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The Antonakos Marriage [Secure eReader]
eBook by Kate Walker

eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Skye Marston is being blackmailed into marriage. But she'll have one night of passion first, with a man she'll never meet again.... Theo Antonakos isn't used to rejection. His passionate partner has slipped away without a word. When he arrives on his father's private Greek island to meet his stepmother-to-be--he discovers they already know each other, in the most intimate way. Theo wants Skye back in his bed ... as his wife!

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2006


25 Reader Ratings:
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CHAPTER ONE

THEO ANTONAKOS was not in the least impressed to learn that he was about to get a new stepmother.

He had never come to terms with his father's reputation with women. He'd lost count of the number of lovers who had drifted through the older man's life since his own mother's death and become, for a time, surrogate materas to him while he was growing up. Not one of them had stayed, though three of them had become Cyril's wife for a while, usually a very brief time.

Now it seemed that the fifth Mrs Antonakos was about to make her appearance. Quite frankly, Theo didn't hold out much expectation that she would last any longer than any of her predecessors, but she was indirectly responsible for the restlessness and the unsettled mood that were eating at him tonight.

He reached for his glass of wine and drained the rich red liquid from the bottom of it, slamming the glass back down on the table top with a crash that revealed the turmoil of his inner feelings.

He usually loved London's bustling vibrancy, the sense of people going places, living busy lives. The crowded streets, the lights, the hum of cars, reminded him of his home in Athens, the city life he had there, the cut and thrust of the business world that made every day a challenge he enjoyed.

But when it was dark and damp and cold as it was now on this October evening, then he wished he were anywhere but here. He missed the heat of the Greek sun on his back, the lazy lap of the ocean against the rocks of the island his family owned. He missed the sound of his native language. He missed his family. Hell, he missed home.

It had started with the letter that had arrived that morning.

One look at the stamp with the familiar Greek script had jarred him awake with a speed and roughness that had made his head spin. He hadn't even needed to check the postmark, or the rough, almost illegible scrawl of the address. He had known immediately just who it was from.

His father had broken his long silence and had written at last.

'Oh, come on, Red, lighten up. Sit down and have a drink with us!'

The rough-edged, slightly slurred comment followed by a chorus of laughter drifted over to him from across the other side of the bar, making him glance in that direction. A couple of youths were lounging around a table, beer bottles littering the polished surface.

But it was the woman with them who caught his attention. Caught and held it.

He couldn't see her face because she had her back to him. But what he could see was stunning. Physically, sexually stunning in a way that made desire twist, sharp and hot, in his gut in immediate reaction.

Long hair in a glorious, burnished red gold cascaded down the slender length of her back, gleaming with coppery highlights even under the shaded lamps of the bar. She was tall and shapely: narrow shoulders, neat hips, a pert, tight bottom under the clinging skirt of her black dress.

Skirt? His faint laugh denied the description. That wasn't a skirt, it was a pelmet—little more than an extended belt, leaving exposed the slim, elegant length of her legs in sheerest black nylon, right down to the point where her feet were pushed into the polished, ridiculously high-heeled shoes.

'Anything you like, sweetheart…'

There was something about her that compelled him to watch her.

And he had been without a woman too long. That was the real reason he was interested. Ever since Eva had walked out three months ago, there had been no female company in his life.

He could have had plenty—he knew without false modesty that his dark looks attracted female attention and interest. Add to that the appeal of the wealth that came from both his family background and the results of his own efforts, and he rarely had to spend a night alone unless he wanted to.

But lately that knowledge hadn't satisfied him. He was edgy, wanted more.

Not with Eva, though. That was why they'd argued and why she'd walked. Eva had thought that she was onto a good thing. She had had wedding bells and gold rings in her dreams, and he had had to disillusion her about that pretty forcefully. As a result, she'd left. Eva wasn't the kind of girl to stay around when she knew she wasn't going to get what she wanted.

And if he was honest with himself, he really hadn't missed her.

'No, really, no thanks.'

Her voice fell into one of those sudden lapses into silence in which even the quietest voice sounded clear and audible in the stillness of the room.

And what a voice! It was low and sensual, surprisingly husky for a woman. It made him imagine hearing that voice whispering to him in the deep, warm darkness of a king-size bed. His mouth dried, his body tightened just to think of it. But the next moment, the sexy mood vanished, the erotic thoughts driven away by a dramatic change in her tone.

'I said no, thank you.'

Theo was on his feet before he was even aware of having reacted. There had been an edge to her words, a note of unease, of total rejection of the position in which she found herself. She wasn't happy, it was obvious.

Half a dozen long, forceful strides took him across the room to come up close behind her. Neither she nor the men she was talking to had even noticed him.

Copyright © 2005 by Kate Walker.


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