The Greek tycoonKyros Pavlidis is a multibillionaire, used to buying whatever he wants. An overwhelming attractionKyros sweeps Alice off her feet but he has an ulterior motive--marriageThe marriage mergerOnce Alice is wearing Kyros's ring, she discovers he wants a wife for necessity and not love....
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June 30, 2008
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Excerpt from The Greek Tycoon's Convenient Wife by Sharon Kendrick
She heard a car door slam, the crunch of gravel on the drive, and Alice tensed as the doorbell rang, sounding unnaturally loud as it echoed through the large house.
He was here.
Drawing a deep breath, she applied one final brushstroke of Racy Red lipstick and then stepped back to survey her handiwork as a very different Alice stared back at her from the mirror.
Had fate stepped in to provide her with the kind of armour she suspected she might need to cope with seeing Kyros again? Normally, she would never have been wearing black satin--a dress so exquisitely fitted that it looked as if she had been poured into it. Nor silk stockings and a pair of killer heels, with their distinctive scarlet soles. The waterfall of glittering stones which dangled from her ears and lay clustered at her throat were not real, but at least they served a purpose--for surely their dazzle would distract her ex-lover from looking too closely into her eyes and seeing her troubled thoughts.
She wanted him to look at her and think: Alice looks wonderful, and she wanted him to look at her and think: What a fool I was to let her go. Wasn't that what every woman would want in the same situation? That a man who had walked away from their love affair so carelessly because she wasn't Greek should feel a pang of regret?
The doorbell rang again.
'I've only just got out of the bath!' yelled Kirsty from along the corridor, and Alice drew another breath. Please give me strength, she prayed as she went to answer it.
'All right!' she called. 'I'm coming!'
Her progress downstairs in the too-high heels was slow but her heart was beating like a piston as she pulled open the front door and dazzling summer light flooded in to create an unmistakable silhouette of the man who was standing there. Alice's mouth dried. Her thoughts had been spinning round and round ever since his phone call. She had tried to imagine what he might look like now--but nothing could have prepared her for the heart-stopping reality of seeing Kyros Pavlidis for the first time in ten years.
He stood in the doorway, almost filling it with his powerful frame. Black jeans and a black T-shirt moulded his hard body--the lean torso and the long, muscular legs.
Against the light she couldn't see his expression--not at first--only the glitter in his jet-dark eyes. But as she became accustomed to the brightness every feature was revealed to her. The high slash of cheekbones, the aquiline nose--and the slightly forbidding mouth which so rarely softened. His face was as hard and as formidable as she remembered--but he was still devastatingly handsome.
She gripped the heavy oak of the door, afraid that she might crumple. Or show him that she still thought he was the most amazing man she had ever set eyes on. But hot on the heels of confusion came pride. Because this was the man who had hurt her. She had gone to him an innocent and been left a cynic who'd stopped believing in love. So remember that.
'Hello, Kyros,' she said calmly.
For a moment Kyros did not respond as fury, disbelief and pure sexual hunger flooded through his veins in quick succession. His assessment of her had been rapid. No wedding ring. No man hovering curiously in the background, monitoring the mystery caller. And the clothes of a whore!
His lips curved in a mixture of distaste and appreciation as he ran his eyes over a black satin dress that showed far too much of those long legs which used to wrap themselves so spectacularly around his neck. It clung to the swell of her breasts and shimmered down over that perfect derriere. How could she contemplate going out wearing something which would make every man with a pulse think what he was thinking right now? How much he wanted her.
'Kalespera, Alice,' he said softly as desire began to coil itself deep within him. 'Did you forget to put your dress on--or are you simply moonlighting as a hooker?'
Despite the outrageous remark, it was the voice that was almost her undoing. She had heard it on the phone, but being coupled with the sight of him in the powerful and glowing flesh simply magnified its impact and Alice only just stopped her knees from buckling. That accent, she thought weakly. That sexy, incomparable Greek accent that took her straight back to a time which was strictly off limits.
'I told you I was going to a party,' she said, realising that already he was making her defend her behaviour!
'In a pair of shoes that should never be worn outside the bedroom,' he observed, his gaze flicking over the high, patent heels.
Alice gripped the door even tighter. 'Listen, Kyros--trading insults with someone you haven't seen for ten years isn't really the traditional method of greeting in England--or had you forgotten such basic things as manners?'
But Kyros barely heard her--he just continued staring at her intently, as if his vision would suddenly clear and the woman he had been expecting would reappear.