Financier turned activist Emanuel Duarte has promised he would find the one witness who can testify against real estate developer Silas Lancaster. Sick of having every attempt at exposing Silas shut down, Emanuel wants to honor apromise he made, and takes from his opponent what matters most
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By Carmen Falcone, Alethea Spiridon
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Carmen Falcone
All rights reserved.
Erika Lancaster caressed the ruby choker with her fingers, and the jewel sparkled in response. Sighing, she clasped it. It felt cool and heavy against her skin. She gave herself a once-over in the full-length mirror, admiring the long, dramatic train of her forest-green dress. Then she let go of the breath she didn't realize she'd been holding and made a face at her reflection. Why did her father do this to her?
Seriously. She could be doing way better things than receiving his Business Man of the Year award. Why wasn't he here? What was so important that he'd asked her to go in his place the day before the event?
Whatever. Being the chairman of the Amelia Lancaster Charity meant having to do this once in a while, and if that also meant helping those in need, that was fine with her. She glanced down at the ring on her index finger.
Too bad Mom isn't here to see all this. That's why I have to keep her spirit alive.
What better way to honor her amazing mother than to make the charity that carried her name successful?
A knock yanked her from her thoughts.
She walked to the door, took a deep breath, and opened it. "Yes?"
"Ms. Lancaster, are you ready to go?" A man impeccably dressed in a black suit with a tiny earpiece wire trailing from his ear was standing before her along with two other guys dressed the same. Her father had insisted she used the services of a security firm to attend the event, which was ridiculous. Who could want to harm her?
She grabbed her purse from the console table. "Yes."
"This way, please," he said, gesturing with his hand. There was something oddly familiar about him. Could it be his tall, broad-shouldered figure? Or maybe the way his alluring hazel eyes merely spared her a glance? Her stomach clenched. When they reached the hotel elevator, she was about to touch the lobby button when he outmaneuvered her and leaned next to her, quick to punch the button for parking lot.
His scent found its way to her nostrils. Vibrant notes of bamboo, rum, and spice teased her. She squared her shoulders instantly as if there was a way she could fight this strange reaction to a man who was simply doing his job.
"Do I know you? You seem familiar." She glanced at him then glanced away.
The other two guards took a step back in the elevator, their posture stiff and focused like Buckingham Palace guards.
The hint of a smile curled his lips, as if she had just asked him if they'd slept together before, but the idiot said nothing.
Heat flushed her cheeks. Did he misinterpret her? "I mean, have you worked for my father before?" she asked, tilting her head.
A whitened scar started on the side of his neck and narrowed down toward his crisp collar. His nose wasn't exactly perfect; it seemed a tad crooked, although not ugly. Her blood thrummed in her veins. No. Mr. Security Guy was anything but unattractive.
His brown hair was military style short. The planes of his face were strong and decisive. She had met her share of VIPs, including powerful men with regal postures. If she hadn't known the hottie next to her worked in security, she would have pegged him for a more influential occupation. Maybe he owned the firm.
"Yes, I worked for your father a few times in the past," he said with a heavily accented South American drawl — deep, masculine, and sexy.
Adrenaline surged in her bloodstream. She shook her head. What the hell was she doing? She had met the guy a second ago, and her ovaries were about to combust.
I really need to date again.
Over two and a half years ago she had fallen for the wrong man and in an effort to get over him, ended up getting engaged to Bruno Duarte, a Brazilian tycoon. But thankfully she had been smart enough to call that off. Ever since, she'd dedicated her time and efforts to the charity she ran in her mother's name. People and places that actually needed her, unlike her personal trainer Randall, who just bolted when things got too complicated. And broke her heart.
"I've never watched you," he said. "I would have remembered."
She parted her mouth, desperate to find something to say, but moisture evaporated from her throat, and she clamped her lips. I would have remembered. The way the words left his sexy lips was promising. Intriguing. Even a bit ... threatening?
Her heart raced like she'd just tumbled out of a Zumba class.
Maybe he was good at what he did. Really good. Her father only hired the best — even the personal chef he'd stolen from an up-and-coming restaurant. Well, good or not, she had gotten involved with an employee once and certainly wouldn't do it again. She was the chairperson of a well-known charity, for crying out loud. What if this guy slept with her and created a scandal?
He may not even want to sleep with me. Old insecurities lurked around her like some evil black smoke from a sci-fi movie.
