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Mediterranean Men Bundle [Secure eReader]
eBook by Melanie Milburne & Diana Hamilton & Susan Stephens

eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Get three passionate, sexy books for one low price! Mediterranean Men includes the following titles: The Greek's Bridal Bargain by Melanie Milburne, The Italian's Price by Diana Hamilton, The Spanish Billionaire's Mistress by Susan Stephens. (See individual title listings for descriptions of each book.) Harlequin Presents: Seduction and Passion Guaranteed!

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Bundles
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2006


29 Reader Ratings:
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CHAPTER ONE

'PLEASE don't go in there, Bryony,' Glenys Mercer told her daughter tremulously. 'Your father has an important…er…visitor with him.'

Bryony's hand fell away from the doorknob of the main study as she turned to look at her mother, standing in the great hulking shadow of the grandfather clock that had kept time at the Mercer country estate for six generations.

'Who is it?' she asked.

Her mother's drawn features seemed to visibly age before Bryony's clear blue gaze.

'I'm not sure your father would like me to tell you.' Glenys Mercer twisted her thin hands together. 'You know how he is about those sorts of things.'

Bryony did know.

She moved closer to her mother, her light footsteps on the polished floorboards echoing throughout the huge foyer, reminding her yet again of the emptiness of the grand old house since her brother's death.

Ever since Austin had died almost ten years ago the house had seemed to grieve along with the rest of the family. Every window, room, corner and shadowed doorway held a memory of a young man's life cut short, even the creaking of the staircase every time she went up or down seemed to her to be crying out for the tread of his steps, not hers.

'What's going on, Mum?' she asked, her voice dropping to an undertone.

Glenys couldn't hold her daughter's questioning gaze and turned away to inspect the intricately carved woodwork on the banister.

'Mum?'

'Please, Bryony, don't make a fuss. My nerves will never stand it.'

Bryony suppressed a heartfelt sigh. Her mother's nerves were something else she knew all about.

There was a sound behind her and she turned to see her father come out of the study, his usually florid face pale.

'Bryony…I thought I heard you come in.' He wiped his receding hairline with a scrunched-up handkerchief, the action of his hand jerky and uncoordinated.

'Is something wrong?' She took a step towards him but came up short when a tall figure appeared in the study doorway just behind him.

Cold dread leaked into every cell of her body as she met the dark unreadable gaze of Kane Kaproulias, her dead brother's sworn enemy.

She opened and closed her mouth but couldn't locate her voice. Her fingertips went numb, her legs trembled and her heart hammered behind the wall of her chest as her eyes took in his forbidding presence.

He was much taller than she remembered, but then, she thought, ten years was a long time.

His brown-black eyes even seemed darker than they had been before, the straight brows above them giving his arresting features a touch of haughtiness.

Her eyes automatically dipped to his mouth as they had done every time since the day she'd put that jagged scar on his top lip.

It was still there…

'Hello, Bryony.'

His deep velvet voice shocked her out of her private reverie bringing her startled gaze up to meet his compelling one.

She cleared her throat and tested her voice, annoyed that it came out husky and tentative instead of clear and forthright. 'Hello…Kane.'

Owen Mercer stuffed his handkerchief into his pocket and faced his daughter. 'Kane has something he wishes to discuss with you. Your mother and I will be in the green sitting room if you should need us.'

Bryony frowned as her parents shuffled away down the great hall like insects trying to escape the final spurt of poison from someone holding a spray can above their heads. Her father's words seemed to contain some sort of veiled warning, as if he didn't trust the man standing silently just behind her not to do her some sort of injury while he had her all to himself.

She turned back to face Kane once more, her expression guarded, her tone clearly unwelcoming. 'What brings you to Mercyfields, Kane?'

Kane held the study door open and indicated with a slight movement of his dark head for her to go in before him.

His silence unsettled her but she was determined not to show how much. Schooling her features into cool impassivity, she stepped through, trying not to notice the musky spiciness of his aftershave or the expensive cut of his business suit as she made her way past his imposing frame.

The Mercyfields housekeeper's bastard son had certainly turned some sort of professional corner, she reflected. There was no trace of the gangling youth of her childhood now. He looked like a man well used to getting his own way, certainly not one who took orders from others.

She crossed what seemed an entire hectare of Persian carpet to take a seat on the wing chair near the window overlooking the lake. In an effort to maintain her composure she slung one long slim leg over the other and inspected the pointed toe of her shoe as she gave her ankle a twirl.

She knew he was watching her.

She could feel the pressure of his dark gaze on her body as if he had reached out and touched her. She was well used to male appraisals, but somehow whenever Kane Kaproulias looked at her she felt as if every layer of her clothing was slipping away from her, leaving her vulnerable and exposed to his all-encompassing dark eyes.

She sat back in the chair and regarded him with a cool impersonal stare.

He held her look without speaking. She knew it was some sort of test to see who would be the first to look away, but as much as she wanted to escape that brooding mysterious gaze she held on, not even allowing herself to blink.

His eyes went to her mouth and lingered there.

Copyright © 2005 by Melanie Milburne, Diana Hamilton and Susan Stephens.


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