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A PERFECT STORM RISING
Loose Id
Male/Female
December 2011

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On an island off the coast of Maine, Lucien Cabot monitors the dark clouds rolling across a bleak sky. Patience and planning have been Lucien’s two closest friends for years, and now Mother Nature has aligned to create the perfect storm he needs to exact his revenge.

Television producer Sophie Emerson can’t believe her luck when the mysterious owner of Raven Island offers her a story about the island and castle. She really can’t believe it. Still, if real, this offer could be the break her career needs. Although suspicious, Sophie agrees to meet Lucien at his home.

Gotcha. Lucien can taste victory -- if only he can resist the keen intelligence, beauty, and light in Sophie. Falling for his guest is the last thing Lucien can afford to do.

Trapped on Raven Island, Sophie is shocked by her powerful desire to know more about Ravenstoke’s clever, darkly attractive master. In secret, Sophie also searches for the truth behind her invitation to Lucien’s island.

A perfect storm of fierce attraction and unbending revenge soon rages behind the walls of Ravenstoke. In the aftermath, once the debris has cleared, will Sophie’s love for Lucien be enough to bring him into the light?

 

 

“…The sinful and wicked debauchery will leave you breathless and begging for more from this amazing author. For exquisite suspense, decadent and dark sex and writing that will have you expanding your opinions on revenge, lust, family and love, A Perfect Storm is well deserving of a JERR Gold Star Award. Do not miss out on this one.”
-- A JERR Gold Star Award Review, reviewer Silla Beaumont

 

“…This book is so hot it should come with a warning label: Flammable!..I loved it!...The chemistry between Lucien and Sophie was scorching…sexy cat-and- mouse game…This book was excellent. Ms. Dane grabbed me from page one and took me on a journey that will stay in my mind for some time.”
-- Vixhen, from The Romance Reviews

 

“…a wonderful mystery with a bold dash of BDSM…There is never a dull moment on Raven Island, with Lucien's riddles and the nighttime BDSM…will put all of your senses on alert…should be at the top of your to-be-read-list.”
-- Sizzling Hot Book Reviews

 

“…Author Cameron Dane never disappoints! A Perfect Storm weaves a compelling and intriguing tale…The author’s style of writing seems to beguile the reader capturing their imagination as well as their interest holding them hostage page after page and scene after scene…The BDSM elements are intense, edgy and smoking hot…plenty of passion that is sure to delight. The conclusion wraps up superbly, fitting every piece of the story together to form the perfect read!”
-- Shannon, from The Romance Studio, a 5 heart review

 

A Perfect Storm Rising by Cameron Dane had me hooked from the first page…Ms. Dane does a fantastic job with slipping in subtle hints that kept me wondering…The sex scenes are extremely hot and will keep you sweating…I definitely recommend reading this book…full of intrigue and will keep you guessing until the very end. Ms. Dane is a fantastic writer and I have not found one book of hers that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy!”
-- K.W. from BlackRaven’s Reviews, a 4.5 rating

 
 

A Perfect Storm Rising Excerpt 1: Rated PG

A Perfect Storm Rising Excerpt 2: Rated PG

 

Excerpt #1

Note: This is the prologue, just to give you a sense of each character and the setup for the story.

Prologue

A storm is coming.

 

Anticipation rushed heat through Lucien Cabot’s blood. He swiveled his desk chair in the shadowed room to stare at the winds already banging barren tree limbs against the windows, the sound of the wood scraping against the glass like the gnarled fingernails of a vengeful witch. It won’t be long now. Lucien closed his eyes and breathed. A hazel gaze haunted the darkness, making his chest constrict with debilitating tightness as powerful today as when he’d said good-bye seven years, eight months, and twelve days ago. Soon. Lucien once again made a promise to the specter shadowing his every thought and action. Soon you’ll be able to rest in peace.

“Do it,” Lucien ordered as he felt the other presence enter the study. “Make the call.”

“I advise you against this.” Magnus’s deep, rough voice resonated through the room. “I promise you are mistaken and this will not come to a good end.”