"This way," he said.
She blinked and followed him out of the hotel. The other two bodyguards surrounded them and whispered into their mics. A black limo parked at the curb as the evening stars descended upon the Boston skyline. Mr. Security Guy opened the door for her.
She grabbed the hem of her dress, but the rich silk seemed to spill out of her fingers. Without a word, he held the end of her train, and she ducked into the vehicle, carefully. The two bodyguards nodded and joined the driver at front.
"Is there a briefing?" she asked as the car merged into traffic. "Something I should know about?"
He looked straight ahead. "What do you know?"
"I usually have one bodyguard to escort me to this kind of event, just, as you know, routine security." Her father had taught her from an early age that wealth didn't come without sacrifices, and some business partners couldn't be trusted. Even though she never viewed property development as a mafia generic, she preferred to be safe than sorry. "But tonight there are three of you," she said, and couldn't suppress a nervous laugh. Not even in her hometown of New York did she have to worry about her safety to the extent of needing extra security for an event.
"Don't worry, Ms. Lancaster." She didn't miss the hint of disgust when he pronounced her surname, like he was cussing her out. "You're in good hands."
Instinctively, her gaze dropped to his large, tanned hands. His long fingers rested on the side of his leg while his index finger tapped on his knee. To pull herself out of that reverie, she looked out the window. Droplets of water started to descend against the glass, and she noticed the car moved away from the twinkling city lights. "Does the driver know the way to the convention center?"
"Hhhmmm ..." she cleared her throat. Something wasn't right. She shifted in her seat and watched him in silence. His eyes turned challenging, the gold flecks gleaming. He scratched his square chin and didn't flinch. It was like a conversation without words. She reached for the door handle, and her hand sat there, gently, as a chilly sensation shot up her arm. She glanced outside the glass one more time. Her blood froze. "Hey, wait a minute. This isn't the right way."
He didn't stutter. "No. It's not."
She tried to open the door, pulling the handle in a frantic motion, but no such luck. "I want out!" she shouted, her heart racing for an entirely different reason than a few minutes ago. What the hell was happening?
He shook his head, the flicker in his eyes defying her. "You're coming with me."
"What? W-who are you?" she asked, and slapped on the window, hoping someone would notice her. But the glass was tinted, and the rain didn't help. Besides ... the vehicle picked up speed as they exited downtown. When she stopped, she shook her hands and noticed her palms were clammy. Fear brewed inside her belly.
"Call me Emanuel."
"Emanuel," she repeated more to herself than to him. She'd heard that name before, but where? And that face. She must have seen it before. She was usually good with faces, and especially someone as striking as him. She chewed on her lower lip. Oh shit. He'd told her his name, and she obviously saw his face. If he had any intention of asking for ransom, he wouldn't have done those things. Yep. She had watched her share of Liam Neeson movies to know how these situations worked. I'm dead. He's going to kill me.
"What have I ever done to you?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"Then why are you kidnapping me?"
"Because you mean a lot to your father, and unless he plays by my rules, he's not ever seeing you again," he said, his voice more menacing than if he'd held a knife at her throat.
* * *
"Of course. You want money. How much?" she asked, with a trace of sadness in her voice.
Emanuel stared into Erika's beautiful cocoa eyes. Pine-green specks twinkled deep into the irises, adding more allure. Was she scared? Yes. She leaned all the way back into the seat, her posture stiff. Her fingers trembled when she folded her arms. A pang of guilt stabbed at him, and he almost reached out to her and told her everything would be okay. But lying wasn't in his plans.
Obviously he would never hurt her in any way, but that didn't mean things would be easy. Silas Lancaster would go ballistic when he found out his only daughter had gone missing. Then the negotiations would take place. Would family finally mean more than money to Silas?
"How much do you think you're worth?" he asked, to entertain her capitalistic train of thought and buy time distracting her. He glanced at his watch. They would have to be fast, so the real security team wouldn't figure out she was gone and trail behind them. But he had worked it out carefully. For months, ever since he'd stepped into the role of president of a nonprofit organization to help his sister-in-law Addie, he'd seen Silas Lancaster's smart moves to embezzle money. He could think he fooled the world, but not him. Not Emanuel. He wanted the man to pay for those families whose homes had collapsed and killed innocent women and children. Because, even though he had been advised by his engineer that the construction material was expired and outdated, Silas still went ahead and used it. And for the past three weeks, that chief engineer and the only witness to Silas's crime had gone missing.
