Luciana de Luca has a PhD in sass and gemology—and a problem. Her twin brother’s gambling debts have gotten out of hand, and a mob enforcer is blackmailing her to rob the latest, greatest mega-casino on the Strip. Although Lucy has worked her whole life to get away from her family’s grifter past, to save her brother, she dons three-inch heels and a sluts-r-us dress and struts into Alec’s Gerald’s casino, determined to put her long-forgotten thieving ways to the test again.
Alec Gerald, a shape-shifting dragon, has built the Crown Jewel casino to provide sanctuary for his people amongst the flash and awe of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the sexy little thief trying to rob his gem exhibit turns out to be his mate, and he must woo her before he loses his dragon form forever. With enemies in every corner, and the all-important mating ceremony looming, Alec and Lucy must learn to trust each other, before time runs out for Alec and the rest of the dragons.
Lucy glared at the casino owner. She had researched him, of course, studying his athletic image in hundreds of Internet pictures. The man was good-looking, apparently brilliant, and ruthless in his business deals. Watching the mesmerized crowd lean toward the stage, she had to admit he had that something else too—the showmanship of a champion con man—a magnetism she knew could draw people like lemmings off a cliff.
The man was flat-out people-genic.
“As many of you know, this project has been years in the making.” Alec Gerald surveyed the courtyard, working the crowd with his voice and easy mannerisms. “Our gem exhibit opens in a few weeks and will be the largest private collection of gems in the world. Carat for carat, we will outweigh England’s crown jewels.”
Lucy’s eyes never left him. Though his voice was cultured and smooth, Gerald’s posture was wide-legged and slightly aggressive. Formidable. Her eyes traveled from his polished shoes up his body. The curve of quad muscle showed through his pants when he shifted to the side. His torso was taut and gave way to wide, burly shoulders. A bump on the bridge of his nose indicated he’d been in a fight or two.
That was not good for her. Not good at all.
Lucy pondered the man on the stage, not happy with the picture she was forming of her opponent. Gerald’s playful words, five o’clock shadow, and slightly long hair all seemed to suggest a man of desultory casualness. Indeed, the articles she had read on him went on, and on, about his genial public presence. A veritable man of the world, who’d been-there-done-it all, twice. A man who could offer the all-elusive it to anyone with a plane ticket to Vegas. A man so charming, he didn’t need to shave twice a day.
But her instincts told her this was wrong. Gerald was a serious man who only pretended to be lighthearted and casual.
She would have to watch her step.
SUSANNAH SCOTT lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is the lone female in a very loud household of males ranging in age from 4 to 40. While she jokes that the extreme levels of testosterone inspired her to write romance, it is really the love of creating an excellent story, and the occasional dreams of twenty-foot dragons, that wake her and send her to the laptop before the chaos of daily life ensues. Susannah loves to hear from her readers at the following social media locations:
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