Series: Rook and Ronin
on December 16th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Life in Rook & RoninÔÇÖs world has been bliss for fifteen years. Rook, Veronica, and Ashleigh are still
BFFÔÇÖs raising their kids together. Ronin, Spencer, and Ford have managed to go legit and stay out of trouble. And they have a pack of kids running around the eight thousand square foot Vail mansion they all share for the holidaysÔÇöbegging for gifts, and fun, and love.
But every HEA has problems.
Five is fifteen and getting ready to go off to college. HeÔÇÖs put it off as long as he could in order to stay close to Princess Shrike, but his stay of execution is over and in three weeks heÔÇÖs off to Oxford. But Five canÔÇÖt leave until he gets the only thing heÔÇÖs ever wanted. The heart of his Princess.
Ford and Ashleigh never had any more children after Five. And now that Kate is sixteen, Ashleigh is out of her head with desire for just one more chance to have a baby in the house.
Rook and Ronin have two beautiful daughters, but Sparrow is growing up too. And she just got a job offer that has Ronin crazed with paternal worry.
And Spencer is the father of a fifteen-year-old princess who looks way too much like her Bombshell mother for his comfort level.
Join the whole Rook & Ronin gang for a Team Christmas you will never forget.
There are SEVEN BOOKS in the Rook & Ronin series before this one. This is not a standalone. Rook & Ronin Series & Spinoffs (1) Tragic ÔÇô Rook & Ronin
(2) Manic ÔÇô Rook & Ronin
(3) Panic ÔÇô Rook & Ronin
(4) Slack ÔÇô Ford & Ashleigh
(5) Taut ÔÇô Ford & Ashleigh
(6) Bomb ÔÇô Spencer & Veronica
(7) Guns ÔÇô Spencer & Veronica
I ease out of the room quietly and take the baby downstairs. The house is big and the kitchen is far, but I can hear the bustle of kids and dogs before I even make it downstairs. When I walk in, itÔÇÖs a madhouse.
I love this fucking madhouse. My girls are all laughing and talking a mile a minute. Belle is stuffing her face with pancakes, Jasmine and Ariel are clinking their OJ glasses together like they are having a secret toast, and Rory isÔÇª
I squint my eyes at Rory. SheÔÇÖs talking to Five, but thatÔÇÖs not what makes me squint my eyes. SheÔÇÖs wearing a Shrike Trikes t-shirt and sweat pants, but itÔÇÖs the wayÔÇª itÔÇÖs the shape of herÔÇª
ÔÇ£Daddy,ÔÇØ Rory squeals, getting up from her stool at the breakfast bar and coming towards me. ÔÇ£Five wants to knowÔÇöÔÇØ
She stops short. ÔÇ£What?ÔÇØ Her smile falters.
Cindy smacks her little fist into my eyeball, and I have to take a deep breath. ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm sorry, what were you going to ask?ÔÇØ I eye Five suspiciously. I know heÔÇÖs always liked her, but heÔÇÖs so weird. Like Ford, just weird. Always wearing those suits. Always on that computer. And heÔÇÖs been in and out of different college programs since he was ten or eleven. HeÔÇÖs gone a lot and thatÔÇÖs the way I like it.
But today he looksÔÇª different. Different in the same way that Rory looks different in her innocent nightclothes. He almost looks normal in his flannel pajama pants and Shrike t-shirt. Add in the fact that his normally perfectly coiffed hair is messed up a little like he just rolled out of bed, and I get flushed with anger.
In fact, RoryÔÇÖs long blonde hair is all messed up too. Flowing over her shoulders like an unruly waterfall. And Five is looking at her the way I look at the Bomb.
ÔÇ£But Daddy,ÔÇØ Rory pleads. ÔÇ£I need to go shopping.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Shopping?ÔÇØ I ask, ratcheting down my suspicions and getting a hold of my paranoia as the seconds tick off.
ÔÇ£Yeah, we donÔÇÖt want to ski today. We want to go shopping in the Village.ÔÇØ
Shopping. I mull it over in my head. Lots of people there. Crowds of people, actually. Not private, in other words. ÔÇ£Maybe,ÔÇØ I say. ÔÇ£But IÔÇÖm pretty sure Ford is counting on you to help him, Five.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Mr. Shrike,ÔÇØ Five starts. ÔÇ£IÔÇÖve already cleared it with my father. KateÔÇÖs helping him today. Right, Kate?ÔÇØ He looks over at his sister and thereÔÇÖsÔÇª thereÔÇÖs some kind of secret look going on between the two of them.
ÔÇ£Yup,ÔÇØ Kate says. She is as normal as Five is strange. And sheÔÇÖs been FordÔÇÖs little sidekick since day one. But sheÔÇÖs smarter than people give her credit for. I think she secretly likes it that way. Like being underestimated is the best gift she ever got out of being FordÔÇÖs adopted daughter. ÔÇ£Ford and I are skiing a double black once the kids are finished.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Well,ÔÇØ I say, eyeing my brood. Rory needs a chaperone. Belle, Jas and Ariel wonÔÇÖt go shopping. They love Ford too much to skip out on a whole day with him on the slopes. And thereÔÇÖs no chance in hell that Rook and Ronin will have time to shop today. Sparrow has ballet rehearsal before The Nutcracker tonight. ÔÇ£Oliver,ÔÇØ I say, smiling. ÔÇ£Ollie, my boy. You donÔÇÖt want to ski today, do you? You hate skiing.ÔÇØ He does too, he canÔÇÖt ski worth a shit. ÔÇ£Will you go with Rory and finds something extra-special pretty for Mommy today? SheÔÇÖs tired and needs a pick-me-up present before Santa comes.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Yay!ÔÇØ Oliver says. ÔÇ£Yes, yes, yes! I want to go shopping with Five. HeÔÇÖs the best, Daddy.ÔÇØ
I roll my eyes. ÔÇ£OK, good. You can go, Princess, butÔÇªÔÇØ I look at Five. ÔÇ£ButÔÇªÔÇØ
ÔÇ£But what, Daddy?ÔÇØ Rory asks.
But what am I going to say to Five? You touch my girl, IÔÇÖll break your fingers? IÔÇÖll grab that shotgun IÔÇÖm hiding under my bed andÔÇöÔÇ£Just be home in time for dinner. Your mom is making something special tonight.ÔÇØ
JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.
You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her kick-ass romance blog, New Adult Addiction (www.newadultaddiction.com).
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