My Sexy Greek Summer [NOOK Book]

Overview

A summer on a Greek island is just what grad student Cara Sokol needs to jump-start her nonexistent sex life. Too bad she's sworn off Greek men forever, because she can't take her eyes off Yannis Petrides' six-pack abs and sultry eyes.

But Cara's not going to get away that easily. In fact, some of Yannis's daydreams would make even ...

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My Sexy Greek Summer

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Overview

A summer on a Greek island is just what grad student Cara Sokol needs to jump-start her nonexistent sex life. Too bad she's sworn off Greek men forever, because she can't take her eyes off Yannis Petrides' six-pack abs and sultry eyes.

But Cara's not going to get away that easily. In fact, some of Yannis's daydreams would make even Aphrodite blush. So if his fiery redhead wants an X-rated fling, he won't deny it--even if she is hiding something more than her burning desire....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426832352
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series , #470
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 328,913
  • File size: 208 KB

Meet the Author

To award-winning author Marie Donovan, writing romance is a dream come true after so many years of avid reading. She got her fill of tragedies and unhappy endings by majoring in opera/vocal performance and Spanish literature. During those years of singing about operatic heroines who inevitably met bad ends, and reading about political prisons and horrible civil wars, she devoured romances whenever she could.

Her first attempt at romance fiction was a gothic-type short contemporary where the teenage heroine actually ran into the dark and stormy night to escape her abusive father. That manuscript currently lurks in the depths of her hard drive, waiting to be cannibalized for a future book.

After taking off several years from writing fiction, Marie won a bookstore gift certificate and took it as a sign to get started writing romance again. She promptly ordered several how-to books on writing romance novels and read them until they were dog-eared. Fortunately, as she smartened up about writing romances, so did her heroines. Harlequin's wonderful Blaze line inspired her to try her hand at sensual romance. Her manuscript won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests and sold to the Blaze series in January 2005.

Marie has worked for a large suburban public library district for the past eight years as both a cataloguer and a bilingual Spanish storytime presenter. She graduated magna cum laude with two bachelor degrees from a Midwestern liberal arts university and speaks six languages. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening and yoga.

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Read an Excerpt

"Look at how beautiful this place is, Cara! I can't believe you didn't want to come."

Cara Sokol elbowed her friend in the ribs from where they were leaning on the ferry railing. Emma Taylor's cheerful voice had carried to the clumps of locals. The ones who understood English looked at Cara with marked unfriendliness.

Welcome to Greece. As if Cara needed another reason for the Greek populace to hate her. "Aphrodisias is as beautiful as its namesake," she told Emma loudly.

At her compliment to their admittedly lovely island, the scowlers turned to gaze at the landmass they were approaching. Cara poked her friend in the ribs again. "Emma, enough about my not wanting to come to Greece. I never said it wasn't a beautiful country."

"Sorry, Cara." Emma swiped a hunk of straight blond hair out of her face.

Cara had expected the wild sea winds on the ferry ride and had pulled her curly red hair back into a braid. She couldn't get a comb through her hair on a good day, and the June Aegean trade winds would snarl her hair into a copper-wire scouring pad. "That's okay. I know you're excited about our trip."

"Well, who wouldn't be?" Emma gestured broadly at the vista in front of them. "Greece—the cradle of mathematics, the birthplace of Euclid, Pythagoras, Archimedes—did you know that before Archimedes died at the siege of Syracuse, he requested his favorite mathematical proof be carved on his tomb?"

"Wow." Cara would be hard-pressed to think of an appropriate proof for her own tomb. Maybe a big, fat zero with a slash through it, but she didn't even know the fancy math name for it. She shook off her Greek-induced grump-iness and instead stared ahead. Emma was still talkingabout Greek mathematicians, understandably since she was a Ph.D. student in math at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where they were neighbors in the same apartment building. Emma looked like a cuddly blond cheerleader but had the brain of a supercharged computer.

While Emma subsided into silence with a happy sigh, Cara fell into the rhythm of the Greek speakers, their rapid-fire consonants and vowels sorting out into words as her ears adjusted to the language. The older men were complaining about ever-volatile Greek politics and the crooks mismanaging things in Athens, the women were discussing children and clothes, and the two young men closest to Cara and Emma were commenting on the girls passing by.

Cara hid a smile as the guys wondered if she and Emma dyed their hair and discussed their hip size in favorable terms. Chauvinistic Greek men might be, but at least they liked girls with some meat on their bones.

She straightened from the railing and let her gaze travel casually over the two young men. She knew better than to wink at them, since she didn't want them following her around Aphrodisias like eager puppy dogs. They met her gaze and grinned, obviously enjoying the idea of putting one over on the foreign girl. Sorry, dudes, I've been there and done that. She'd like to meet the Greek guy who could put one over on her now.

