15 October, 2022

Read an Excerpt from The Christmas Seduction by Robecca Austin - #Romance #HolidayRomance @RobeccaAustin


What would you do if your brother crossed the billionaire family with the most ruthless connections in Bourbon, Texas?


That was what Ximena De Leòn did. Left the man she loved and ran for three heart-wrenching years.

But with her only relative in the hospital, she had to return to the one place that could ruin her and her Christmas.

What would you do if the woman who broke your heart returned to your hometown after fleeing without a word?


For Gavin Connolly, revenge was bred into his DNA like the blood coursing through our veins.

When the woman who betrayed him returned to town, Gavin knew the moment she stepped out of the airport.

He was ready to dish out her new fate.

Christmas was the perfect time to seduce and leave her as heartbroken as she’d left him. But he was unprepared for the holiday gift she gave him.

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Read an Excerpt from The Christmas Seduction

Twelve hours later, Ximena De Leòn stepped out of Bourbon’s international airport. She tilted her chin and dragged her first breath of crisp December air into her lungs. She missed Texas, the people, and the melody of country music on every street corner. 

Most of all, she missed the excitement of football season.

Since Tía Olga introduced her and Mateo to the local high school team, Ximena saw every game with her aunt. Her fists tightened at memories Lucia missed out on. Her daughter would never know Olga or enjoy the State Fair.

She expelled a slow breath and remembered the reason for her visit. 

Mateo’s warning rang in her ear.

Soulless. That’s what Mateo called her ex. Yet Gavin’s blood ran in Lucia’s veins. Her baby emulated everything good, and precious.

Get in and get out, she’d promised her brother. She clutched her knapsack. Reminiscing about things beyond her control and letting guilt weigh her heart spelled trouble—no bueno.

A cool breeze fanned the stray hairs against her neck, and her nape prickled from an uneasy sensation. Ximena tugged the baseball cap lower over her forehead to shield her identity and headed for the taxi. With tourist traffic at a minimum because of the cooler weather, she couldn’t hide among a crowd of people, but it made hailing a taxi easier.

She didn’t breathe easy until the taxi drove away from the airport and headed toward the hospital. Christmas decorations lit the night sky. Wreaths, tall trees, and skyscrapers reminded her of another broken-hearted holiday. One where Lucia never met her father or woke him on Christmas morning like she and Mateo had done as children. Gavin would never see her face light up from opening presents. Her little diva loved ripping the wrapping paper on all gifts, whether they were hers or not. 

This Christmas, though, Ximena would lose something precious, too. Her Tía.

Ximena closed her eyes. Why did Mateo have to steal from the Connollys? Why did he have to dislike them so much? Why was Gavin so bloodthirsty that he refused to forgive Mateo and would instead sacrifice their happiness?

Not that their reasons mattered anymore. Her theft surpassed Mateo’s in gravity and spite. She couldn’t fault Gavin for interpreting her actions any other way. In running, she’d inadvertently inflicted plain by keeping a Connolly from her father.

She’d had to.

Leaving Bourbon the first time was to shield her brother, but after the positive pregnancy test, she’d stayed away to protect her child. Would Gavin understand that? Dios mio, chica! Don’t even contemplate running into that man. Hospital and airport, no stops in between.

The taxi pulled to a stop outside the hospital’s entrance and she stared at the red emergency sign. A shiver raced along her spine. She’d never given hospitals much thought before giving birth. Now each time she saw one, she wondered how many patients were alone in their rooms or mothers-to-be in labor with no one to hold their hand. She knew the loneliness of lying in a cold, sterile bed with nothing except the beating of machines for company. That couldn’t be the last sound Olga heard.

The cold medicinal scent overlaying metallic blood permeated the air. Her chills grew and only worsened as she approached the nurses’ station. A friendly enough older woman with a gray patch of hair at the top of her forehead greeted her with a smile.

“May I help you?” the woman asked.

