The Greek's Bridal Purchase [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Susan Stephens
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Miranda Weston is recovering from the injuries that have ended her career, so she's stunned when Greek billionaire Theo Savakis pursues her. What can one of the world's most powerful and eligible men want with *her?* Theo needs a wife--fast--or he'll forfeit his inheritance, and lovely but broken Miranda is the perfect choice. But Theo hasn't counted on the passion that flares between them ... or on Miranda learning the truth about how he set out to buy her for marriage!
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2007
27 Reader Ratings:
KALMOS. A tiny island, set like a gem in the Aegean. Perfect.
Miranda leaned over the rail as the ferry reversed its engines and drifted slowly into port. It had taken an age, but, however slow and primitive the inter-island ferry might be, it was better than trusting her life to the small turbo-prop aircraft that made the same journey. Her knees were still knocking after the flight to Athens.
She was in a crowd of maybe twenty people waiting to disembark, the only pale and silent stranger in a cheery mob of smiling faces. The sun gave you licence to raise your voice, to laugh out loud, to catch someone's eye and greet them like a friend…
'Oh, no, thank you, I can manage!' She dragged her roll-along suitcase a little closer as an elderly man tried to help her with it. He took it anyway.
She waited for the familiar anger to surge up inside her, and then realised she wasn't angry. Well, that was a start. Anger was such a destructive emotion. If she couldn't lose the anger she would never heal inside, and those wounds were far more serious than the damage to her arm.
Thinking she was behind him, the man had already lifted her bag and walked away. She caught up with him onshore. 'Efharisto. Thank you.' She smiled, practising one of the essentials she had picked up in her phrasebook.
Still beaming, he turned back to his group after returning her courtesy.
He was intent on his family, she noticed, and suffused with the type of joy that made her feel wistful. She had cut herself off from her own family. She had lied to them. She had said she would teach for a short while—just until she regained full use of her arm.
'Adio,' he called, waving as she walked away.
'Adio,' Miranda called back. It was such a thrill not to be stared at, or to be treated any differently.
Miranda Weston, world-class violinist. She had led a charmed life up to the accident. Afterwards she had become an embarrassment, usually discussed in the third person, as if her hearing had gone along with her ability to make music.
She had never been weak; she couldn't afford to be. You couldn't show a tender underbelly in the world of classical musicians—not unless you wanted it ripped out. But the accident had stripped all her confidence away. She'd lost so much. She had been faced with two options: to stay in London, where everyone knew her, or to leave the country and start again, one building block at a time.
The irony was that what had allowed her to make this trip were the royalties for her one and only CD, which had landed on the doormat at just the right moment. She had been hugging herself in a huddle of misery at her apartment, curtains still drawn against another unwelcome day. But when she'd read the cheque she had been forced to count the noughts three times. How many copies had she sold?
That had been the turning point, when she had decided to get away—partly to avoid telling a family that had sacrificed so much for her about the latest prognosis on her ruined arm, but more in an attempt to redefine herself and find new purpose and direction for her life. Perhaps she couldn't be an international violinist, but she had to be someone. She couldn't just step off the bandwagon altogether.
The tiny Greek island of Kalmos was far enough away for people not to know who she was or who she had been. And she was attracted to the sunshine, the sea and the swimming—something she could still do, and had to do if she wanted to improve the movement in her arm.
As people started to drift away from the quay Miranda gave a happy sigh and turned her face up to the sun, revelling in the knowledge that at last she was free. Free from the past and free from those who wanted to manipulate her. She was still stinging from memories of her own Svengali figure, the manager who had directed her career only to try and turn her into a sob-story for the tabloids when she was no longer any use to him. And she was still suffering from nightmares after the accident that had destroyed a lot more than a career.
But she would not sit back and let others cast her in the role of victim. She would rebuild her life, but on her own terms. And one very good way to make a start was to locate her apartment, unpack, and find a job. That was her target for today.
Tomorrow, the world…
* * *
This was as close to perfect as it got. She had a sea-front balcony, and the sea was an improbable shade of blue. The sky was even bluer, if that was possible; in fact all the colours seemed a little brighter here on the island.
She had chosen Kalmos because the girl at the travel agent had said it was the most picturesque and least commercialised of all the Greek islands. Well, it was certainly beautiful, and her simple apartment was in a prime location. Set in a small block, it was in the centre of a long sugar-sand beach. And, just as she'd hoped, there was a taverna within walking distance.
She'd travelled light, knowing she wouldn't need much in a hot climate, but she had brought a couple of special outfits just in case she found some singing work. When she had been a student at the music conservatoire she had brought in extra money by singing with a band. It hadn't paid too well, but she'd usually got a free meal as part of the deal.
Copyright © 2006 by Susan Stephens.