Scandals, lies and vengeance. How dare the woman he'd thrown out of his bed show her face to him again? Her memory gone, Gemma Allen was seeking answers to her past. And so Greek tycoon Angelo Apollonides delighted in reminding his former mistress of their love affair's every moment.
But in his quest to avenge Gemma's betrayal, Angelo uncovered more than just a startling new passion. The woman in his arms wasn't his former mistress. She was her revenge-seeking twin!
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October 09, 2007
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Excerpt from The Apollonides Mistress Scandal by Tessa Radley
Gemma Allen was back.
Forcing himself to snap out of the shock that held him rigid, Angelo Apollonides strode across the pale sand towards the woman who had betrayed him.
His staff had not lied. The nasty truth was that his beautiful former mistress stood on his beach, on his island admiring one of his sleek, double-hulled catamarans. And Angelo intended to find out precisely why she had chosen to return.
"What are you doing here?" Angelo fought to keep his voice even, to keep the string of ugly curses from escaping. "I never expected to see you again. Particularly not here on Strathmos."
She turned, her tawny eyes wide and startled. The first week of November had passed, the evenings on Strathmos had begun to cool. The sea wind caught at Gemma's dark red hair, whipping it across her face, hiding her expression for a beat of time. When she brushed it back, she'd recovered her equilibrium and her eyes were wary.
"Angelo." Gemma's voice was cool, composed. A world away from the alarm that had flickered in her eyes only seconds before. "How are you?"
"Forget the pleasantries. You have nerve showing up at the Palace of Poseidon." Angelo pressed his mouth into a tight, forbidding line. "I couldn't believe it when I was told you are performing in the Electra Theatre."
She shrugged. "It's a free world. I can work where I want."
"Anywhere except on Strathmos. This is my world, run by my rules." The island was more than his world; it was his home. The resort had been created from his dreams. Today he'd returned after a hectic month away to find that Gemma had already been working here for over a week.
"Do you really want to be faced with an unfair-dismissal action?" Her wariness had been replaced with attitude.
Angelo froze. He was known to be a fair employer, hard but just. He didn't need the headache of an industrial action--and there was a good chance she'd succeed. Frustrated, he stared at the face that had grown more beautiful in the years since they'd been apart. Her hair was longer...wilder, her eyes glowed brighter and as for her mouth...that lush red mouth taunted him with fighting words. He jerked his attention away from her provocative mouth and gave her slender body an insultingly slow once-over. "Singer is certainly a step up from exotic dancer."
"It's been three years. Things change," she pointed out.
"I haven't changed." He widened his stance and put his hands on his hips.
"No, you haven't changed one little bit," she agreed. He assessed her through slitted eyes, not liking the bite in her tone. "So what do you want, Gemma? A second chance?"
An emotion he couldn't decipher flitted across her stunning features. Gemma gave a brittle laugh. "A second chance? With you? You must be mad!"
He frowned, not liking the fact that he couldn't read her any longer. "Why are you here?"
"I'm here to work...it's a free world." With a sweeping hand she gestured to the blue stretch of the Aegean Sea beyond the beach where the catamarans rested.
"You--or rather your minions--gave me the job. The money was too good to pass up."
"Don't scorn the lack of it so easily." Her eyes were flashing now. "Just because you inherited an empire of resorts that stretch across the Greek isles before you turned twenty-one doesn't give you the right to look down your nose at me. I need the money."
Angelo felt himself bristle. Her tongue had developed a razor-sharp edge since their last unforgettable encounter. "I worked damn hard to build a chain of family hotels into world-class resorts. And you never objected to the funds it gave you access to in the past."
He felt her withdraw, even before her eyes went blank. Then she murmured, "If the recent tabloids are to be believed, you're so far removed from us ordinary working mortals, you might as well inhabit Mount Olympus."
"You should know better than to believe everything you read in the newspapers," he snapped, shuddering at the memory of the latest batch of headlines about his breakup with Melina.
"Really?" She raised an eyebrow. "You're not the playboy they portray you to be? You don't wear a different rising starlet or supermodel on your arm every month?"
He glared at her, his frustration increasing to a rising inferno, fanned by her sharp words. "The media exposure is advantageous to both the women and myself."
"So it's all about glamour? About creating an illusion about the rich and famous, then? Nothing more?"
His brows jerked together. "Why are you so interested--unless you do want a chance to get back into my bed?"
She snorted. "I don't want you back."
His mouth slanted. "Didn't anyone tell you that you should be nice to the boss? Three years ago you would've never dared speak to me as you just did."