Billionaire Nikos Kristallis is shocked to discover his orphaned nephew is being raised by personal trainer Carrie Thomas. When Carrie refuses to give him the baby Nik whisks her away to Corfu, where he'll seduce her and then claim her as his bride!
Carrie isn't prepared for the intense feelings Nik arouses in her, and the gorgeous Greek is only interested in a marriage of convenience. Then Carrie discovers something that could change everything....
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May 31, 2007
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Excerpt from The Kristallis Baby by Natalie Rivers
Six months later
"PLEASE, Carrie, you've got to do this for me," Lulu begged, streams of mascara-stained tears running down her crumpled face. 'If Darren listens to that message he'll throw me out!"
"I want to help. You know that," Carrie said, looking at her weeping friend with concern. 'But wouldn't it be better if you did it? After all, no one's going to think twice if you walk into your husband's study and take his phone."
"I told you--everyone heard us arguing. Anyway, I can't go down there like this," Lulu wailed, indicating her ruined make-up with a theatrical gesture. 'But if I don't delete that message I'm going to be in such big trouble."
"Well, I'm hardly going to blend in with the party." Carrie glanced down at the sports gear she was wearing. She was Lulu's personal trainer, not one of her footballer husband's fancy party set. 'And you know I've got to leave soon or I'll be late picking up Danny."
"It won't take long." Lulu suddenly lunged towards her and pulled at her T-shirt. 'Quick--get these things off. You can wear one of my dresses."
Five minutes later Carrie emerged from Lulu's bedroom, dressed for her mission and feeling decidedly self-conscious. After the past six months of caring for Danny and coming to terms with her grief, it was an unsettling experience to dress up for a glitzy celebrity party. Even before her life had changed so dramatically she wouldn't have felt at ease in such dangerously high stiletto heels and a dress so tight she could hardly breathe. But there simply hadn't been time to sift through Lulu's wardrobe to find something she'd feel better wearing.
She left her backpack, which was stuffed rather haphazardly with her training gear, by the front door, and started moving through the house towards Darren's study. Lulu just needed his phone long enough to delete the voicemail she had left in a fit of jealousy. Then Carrie's task would be over.
She took a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and knocked back a recklessly large swallow of the sparkling liquid. An explosion of bubbles fizzed against the roof of her mouth, making her throat tighten uncomfortably and her eyes start to water. She coughed quietly, and blinked to clear her vision as she glanced quickly round the room.
Despite the early hour, the party was already in full swing. A photographer was making the rounds, finding no shortage of guests willing to pose for him--no doubt hoping to find their photos inside the glossy pages of well-known celebrity lifestyle magazines.
She smoothed the sparkly red dress over her hips in an ineffectual effort to cover a decent amount of thigh. Lulu wasn't known for choosing her wardrobe with modesty in mind, and that coupled with Carrie's considerable extra height meant that she was left with an alarming amount of leg on show. Even more disconcerting was the lack of decent coverage provided by the plunging neckline.
Feeling very self-conscious, she dropped her gaze and moved across the room. A curtain of sleek black hair fell across her eyes, but she didn't flick it back. She felt better with her face hidden--although no one was actually looking at her face, she thought with a shudder.
At last she slipped quietly into the study and closed the door behind her. She ignored the nerves that fluttered in her stomach and crossed to the desk. Putting her champagne glass down, she picked up Darren's jacket from the back of his chair and reached her hand into the pocket.
"Do you make a habit of that?"
Carrie gasped and spun round to see who had spoken, clutching the jacket tightly to her chest.
A stranger stood just inside the study. Tall and imposing, with an unmistakable air of power about him, he was standing perfectly still, calmly watching her every move.
Her eyes flew to his face, and as their gazes met she sucked in a startled breath. He was utterly gorgeous.