Lucien blinked and turned a hard stare on his best friend. Hell, his only friend. Certainly the only person he 100 percent trusted. “Issue the invitation.” Lucien’s tone brooked no argument. “If you cannot, someone else will. I will do this with or without your help.”

The man at the door grew thunderous and somehow more menacing in appearance, although most might wonder how such a feat was possible. His sheer strength and size, along with his shaved head and wine-colored birthmark that covered half his face, head, neck, intimidated and often frightened the hell out of most people. Lucien, however, was not most people.

“Do it,” Lucien repeated. “If you’re not in this with me, then you need to get the hell out now, before this begins.”

Storm clouds matching the ones brewing outdoors highlighted Magnus Larsen’s unusual violet eyes. “Make no mistake,” Magnus said. “I am here to make sure this doesn’t kill you, not to happily assist you in your vendetta.”

Lucien ignored the nasty twist in his gut. “As long as you make the call, I don’t care why you’re here.”

“You are a bastard.” Magnus glared at Lucien again as he picked up the phone. “You will regret this choice. And worse, you will end up hating yourself for it.”

“We shall see.” Lucien eyed Magnus’s finger poised on the phone’s keypad. “Make the call.”

Magnus punched the first number.

While picturing the young blonde woman who would answer on the other end, Lucien went instantly hard, the response out of his control.

Shit.

* * * * *

Shoot. Sophie Emerson carefully put her phone back in the cradle. Snarling a bit, she made eye contact with the woman sitting on the other side of the desk. “He gave it to Timmons to produce,” Sophie shared. “Ronald gets to do the interview.”

Miranda -- a gorgeous redhead, who also happened to be a sharp as heck reporter -- frowned and cursed softly. “Hey” -- she suddenly brightened comically -- “maybe Bill will let you produce the next exclusive interview with the next mayor who is in the midst of a financial scandal. There’s bound to be another one next week, right?”

Sophie chuckled. “Yeah, I’ll produce your exclusive exposé when the deputy mayor takes over and flames out by next Friday.”

“It’s a deal.” Miranda reached across the desk, and they made an exaggerated shake on it.

“In the meantime,” Sophie added as she searched for her ringing cell phone under a pile of human-interest stories to pitch to her station manager, “Bill is bound to put us on some street corner when the weather gets nasty just in time for the evening broadcast, so I’ll start scouting a location now.” Ahh, there it is. Sophie pressed the appropriate button and put the phone to her ear. “Hello? This is Sophie Emerson.”

“Good morning, Ms. Emerson.” A deep, male voice filled Sophie’s ear. “My name is Magnus Larsen, and my employer understands you’ve expressed some interest in touring Raven Island and its home for a possible story.”

Sophie instantly sat up straight. “I have. I --”

“Mr. Cabot has time free this afternoon.”

Sophie ignored the rudeness of the man having cut her off. “Great.” Fantastic! A huge smile made her cheeks hurt, and she silently gave Miranda a thumbs-up signal. “I’ll get a camera crew and a reporter. We can take some preliminary shots --”

“No. You misunderstand. For today, Mr. Cabot would just like to speak to you. If he can’t come to an agreement about the angle of the story and how it will be produced, then he won’t agree to the interview.”

A funny feeling hit Sophie’s stomach, but she murmured, “All right. That would be fine.”

“Wonderful. You can meet me at the Maritime Marina around three this afternoon.”

Sophie’s red galoshes loomed big and bright on the floor by her cubicle entrance. “Wait a minute. There is a storm coming in soon. I’m not sure a boat ride today is the best plan.”

“Mr. Cabot has this afternoon available,” Mr. Larsen replied. “If that won’t work for you, then we can call someone else.”

“No!” If Sophie had capitulated any faster, she would have tripped over her tongue. “I’ll be at the marina at three.”

“Very good.” Mr. Larsen sounded exceedingly polite. “I’ll see you there. Good-bye.”

Sophie ended the call and then had to scrape her jaw up from her desk. What the heck was that? As she rubbed the chill bumps suddenly covering her arms, she took one glance at Miranda’s puzzled expression and sobered up enough to explain what had just transpired.

