Luck Of The Dragon by Susannah Scott
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.
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Excerpt 1 from Luck of the Dragon
Suddenly, the scent of burning embers swirled over the courtyard and the wind settled, blowing Lucy’s loose hair around her face. A ground-vibrating roar followed, making every human eye search the sky for the source.
What was it?
Lucy’s well-honed survival instincts went on high alert just as a large SUV-sized black object careened through the air and landed on the raised stage with a thud.
Grannies, kids, and call girls hit the ground screaming.
Heart pounding, Lucy crouched with the crowd. The acrid scent of smoldering intensified. Pounding from the stage rattled Lucy’s eardrums. Whatever had landed there was moving and alive. On the platform, clawed feet stomped, and the creature’s matte black skin stretched over powerful muscles and bones. Black wings unfurled across the stage, and the animal roared again at the crowd, baring razor-sharp white fangs.
Holy Mary, Joseph, and Peter. A freakin’ dragon.
Excerpt 2 from Luck of the Dragon
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.