Welcome to another instalment of Seduced Into The Greek's World!
How is your (long for the US) weekend shaping up? We had our Victoria Day last weekend and we've had July-like weather all week. Today was positively stifling! (Not that I'm complaining. I love the heat.)
In fact, my garden is bursting with flowers even though I've neglected it terribly the last two--yes, I'm ashamed to say it's been two years since I was really on top of it.
But wow to the size of that bee, right?
I think I like the heat because it forces me to slow down. I've been going flat out for weeks and so has my husband. Come summer, however, we suddenly find ourselves sitting on the deck with a drink and acting quite lazy. I'm looking forward to that--not that we're there quite yet. Right now, my only excuse to head to the deck will be to bring in the laundry.
Which is a delightfully glamorous segue into my #SampleSunday, so reminiscent of the extravagant life that Natalie leads as she temporarily works in Paris and has a white-hot affair with infamous playboy and billionaire hotelier, Demitri Makricosta.
Last week, I gave you the opening pages from Seduced Into The Greek's World, where Demitri first sees Natalie.
Today we'll get her take on him:
~ * ~
Natalie glanced up and felt the full impact of Demitri Makricosta, the youngest brother of the family that employed her. The one with the scandalously disreputable reputation. She’d seen him in person before, but always from a distance. Never like this, with his dark brown eyes pushing her back into her chair and then making a proprietary inspection of her buttons.
He was incredibly attractive. That fact was legendary across the hotel chain and impossible to ignore when he was barely ten feet away.
She tried comparing him to his older brother, Theo, who bore a resemblance but was more polished, kept a low profile, and remembered every name and number he came across.
But there was no minimizing this man. All she could think was how Demitri was known for the wicked streak that was evident in his winged eyebrows and distant smile. Also for the women he picked up effortlessly, not to mention his utter disregard for little things such as policies and procedures. Greek by birth but raised in America, he had a Mediterranean warmth to his skin tone under a shadow of stubble. He dressed like a citizen of the world in tailored pants and a suit vest buttoned over his shirt that accented his very fine shoulders and trim waist. He looked like the hottest of the 1920s gangsters.
Bad. He looked very, very bad. Full to the brim with sin.
She glanced up from taking him in and her gaze tangled with his. One of his superior brows went up in challenge of her checking him out. This was definitely a different kind of man from any she’d ever known. Sharp and far too knowing. How mortifying to be so obvious.
Decorum, Natalie. You’re a mom.
Swallowing her discomfiture, she glanced at Monsieur Renault as she rose. A blush stung her cheeks.
“I’ll go back to my office and you can call me when you’re done. It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Makricosta,” she said as she approached the door, expecting him to move aside and give her a dismissive nod.
“It’s you I want to talk to, Miss…?” He held out a hand.
Shock made her hesitate before she placed her hand in his and was jolted by the warm grip that enclosed hers. “Adams,” she provided in a jagged, baffled voice. “Me? Are you sure?” Who did he think she was?
“I’m sure. Show me to your office.” He released her and waved her into the hall.
Brushing past him and cooking in self-conscious warmth, she walked ahead of him down the narrow hall to her shared office. Her coworkers were away from their desks. That had been perfect at lunch when she’d connected with her daughter on one of her daily webcam calls. Zoey was having the time of her life with Grandma, not missing Natalie at all, which was a relief, but it still broke Natalie’s heart. She’d shed a couple of tears after she’d disconnected, missing her girl dreadfully, and thankful for the privacy to do so. Now, however, her office mates’ absence left an isolated mood in the small, musty-smelling room with its rain-blurred windows.
When he closed the door behind them, she felt like all the oxygen was pulled out. “I’m not sure—?”
“Leave my brother-in-law alone,” he said flatly.
“I— What?” The accusation was such a missile from the blue, she could only stare, insides flash-freezing. “Gideon? I mean, Mr. Vozaras?” she stammered.
“Gideon,” he confirmed, but there was an underlying stealth to the word. As though he thought she was overstepping by using the man’s name.
“What makes you think there’s something going on between us?” She was so shocked she couldn’t process how appalling the accusation was.
“I don’t think there is. I know him and I know my sister, but I saw you flirting with him in the lobby, asking for his email. Back off or I’ll have you fired.”
“He showed me a photo of his son! The email is about work.” Affront arrived, pushing into her face as a hot flush, straining her tone with the strident notes of the wrongly accused. “I don’t go after married men! That’s a disgusting thing to suggest. Especially when his wife was kind enough to give me this opportunity. That’s the only reason he spoke to me at all. She asked him to pass along a message about a report she wants me to write. I said I hoped their son had got over his cold, and he showed me a photo of the boy after he’d found his way into the refrigerator.”
The flicker of disdain that ticked in one of Demitri’s cheeks only infuriated her further, fueling her need to bring him down from his high horse.
“Who the hell are you to pass judgment anyway? Everything I’ve ever heard about your moral standards leaves me stunned and incredulous that you’d question mine.”
That got his attention. His death glare gave her pause, but she was too outraged to stop.
“Oh, was that out of line? You don’t think someone you only met seconds ago has the right to call you out? I thought rash personal comments were our special thing.”
Okay, that did go too far. A hot blush flooded upward while she clenched her mouth shut. And folded her arms. And set her chin as she screwed up her courage to ask through her teeth, “Are you going to fire me?”
“For?” he prompted with a pithy look.
“Exactly,” she shot out, unable to catch back the haughty response even though she was dying inside. She was so mad and embarrassed she couldn’t even look at him. She liked this job. Needed it. The whole point in coming away on this assignment was to better her position in the organization. More compensation and responsibility translated to more stability and security for Zoey.
Yet here she was risking everything. What had possessed her to go off like that? Guilt? Because she’d secretly coveted Adara’s doting husband who so obviously loved his wife and child and supported them both in every possible way? Of course any woman would secretly wish she had that, but Natalie wasn’t about to steal it to get it.
~ * ~
Natalie is a bit hot-blooded!
And she and Demitri are beginning to show up on the shelves. I was in Kelowna this week and signed a few copies at Chapters. Here I am hanging out with my fellow Canadian author, Jennifer Hayward.
Do you prefer digital? Here are the quick links:
Do you belong to my newsletter? You can read Dani's May Newsletter here where I dish about that upcoming duet I've been writing for Harlequin. My next newsletter will come out on June 6th. The easiest way to sign up is to enter my monthly contest here on my website.
I was about to brag that today is the first day in weeks when I won't get into my car, but I just remembered I have to drive my son to work! He'll be testing for his license in a few weeks and I'm having mixed feelings about that. It will be a relief for both of us, but it's one more step toward an empty nest. sniff
Have a terrific weekend!