Dashing. Devastating. Dangerous. David Reis exuded power with every move of his custom-suited body. He'd been the fantasy of Starr Cimino's teenage dreams...her first lover, her biggest heartbreak. And now that he was back, she didn't dare fall under his influence again.
But David was not about to call a truce. He was determined to have Starr back in his bed and planned a seduction no woman could resist.
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March 12, 2007
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Excerpt from Under the Millionaire's Influence by Catherine Mann
Starr Cimino vowed to invest in new pjs, even though her love life was currently on life support.
Facing her arch nemesis in a threadbare Beach-combers Restaurant T-shirt before she'd even had her morning coffee just sucked. So much for armor to gird her five-foot stature.
Her steely spine and some wit would have to suffice. She braced her back and stood down the strong and vital force filling the door of her seaside carriage house in Charleston, South Carolina.
She didn't doubt her ability to deck anyone who threatened her. She'd learned young to take control of her life after all her crook parents had forced her to endure. But it just wasn't cool to take out a seventy-eight-year-old lady in a housedress. The mother of the man to whom she'd given her heart and virginity.
At least she could reclaim her heart.
Swiping the sandy sleep from her eyes, Starr forced a smile taught to her by her foster mother, "Aunt" Libby. "What can I do for you, Mrs. Hamilton-Reis?"
Other than toss some blue food coloring into her fish pond so the old bat's prize guppies would look more like a certain current cartoon fish. Okay, so Aunt Libby's training hadn't totally saturated Starr's consci-ence as a teen.
Grudges. Man they hurt the soul and she really should get over it, but this lady had treated her worse than the scum on her fish pond for right around seven-teen years.
And God forbid Starr should date the woman's precious heir.
So Starr and David had met behind sand dunes and shimmied up the rose terrace to climb into his bedroom window during their teenage romance that had swelled and broken her heart in one tumultuous year.
"What do I want?" Alice Hamilton-Reis's voice rose and fell along with the rush of the waves along the shore. "I want your relatives to move their RVs out of my neighbor's view."
Her family? Here?
Prickles spread over her as she looked around and found that, yes, there were three RVs parked right on the grass between the Hamilton-Reis's historical plantation house and Starr's carriage house. The same RVs she'd ridden in before luck and an efficient social worker had intervened.
She shoved her hands through her snarled mess of hair, as if that might somehow restore order to her rapidly tangling world. No luck. In fact, the worst luck sauntered into view with broad shoulders and serious temptation.
David. Her attention skipped off those RVs pronto. He took the lengthy porch steps of his family's Southern antebellum mansion with the same confident strides he'd possessed even as a lanky teenager who'd sent her pulse skyrocketing. David made clothes look good, no question. He wore formal dark pants with loose hipped ease, a crisp white shirt contrasting against his jet-black hair and a tan that attested to time spent in the sun.
Her heart rate still doubled, but for another reason.Yes. Because of their history and how he'd so deeply bruised her tender feelings over ten years ago with his all-or-nothing ultimatums. He wanted her to give over her hard won control of her life, and heaven help her, he'd once truly tempted her. And when she'd seen him again a year ago, her willpower had been in the negative numbers. They'd landed in bed together in seconds flat. Then they'd found their clothes again, he'd stuck to his same, unflinch-ing party line--pick up and follow him around the world, leave behind the only home she'd ever known. His way.