Gina Hudson is in Athens to settle an old score, not fall into bed with her enemy's right-hand man. But she's underestimated the power of Mikos Christopoulos.
No-strings sex is what Mikos expects. But soon his mission becomes more, and he whisks Gina away to his island retreat. He thinks she is a perfect part-time mistress--until he starts to want this woman for the rest of his life....
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July 01, 2007
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Excerpt from The Greek Millionaire's Mistress by Catherine Spencer
FROM his position at one side of the orchestra rostrum, Mikos swung his gaze over the crowded ballroom and brought it to rest on the woman edging closer to the table where Angelo held court. Who was she?And how come he hadn't spotted her before? The party had been in full swing for almost three hours, yet only now, with midnight approaching, had she come to his attention.
She seemed to be alone and, like him, giving the impression she preferred to remain an observer, rather than a participant, of the festivities. The difference was, he was very good at what he did, and only a handful of those present knew that he was more than just Angelo's executive vice president and most favored confidant.
She, on the other hand, was trying too hard to be inconspicuous. If you wanted to disappear into the background, koritsi mou, he thought, taking in the daring cut of a dress the same shade of misty mauve as the Aegean at dawn, you should have worn something less eye-catching.
Surveying the room one last time, he exchanged a nod with the security guards posted at the doors, then stepped down from the dais and casually made his way to where she stood half-concealed by the ornate drapery in a window alcove. Dark haired and dark eyed, she could have passed for Greek, but he'd been around the international social set long enough to recognize a European when he saw one, and this woman didn't fit the mold. American, he decided, and addressed her mostly in English. "Kalispera. I don't believe we've met."
If she was startled at being accosted by a stranger, she didn't let it show. "I believe you're right," she said, her gaze locking fearlessly with his. "But then, I've met very few people here tonight."
He couldn't quite place her accent, and knew for a fact that he'd never seen her before. Hers was not a face a man would soon forget. "Then allow me to remedy the situation. I'm Mikolas Christopoulos." And it's my job to find out everything there is to know about you.
"Very nice to meet you, Mr. Christopoulos," she said composedly. "I'm Gina Hudson."
"And you're not American."
"No," she replied, with a laugh more melodic than anything the orchestra could hope to produce. "I'm Canadian. Is that okay with you?"
He ran a mental check of the guest list, pretty sure no Canadians were on it. "Of course it's okay. Who did you come with?"
"No one. I'm alone, and here on assignment."
A working woman? Possibly. But one thing he knew for certain: she was not on the Tyros payroll. Apart from anything else, Angelo didn't believe in hiring women, except as domestics, although he was happy enough, even at eighty, to occupy them in other ways. If this one happened to take his fancy...
Mikos shuddered inwardly at the thought. "To do what?" he inquired, steering her out of Angelo's line of vision.
"Write an article for a magazine published in Vancouver which, in case you're not aware, lies on the West Coast of--"
"I'm familiar with Vancouver," he said, stopping her dead in her attempt to sidetrack him. "I work for Hesperus International which, as I'm sure you know, is owned by the man being honored here tonight. Two of our cruise ships sail to Alaska from Vancouver during the summer season. It's a beautiful city."
"Yes." She smiled. "Spectacular, in fact."
As are you, he thought. If she'd appeared lovely from a distance, up close she was exquisite. A stunningly beautiful brunette with an hourglass figure, and skin the color of honey. And that smile!
He couldn't remember the last time a woman's smile had hit him with such a shock of sexual awareness. Or if he'd ever felt such a compelling urge to run his hand over her skin to discover if its texture matched the satin silk of her dress. Forcing his attention back where it belonged, he remarked, "I'm surprised the residents of Vancouver even know of this event, let alone care about it. How did it come to your notice?"
"We might strike you as people living at the back end of beyond, Mr. Christopoulos," she said evenly, "but we're actually quite in touch with the rest of the planet. Angelo Tyros is a world-wide celebrity, and his birthday party has aroused quite a bit of international attention. Considering Vancouver's large Greek community, plus the fact, as you already pointed out, that his cruise ships sail out of our harbor, it shouldn't surprise you that we find him newsworthy."
A beaded bag, dangling from her shoulder by a long silver chain and just large enough to hold a notepad or mini tape recorder, lent some credence to her story. "Well, it's true that he can make headlines just by blinking," Mikos allowed. "But for you to travel so far, for so little..."