Title: Taking Chances
Author: Suzette Cauler
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Risking her life is nothing new to shape-shifter Dakota Laveaux, but when the thief-for-hire enters the Ettore compound, she gets far more than she bargained for. Determined to keep a haunting promise, Dakota will do anything to complete her mission, but the dangerously sexy Kane Ettore, leader of the Ettore vampire clan, becomes a delicious distraction. From the moment they meet, Dakota is drawn along on a roller coaster ride of mistaken identities, missed chances, scorching passion, and undeniable bliss.
Has sleeping with the enemy ever felt so good?
Dakota is hopelessly torn between her need for revenge and the insatiable hunger Kane inspires in her. With her life hanging in the balance, Dakota must decide whether to trust the vampire she’s already betrayed or take her chances with the cunning werewolf who has promised to help her. How far will she go to win this deadly game, and will she lose her heart in the process?
“Let’s dance,” came a deep, masculine whisper, causing her to jump like a schoolgirl who’d just been touched by a to-die-for rock god. Elijah—he’d come out of nowhere to stand behind her, leaning down to whisper in her ear. Dakota recognized his voice from the tapes her client had played for her. He didn’t wait for an answer. The vamp exuded confidence as he walked onto the dance floor and turned to face her, beckoning.
In her nervousness, Dakota sloshed some of the nasty-looking black drink on her arm and promptly forgot many of the details of her plan. She’d never had the opportunity to see Elijah up close before, but she could see why women lined up to spread their legs for him.
He was stunningly handsome, and the sight of him, highlighted by the disco lights, nearly took her breath away.
The shape-shifter had a weakness for tall men. They brought a bit of vulnerability out in her, something she usually kept hidden behind an I-can-handle-anything façade. Elijah was well over six feet tall, with broad shoulders that definitely said he could handle it, a dark mop of wavy black hair that set off smoky brown eyes and eminently kissable lips. His expression was dark and brooding yet unabashedly sensual. He looked as if he had secrets only fit for whispering within a tight embrace.
Though Dakota didn’t often struggle for composure, she felt a thrill race up her spine and had to fight to remain calm as she set her drink on a nearby table. She couldn’t bring herself to walk as far as the bar, where a tangled knot of beings was engaged in activities sure to make even the most used hooker blush. The public sex wasn’t responsible for her out-of-control heart rate, though. Instead, it was Elijah’s request to dance that shot her heart rate through the roof. She should have guessed he’d want to dance. Why wouldn’t he?
Elijah’s godlike form, already undulating in wait for her, had all but obliterated most of her rational thought process. She walked, a bit unsteadily, to join him on the dance floor, and tried to pick up the rhythm he’d set. Her movements were stiff, awkward at first, and her heart raced faster in fear of discovery. Desiree would surely not look so out of place dancing with him. Fortunately, the witch’s glamour her client had procured seemed to hide her beating heart and mortal smell quite well. Up until this moment, she hadn’t felt completely confident of its abilities.
“Relax,” Elijah said, his voice deep and husky. He didn’t shout to be heard over the music, but Dakota had no trouble hearing him. It felt as if his voice vibrated within her body. He moved toward her, stopping mere centimeters away to run a finger over the side of her face and down her neck to her collarbone. “Don’t think. Just feel the music.”
Dakota fought to clear her head, which became even more difficult when he took hold of her hips and guided them in matching his movements. Her breath came quickly and she had trouble focusing on anything but him. She was hardly aware of the crowd surrounding them. From the moment he touched her, it was as if only the two of them occupied the dance floor.
The vampire danced so close she could feel the heat radiating off his body. He was dressed casually in jeans and a simple black button-down shirt that he hadn’t bothered to button. His gaze was so intense that, wanting to look anywhere but at him, she focused on the broad chest he’d left exposed. Big mistake. His abdominal muscles rippled and churned with each movement he made. That’s when she realized her problem. She was attracted to the vamp.
Having been burned far too many times, Dakota was usually slow to warm up to men, immortal or otherwise. Even when she met someone she actually liked and let her guard down, it often felt like she was watching herself date—even fuck, rather than fully letting go. The instant attraction she felt for Elijah was overwhelming. An animal heat, a vicious hunger, had washed over her the moment she’d laid eyes on him, and it was both overwhelming and confusing.
Dakota knew she should focus on the matter at hand, but her eyes had other plans—devouring him. He caught her gaze, and smiled at her knowingly. It was as if he could read her mind and knew that she’d just been wondering what he would taste like. She wanted to touch him. In fact, her hands practically burned with the need to feel him, and when the song changed and he drew her into his arms, she wrapped her arms around his neck as if they belonged there.
“Much better,” Elijah leaned down to whisper in her ear.
Suzette Rose Cauler has loved books (all types really) for as long as she can remember. As a child, she'd get lost in books for hours, using a flashlight to read under the covers long past bedtime. She read her first romance novel as a preteen and was immediately hooked by the swoon-worthy heroes and daring, spunky damsels. Though her reading tastes have definitely matured, Suzette continues to enjoy romance novels, especially those of the erotic, paranormal, fantasy, or historical variety. She writes almost as voraciously as she reads and typically falls head over heels in love with her heroes.
Though everyday types of romantic situations do appeal to her, stories that include adventure, intrigue, or danger have always made Suzette's heart go pitter patter. If they incorporate some science fiction too, she is even happier. You'll find elements like these in most of her stories as well as strong heroines who can fight their own battles but sometimes enjoy letting someone else take the lead.
Suzette lives on the East Coast with five special people who help keep her spirit young and her imagination fresh.
Visit her website at: www.suzettecauler.com
Email her at: email@example.com