Had he been, the world would certainly have known about it for the tabloid press reported his every move. A startlingly handsome Greek tycoon with a legendary appetite for super fast cars, luxury homes and dazzlingly beautiful women, Cristos was hotter than hot in the gossip columns. The young woman who had caught his attention, however, was not in his usual style. Nor was she even aware of his scrutiny because the tinted windows on his limousine shielded him from view.
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And since their captors had thoughtfully provided them with a luxury villa, what was to stop Cristos continuing with his seduction plan in comfort? Had he been, the world would certainly have known about it for the tabloid press reported his every move. A startlingly handsome Greek tycoon with a legendary appetite for super fast cars, luxury homes and dazzlingly beautiful women, Cristos was hotter than hot in the gossip columns. The young woman who had caught his attention, however, was not in his usual style.
Nor was she even aware of his scrutiny because the tinted windows on his limousine shielded him from view. Tall and slender, she wore a dark green fitted jacket and tailored skirt that accentuated her tiny waist and delicate curves just as her plain shoes showed off her award worthy legs. Is that an army uniform?
The portly old man peered out. Vibrant streamers of Titan hair flew out in an arc behind her as she sprinted off in pursuit. She caught up with the cap only a few feet from his car.
Spring sunshine flamed over the glorious hair she was struggling to coil back into concealment. Surprised by the vivid beauty of her oval face, Cristos stared. Luminous eyes and a luscious cherry-pink mouth highlighted skin as fine and smooth as alabaster: she was knock-down stunning.
Watching the redhead climb into the driving seat of a Bentley that bore the discreet but unmistakable logo of a hire company on the rear bumper, he quirked an ebony brow. Spyros had always given him the creeps but he was family and Cristos had been raised to rate blood ties higher than other more instinctive responses. Cristos was a Stephanides and Petrina was a Rhodias. Their families had long been linked in business and marriage would forge even closer ties.
Matrimony was for the preservation of wealth and power and the raising of the next generation. Nobody expected Cristos to be faithful but it would be tasteless to acknowledge that fact out loud. After all, Spyros only ever approached him when he wanted money. Once Spyros had concocted elaborate tales of investments gone wrong and sure-fire business ventures that required capital. A gambler and a waster, Spyros had once revelled in his reputation of never having had to work a day in his forty-odd years of life.
Six months ago, Cristos had destroyed the legend by putting Spyros to work in the London office of a freight company, one of the many subsidiary businesses that made up the vast Stephanides empire.
He had hoped that, separated from familiar haunts and cronies, Spyros would make a fresh start. His own grandfather, Patras, had laughed like a hyena. In fact, when Cristos had given Spyros a job Patras had laughed so hard he had almost needed resuscitation. Pay him to keep him out of our hair. Cristos had accepted the bet. Although he had every respect for his grandfather, it was his firm belief that someone should have made Spyros toe the line a long time ago.
Cristos was enough of a cynic to be disconcerted but he was also genuinely pleased. Cristos had had other plans. His current mistress would be waiting at the apartment. The perfect end to a long day of business meetings was sex on silk sheets with a woman who would meet his every expectation with unquestioning zeal.
With regret he shelved that sensual image and cursed his powerful libido. His principles had spoken: the very least that Spyros deserved was recognition of his achievement. When Gemma exclaimed in horror over the nails that Betsy had broken tinkering with a temperamental car engine, Betsy said nothing and hid her hands below the table as much as she could.
In the same way, she withstood the suggestion that her casual jeans and shirt made her look like a boy and even a later reference to her lack of material success in the world. Indeed she was proud of herself for not rising to the bait. Rory shared the same table, both with them and not with them, his discomfiture at the atmosphere between his girlfriend and her older sister pronounced. Every so often he made a clumsy attempt to bring in a new conversational subject but no matter what it was it always seemed to provide Gemma with more grist for her mill.
Betsy studied Rory in a quick stolen glance. He looked grim, tense and embarrassed. Like Betsy, he was in the dark as to why Gemma seemed to have a need to verbally attack Betsy in every way she could.
Three years earlier, Betsy and Rory pad been on the brink of getting engaged when Gemma had announced that she was pregnant and that Rory was the father of the baby she was carrying. Their parents had urged Betsy to take the news on the chin. She had done so. She had been far too proud to show any sign of wanting to hang onto a man who had gone behind her back to sleep with her very much prettier sister. She had also cared too much for both Rory and Gemma to have made a truly ghastly situation worse than it already had been and tear her whole family apart.
