He could turn the head of any female possessing a pulse. But black sheep Blake Fortune only had eyes for Sasha Kilgore. Strikingly beautiful and smart, she was also the key to winning a bitter sibling rivalry. Since Sasha had been seen gallivanting around town with his half brother, Blake set out to seduce her away from his lifelong rival. The casino tycoon thought he could seal the deal with cool-headed detachment, but who knew he'd derive such incredible pleasure from playing Casanova...or that the scandalous truth would shatter Sasha's heart?
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April 09, 2007
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Excerpt from Mistress of Fortune (Dakota Fortunes) by Kathie DeNosky
"Good morning, this is Sasha Kilgore, public relations assistant."
"Hi, Sasha. Blake Fortune, here."
At the sound of his smooth baritone filtering through the phone into her ear, Sasha's heart skipped a beat and she had to remind herself to breathe.
"Hello, Blake. What can I do for you today?"
"I need a favor, Sasha."
Every time he said her name, a tiny little flutter in the pit of her stomach reminded her that she apparently still carried the remnants of a schoolgirl's crush for the youngest of the Fortune men."
"I'll do what I can," she said, hoping she didn't sound too eager. "What do you need?"
"Me?, Her pulse raced and the room suddenly felt as if it had become a vacuum.
"I know this is late in the game to be asking about something like this, but I'm opening a new casino here in Deadwood toward the end of the month and I need your help coming up with a special PR campaign to kick things off. I want it to run though the summer to attract vacationers."
It was completely ridiculous, but she felt a little disappointed that his call wasn't of a personal nature. "Hotels and the gaming industry aren't exactly my area of expertise."
Why hadn't he consulted his own PR director? Surely he had one. After all, this would be the third casino he'd opened in the past four years and she'd heard through the office grapevine that he'd recently formed his own corporation.
"Come on, sweetheart." His use of the endearment sent a little shiver straight up her spine. "We both know you're one of the best. Otherwise you wouldn't be working for Dakota Fortune."
She felt warm all over from just the sound of his voice. "So now you're going to resort to charm and flattery?, "Is it working?"
She laughed. "No, but it's nice to hear."
"Tell me you'll help me out here, Sasha," he said, his voice taking on the no-nonsense tone she was used to hearing from him. "My public relations director is out on family medical leave, helping his wife with their new twin girls and I'm up against a wall on this. Fortune's Gold is opening in three weeks."
"I've never seen the place and that makes it extremely difficult to come up with ideas that would work for you," she warned.
"Not a problem. Just set a day and time and I'll send my private jet to pick you up."
"I could probably research your needs on the Internet, then--"
"you'll get a better idea if you see the operation firsthand," he said obstinately.
If there was one thing about the Fortune men that she knew as surely as she knew her own name, it was that they didn't take no for an answer.
Sighing, she reached for her electronic planner. "The earliest I could possibly meet with you would be day after tomorrow. Would that be convenient or would the following week be better?"
"Friday's great. I'll be looking forward to seeing you. Plan on spending the weekend here in Deadwood, then we'll fly back to Sioux Falls together on Monday morning."
"That's three days."
"Your math skills are impressive."
"And your persistence is annoying."
His deep chuckle caught her off guard. To her knowledge, she hadn't heard him laugh in years and she'd come to the conclusion that his brothers, Case and Creed, had been right when they'd insisted that Blake didn't have a sense of humor. Apparently, they'd been wrong.
"Come on, Sasha. you'll be able to get an idea of what my clientele experience while they're here. That should help you come up with a more attractive promotional offer. And besides, it'll be a nice little break away from the rat race."
Oh, he was good. He knew just what to say and just how far to lower his voice to make her feel as if it really meant a lot to him for her to spend the weekend working on his promotion campaign.
"I suppose it would be nice to get away for a weekend," she said slowly. "I just wasn't aware that it would take that much time to research what you need and come up with a viable plan."