“I’m here to see Olga De Leòn.” 

The woman’s brows wrinkled, then she nodded in recognition of the name. “Visiting hours are over—”

“Please, I took the earliest flight and just landed.” After twelve arduous hours in transit, the immigration officer delayed her by repeating the same series of questions. “I just want to see her before—” Her voice cracked. The stress from not knowing her aunt’s status and thinking she would arrive too late had gotten to her. 

“Are you family, dear?” The woman asked softly.

“She’s my aunt and she raised me when my parents died.” Ximena upended the front pocket of her knapsack and everything spilled out. She shuffled the contents on the counter desperate to find her passport. With a harried sigh, she slid her passport to the nurse. “We have the same surname.” 

The nurse’s brows knitted, showcasing her skepticism.

Fishing out her cell phone, Ximena scrolled through her photos. “See. This is the last football game we went to.” Her hand shook as she pulled up another series of photos of her and Tía going back to her first year in college. The thought of these being her final memories brought a flood of tears to her eyes.

The attendant patted Ximena’s hand in sympathy. “She doesn’t get many visitors,” the older woman said softly.

Ximena frowned. She wouldn’t consider doctors and nurses visitors but she supposed any person willing to sit with her aunt was better than being alone. Perhaps Olga had returned to church since her falling out with the parish women.

“I’ll give you twenty minutes.” She came around the counter and led Ximena to Olga’s room. “Mind you—” The nurse paused outside a sliding glass door “—she’s on heavy meds on account of the pain and stress to her heart.”

“Thank you.”

“Twenty minutes.” The attendant reminded her. “Visiting hours start at nine in the morning.”

Ximena nodded. There would be no tomorrow, though she wished she didn’t have to leave. She couldn’t risk staying in Bourbon longer than planned and a night in a hotel room was not on her itinerary. The airport would have to be her accommodation until the next flight to Spain.

What about the funeral? She grew nauseous, then shook thoughts of her aunt’s future aside. Here and now mattered more.

The first thing she noticed upon entering the room was its size, then the many floral bouquets overflowing the table. Mateo. Did he do this… ensured their aunt’s comfort? Not telling her, or rather, not holding his generosity over her head was unlike her brother. Either way, he’d have her eternal gratitude for making Ogla’s last moments peaceful.

She dropped her bag onto one of the chairs in the room, then dragged the other chair to the side of the bed. Careful not to wake her aunt, she held Olga’s hand and pressed it against her cheek.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t here before now.” She held on tight. Each beep from the machine broke her heart. “Sorry I wasn’t here for you like you’ve always been there for Mateo and me.”

She collected her thoughts, torn between getting all she’d come to say out and needing to extend their time together.

“I miss you so much, Tía.” She let the tears roll down her cheeks. “I miss talking to you, but Mateo is so paranoid about anything that has to do with Bourbon…”

She bit her tongue. They were alive because her brother remained vigilant.

“The staff told me the doctor performed surgery immediately to remove the blockage to your heart, but the operation might have been too late.” She cocooned Olga’s hand in hers. “If you can hear me, Tía. If you have any fight left in you, please wake up for me.”

Olga had to know Lucia existed, even if no one else did. Tía had to hear about the child that encompassed Ximena’s entire world. She’d promised Mateo she’d return to Spain after she’d said her goodbyes. Despite the threat Gavin posed, she couldn’t leave without Tía knowing she’d come home. 

“I’m not leaving you,” she promised.

“No the hell you aren’t,” came a cold, commanding voice.

About the Author:

Robecca Austin is the author of happy ever after romance stories. She enjoys crafting tales of sassy heroines and alpha heroes that have a soft center.
She writes historical romance and billionaire romance stories.
You can find her outside enjoying nature and lots of sunshine when there are no bugs. When she's not writing her next novel, she's busy battling Cystic Fibrosis and hugging family. She lives and works in Canada.

Rebecca on the Web:
Website * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon

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