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If You Dare
     

If You Dare

4.4 30
by Adrianne Byrd
 

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A thrilling romantic suspense from Adrianne Byrd, the US bestselling author of African American romance.

Damien Black has decided to admire art from afar rather than steal it. But when he is coaxed out of retirement for one last job, he did not count on meeting Angel LaFonte. Angel is the director of the museum he's been staking out, but a chance encounter leads

Overview

A thrilling romantic suspense from Adrianne Byrd, the US bestselling author of African American romance.

Damien Black has decided to admire art from afar rather than steal it. But when he is coaxed out of retirement for one last job, he did not count on meeting Angel LaFonte. Angel is the director of the museum he's been staking out, but a chance encounter leads to a sizzling affair, and before he knows it, she's stolen his heart. But someone means for Damien to finish the job he's started.no matter what.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060565374
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/27/2004
Pages:
372
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

If You Dare

Chapter One

United States
One year later ...

All heads turned toward the sleek silver profile of a shiny new Lamborghini Murciélago as it whipped up to the valet of Lafonte's restaurant.

A couple of teenage boys pushed each other out of the way in their desire to be the one to park the car.

When the driver's door slid upward, a sixfoot- four African-American gentleman dressed in black, casual Armani emerged.

"Yo, man. You can get Janet Jackson with that car. For real!" The young boy with the name Todd engraved on a bronze name tag rushed over to him.

The man gently lowered the rim of his dark Oakley shades so his onyx gaze locked on the gushing teenager, and a small smile curled at the side of his mouth. "Be careful with my lady," he said, and then tossed him the keys.

"You can count on me," Todd reassured him.

Turning, the gentleman slid his hands into the pockets of his linen suit and entered through the restaurant's glass doors.

He immediately liked the low lighting and intimate ambience of the place. He caught a dozen covetous gazes from women linked on the arms of impeccably dressed men.

The hostess, a petite ebony beauty, greeted him with a magnanimous smile. "Good evening, thank you for choosing to dine with us at Lafonte's. Do you have a reservation?"

"I'm afraid I don't. I'm here to see Sean Lafonte. He's expecting me."

Still smiling, she reached for the phone on the podium. "May I have your name?"

"Black. Damien Black."

Seconds later, Sean Lafonte straightened his tall frame, showcasing a Valentino white suit as he gestured for his visitor to enter. "Damien Black, it's good to see you again."

"How long has it been -- five, six years?"

"Something like that." Damien walked to the desk and accepted the extended hand being offered. "You still look good."

"Such a smooth liar." Sean patted the small bulge of his belly. "Now you, on the other hand, look as though you were born in a gym."

"You know me. I've always believed in taking care of the mind, body, and spirit."

"Spirit?" Sean laughed and gestured toward the vacant chair across from his desk. "You're an interesting bag of contradictions, my friend. You're the only spiritual thief I know."

Damien curved the corners of his lips, not quite smiling.

"Now, now. I was just teasing you. What's a little humor between friends?"

"Is that what we are -- friends?" Damien asked with perhaps more sarcasm than he intended.

Sean's false cheerfulness died with his smile. "Perhaps I overstated myself. Associates, then -- does that work for you?"

Damien's smile warmed. "At least it resembles the truth." Heglanced at his surroundings. "I see the restaurant business is doingwell for you."

"People have to eat."

"True. How many locations now?"

Sean eased back into his chair. "If all goes well, the third Lafonte's will be opening out in Alpharetta."

"I take it this job will be financing the restaurant?"

"Not entirely, but something like that. Are you up for it?"

"Depends on how much we're talking about."

"Two fifty."

"Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars? What's this -- minimum wage or something?"

Sean laughed and grew serious. "Five hundred."

Damien stood. "It was nice seeing you again. Call me when you want to talk business." He turned and headed toward the door, but didn't get far.

"Wait," Sean said.

Damien faced him again, with his brows arched high over his eyes.

"Throw out a figure."

"I deal in percentages. Fifty-fifty."

Sean shot from his chair. "What? That's outrageous."

"I did a little research, and I know how much the Degas collection will go for on the black market. It's a fair deal."

Damien watched Sean's expression harden. Sean could easily tell him to go to hell, but both knew Damien was the best man for the job.

"I'll have to run some numbers." Sean eased back into his chair. "How can I reach you again?"

"Don't worry." Damien winked and turned back toward the door. "I'll be in touch."

If You Dare. Copyright © by Adrianne Byrd. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Nationally bestselling author Adrianne Byrd has always preferred to live within the realms of her imagination — where all the men are gorgeous and the women are worth whatever trouble they manage to get into. As an army brat, she traveled throughout Europe and learned to appreciate and value different cultures. Now, she calls Georgia home.

Her first novel in 1997 received rave reviews by Romantic Times and fans. Her other novels were consistently selected as the magazine's Top Pick. In 2001, Slam Jam nominated Say You Love Me for best romance.

Ms. Byrd has been featured in many national publications, including Today's Black Woman, Upscale, and Heart and Soul. She has also won local awards for screenwriting. In the future, she looks forward to continue creating characters that make people smile, laugh, and fall in love.

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If You Dare 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Adrianne you did it again. This is a most read. I didn't see the ending coming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great romance/suspense novel. This book had it all, adventure, love, romance, mystery, good guy/bad guy...I couldn't put it down. I want a Damien Black, too! He really knew how to romance a woman! Way to go, Adrianne. Can't wait to read more from her!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one sexy book! I know I could use a Damien Black in my life. This story is about interesting people from seemingly different worlds. There's a crazy brother, an obsessed Frenchman, a five-time divorce side kick, and a stealth butler. Only Adrianne Byrd could take such an odd bunch of characters and come up with this real page turner. Get this book. You won't be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If You Dare is a wonderful love story with intriguing characters. But you have to pay attention, no one is quite what they seem! I can only hope there will be a sequel!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Atlanta, Sean La Fonte wants art thief Damien Black to steal the Degas collection from Atlanta¿s High Museum of Art. Though retired, Damien visits the High Museum to case the joint when a rainstorm sends Angel racing inside the building. Damien and Angel talk but she refuses to give him her number. Without her knowledge, Damien switches cell phones with Angel so that she will have to call him. When she does, they agree to attend the Shafrazzi Charity Ball at twenty-five hundred dollars a ticket....................................... Dangerous Tevin Merrick arrives at Sean¿s restaurant to discuss the latter¿s gambling debt. They also converse how they will split up the loot from a planned art heist when Angel enters her brother¿s office. Tevin offers to write off Sean¿s debt if Angel becomes his mistress. Desperate Sean agrees, but loathes himself for selling the only person he cherishes. Sean asks Angel to date Tevin as a favor, but she refuses. She insists she is no one¿s whore, but also knows she loves Damien. However, someone steals a Rubens masterpiece with Damien being the prime suspect and then there is Tevin who will not accept no from Angel................................ This exciting art of love tale stars two delightful protagonists that hook the reader the moment they first meet. The deep support cast enables the audience to understand what motivates the lead characters. However, the heroine¿s overly protective brother ¿selling¿ her is out of character for him when it comes to his sibling and ethical questions involving the stealing of art to sell to private collectors abound. Still, IF YOU DARE is a fun contemporary romantic suspense that fans will appreciate.............................. Harriet Klausner
sm34 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good read. There were more than a few surprises and lots of romance. I really enjoyed this book.
K_A_T58 More than 1 year ago
This was a grear read of love, trust and danger. I loved and could not have asked for a better romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another good book
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Bernice Ashley More than 1 year ago
Great reading could not put it down ........leading man HOT as hell.
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