Despite her previous travels in Greece, Cara had never been to Aphrodisias, part of the Cyclades group of islands. The island was straight out of Greek legend, craggy hills where undoubtedly shepherds still tended their flocks, blindingly white cubic houses dotting the town and a wide crescent of sandy beach pouring out into the ocean.

Emma followed her gaze. "Oh my gosh, look at that beach! As soon as we get settled, I am going to practically live there."

"Athena says that beach is where the goddess Aphrodite first came ashore. That's why the island is named after her."

"Amazing." Emma's eyes gleamed with anticipation. "A whole island named after the Greek goddess of love? I can hardly wait to find out what kind of men must live here."

Cara could. She had things to do other than cruise around Aphrodisias for Greek men. Visit Athena, for one. She sighed quietly but Emma heard her anyway.

"Oh, hey, here I am blabbing about guys like we're on spring break in Florida and you must be worrying about your friend. What did her daughter-in-law tell you when you called from Athens?"

Cara shrugged. "Oh, Demetria says Athena is still having complications since they brought her home from the hospital. It wasn't so much the broken hip, but the pulmonary embolism she got after the surgery. They're having trouble making sure she doesn't get another clot. Athena refuses to go back to the hospital, so they're limited in what they can do for her."

Emma patted her back. "Nasty stuff. But I'm sure she'll recover quickly now that she's home." Emma stared out at the island. "There's something about this place…but I don't know what."

Cara stared at Aphrodisias. The island was something, all right. Home to the only person in the world who could get her to return to Greece.

"Is she here? Is she here?" Athena Kefalas pulled herself to her feet using the aluminum-frame walker her doctor insisted on. Walkers were for old ladies, bah! And Athena Kefalas was not an old lady at seventy. Hadn't her own dear mother lived to ninety-five and just passed away last year, God rest her soul, O Theos na tin anapafsi. She shook out her long black skirt and clumped over to the kitchen, where Demetria was hanging up the phone.

Her daughter-in-law pursed her lips and blinked a couple times, no doubt to get some patience with her mother-in-law. As far as Athena was concerned, she was a model mother-in-law compared to her own Giorgy's mother. Now she had been a mother-in-law straight from the Evil One himself. She had also lived to a ripe old age, probably because the daimones were afraid to have her in Hell. They had eventually relented, though, and no doubt welcomed her as one of their own.

Ah, but perhaps Athena was getting old, reminiscing about long ago and not focusing on the present. And more importantly, the future. "Demetria, did Karoleena arrive?"

"Yes, Mother, she and her friend arrived at the villa you arranged for them and will come to see you this afternoon. But remember, Karoleena wants us to call her Cara, her American name."

"Of course, of course." Athena nibbled at a dish of pickled olives on the sturdy kitchen table. "And when Cara and her friend come, they must think I am still sick."

Demetria snorted. "You may need that walker for a couple more weeks, but you look as healthy as a lamb in springtime."

"Hmm." Athena frowned. "I need to be pale and sickly. Demetria, bring me the flour."

"Flour? Why? Are we baking kourabiethes for Cara?"

Athena paused for a second. Karoleena did love the sugared almond cookies, but no time for baking now. "To powder my face, of course. If Karoleena knows I am well, she will leave quickly and she needs to be here on Aphrodisias."

Demetria didn't bother to ask why again but brought the flour.

Athena looked up from where she was patting the white powder into her overly healthy-looking cheeks. "Thank you, Demetria. You are a good daughter."

"Now, Mother, you only say that when you want me to do something."

"Actually, if you could loan me your gray eye makeup to put circles under my eyes…"

Demetria blew out a breath strong enough to rival the ocean breeze but left to fetch the eye shadow.

Athena stared out the kitchen window overlooking the beach from where the Goddess of Love had appeared. So little love in this world anymore. But Athena had always known best, especially since her own dear mother had named her after the Goddess of Wisdom. She would do anything to help Karoleena, her poor girl who was so unhappy. And if Athena needed to wear enough flour on her face to make kourabiethes for the whole island, then by Aphrodite, she would!

Cara finished unpacking her clothes into the dresser and took a deep breath. Athena, or probably Demetria, had chosen well in their vacation villa. The apartment was large and airy with whitewashed walls and pale gray marble floor tiles throughout. The furniture was solid dark walnut and would take a team of strapping Greek youths to move.

She walked into the big living room with a long, burnt-orange, L-shaped sectional couch and stared at the large weaving hanging on the wall. She'd seen Athena's work often enough to know it was either hers or someone whom she'd taught. It had the look of an ancient Greek textile with its black figures on a red background, but the subject matter was typical of Athena—Artemis, the goddess of the hunt chasing down some man who had offended her. There was even a tiny arrow sticking out of the offender's butt.

Cara giggled, her first laugh since landing in Athens. Emma, coming out of her own room, saw her smiling at the weaving. "Now that's more like it. Isn't this place great? That breeze blowing through the windows—and look, a balcony." Emma hurried to the French doors and threw them open. "The flowers are amazing, and the sea beyond."