She shrugged, making him wonder if she was more at ease discussing money than real problems. How much was she like her father? "I ... I don't know. I'm sure you have some number in mind, otherwise we wouldn't be here."
"Maybe I have something in mind, something that's not money." He didn't need money. As a successful financial investor he had more cash than he could spend. That was why he used some of it to help find resources for the ones without a voice. He had been working with Brazilian Native Indians, a cause that was dear to Addie, when he'd visited the rainforest and learned about Silas's wrongdoing. He had already known enough about Silas to despise him, but as he started to pay close attention, Emanuel decided he couldn't just ignore that type of injustice.
"Well, then. What is it?" she asked, her face pale.
He popped his knuckles, unsure if he should tell her. What if she shouted something about his plan while they got her in the private jet waiting for them at the airfield? Best to wait until everything was certain — until they were both inside the plane to Brazil.
He gazed at her as she hid in the corner of the car. The smoothness of her skin ... earlier he'd been tantalized by the sweet sway of her curvaceous hips. Now her chestnut hair fell in waves onto her bare shoulders, and a need to stroke the softness surged into his fingertips, making his palm itch.
There was no doubt if Erika Lancaster had a different surname, he would be asking her out for dinner and more. But those nine little letters drew a line between them. "What can you offer me?" he asked, his voice coarser than intended.
"I can't believe this." She massaged her temples and closed her eyes.
The slight raise of her breasts against the fabric was distracting. From the waist down, her dress was flowing and soft. From the waist up, it was more form fitting, outlining her amazing shape. Her breasts strained against the corset and, if he were a less determined man, he would love to trace his tongue over her.
Her eyes opened with a start, and she pointed at him. "Wait a minute. I do know you. You're Bruno Duarte's younger brother, aren't you?"
Emanuel smirked. He had supposed at some point she would recognize him. Even though he had never met her in person, she had briefly dated his brother a couple years ago, before Bruno met Addie. Perhaps she'd seen a picture of him.
She blinked and rubbed her forehead. "This makes zero sense. I ended on good terms with Bruno. I heard he's happily married. Does he know you're doing this? Did he put you up to this?"
"No and no." His older brother would give him some serious shit for jeopardizing the organization. Although, Emanuel's plans were clear — kidnap Silas's daughter and use her as leverage in exchange for Raul, the chief engineer.
"Because your father has something — someone — in his possession I want. Since you're his darling daughter, I'm sure he'll come running when he finds out you're gone. And the exchange will take place. Then you can go back to your frivolous little life like none of this ever happened."
"You're a jackass."
He chuckled. "I've been called worse."
"I bet it was all true."
Emanuel pondered. He guessed growing up dirt poor, then dealing with the aftermath of the scandal when his older brother Bruno left for the States hadn't been easy. His other brother Leonardo tried to shield him from the disgrace that had fallen upon his family, but the neighbors and kids from the street and school wouldn't let him forget. He'd gotten beaten more than he could count.
"Call my father now. I'll talk to him, and we'll straighten this out." She looked for the clutch that she had placed next to her when she sat.
"No." He lifted her clutch, the same one he'd slipped from her when she'd been looking out the window. "Not yet." There was no way she'd run the show and call Daddy so he'd come rescue her. The plan was clear — Emanuel would take her out of Boston, hell, out of the U.S. for a while, and then contact her father.
"Give me my purse," she said, and before he could deny her, she launched onto him, her warm, soft body colliding with his. She raised the hem of her dress to give her a clear advantage and reached for his hand. Playfully, he passed it from one hand to the other, and she followed his movements, until he placed it behind his back, and she straddled him.
He swallowed, inwardly cursing his cock for responding too quickly. So, so eagerly. He placed his hands on her hips, bringing them into a perfect position to ride him. She gulped, her eyes widening. "Careful," he said. "You make me think of other things I'd like to give you. And maybe you wouldn't oppose given your current position."
Even under the dim lighting of the limo, the pink staining her cheeks was visible. "What? You wouldn't dare."
He shouldn't, for sure. Would he? The thought played in his head like a lazy, melodious Bossa Nova song. "I would never take a lady against her will," he said, but couldn't help the smile spreading across his face. "Although in your case maybe it would be mutual."
