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Greek Affairs: To Take a Bride: The Markonos Bride / The Greek Tycoon's Reluctant Bride / Greek Doctor, Cinderella Bride

Greek Affairs: To Take a Bride: The Markonos Bride / The Greek Tycoon's Reluctant Bride / Greek Doctor, Cinderella Bride
Michelle Reid

Amy Andrews

Kate Hewitt

He’s determined – she will wear his ring and sleep in his bed!Still Married!It has been five years since tragedy destroyed Andreas Markonos’s marriage to Louisa. Yet in all that time Andreas has never filed for divorce, because Louisa has no equal – in his bed or in his heart; it is time he reclaimed his bride…Convenient Bride Demos Atrikes is a ruthless businessman who always gets what he wants. And for now that’s stunning Althea Paranoussis as his convenient bride. Althea might resist his demands for a cold-blooded union, but Demos will change her mind with hot-blooded passion!Cinderella Wife Alex Zaphirides isn’t above playing on his good looks and status to charm women into his bed, but he’s never met a woman he’d like to keep there! Until he starts to notice his shy colleague Izzy; the more he flirts, the more she flees and now Alex has a new focus, making her his blushing bride…

Greek Affairs

To Take a Bride

The Markonos Bride

MICHELLE

REID

The Greek Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride

KATE

HEWITT

Greek Doctor, Cinderella Bride

AMY

ANDREWS

www.millsandboon.co.uk (http://www.millsandboon.co.uk)

THE MARKONOS BRIDE

About the Author

MICHELLE REID grew up on the southern edges of Manchester, the youngest in a family of five lively children. But now she lives in the beautiful county of Cheshire, with her busy executive husband and two grown-up daughters. She loves reading, the ballet and playing tennis when she gets the chance. She hates cooking, cleaning, and despises ironing! Sleep she can do without and produces some of her best written work during the early hours of the morning.

CHAPTER ONE

THE atmosphere in the Markonos summer villa could not grow any cooler if an ice storm had swept down from the Arctic and in through the open terrace doors.

Eyeing his father across the width of the dinner table, Andreas Markonos delivered a cold, clipped, ‘No,’ with an economy that brought the shutters slamming down on his hard, handsome face.

His father ripped out a sigh of frustration. ‘I do not understand you!’ he muttered. ‘You tell me you are ready to take full control from me and here I sit ready to hand that control over to you! So what is your problem—?'

The problem was simple in Andreas’s estimation. ‘I will not respond to blackmail.'

‘It is not blackmail but good business sense!’ the older man rapped out. ‘If a man wishes to succeed in our world he must have stability in his personal life! Think about it,’ he insisted. ‘We make snap decisions by mobile telephone, we throw our weight around by electronic mail—we can even look our victims directly in the eye via satellite technology. There is a real danger of becoming drunk on one’s own power!'

‘Are you suggesting that I am drunk on power?’ Andreas demanded.

‘Ah—’ the flick of his father’s hand was dismissive ‘—you know very well that you shock and impress everyone with your ability to think at the speed of light,’ he conceded. ‘But I have been there before you, Andreas. I know how it feels to fly so high you are in danger of singeing your wings! I keep you grounded to some extent at present but who will do so when I retire?'

‘Myself?’

It was like waving a red rag at a cantankerous old bull. Orestes Markonos lurched forward in his seat, his seventy-year-old world-toughened expression pinning his son with a ferocious look. ‘Don’t use that sarcastic tone on me, Andreas,’ he warned thinly. ‘You know what it is I am talking about. I had your mother and my beloved children to keep me firmly tethered to God’s good earth. You merely have some very loose ties to some very loose women. It is not good enough!'

‘I still will not marry again to please you,’ Andreas returned coolly.

‘You did not marry to please me the first time!’ his father hit back. ‘And Louisa was a mistake, you confessed as much yourself.'

A sudden stillness grabbed hold of Andreas, he felt it freeze the muscles in his face. Raising the heavy arc of his glossy black eyelashes, ‘Never,’ he incised very softly, ‘have I ever said that Louisa was a mistake.'

‘You were both too young and impetuous then,’ growled Orestes, going for the compromise while clearly resenting doing it. It showed how much of his bluster was just a cover-up for his waning power in the face of his son’s growing potent mental strength.

Which was why Andreas rarely allowed it to show like this. He respected the old man too much to want to make him feel the pinch of his ageing weaknesses.

This, however, was different. This subject was forbidden territory and his father knew it. No one spoke Louisa’s name in his presence without feeling the icy whip of his response to it. And nobody mentioned his defunct marriage!

A hard sigh had him tossing aside his napkin and climbing to his feet. Turning, he strode across the room towards the drinks cabinet, with his lean body clenched inside the formal black dinner suit his mother always insisted her men wore when they sat down to eat dinner at home.

Home, he mused, slicing a glance around the elegant dining room belonging to an island villa that had been in the family in one form or another for as long as a Markonos had existed on this earth.

An island home he rarely visited these days. A place his father had been forced to issue what amounted to a royal summons to get him to come to at all! He’d understood what the summons had been about, of course, or he would have found a pressing excuse to be elsewhere. He had understood why his mother had politely excused herself after dinner and left the two of them alone.

His father’s retirement from the fast-paced, cut-throat spin of empire-building was long overdue. It was time for the great Orestes Markonos to step aside and hand control to his oldest son.

For an unacceptable price.

‘I am proud of you, Andreas,’ his father fed after him. ‘You are rib of my rib, blood of my blood! But if you want to walk in my shoes then I will insist that you find a new wife who will curtail your propensity to—'

‘I am already married,’ Andreas cut in as he picked up the brandy decanter.

‘A situation that can be remedied quickly enough,’ said the older man, tossing that legal problem to one side as if it did not count. ‘My lawyers will deal with it—'

‘Your lawyers?’ As he swung round, the sudden spark to hit Andreas’s dark eyes made his father add quickly,

‘To make mere preliminary enquires on your behalf, of course.'

‘Of course,’ he turned back to the decanter, ‘but not without my consent.'

The message was clear. His father hissed out his breath. ‘Five years is long enough to grieve a past which cannot be altered.'

Was it? Pouring brandy into a squat crystal glass, Andreas chose to ignore that loaded comment.

‘It is time for you to move on from it and build a new life for yourself on the solid foundations I am offering you here, with a good wife to help to keep you grounded—more sons!'

The final part of that recklessly tactless statement grabbed hold of Andreas’s gut like a violent twist of a fist. ‘Do you want one of these?’ he managed to ask evenly enough.
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