July 7, 2023

Read The Last Favor by Nancy Northcott @nancynorthcott #Bodyguard #Romance #FriendstoLovers

Book Title: The Last Favor
By: Nancy Northcott

Grayson (Gray) Kane comes to Caynham Castle Hotel to pick up an award for his late father. Not even the news that an assassin has targeted Gray will deter him. Not this time. His dad’s last wish was for Gray to pick up the award and do all the other things they had intended to enjoy together on this same trip. Gray promised he would. Dealing with his loss amid the families celebrating the Christmas season makes him question his solitary life as an covert agent.

Gray’s partner, Laurel Whitney, joins him to watch his back. Having grown up with bickering parents and ostentatious Christmases, she long ago decided holiday hoopla and family togetherness weren’t for her. Gray needs to be here, though, so she’ll cover his back and suppress her envy of the warm family life he once enjoyed. As the long-suppressed attraction between them flares anew and a killer closes in, she must decide whether she has the courage to seize what she has always wanted



Chapter 1
Nothing could keep this Christmas from being godawful. The only thing to do was push through and get it over with. Grayson Kane grabbed his suitcase from the baggage carousel and headed for the exit. He usually traveled lighter than this, at least where clothes were concerned, but jamming a tux into a carryon bag just led to problems.
He walked through the maze of the Customs exit and finally reached the vast lobby and the meeting area. Now to pick up his rental car so he could head west for the really hard part of this holiday.
“Kane! Gray!”
Halting, he turned his head toward the sound. A familiar, auburn-haired woman with a deceptively sweet face waved to him.
What was Laurel Whitney doing here? Was a work problem about to interrupt his trip? Little though he looked forward to this, he couldn’t let anything derail it. Not this time.
He walked over to her. “Hey.”
“Hey. The London office sent me. I already picked up your rental and put the equipment they’re providing in the trunk.”
Weaponry, she meant. “I was supposed to meet someone at the rental office for that.”
“Plans changed. I’ll explain in the car.”
She was never particularly talkative, but this terse mode was new. Frowning, he accompanied her out into the biting air. The lowering sky implied snow might be on the way. The wind blew his dark hair onto his forehead, and he pushed it back.
Dodging travelers rushing into the terminal, they hurried through the covered walkway toward the nearby short-stay deck—car park to the British, no matter how many levels it offered. The familiar, annoying awareness that always plagued him around Laurel hummed in his gut. Yeah, she moved with deceptively relaxed grace and had curves in all the right places, but they’d never found any common ground beyond work. Not that they’d ever really looked.
That didn’t matter now, though. What mattered was why she was here. Standing five feet six, with a slim build, she didn’t look like she could put a bruiser on the ground. He’d seen her in action, though. She was serious muscle in sheep’s clothing. He didn’t need that kind of backup for a holiday at a castle hotel. So either Arachnid, the covert, multinational intelligence agency they both worked for, wanted to pull him in for a job or he had a problem.
If she’d picked up the car, someone at the agency had hacked the rental car company’s computer. That didn’t happen without orders from the boss, known as Arachne. What else had they done?
“You didn’t mess with my hotel reservation, did you?”
She grimaced. “Because of the nature of your visit, the bosses decided to consult you before cancelling. I’m supposed to talk you into it.”
“Not going to happen.”
“You should hear me out before you decide. We can talk in the car.”
Nothing she said would change his mind. He was on his way to Shropshire to spend Christmas at the Caynham Castle Hotel and pick up an award the hotel’s operating foundation was bestowing on his dad. Pop was supposed to be with him. The Earl of Caynham had personally invited them, and his dad had loved the idea of the two of them having this different, fun father-and-son outing for Christmas. Until cancer intervened. Pop’s last request had been for Gray to take this trip for both of them and pick up the award. Come hell, high water, and anything short of nuclear war, he would do that. No matter how hard he found it.
Laurel guided him to a gray sedan and opened the truck. A large, black suitcase lay inside, along with two familiar, hard-sided gray Arachnid gear bags. He set his checked bag next to the nearer of the two.
“Yours is on the right,” Laurel said. “You have your favorite Sig Sauer P226, a Beretta 9mm, spare mags, two combat knives, a nanofiber undershirt, and some choice electronics. Explosives and grappling gear are in mine.”
“I take it you’re not just along for the ride.” He closed the trunk, checked his movement to the left, and walked up the right side of the car to the driver’s door. “Keys, please.”
She tossed them to him. “If I can’t persuade you to cancel, I’m your date.”
“Why you and not Hayes?” Gray had worked with Laurel, but John Hayes was his regular partner.
“Christmas.” Settling into her seat, she shrugged. “I’m one of the few who’ve worked with you, didn’t have family plans, and was geographically convenient. Not to mention being American.”
Since he was, it made sense that his companion should be. But he’d wanted the extra time before he and Laurel officially became a team in March, when Hayes retired. Gray needed to find a way to deal with the unacknowledged sparks that flashed every time he and Laurel paired up. That had happened more often as Hayes reduced his workload and Laurel picked up the slack. Gray had to get it under control. Feeling that way about a partner could influence tactical decisions in a way that got one or both of you killed.

Meet Nancy Northcott

Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, history, and romance. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes (and sometimes the magic) she loves in the books she writes. Her debut novel, now titled Renegade Mage, received a starred review from Library Journal. The reviewer called it “genre fiction at its best.” Nancy is a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist. She has won the Maggie, the Molly, the Emerald City Opener, and Put Your Heart in a Book. She’s the author of the Light Mage Wars paranormal romances, the Boar King’s Honor historical fantasy series, the Arachnid Files romantic suspense series, and the Lethal Webs romantic spy adventures. With author Jeanne Adams, she co-writes the Outcast Station space opera series.

Connect with Nancy

Website: www.NancyNorthcott.com
Blog: https://nancynorthcott.com/this-and-that/
Facebook: https://facebook.com/nancynorthcottauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancynorthcott
Amazon Profile: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Northcott/e/B00ITY5KLS
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nancy-northcott
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3468806.Nancy_Northcott


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