She lifted her hand and slapped his face. The sound of her palm hitting his cheek sliced the air. An annoying sting burned his flesh. "You're ... crazy. To think I would ever ..."
Instead of scowling at her for the smack, he stroked her buttocks, making invisible circles and watching her blush deepen. "Sleep with the enemy? Don't they say love and hate walk together? Lust and repugnance aren't far behind," he said, and leaned into her, the fresh scent of daisies filling his head.
She widened her eyes and jerked away from him. He could have grasped her if he had wanted to emphasize his point, but she seemed scared enough. Or was it fear of her reaction to him?
"Well, in this case lust is about three hundred miles behind. I guarantee you. So you're not going to let me call my father. Who is this person you think my dad has in his possession?" She crossed her legs and smoothed her hand over her dress.
"Someone who knows the truth your father doesn't want exposed," he said, hoping that much would be enough for now.
She frowned. "What truth?"
"All in good time, Erika."
"That's too vague. I'm free right now."
You are anything but free. He'd never imagined he'd keep someone against her will, but the stakes were too high. He had to find Raul and bring justice to those affected by Silas's mistake. The limo rolled to a stop, and he glanced at the window. "As it happens, we've arrived." The driver opened the door for her, and she rushed to get out, but Emanuel clasped her elbow. "No one is going to hurt you, Erika. All you have to do is keep calm."
Excerpted from Brazilian Capture by Carmen Falcone, Alethea Spiridon. Copyright © 2017 Carmen Falcone. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Brazilian Capture is a faced paced novel with a touch of suspense. Emanuel Duarte is searching for answers and the only way he can get to the bottom of his quest is by kidnapping Erika Lancaster. He believes the only way to solve the mystery behind the collapse of the buildings in his community is to hurt the man who he believes is behind the shoddy construction. And so he formulates a plan to steal away Erika from accepting the Business Man of the Year award on behalf of her father. Emanuel takes us on a journey through the Amazon. As we watch Erika become accepting of Emanuel’s beliefs, we also are taken on a path of discovery on their road to finding their love for one another. It’s not easy, but in the end, the discover their ultimate joy – love. Brazilian Capture is a must read summer romance. Ms. Falcone did an amazing job weaving the Brazilian culture into this novel. I highly recommend reading it. I’d like to disclose that I received an advanced copy of this novel. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and this is my true and honest opinion.
I really enjoyed this story!!! There were some thing that were kind of obvious, but for the most part I had no clue what would happen. I love the connection that Emanuel and Erika had from the moment they got into that elevator. They such chemistry!! I also loved how Emanuel was fighting for such a good cause, and Erika couldn't help but fall to that. This book was everything I'd hoped it would be!
Erika Lancaster is getting ready to accept the Businessman of the Year award on behalf of her father Silas, when three guys from the security firm come to pick her up at the door to drive her to the convention centre. Erika is a bit puzzled; usually, there’s only one, and one of the guards looks oddly familiar. It doesn’t take Erika long to realise that she’s being kidnapped! And the guard who looked familiar is none other than Emanuel Duarte, the younger brother of Erika’s former fiancé. Erika has a reputation for being amiable and accommodating, but not when she’s being taken against her will; Erika will not take this lying down. I have been a fan of Carmen Falcone’s since the first book in this series came out, and I have remained a fan ever since. To give you an idea of Ms. Falcone’s talent at crafting a bulletproof plot, I do not like kidnapping and blackmail tropes, this is what these stories are all about, and Ms. Falcone knows exactly just how far to go to make the story palatable and believable. It’s in all those little details: the how, the why, the motivations, and the carefully drawn characters. BRAZILIAN CAPTURE unfolds at an energetic pace, and the suspense angle was even more prominent than I expected, especially when a totally unforeseen plot twist occurred. I loved Erika! She is a strong woman, and she does none of the stupid things that are common fare in this type of story, she never loses her sarcastic side, which led to some snort-inducting repartees! I also very much appreciated how even Erika recognises how crazy it is that she’s attracted to her kidnapper. In BRAZILIAN CAPTURE, Ms. Falcone again writes of the Brazil she knows so well, to this reader’s delight, and she makes the romance utterly believable; she made me care about both Erika and Emanuel as they question their outlook on life, on family, and even their own beliefs. I raced through BRAZILIAN CAPTURE, I read it in one sitting, and I already cannot wait for Carmen Falcone’s next book. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Carmen Falcone does it again! I love her Brazilian series. They show me a part of the world that I can only dream to visit. This story shares with us Erika & Emanuel. They are side characters from an earlier book in the series. Both good people who have to make some tough choices. I love falling in love with them over the rough & rocky & wet ride! Great book! I look forward to the next book from Carmen Falcone!