“I don’t know.” Miranda scrunched up her arresting features. “It sounds sketchy to me. We don’t know anything about this person who owns this island.”

“We now know his last name is Cabot,” Sophie shared.

“So what?” Miranda shrugged. “You can’t research someone in a half-dozen hours only knowing his last name. Beyond that, how in the hell did his employee get your personal phone number? Plus this recluse will only see you this afternoon in the midst of a storm coming in? What’s that about?”

Sophie’s mind spun, and she dropped her head into her hand. “I don’t know, but this could be our chance to have this place sit up and take notice of us.” She thought back over her two and a half years’ employment in this small Maine market, but then jumped ahead in her mind to the buzz that had charged the town with new life when some anonymous person had purchased Raven Island nearly two years ago. “Do you know how curious people are about who bought that island and what they’ve done with the rundown castle that was there? The story would be huge for this station, and for us, if we can secure it.”

Miranda smirked. “Or you could be walking into some crazy serial killer’s trap.”

Practicality nagged Sophie. She heard and understood her friend’s concern, and she couldn’t deny the extra warning of adrenaline rushing through her veins since hanging up the phone. Yet true excitement -- the first she’d experienced in ages -- buzzed on top of that rush and drowned out everything else.

“I don’t think it’s anything nefarious,” Sophie shared. “This guy sounded rough and formal but… I don’t know.” She gestured as if grasping for something that kept sliding out of her reach. “There was something about him that felt sincere.”

Miranda rolled her eyes. “Well as long as he sounded sincere, then we’re fine.”

There were times -- like now -- where Sophie wished she looked badass enough to effectively shoot someone the finger. But she didn’t. Oh well. At least she could discuss this job sensibly with Miranda. Lord knew if her brother called to check in on her, she would have to get creative with the facts. If Royce sensed even the perception of danger, he would get on the first plane out of Atlanta, fly to Maine, and swim to Raven Island himself to shield her from possible harm. Still, the concept of having a contingency plan made too much sense for Sophie to ignore.

“Okay, so how about this?” Sophie’s thoughts raced. “What if you come with me to the marina, just to meet this Magnus Larsen? Then he’ll know there’s somebody in this world who knows what he looks like, and that I’m getting on a boat with him. Then I’ll call you, text you, or e-mail you within two hours. If you don’t hear from me within that time frame, then you can call the cops and start a search party. We’ll make sure this guy knows I’m going to keep in touch with you the entire time I’m on his boss’s island. Will that work?”

Flattening her lips, Miranda said, “I still don’t like it, but I understand your desire to go meet this Mr. Cabot.” Her gray eyes flashed with mirth. “I’m kind of jealous he didn’t call me.”

Sophie grinned. “If I can make him comfortable, then you will get the on-air interview. When I go to Bill after I get a yes from this Mr. Cabot, I’ll make you a condition of the deal.”

“Okay.” Miranda pushed up from her seat. “I guess I need to go find myself another producer for my weather segment tonight.” Pausing at the cubicle entrance, she pointed at Sophie. “I’ll meet you back here at two thirty. Don’t leave without me.”

“Sounds good.”

Once alone, Sophie sobered and started to think ahead to her meeting with one elusive island owner.

Mr. Cabot. She let the name roll around in her brain. Suspicions lingered in every corner, but questions about how someone had privately bought an island without his name ever appearing on paperwork, as well as to how he got to and from the island for two years without anyone photographing him, overrode her caution. Mr. Cabot, you are a mystery. If Sophie had one weakness, it was her love of solving puzzles. I can’t wait to meet you. …

 

Excerpt #2

Note: This is a bit of interaction between Sophie and Lucien during Sophie’s first evening at Raven Island, just to give a sense of how they spar and play with each other.

 

As Emma had hinted to Sophie, Lucien had indeed successfully deflected almost all questions designed to get him to give pieces of himself away. Torn between frustration at his masterful skill and her fascination with the wonderful old journals and documents he’d set in front of her two hours ago, Sophie carefully closed the duke’s -- William’s -- first journal. In it, the man often mentioned his wife, Calliope, as well as her brother, Jude, with affection. If Sophie were to read between the lines, she might be able to stretch and say the man’s words about Jude felt as if they were laced with something deeper than affection and maybe had some longing in them. His feelings toward Calliope, though, were also warm and kind.

