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Taking Chances

The Dakota Laveaux Series

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 27,362
Available Formats
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ePub
Mobi

[Siren Classic: Erotic Paranormal Romance, vampires, shape-shifters, capture, HEA]

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?

A Siren Erotic Romance

User Reviews
Once again, I enjoyed visiting the Wolves of River Bend. I loved Adam and Levi in Nikki's Fated but absolutely adored them in Claiming Hope. They were strong and dominant, but also very sweet and cari...

- BookChick

This book makes you wish for uninterrupted time on a sun drenched deck, or beach, with a cold drink and time to think and dream. Think of it as a much needed, and deserved vacation. We all need it.......

- chluelancaster

Professional Reviews

4 STARS: "Dakota Laveaux is a shape-shifter is driven by revenge. Her life is owned by another and the only way to get the revenge she so desperately needs is by following orders from someone who is truly the definition of evil. She is tasked with one last job and is than promised to be freed. This one last job and she can finally destroy those who have taken from what she cherished most. However, the job isn’t easy and it puts her in the direct path of Kane Ettore. Kane is leader of the Ettore vampire clan. He is sinfully sexy and very powerful. He has a way of making Dakota weak in the knees and succumbs to his seductive ways. Dakota is a strong and independent character. She is sassy and headstrong to a fault at times. Kane is dominate and expects his orders to be followed without question. He gets what he wants and after just a few hours with Dakota, he starts to realize the smart mouthed thief is exactly what he is going to get. The story was short so a lot of character and relationship development was packed in a short amount of time. However, the story didn’t seem to lack any of its pull. As a reader, you get sucked right into Dakota and Kane’s world. The sex is off the charts…… It is raw and passionate…. The scenes are graphic and will make you blush, but it did not detract from the story and just added an extra layer to the love story. This is the first book in a series and has a bit of a cliffhanger. Just enough to get you excited for the next installment." -- Rachael, Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads

"FREAKING AWESOME PARANORMAL ROMANCE! This was the first thing that popped in my head immediately after reading Taking Chances by Suzette Cauler. Even though this was a short romance, I enjoyed EVERY single page and word of this book. I was absolutely thrown for a loop when I realized that Dakota wasn't just the normal type of shifter that turned into an animal...but the kind of shifter that can turn into just about ANYONE, human, immortal, or animal. I thought that was so cool and different that it was pretty extraordinary in my eyes. Kane was one SEXY vampire. I liked his immediate reaction to Dakota and his need to protect her and make love to her was a powerful thing I could feel on the pages. I got to see a little bit of humor, a lot of action, and a heck of a lot of lust and some REALLY hot sex scenes in Taking Chances. There is nothing average about this story and should definitely be read by those that love paranormal romance featuring unique shape-shifters and sexy vampires. I gave this story a FULL FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS!! This has got to be one of my favorites in short stories. I can't wait to read more books by Suzette Cauler. It was really well thought out, unique, sexy, and just plain delicious! YUM is the word I am looking for. Go forth and get your copy at Bookstrand today!" -- Marie Brown, Marie's Tempting Reads

Excerpt

 

STORY EXCERPT

 

“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.

 

ADULT EXCERPT

 

“Is this what you imagined while you touched yourself?” he asked, pulling back to look into her eyes.

As he held her gaze, Kane reached out and trailed two fingers between her breasts and then up and over each round globe in turn, circling the nipples, softly teasing their hardness. He moved as if he had all the time in the world. She started to look away, but he held the back of her head with his other hand, keeping her eyes on his as he stroked lower, caressing her trembling belly and down to her smooth mound.

“Or was it this?” he asked, caressing her cunt just as she had moments before. His touch was slow and gentle but the fire inside her built rapidly in response to it. She couldn’t deny that she wanted more. Yes, he’s definitely compelling me, she thought. But she didn’t care.

Dakota sighed involuntarily, and when Kane lightly parted her lower lips to touch his thumb to the opening of her pussy, she couldn’t help herself. She pressed forward, trying to get closer to his hand. He responded by drawing his thumb, wet with evidence of her arousal, up to lightly stroke her clit. The wave of pleasure she felt at his touch was almost unbearable.

She trembled as he claimed her mouth in a deep kiss, taking her as surely as he would if he’d stripped and penetrated her with his cock. Dakota was lost in lusting after the vampire who held her life in his hands. Logic tried to push its way to the front of her mind, but her body refused to allow it entry. Kane radiated sex, confidence and a certain purpose that made her stop caring what came next.

As the sexual tension built, Kane released her head and began trailing hot kisses along the path his fingers had taken, finally going to his knees in front of the tub. He reached up and cupped her full ass, drawing her forward as he kissed his way closer and closer to her pussy. Just as her knees started to shake and she began to feel sure she would come at the first touch of his lips, he lifted her still dripping form out of the tub. Pressing her back against the bathroom door and lifting her legs over his shoulders, he gave her an enigmatic look before burying his head between her slippery thighs.

She could feel his breath warm against her cunt as she closed her eyes, unable, unwilling to stop the wonderful madness. Dakota held on to him, breasts heaving in anticipation of feeling his tongue against her clit. She waited, growing impatient with desire and then squirming in an attempt to bring him in closer. His mouth was barely centimeters away from the current center of her existence, but…nothing. Reluctantly, she opened her eyes to find him looking up at her, a question in his eyes.

What the fuck, she thought. He suddenly wants permission? She knew she should use this delay to stall things—to put a stop to this. It seemed he wouldn’t continue without her say, but she just closed her eyes, leaned her head back against the wall and breathed the only answer possible to his unspoken question. “Please.”

Kane didn’t delay. He set about teasing her with his lips and tongue, nuzzling her thighs and licking around but never touching the swollen bud aching with such need she thought she would explode. She’d never felt as wanton as she did then, completely naked in the arms of a fully clothed vamp and on the verge of begging him to stop teasing and just fuck her any way he wanted. He continued to kiss, lick, and nuzzle, toying with her but never bringing his tongue home. When she tried to pull his head closer, he used his ironlike strength to deny her.

Dakota didn’t think she could take much more of that kind of torture. She moaned loudly, completely unselfconscious as his lips and tongue pressed and tasted but refused to give her what she needed most. “I can’t… Please!” she begged, entangling her fingers in his hair, on the verge of screaming with wanting. “I can’t wait any longer!”

She thought she heard Kane laugh, but she couldn’t be sure because in the next instant he flicked his tongue between the lips of her cunt, finally touching just the tip of his tongue to the tip of her clit and thoroughly scattering what was left of her brains. She bucked against his face, and he gripped her buttocks, holding her steady as he massaged the throbbing bud with his masterful tongue. Flicking and rubbing, circling and suckling, he applied just the right amount of pressure, backing off when she got close to coming and then moving back in to rebuild the intensity once more. He prolonged her pleasure until she forgot she was solid and every bit of her awareness was centered between her legs.

All that mattered was the feel of his mouth and his tongue. All she cared about was that he not stop. She became mindless, writhing in his arms, holding his head close and fucking his mouth with pure abandon. And then it hit her. She exploded in an orgasm so strong it ripped a guttural cry from her throat and clamped his face between her thighs. She trembled and shook on his shoulders as he continued to gently lap at her cunt, licking the slickness that had gathered there. Dakota felt like jelly in his arms and silently prayed he wouldn’t set her on her feet. She doubted she could stand on her own.

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