Cara followed her onto the balcony. It held a small tiled table and two chairs overlooking bright blue-painted window boxes. Masses of bougainvillea trailed from the boxes down the side of the building, their ruffled fuchsia flowers soft and delicate against the spiky dark green leaves. Prim pink geraniums stood upright as if to reprimand their lazy sisters for falling over. She inhaled a deep breath of their sweet fragrance mixed with the salty air. The startlingly blue Aegean glittered in front of them.

"I'm getting my camera." Emma rushed back to her room and returned with her small digital camera. "Say cheese, Cara."

Something loosened in her stomach. This was what she loved about Greece—the open sea; the flowers; the crisp, pure air, where the sun shone differently than it did anywhere else. Cara grinned at the camera and Emma took her picture.

"Now take mine." They switched places and then Emma took several more photos of the harbor view.

Cara wandered back into the villa's kitchen to pull two mineral waters from the small fridge. "Here, be sure to drink something. We haven't had much chance since we got into Athens, and the long plane ride dries you out."

"Thanks. Cheers." Emma clinked her bottle against Cara's. "Or should I say 'Opa!' and fling my bottle against the wall?"

"I don't think the maid would like that. But if you want, we can find a tourist restaurant where they fling plates and dance around like Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek."

"And of course that's a terrible stereotype since Greeks don't like to dance?" Emma lifted a blond eyebrow.

Cara grinned. "Of course they do." She drank her met-aleekó neró and stared at the ocean. She loved the sea— ironic, since she now lived in Michigan, a thousand miles from the nearest salt water. She spotted a sail on the horizon and her heart quickened. "Look, Emma, a sailboat."

"That's right, you used to crew on sailboats before you moved to Michigan. Getting paid to sail the ocean blue must have been a great gig."

"I did travel all over—California, Mexico, the Caribbean, even once around Corfu—that's one of the western Greek islands more influenced by Italy." She changed the subject hurriedly. "Anyway, we should go sailing if we have time. Maybe Athena has a cousin who can take us out on the water."

"Great! Speaking of Athena, isn't she expecting us now?" Emma checked her leather-banded watch.

Cara laughed. "You may as well take that thing off. Greek time doesn't work the same as American time. Athena is expecting us sometime this afternoon. And if we don't show up until evening, she'll just feed us then."

Emma set down her empty bottle. "Greek time or no, I want to go explore the town. Ready?"

Cara nodded and followed, grabbing her wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. She locked the villa and they descended the narrow stone stairs down to street level. "Athena's house is only supposed to be a half mile away. If we get lost, everyone knows where she lives."

It was a slow half mile, with Emma stopping frequently to admire the cobalt-blue front doors and shutters and masses of pink and purple flowers. When they emerged into the sun from the shadowed back streets, Cara popped her hat and sunglasses on.

Emma glanced over at her. "You're not going to get any color at all if you keep bundling up." She tipped her face up to the blazing afternoon sun and chuckled happily.

"And you are going to spend your vacation crying on the couch from sun poisoning. This isn't Michigan, you know. The sun is much stronger and you get a triple dose when it bounces off the water and sand."

"I don't suppose there's any way we can pass for locals anyway, is there?" Emma sent her a teasing glance.

"Not many redheaded Greek women out there." Cara smiled at her friend. She could have been the county fair Corn Queen for her Midwestern looks, a far cry from the supertanned blond beach bunny often spotted at topless beaches around the country.

Emma said theatrically, "Alas, alas, I'll just have to be the legendary American co-ed on summer vacation." She looked around in delight. They were now in the center of town and passing quaint tavernas and sidewalk cafés. "But I thought there'd be more people around. You did say summers were crowded in the Cyclades."

Cara studied the scene, spotting cameras and white limbs sticking out from shorts and tank tops. "The locals are probably home napping. They often have a siesta time, especially in the summer. Everybody else is a tourist."

"Including us." Emma laughed. "But we have to hit the club tonight. On a Friday night it should be pretty lively, right?"

"Definitely." Seemed as if they were in for a girls' night out. Emma wasn't used to Greek guys and didn't speak more than five words of the language. Cara snickered to herself. Too bad Cara didn't have the long black clothes and black beady glare typical of an old widowed aunt protecting her naive charge from the big, bad men of the world.

"Doesn't that sound fun, Cara?"

Actually, it did. Cara had loved going out on the town, particularly to a raucous Greek nightspot. "Sure, but don't forget we're still getting over jet lag."

"Yes, Mother. Wait, how do you say that in Greek?"

"Ne, meetéra."

Emma repeated it with an accent awful enough to make Cara groan. "Let's practice your Greek after lunch."

Emma waved her hand. "No thanks, I'll practice on one of those Greek men tonight."

"And they'll be happy to let you." Cara turned a corner and checked her directions. "Here we are." Suddenly sick with anxiety, she pressed her hand against her stomach.

She'd never been good around illness, and Athena was one of her best friends.

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