He's determined to have her...Greek millionaire Theo Toyas is suspicious of the beautiful but beguiling Abby Clinton. He's convinced that her air of vulnerability conceals a devious woman intent on snatching the Toyas fortune. And he's going to seduce her into telling the truth....She's determined not to be taken...Abby is consumed by her attraction to this arrogant Greek. But she must keep her secret...and she must not fall in love with Theo. In fact, she must stay forbidden to him at all costs! Too late, because Theo's intent on having her as his wife....
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May 12, 2008
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Excerpt from The Greek's Forbidden Bride by Cathy Williams
From the sprawling veranda outside his bedroom Theo Toyas had a clear and unimpeded view of the drive leading up to his grandfather's fabulous villa. It was six-thirty in the afternoon, and the ferocious heat of the day was beginning to give way to something a little more acceptable. Even so, it was still too hot for anything other than a pair of light chinos and a short-sleeved shirt.
In one hand he nursed a whisky on the rocks, which he had been periodically sipping for the past half-hour, content to just sit back on the cushioned wicker lounging chair and watch the scenery. And the scenery was indeed magnificent. To the right, just a short walk from his bedroom, was a stunning infinity pool overlooking Santorini's famous flooded volcano. Meticulously manicured gardens swept around the pool and curved towards the drive, which had been impressively designed to give the illusion of dropping off the side of the caldera.
He had forgotten how tranquil and soporific the place was, but then again he rarely visited the villa. In fact, appreciating scenery was something Theo didn't do much of. He simply didn't have the time. He lived his life between London, Athens and New York, controlling the vast shipping empire which his great-grandfather had founded and which was now his legacy. Taking time out was almost unthinkable.
But then an eightieth birthday was not something that came around often and his grandfather's eightieth, to be celebrated in the villa on the very island where he had met his wife, was the equivalent of a royal summons. Most of the family members who lived on mainland Greece would be there for just the party, flying in on private planes which had been chartered for the purpose. Others, from as far afield as Canada, would be staying for the full week at the villa, or else hiving off to stay with other family members in other parts of Greece, some of whom they had not seen for a very long time.
Theo planned to stay for three days only, long enough to pay his respects and toast his grandfather's health before resuming his ferociously work fuelled life in London.
A taxi had stopped on the drive and he watched through narrowed eyes as first Michael, his brother, emerged from the car and then his companion.
So this was it. He was finally going to see this mysterious woman who had suddenly appeared on the scene. It had come as a source of relief to everyone, not least his mother and his grandfather. Theo might be single, yes, but he ostensibly enjoyed the company of women. He was also a pragmatist and fully comprehended the advantages of marrying the right girl with the right connections. He would, he had once dryly told them both, be married by forty. In the meantime, they were not to interfere with his private life.
Michael had always been another kettle of fish. Five years younger, he had always been a fragile child, prone to bouts of ill health. Whereas Theo had been sent to boarding school in England from the age of thirteen, something that had gone some way to giving him the hard-edged independence that had become the cornerstone of his formidable personality, Michael had been kept at home. Lina Toyas had not been able to face sending her delicate, sensitive son away from her. She had always worried about him and she still did. The fact that he had never brought home any nice girls to meet her had been just one more thing to worry about. He was shy, she knew, and shy men could often become lonely bachelors and that, for her, would have been a fate worse than death.
The sudden appearance of a girlfriend had brought tears of joy to Lina's eyes.
Theo, in receipt of this emotional telephone call, had been less thrilled.
Things didn't add up and he knew, as a shrewd businessman, that if something didn't add up then it was most probably wrong.
How was it that the name Abigail Clinton had never once crossed his brother's lips? Surely if they had been an item he would have mentioned her somewhere along the line, in one of the many calls he made to his mother in Greece from his home in Brighton? In fact, the girl's name had only been uttered a fortnight ago, when he had amazingly announced that he was engaged to an English girl and would be bringing her to his grandfather's birthday celebrations in Santorini.