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Bought for the Greek's Bed - UK, June 2007, USA July 2007
"Bought for the Greek's Bed" is a traditional Harlequin Presents/Mills&Boon Modern story of a marriage of convenience between an English girl and a darkly handsome Greek tycoon. Like all good MOCs theirs was made for very practical reasons, and was specifically designed to be a temporary measure. And, despite all outward appearances to the contrary, despite the new Mrs Theo Theakis being a scintillating society hostess, gowned in designer numbers and living in luxury, it most definitely, assumed heroine Vicky Peters, stopped at the bedroom door.
Except that Greek Tycoon Theo Theakis had quite different ideas....
Which is why, one bitter, acrimonious divorce down the line, Vicky is now reduced to doorstopping Theo in the palatial atrium of his London HQ to get back the dowry she was promised. She needs it badly - but Theo has absolutely no intention whatsoever of letting his ex-wife profit from their disastrous marriage.
If Vicky wants her money, there's only one way Theo's going to let her have it. By opening the bedroom door she insisted on keeping closed in Greece.....
Will Vicky yield to Theo what he insists on having? Will being his mistress bring her any more happiness than being his wife did?
Read an extract:
Vicky sat on one of the dark grey leather sofas that were arranged neatly around a smoked glass table in the vast reception area. She should go, she knew. It was pointless just continuing to sit here, with her stomach tying itself in knots and her feet slowly starting to ache in their unaccustomed high heeled shoes.
"But I want what I came for. I won't go back empty handed until I've done everything I can to get it.'
The words hissed in her mind.
Determination strengthened her expression. What she wanted was rightfully hers, and she'd been cheated of it.
Cheated of what she'd been promised, what she needed. Needed now with imperative urgency. And it was that thought only that was keeping her glued to her seat, waiting to be summoned. To be allowed to see him...
She had sat for almost two hours before she finally accepted that she would have to throw in the towel. It was useless,
quite useless. Just like everything else she'd tried. A face to face fconfrontation with her husband had been her last resort. Her eyes flashed darkly. Not surprisingly, considering that Theo Theakis was the last person on earth she ever wanted to see again.
Which was why, as she picked up her handbag and prepared to stand, bitter with defeat, her stomach suddenly plummeted right down to her heels. RIght here in front of her appeared a bevy of suited figures, exiting one of the lifts, and sweeping forwards across the makble floors to the revolving doors of the Theakis Corp London HQ.
It was him.
Her eyes went to him immediately, drawn by that malign awareness that had been like a doom over her ever since that first fateful encounter with him. Half a head taller than the other suits around him, he strode forward, his pace faster than theirs, more impatient, as they hurriedto keep up.
Vicky felt herself go cold.
"Oh, God, don't do this to me - don't, please!"
Because she could feel it again, feel that tremor in her veins that Theo Theakis could always set
running in her whenever she looked at him. It was as if she was mesmerised...
She'd forgotten his impact, his raw, physical force. It wasn't just his height, or the breadth of his shoulders, and the leanness of his hips. It wasn't the fact that he looked like a billion dollars in a charcoal, handmade suit, with his dark sable hair immaculately styled, or that his face seemed as if it was planed from a fine-grained stone that revealed every perfectly honed contour. It was more than that - it was his eyes, his dark, fathomless eyes that could look at her with such coldness, with such savage fury ... and with another expression that she would not, would not let herself remember.
And that was when he saw her.
She could see it happening, see the precise moment when he registered her presence. See the initial flash of disblief, followed by blinding fury.
And then it was gone - just gone.
As she was gone from his vision. He had simply blanked her out as if she did not exist. As if she had not been sitting there for two hours, waiting for him to descend to ground level, where the mortals dwelt in their lowly places, far far from the exclusively rich powerful people that made up his world.
He was walking past her, still surrounded by his entourage. Any moment now he would be out of the sheer glass doors. He would be out of the building. Gone from her totally. Still ignoring her totally.
She surged to her feet towards him. Her self-control was at breaking point. She could feel it snapping like a dry twig...
"Speak to me, you bastard! Damn well speak to me!"
Copyright Julia James, 2007
"Bought for the Greek's Bed". Available from www.eHarlequin.com or www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk
Royally Bedded, Regally Bedded (March 2007) is my first Royal Romance, but I hope it won't be my last!