I don't do spoilers so I'll do the best I can. We have a father who will do anything to make money and due to his greed and disregard for human life, his innocent daughter is kidnapped by one who not only wants justice but to save a life of one who spoke the truth. He tells her why he has taken her but she knows nothing of the things her father has done and does not believe him. They must stay ahead of her fathers men and to hide her he takes he to the jungles of Brazil with a tribe of indigenous people. Danger looms ahead, not because of these people or even the creatures of the jungle, but because of their obvious desire for each other. That leads them from one thing to another, ending in a temporary sensual understanding. Things end up both good and not so good, but that's where I end my review. You'll just have to read this story filled with danger and adventures these two go through to make things right, and lets not forget the humor the author loves to throw in now and then. That leads from one thing to another, ending in a temporary sensual understanding. Things end both good and not so good, but that's where I end my review. You'll just have to read this great story to read not only between the lines, but the danger and adventures these two go through to make things right. I recommend this story, a well as the others in the authors "The Brazilians" series, to all those who love romance with thrills, humor and sensual adventures.
The title of this book fits so perfectly. Emanuel, he gave me mixed feelings at first, but the better I got inside his head the more I liked him. Everything he thought he knew and felt or didn't feel gets flipped upside down. I felt for Erika. I loved her so, but she goes through some tough situations. She has an inner strength that I truly admire. Things get pretty hot and steamy in the Brazilian jungle between Emanuel and Erika. One of my favorite things about this book is the way she gets Emanuel to feel. I also enjoyed how this book ended for her and Emanuel.
A fast-paced romance with a bit of suspense. Two very different people from different backgrounds unexpectedly connect. Even though he’s kidnapped her, they can’t resist each other. They develop a hot and steamy relationship, a partnership, and have fun together. Her eyes are opened as to who her father really is. Good plot descriptions and character development.
This story is sexy, sexy, SEXY!! I really enjoyed meeting the youngest and most stubborn Duarte and the woman that teaches him that just because you have a plan, life doesn't always work the way want it to. This story is captivatingly seductive and entrancing with a touch of suspense thrown in for good measure. I was captivated from the first paragraph right to the end!!
This is a story I very much looked forward too! The whole Brazilian series is great and this adds too it. We still have at least 2 who need stories and I can't wait for them. Emanuel Duarte may be well off now, but he's atoning for old sins, by kidnapping. But what happens when the hostage is more than he bargained for? Emanuel is a very strong, caring individual. He believes in keeping his word and doing whatever it takes to bring justice to those less fortunate than him. I really like his character. Erika is a socialite, head of the charity, young lady. She makes great arm candy, but when in tough situations hold her own. She's not a complainer and is the perfect hostage. The storyline is adventurous, with new places to see and plenty of action (in and out of the bed) very well done.
This is a great fast paced read that is a super steamy romance with a bit of suspense. Emanuel Duarte is determined to take down his adversary Silas Lancaster. He knows the only thing Lancaster cares about in this world is his daughter Erika so he hits the man where it hurts and kidnaps her. It doesn't take long for Emanuel to realize he may have bit off more than he bargained for. Erika is strong, determined, and so incredibly tempting. And she doesn't believe a word he's telling her about her father. When Emanuel takes Erika to Brazil she comes up with a plan to seduce him and then attempt to get away. Now Erika is in way over her head! Don't miss this great romantic suspense. I recommend it.
This is a wonderful book that I just loved. It's a fast paced romance with a bit of suspense. In it, Erika is a wealthy socialite who heads a charitable foundation, but doesn't seem to look at the details too closely. Emanuel is a self made wealthy man who kidnaps her as a way to force her father to do the right thing and turn over a man he believes her father kidnapped. Before long, Emanuel has whisked her away to Brazil. He seems to have planned for everything except for his own reaction to Erika. Erika, while wanting to believe the best of her father, can no longer bury her head in the sand. The author has described Brazil and the Amazon is such a way that the setting almost becomes a character in its own right. I totally enjoyed this book and found myself turning pages as quickly as possible to see what happened next. I was sorry when it ended and can't wait to see what the author will write next.