reviewed on January 11, 2012
Sadie is shallow, not just naive. I found it hard to believe she could have a two year affair with a drug lord and not suspect a thing. The writer is talented, but the story is lacking in credibility and the ending leaves a major loose end without a sense that its a set up for a sequel.
Great read, great writer.
by Geraldine - reviewed on November 04, 2011
I really enjoyed reading this book. I especially enjoy a well written book and this one is very well written. I found myself laughing out loud at times, and unable to put it down at other times. I normally would not choose this kind of book to read; but I'm glad that I read this one!!! I highly recommend it.
by Customer - reviewed on February 01, 2012
This was a great read. I loved how the characters interacted with one another and how the writer developed them throughout the book. I really liked how religion was interwoven throughout with both member and nonmember. Great action throughout made it hard to put down.
by Donna - reviewed on November 21, 2011
A fast pace romance that keeps you guessing.
by Jocelyn - reviewed on December 16, 2011
Loved this book! Loved the strength & personalities of all the characters. It kept me interested and guessing. Refreshing to read a wholesome romance novel Highly recommend this book.
Great read with awesome characters.
by Sarah - reviewed on October 28, 2011
I'm not a romance fan, but I got the chance to read this and I loved it. The characters are funny and endearing and the crisis of conscience for both Sadie and her love interest are great. Can't say enough good things about this book except buy it!
Read it in record time!
by susan - reviewed on February 01, 2012
I loved this book. It was a mystery, romance, and religious novel all rolled into one. I couldn't put it down and finished in within two days. (If I didn't have kids I would have finished it in a day!) The author is a very talented writer and did a wonderful job!
Couldn't put it down
by Cindy - reviewed on November 03, 2011
This is a romance book packed with action. It was very compelling and I couldn't put it down. It had great characters and a fascinating story.
I loved it!
by Gina - reviewed on November 09, 2011
"Sadie" was a wonderful blend of mystery, humor and romance. Looking forward to more books by this author!
by Tricia - reviewed on December 01, 2011
I really enjoyed this book. I stayed up until 3am just to finish it! I definitely recommend it!
More, More, More!
by Fred - reviewed on February 01, 2012
Let’s see, is it realistic to believe Sadie was ignorant of Guillermo’s illegal activities for so long? Why not. He purposely kept in the dark. He loved her and knew if she found out the truth she would leave; in the beginning she was extremely protective of him. In time she found out the truth. Below are a couple of quotes that may make Sadie’s ignorance a little more believable. Well, maybe to some. Barbara Fuca who wrote Mafia Wife answered the following question in an interview with People Magazine, July 18. 1977: Why do women marry Mafia men? They fall in love with them. They don't know about them in the beginning. That comes later. When the woman realizes her husband is not a dockworker or truck driver—that his work may not be legal—she blots it out as long as she has a home and food on the table. Also a quote from M.O.B Wives at mobwives.blogspot.com: Traditionally, mob wives never got involved in their husbands’ business, they never asked questions, and they were never informed about the mob’s day to day activities. They were kept in the dark and, in a way, that was protecting them from saying anything to anyone, which could get them killed. The book was a lot of fun to read. It kept my interest. It was well written. I’m looking forward to Rebecca Belliston’s next book. If you read this book, you'll know why my one-line synopsis is "More, More, More!"
Couldn't put it down once I got to the end
by Angel - reviewed on February 03, 2012
Great book- a little mystery, romance, and adventure. I truly enjoyed being a part of the characters lives during this book. I loved the setting- it sounded beautiful!
by Sara - reviewed on March 16, 2012
I loved this book! I would love to see more from this author!
by Julie - reviewed on March 25, 2013
This is a beautifully woven story of a young woman in search of truth and a meaningful life. Sadie is torn between what she thought her life was going to be, a life of opulence and adoration, and what her heart really wants, a life of true love and devotion. Through horrific circumstances, she finally learns that the former life was just an illusion and that the truth is borne by her one true love. This is one of those stories that absorbs you from the beginning, making you know and love the characters (and making you hate some), keeping you up reading until the wee hours of the morning. It is a story I can't quit thinking about. I'm so looking forward to a sequel to find out what Sadie's future has in store for her!
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