The scratch of pen on paper just then caused Sophie to lift her gaze. She looked across the room, and she landed her focus on Lucien sitting very quiet and lordly behind his desk, his nose deep in work. He rubbed his cheek and then pushed his fingers through his hair, lifting the thickness just enough for the light to catch a few strands of silver mixed in with the inky black.

Sophie once again drank Lucien in during these few moments in which he didn’t realize he had an audience. Some might consider his features a little too sharply angled and his skin too pale to be considered traditionally attractive. And if they were just looking at a picture, those people might be right. A photo wouldn’t convey the barely contained power and authority constantly simmering around Lucien. He radiated a self-assuredness and control very few people possessed, and she could not deny that aura about him drew her to him too.

Based on the sexual paraphernalia she’d discovered in those six rooms, Sophie could easily see Lucien Cabot in the middle of an orgy, commanding it and possessing the testosterone and endurance necessary to take every woman -- or man -- in attendance and leave them all equally satisfied. She could see it, yet something deeper clenched in her gut and told her that just because he could didn’t mean he would.

He’s too solitary for group activities. With that silly thought, Sophie rolled her eyes. You don’t know him, yet you find him intriguing and attractive, so you’re projecting. Sophie knew better than to cross the line into personal involvement just to secure a story. Even as she reminded herself to step back to a place of professional behavior, she couldn’t forget the few hints -- tiny, small hints -- of chinks in Lucien’s armor. The nightmare he’d professed not to have had earlier. Then, more profound, sharing the loss of his father as a child, a man he clearly adored. His father’s death had obviously shaped him greatly. That slip of information showed a man with more going for him than confidence and a cock.

“You’re part of the story,” Sophie murmured, absorbed by Lucien’s powerful aura. “I just don’t know how yet.”

Lucien slowly lifted his attention from his paperwork. When he met Sophie’s stare, ice chilled his gaze. “No, I’m not.” The same freeze layered his response. “And if you insist upon making me a part of it, I won’t so much as allow a disposable camera on this island, let alone a journalist and an entire crew.”

Drawn to him, Sophie got up and moved to his desk. “I don’t know if I believe you, Mr. Cabot.”

“Lucien,” he corrected, his stare narrowing to amber slits. “And you should. Unless you don’t want the story about William and Jude for your station.”

Sophie planted her hands wide on his desk. “I haven’t decided yet.” Dropping her voice to a whisper, she leaned oh so very close to his ear and said, “I might want to risk figuring you out more than I want a yes.”

Lucien reared out of her reach, his chair rolling until it hit a wall of bookshelves. His face went hard as stone.

Good. “Good night, Mr. Cabot.” Sophie grabbed her laptop from the conference table and tucked it under her arm. “I’ll start calling you Lucien when you start calling me Sophie, and when you’ve given me a little bit more about yourself than you have so far.”

Sophie breezed out of the study, down the hallway and toward her room, hoping like heck she looked as light as air. Inside, her heart had jammed itself into her throat, and she thought she might throw up. She’d entered the dragon’s lair and lit a candle that she dared to present to him as something that equaled the wave of fire he could breathe back at her. I might be very crispy by the time I leave this place.

Shaking her head, Sophie wondered what insanity had prompted her to challenge this man. His mouth did. The thought immediately filled her head. Yes, that’s it. His eyes held distance and were sometimes outright cold, but Lucien didn’t have a cruel mouth. He possessed a mouth that had smiled and laughed often, even if Sophie had yet to see it. A mouth that could kiss a girl breathless too.

“Don’t even think about it,” she muttered as she reached her room.

Too late. Sophie had already begun imagining those lips brushing and claiming hers. Doing so automatically again, the visual, the thought of what it would feel like to have Lucien kiss her -- to want to kiss her -- made Sophie throb deep inside her core. I don’t even know him, and I already want him more than I have any other man in my life.

Shoot. …

 

Copyright Protect Work
Cameron Dane, author. Loose Id, publisher.

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