She's cool, controlled...and ready to be claimed! Supermodel Anneliese Christiansen seems to have it all--but Anna is an innocent, and has reasons for resisting Damon Kouvaris's ruthless seduction....He's Mediterranean, made of money... and irresistibly marriageable! Anna proves to be a challenge but Damon always gets what he wants...and if the prize is good enough he'll pay the price!Will the Greek tycoon claim this virgin to be his bride...?
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May 12, 2008
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Excerpt from The Greek Tycoon's Virgin Mistress by Chantelle Shaw
The dying rays of the sun glanced across the sandstone walls of Otterbourne House so that it appeared to glow like burnished gold. As Anna scrunched across the gravel drive she reached into her handbag for her compact, flipped open the lid and scrutinised her appearance in the mirror. Her career as a model and the 'face' of an international cosmetics company necessitated spending hours being made up, but in private she usually opted for a more natural look.
Tonight she'd gone for the full works. Her reflection revealed an exquisite mask of porcelain skin stretched taut over sharp cheekbones, the deep blue of her eyes emphasised by the careful application of a taupe-coloured shadow and her lips coated in chic, scarlet gloss.
On any other occasion, dinner with her closest friend Kezia Niarchou and her husband Nik at their home in the Hertfordshire countryside would have called for casual attire suitable for crawling around on the floor with her little godson Theo. But tonight was different and she looked the epitome of glamour in her black designer cocktail dress.
Goodbye, Anna--hello, Anneliese Christiansen, sophisticated supermodel, she thought derisively as she snapped the compact shut and took a deep breath. Ever since Kezia had dropped the bombshell that Nik's cousin Damon would be present at the dinner party, Anna's nerves had been on edge. Damon Kouvaris was something else and right now she wished he were somewhere else, preferably on the other side of the world.
'Fashionably late is one thing, but you're pushing it,' Kezia greeted good-naturedly when she opened the door and ushered Anna inside. 'Luckily it's a cold first course, but I've been detecting rumblings from the kitchen that Mrs Jessop's fretting about her boeuf en cro?te.'
'I'm sorry, didn't you get my text? I had a flat tyre,'Anna murmured apologetically. 'Fortunately that young guy from the ground-floor flat fitted the spare for me.'
'I should hope so; you could hardly have jacked up the car in that dress. You look gorgeous but I'm curious to know who you're hoping to impress,' Kezia murmured softly, her eyes widening when Anna blushed. 'It couldn't be Damon by any chance, could it?'
'No, it could not,'Anna drawled, managing to affect just the right amount of lazy amusement in her voice. They had been as close as sisters since their first day at boarding-school and their friendship had weathered her parents'bitter divorce and Kezia's battle with leukaemia. The bond between them was unbreakable but some things were too personal to share, certainly her inexplicable fascination with Damon Kouvaris.
Nik's cousin's reputation as a ruthless businessman was almost as legendary as the rumours of his prowess in the bedroom. He was said to be a dynamic lover with an insatiable interest in sophisticated blondes and Anna had no intention of joining his list of conquests. Yet, to her extreme irritation, she had been unable to forget him these past two months.
The guests were assembled in the drawing room. She followed Kezia through the doorway and smiled warmly at the group of her most trusted friends.
'Anna, what can I get you to drink?' Nikos Niarchou strode across the room to greet her. Tall, dark and impossibly handsome, Nik had exchanged roles from jet-setting playboy to devoted husband and father without a backward glance. He dropped a light kiss on Anna's cheek but his gaze returned immediately to Kezia.
This was how marriage should be, Anna acknowledged hollowly, noting how Nik's dark eyes glowed with love for his wife. No man had ever looked at her with such tender adoration and she was aware of a faint pang of envy that she quickly suppressed. Kezia, more than anyone, deserved to be happy and Anna was genuinely delighted for her. It wasn't as if she had any great desire to sample the joys of matrimony anyway, she reminded herself. Her parents were both on their third attempts and she had no intention of following their rocky path down the aisle of nuptial bliss.
'I hear you had trouble with your car. You should have let us know earlier--I would have sent my driver to collect you,' Nik admonished lightly. 'You're almost as stubborn as my wife,' he added with a grin. 'Come and say hello to the others.'
There was no sign of Nik's cousin but Anna felt as tense as an overstrung bow when she greeted the other couples. It was instantly apparent that she was the only person present who did not have a partner. It wasn't an unusual occur-rence--she had no one special in her life and at social engagements she usually relied on a select group of male models and actor friends to play the role of her escort.