Like all Royal Romances it takes the wonderful fantasy of a glamorous hero who is not only sexy as hell, but a prince to boot! What heroine could ask for more? Except that my heroine, Lizzy, actually wants a lot, lot less. What she wants is to be left in peace and quiet in her cottage in Cornwall, to bring up her beloved nephew, Ben - the son of her dead sister, so tragically killed in a car accident five years ago. For Lizzy - utterly lacking the blonde beauty of her model sister - Ben is her whole world, all she has left. But to Prince Enrico Ceraldi, the Playboy Prince of the glamourous Mediterranean principality of San Lucenzo, Ben is a new-found miracle - the unknown son of his dead younger brother. No wonder he is desperate for Ben to come to San Lucenzo to take his rightful place in the royal family. But what on earth would the Playboy Prince, who can take his pick from the world's most beautiful women, want with his nephew's frumpy, unattractive aunt? Except that where Ben goes, Lizzy goes too....
Read an extract:
For Lizzy, what had begun as an ordinary day by the beach turned into a nightmare. On her return to the cottage a swish car had been waiting by her front door, and out of it stepped a complete stranger - Italian, and the most handsome man she had ever seen. He was about to turn her world upside down.......
"I am Ben's uncle." The words were flat, irrefutable. "My brother Paolo was Ben's father and - as you must know - like your sister he is dead."
"I've ...I've never known who Ben's father was. My sister never regained consciousness. Did ...did you know about Ben?"
The man's dark brows snapped together. "Of course not. His existence was entirely unknown. However, thanks to a muck-raking journalist, his existence is unknown no longer. Which is why," his voice sharpened imperiously, "he must immediately be removed from here. Before the press arrive." His mouth pressed tightly a moment.
"What journalist? What do you mean, the press?"
A frown darkened his brow. "Do not be obtuse. The moment the boy's location is discovered the press will arrive like a pack of jackals. We must leave immediately."
Lizzy stared. This was insane. What was going on? "I don't understand - why would the press come here?'"
"To find my nephew. What do you imagine?" Impatience and exasperation were snapping through him.
"But why?" Lizzy persisted uncomprehendingly. "What possible interest can the press have in Ben?"
He was staring at her - staring at her as if she were completely insane. Lizzy started to feel cold seep through her.
Her voice was thin. "Why would any journalist be interested in Ben? He's a four year old child."
That look was still in his eye. He stood, quite motionless.
"He was born. That is quite enough. His parentage ensures that." Exasperated anger bit through his voice. "Surely to God you have intelligence enough to understand that?"
Slowly, Lizzy took another careful step backwards. She did not like being so physically close to this man. It was overpowering. Disturbing. Her heart was hammering in her chest.
"My sister was not a supermodel. No journalist would be interested in her. But your brother - the man she...had a child by. Was he, I don't know, someone well known in Italy? A film star, on television? Or a footballer, or a racing driver? Some kind of cele
brity. Is that what you mean by Ben's parentage?"
He was looking at her as if she were an alien. Fear stabbed her again. "What ...what is it?"
His eyes were boring into her face. "This cannot be," he said flatly. "It is not possible that you have just said what you have said. My brother," he spoke, each word falling as heavy as lead into the space between them "- was Paolo Ceraldi."
Nothing changed in Lizzy's expression. "I'm sorry...the name does not mean anything to me. Perhaps in Italy it might but..."
A muscle worked in his cheek. His eyes were like black holes.
"Do not play games with me. That name is not unknown to you - it cannot be! Nor can the name of San Lucenzo."
Her face frowned slightly. "That's that pocket kingdom next to Italy - on the Riviera. But..I'm sorry, the name Paolo Ceraldi still doesn't mean anything to me, so if he was famous there, I'm afraid I just don't - "
The flash in his eyes had come again. With cold, chilling courtesy he spoke, but it was not civil.
"The House of Ceraldi has ruled San Lucenzo for eight hundred years," he said sibilantly.
There was silence, complete silence. Some incredibly complicated equation was trying to work itself out in her brain, but she couldn't do it.
Then the deep, chilling voice came again. "Paolo's father is the Ruling Prince." He paused, brief and deadly, while his eyes speared hers. "He is your nephew's grandfather."
Shock splintered Lizzy's gaze.
FInding out who Ben's father was is only the beginning of the shocks and traumas waiting for Lizzy as his powerful paternal family stake their claim to him. As for Prince Rico - will he prove the hero or the villain in the ordeal ahead of her? She has no beauty or charms to beguile him, so what possible reason could he have for helping her?