And unhappily for her, Betsy reflected ruefully, she had never yet learned how not to love Rory. For a split second angry pain gripped Betsy and she pushed restive fingers through the feathery fringe of dark red hair on her pale brow. She almost blurted out that she had had a bloke of her own until Gemma had stolen him and she only bit back that crack with difficulty.
The cost of restraint made hot pink flare over her cheekbones and she let her pride do her talking for her and she lied. But Joe did exist, she reminded herself, and, while she might not be actually dating him, he had at least asked her out. What does he look like? Tall, broad, fair. Gemma grinned. There are a lot of creeps out there. Gemma took offence if Rory showed the slightest interest in or concern for her sister.
Bowing her head, Betsy got through the awkward silence that followed that comment by scooping up the pyjama clad toddler who had crept into the room while the adults were talking. Snatched up into a cuddle by her fond aunt, the little girl giggled and turned up an entrancing face. She had only just got back to her cramped bedsit in Hounslow when her mother phoned her.
It was a familiar pattern and it hurt Betsy a lot that her mother should be so indifferent to her feelings. More and more Betsy was learning that when Gemma was annoyed with her she would be shunned by the rest of her family as well. It would be quite a few weeks before she heard from her mother again. When she was a kid, Betsy had never questioned the reality that her sister two years her junior was the favoured child.
As a baby, Gemma had had a heart murmur and everybody had fussed over her. In comparison, Betsy had always been a bit of a misfit in the Mitchell family circle. In fact her happiest childhood memories revolved round her late grandfather, who had restored classic cars in his spare time. On that front she had been a shy late developer and intimidated by the success of her kid sister in the same department. Boys had started chasing Gemma when she was only thirteen.
Betsy had met Rory at a sports club when she was eighteen. At that point, Betsy killed her forbidden thoughts stone dead. That was the past, she reminded h6tse1f sharply. Nor, she reflected, should she even have been surprised when Rory had fallen for Gemma, who was much livelier and sexier. That mental slap administered, Betsy got into bed. He was a hard worker, she acknowledged grudgingly, and she questioned her own almost instinctive recoil from him.
So he struck her as being a little arrogant and conceited, but he was young, attractive and single and she had met men smug about a great deal less. In fact, rather like herself, Joe was a loner and a man of few words. How long had it been since she had dated someone? Too long, she decided, strolling rather self-consciously closer to the blond man. Mastering the urge to go into retreat, she managed to smile instead and told herself not to take offence at the smug satisfaction he could barely hide.
If Joe Tyler thought she would be a pushover for his muscular charm, he would soon find out how wrong he was.
Six weeks after his previous visit, Cristos flew into London from the South of France. Timon met him off his flight and handed him a sealed envelope. Cristos raised a questioning brow. Timon looked tense and said nothing. Some minutes later, Cristos came to a halt twenty feet away from the limousine that his P A had indicated across the car park. His mystification came to a sudden end and was replaced by a raw leap of anticipation.
He had a photographic memory. He could not initially credit that Spyros could have come up with such a classy surprise. Slender as a reed with a waist that could not be larger than the span of his two hands, she moved with the liquid grace of a dancer. He pictured her in silk. Silk that would slide across her fine skin and feel smooth as satin beneath his hands. It did not cross his mind for even a moment that he might not be able to have her. Whenever he wanted a woman, she came to him. Whichever woman he wanted, he got.
Once or twice the strength of his own magnetic pull with her sex had been a curse when the wives and partners of his friends had given him willing and eager signals. But he had never met with failure. He sensed her innate pride in the angle of her small head, the straightness of her spine and the upward tilt of her delicate jaw line.
The Stephanides Pregnancy
And since their captors had thoughtfully provided them with a luxury villa, what was to stop Cristos continuing with his seduction plan in comfort? Had he been, the world would certainly have known about it for the tabloid press reported his every move. A startlingly handsome Greek tycoon with a legendary appetite for super fast cars, luxury homes and dazzlingly beautiful women, Cristos was hotter than hot in the gossip columns. The young woman who had caught his attention, however, was not in his usual style. Nor was she even aware of his scrutiny because the tinted windows on his limousine shielded him from view.
LYNNE GRAHAM THE STEPHANIDES PREGNANCY PDF
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Overall book rating Please allow up to ten ltnne days for your parcel to arrive by standard delivery. Jul 30, Riz rated it liked it Shelves: She had a job she liked. The kidnapping setup was utterly ridiculous.