A Cinderella Affair [Secure eReader]
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eBook by A.C. Arthur
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Clothing designer Camille Davis is sophisticated, ambitious, talented ... and riddled with self-doubt--except when it comes to selling her father's home. No deal, no way. But Las Vegas real estate mogul Adam Donovan's negotiating skills are leaving Camille weak in the knees...and maybe, just maybe, willing to compromise? Adam, the youngest of the "Triple Threat" Donovan brothers and the sexiest bachelor in town, is drawn to Camille's seductive mix of vulnerability, sweetness and strength. As for her take-it- or-leave-it deal--he's in. He's willing to see how this gamble plays out, because his heart says there will be no losers in Vegas on this bet.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Kimani Press
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2007
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Camille Davis swung the door open with so much force the knob slammed against the wall with a bang and the three people sitting at the conference table looked up instantly.
Out of breath from running down the hall to get to the designated conference room before this bogus deal could go any further, she stood there for a moment, chest heaving, suddenly unsure of what exactly she wanted to say.
"What are you doing here?" her stepmother asked as she stood, tossing her a more than disdainful look.
As Camille's heart rate slowed her anger grew. Moreen Scott Davis, her father's second wife, was impeccably dressed in a dark blue suit with silk lapels. Her glossy black hair framed her flawlessly made-up face. She looked like the twenty-first-century version of Diahann Carroll. Too bad she had a long way to go to ever be that classy.
"I should be asking you the same question," Camille said, taking a step closer to the table. There were two men gaping with surprise from her to Moreen but she wasn't concerned with them at the moment. Right now her top priority was nipping the Merry Widow in the bud. A task she'd been unhappily executing for the last three months.
That's when her father had died.
Randolph Davis, multimillionaire, A-list Hollywood producer, Moreen's third husband and Camille's beloved father, died of coronary disease in Cedars-Sinai Hospital one rainy July night at nine forty-five.
Camille was ten years old when Moreen, the tall, sexy model, had come into her room on her father's arm being introduced as her new stepmother. Camille had hid her fury initially, waiting until she'd had her father alone to explode. Even then Randolph had an uncanny way of calming her down. She'd been thoroughly upset at the thought of her father with another woman but then he'd explained things to her in a way that had her thinking only of his happiness. Camille loved her father too much to ever do anything that would make him unhappy.
She only wished his new wife had felt the same way. From day one Moreen made a point of informing Camille that decisions where she, the child, was concerned could no longer be manipulated through Randolph. That would now be Moreen's job. Private schools, summer camps and endless classes on etiquette and grooming were Moreen's idea of the perfect childhood. They were Camille's idea of torture.
Camille's mother had died when she was eight, from complications of pneumonia, her father said. And for two years Camille and her father had been close, relying only on each other to survive the darkest time in their lives. The darkest time, that is, until Moreen came. Her father was completely brainwashed by the sexy vixen.
Camille hated her.
That harsh emotion spun from the brash and uncaring way Moreen had of reminding Camille that she was not her child and that she was not worthy of all her father had showered on her. Remarks like, "I don't know why we waste money sending you to etiquette class, you'll never amount to anything," "You're so plain, so unattractive," "You're too short and too pudgy," had been the norm in the Davis household.
As a result, Camille struggled with depression and roller-coaster weight loss and gain. Finally, when she was in her second year of college Camille had collapsed. She was exhausted from working as an assistant in a design house and taking a full class load, and she was malnourished from trying to be like the skinny models she worked with on a daily basis. In essence, she was slowly killing herself.
Finally, when Camille had felt as if she were at the end of her rope, she'd decided to try seeing a counselor. That was her saving grace. Her counseling sessions were private, a place where she could share her innermost feelings without fear of her father finding out and having to face his rage at her exposing what he would have termed "private matters." She told of Moreen's verbal abuse and was rewarded by the fact that she was not the cause of her extremely low self-esteem, Moreen was. But even finding the cause didn't always heal the wound.
Now she was in a face-off with Moreen yet again. Only this time Camille planned to come out on top.
"I'm taking care of business," Moreen huffed.
"You're trying to sell my father's house without my permission."
"I don't need your permission."
"I own half of that house." Camille took another step closer to Moreen and tried not to flinch at the heated waves of animosity emanating from the woman to her. "You can't do anything with that house without my approval and my signature."
Then, as if she finally decided to acknowledge the two men still sitting at the table, Camille looked in their direction and asked, "Did you know that I owned half the house? Did you know that what you're trying to do here is illegal? Do you know that I can sue the pants off you and your big brass corporation for attempting to fraudulently buy my property?"
Her heart was pounding again and she didn't wait for their answer as she swung back to Moreen. "I don't know what it's going to take for you to get through your head that he left everything…down to his socks…to you and I. Fifty, fifty. Now I have no idea why he'd do such a fool thing but I am attempting to deal with that. You, on the other hand, seem to think you can do whatever it is you please no questions asked."
"Now you just wait a minute, young lady." Moreen stepped away from the table to get closer to Camille. "I don't know what's come over you—"
Copyright © 2007 by Artist C. Arthur.