Copyright, Julia James 2007.
Available from www.eHarlequin.com or www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk
Purchased for Revenge
Romances are written to be fun, enjoyable and to reaffirm the most important truth of life - that love is what makes life worthwhile, that makes us human, and humane. The greatest gift of all.
But sometimes the path to love has to travel by dark and disturbing places - places where the gift of sex has been corrupted by the twin evils of pornography and prostitution, and it is along this difficult path that my hero and heroine of Purchased for Revenge have to travel. Their challenge is to overcome the darkness around them, and find the light of love to guide their way beyond the evil that has tainted their lives.
Purchased for Revenge was a very difficult book for me to write, because of the darkness of the path that my hero and heroine have to follow. This dark path is, tragically, and shamefully, one that many, many women in this world are forced to travel, and so this book is dedicated to all who suffer at the hands of those who sexually exploit them by pornography and prostitution.
Purchased for Revenge
Alexei Constantin has spent his life making the money he needs to destroy the sexually corrupt and callous businessman, Giles Hawkwood. Yet when Alexei sees Hawkwood's beautiful daughter Eve, he realises that this is the one woman with whom he could fall in love. But is Eve tainted by the same corruption as her father? To find out, Alexei subjects her to an test that Eve finds almost impossible to bear .... yet bear it she must, for terrible reasons of her own....
She was lying in bed, her hair loose at last, a pale, moonlit swathe across the pillow. The sheet hardly covered her long, delicate limbs, slanting half exposed. She was wearing some kind of negligee, Alexei could see, but it was nothing more than a swathe of silk, one strap loosened from her shoulder. She was asleep.
Or,at least, pretending to be alseep.
He stood for a while, looking down at her in the low lit, luxuriously appointed cabin, to which Giles Hawkwood had directed him to find his daughter. Dimly, Alexei made out the rise and fall of her breasts as she lay, long eyelashes shuttering her grey eyes.
She looked so innocent - so pure.
For a moment something shafted deep inside him. Surely, surely no woman could look so beautiful, so innocent, and yet not be so?
But Eve Hawkwood was no innocent - her corrupt father had just offered her to him, the man about to buy his company, in a last attempt to stave off the takeover. The veil of his daughter's beauty was just that, a deception, a lie. The truth was very, very different. Eve Hawkwood was a woman prepared to be sexually available to a man her father wanted to appease. The corruption that rotted the man who had fathered her had rotted her as well.
Alexei felt something crawl over his skin.
He had wanted the truth about Eve Hawkwood, and now he had it.
Cold drenched through him.
But has Alexei made the right judgement of Eve? And what will happen to them both if he has?
Copyright Julia James, 2006. Purchased for Revenge is to be published by Harlequin Mills and Boon in October 2006, as Mills and Boon Modern in the UK (ISBN 0263 19230 X) and as Harlequin Presents in the USA (ISBN 0373 12573 9).
Two much sunnier, recent novels are Shackled by Diamonds and For Pleasure...or Marriage? They are my first linked books, and tell the stories of two of four fantastically beautiful models, all hired for a spectacular jewellry photo shoot at an Austrian schloss in the Alps.
Anna, the feisty, black-haired model, catches the eye of the schloss's mega-rich owner, Leo Makarios - even though she has no intention of being nothing more than his passing fancy for the night. But Leo is not a man to scorn lightly - especially when he thinks Anna has helped herself to some of his priceless jewellry. If she wants to stay out of jail she is going to have to start being very, very nice to Leo .... something that Anna is stubbornly reluctant to do, even though Leo is the most magnetically attractive man she's ever had the misfortune to fall foul of.....
By contrast, the flame-haired, Pre-Raphaelite beauty, Vanessa, is already desperately in love with Leo's equally handsome cousin, Markos Makarios. But does Markos think of her as nothing more than the best mistress he's ever had? After all, he's a man who's totally allergic to marriage. So how will he react when Vanessa walks out on him - and what will he do when he finds out why?
The two other models in the quartet - chestnut-haired beauty Kate, more musician than model, and the ice-pale Jenny, on the run from a ruthless Sheikh - each have their own stories. One day I hope to tell theirs too.
If you'd like to read extracts from earlier novels, check out my Excerpt page. And if you'd like to drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org
With best wishes, Julia James