Was Maria Johnson a pampered princess who relied on her good looks and daddy's money? You betcha! But when her father cut off her funds and ordered her to become an executive assistant at his firm, Maria was forced to make her new position work. Until she met her new boss -- the gorgeous man who'd broken her heart four years ago. How was she supposed to work with David Hunt?
Not with -- for, David kept reminding her. He was back in Maria's life for one reason only, R-E-V-E-N-G-E! And he knew the sweetest way to get it, too...
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1 . Unlike the title
Posted September 25, 2011 by Darlene , New YorkGood read; however, I expected a little more plot to David's revenge. I also was looking for Maria to take a harsher stand against her father and David and out manuver them all. In the end, it became to easy.
But nice read.
December 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Sweeter Than Revenge by Ann Christopher
Getting back on her unsteady feet, she watched him come closer and wondered how she could possibly survive this encounter with the man who'd loved and left her. Well, left her, anyway.
He'd changed--she saw that right away. Once he merely walked, but now he prowled with supreme confidence, owning the ground and the world around him the way Chris Rock owns the stage during one of his concerts. He'd thinned down and muscled up, too; the slight breeze pressed his short-sleeved blue silk shirt against a torso that had not one ounce of body fat on it. The height, the wide shoulders, the narrow waist and the endless long legs--none of that had changed, of course. But flecks of gray dotted the wavy black hair at his temples now.
And his face. That was different.
Not the laughing brown eyes or the clean-shaven deep chocolate skin. His cheekbones--that was it. Before they'd just been high, but now they were sharp and arrogant. So were the heavy quirked brows and the long straight nose. Faint, interesting wrinkles bracketed his mouth and lined his eyes, giving him a wiser, more mature air. He looked amused and cynical now, as though the whole world was a joke. As though he'd seen and done it all, and didn't know what she--or anyone--could possibly say to interest him.
He stopped in front of her, staring openly. His cool, assessing gaze slid up over her mostly nude body, touching her legs and arms, lingering on her hips and breasts.
Her face burned but she held still, trying not to fidget under this inspection. Modesty was a worthless virtue, and one she'd never possessed. Hard work in the yoga studio and at the gym kept her body fabulous, and she knew it. But now her near-nakedness made her feel exposed and vulnerable, as if she needed to grab her towel and cover herself.
Why did she feel this way? David Hunt knew her body better than anyone else on the planet, including, probably, her. There was not one inch of skin, curve, hollow or hair follicle with which he was not intimately familiar. But of course that was the old David Hunt who'd loved her body.
This David Hunt was a stranger.
Finally he looked her in the eye. One brow arched skyward and one corner of his mouth inched up in a disquieting half-smile.
The syllables pulsed through the air, slid under her skin and pooled into a painful mass of loss and longing low in her belly. If she'd thought--hoped--he was a figment of her overwrought nerves, she now knew better. That low, deep voice--as thrilling as helicopter skiing and as smooth as black velvet--couldn't belong to anyone other than David Hunt.
"You came back," she said unnecessarily, an unfamiliar, Marilyn Monroe breathiness in her voice.
Her father tutted before David could answer, stepping forward to press a light hand to the small of her back. "Now, Sugar. Is that any way to treat an old friend? Besides. I told you. He's the new director."
Maria and David stared at each other, neither of them blinking or acknowledging that Ellis had just spoken. The world shrank down to the two of them, to the intensity in David's eyes, and the leashed tension that pulsed between them.
"Didn't I tell you I'd come back?" David asked her in a low, silky voice.
Maria shivered, wondering what to make of his tone. He sounded as if he wanted to rip the bikini from her body and enter her now--hard, fast and furious. He also sounded vaguely threatening, as if he wanted to rip her body limb from limb, to punish her, to humiliate.
God, what was he doing? Why was he here?
"Yeah, you told me you'd come back," she said, keeping her voice steady even though it wanted to quaver. "I just didn't think it'd take four years."
With that, she turned, sat on her lounge chair, stretched her legs out and tried to pretend he wasn't there while watching him from under her eyelashes. During the silence that followed, Ellis shuffled on his feet and brought his hand to his mouth to cover his uncomfortable cough. David's jaw tightened, but he managed to look supremely unconcerned, although his gaze flickered over her body again. Maria prayed for the strength to remain detached, and for the hot tears that burned her eyes to wait until later, when she was alone, before they fell.
Ellis cleared his throat. "Well, David," he began, "why don't we go in and--"
"Where have you been?" Maria asked David.
She regretted the foolish words even before she got to the question mark at the end of her sentence. Where was her pride? Why couldn't she keep her big mouth shut? She would not give this man a reason--another reason--to laugh at her, nor would she act like she cared one iota about where he'd been or what he'd done. No, she would not.
David turned to her, his expression amused and vaguely reproachful for her rudeness. In a gesture of consummate indifference, he slid his hands into his pants pockets, leaned against one of the pergola posts and crossed his ankles.