In Seline Sanborn's opinion, her latest con was a thing of beauty--mind-blowing sex, enough cold cash to keep her in diamonds and a gorgeous mark who would never know what hit him. What a rush! And she'd gotten away free and clear. After all, it was just chump change to sexy CEO Ryder Blackwell. There was no way he'd consider tracking her down....
But even Seline's wildest erotic fantasies couldn't prepare her for what happened next....
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June 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Taken by Tori Carrington
IT WAS a temptation she couldn't resist.
Heat slid over her skin, igniting every nerve ending, making her hyper-aware of each breath she drew in. Tension. Anticipation. Longing. All combined in her muscles, clamored for release. Demanded she unleash the more primal part of herself kept under wraps for far too long.
It was July, it was hot and Seline Sanborn sat alone in her leased glossy-black Audi TT roadster convertible with the top down, her Dior shades parked on her nose, tendrils of blond hair stuck to her chin and lips. Yearning, pure and strong, shuddered through her. How long it had been since she'd allowed herself the indulgence of taking off her mask? One month? No, it was closer to two. Two months since she'd taken on the identity of conservative Carol Lambert, senior account executive moved to New York City from Seattle, Washington. Eight weeks in which she'd gained the confidence of the higher-ups at Blackwell & Blackwell Industries. Sixty days since she'd traded a lifestyle with few boundaries for long twelve-hour days, and nights spent reviewing carefully laid out plans rather than enjoying romantic sunsets with a special someone.
Then again, it had been time immeasurable since she'd spent a romantic anything with anyone.
Which probably explained why she'd decided to take the sporty rental car to her uptown lunch meeting rather than a taxi. And why she'd let the top--and her hair--down afterward.
Of course, the success of the meeting had also contributed to her desire to cut loose. If all corporate endeavors could be as powerfully engaging, she'd seriously consider hanging up her hat and going legit. The problem was that there was much more paperwork and tedium involved in the life of a corporate exec than big-ticket deals like the one she'd just brokered on behalf of Blackwell & Blackwell.
Or rather, just brokered on behalf of herself using a shell company she'd anonymously staffed through a temporary employment agency. A company that would cease to exist by this time tomorrow, guaranteeing her rush would survive at least as long...and the security the funds from she'd make off with even longer.
Which was why she much preferred the title of con artist. Forget that the job was the only one she knew. What other position would give her quick access to the type of money she needed? Not even Carol Lambert's nice salary could cover an overhead that went beyond the expensive leased cars and designer duds she needed for her cons. Well beyond.
Of course, the impulsiveness of her current actions went against one of her top rules, developed out of necessity: do not, under any circumstances, let your guard down until the con is over. And seeing as only a day and a half--thirty-six short hours--remained in her current job...well, her uncharacteristic recklessness was spotlighted all the more.
"It's a car ride, that's all," she said quietly.
"What harm can come out of a car ride?" She pressed the power button for the high-end CD player. The guitar riffs of "Radar Love" by Golden Earring instantly drowned out the cautionary voice that whispered in her ear, along with the sound of the purring engine now idling at a stoplight.
Until the rumble of another equally impressive engine turned her attention to her left.
She smiled with deliberate pleasure.
It didn't take a car lover to appreciate the sleek lines of the XK Jaguar. But seeing as she knew the 12-cylinder engine that growled beneath the attractive hood inside and out, her interest quotient notched upward.
Too bad all she could make out through the heavily tinted windows was her own reflection. Which looked damned good, if you asked her.
She tilted her head and made a play at nudging her sunglasses halfway down her nose to get a better look at the driver even though she couldn't see him.
The response was a revving of the potent engine.
Seline righted her glasses and looked forward.