The Secrets She Carried (Harlequin Presents Series #3077) [NOOK Book]

Overview




Erin Turner and Cristophe Donakis set the bedsheets alight during their scorching affair. But Erin's hopes of a diamond ring turned to ash when he unceremoniously kicked her out of his bed and onto the cold London streets.

Years later, Erin's world is rocked again when she meets her newest business client. She knows it's him the moment his designer aftershave hits her ...
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The Secrets She Carried (Harlequin Presents Series #3077)

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Overview




Erin Turner and Cristophe Donakis set the bedsheets alight during their scorching affair. But Erin's hopes of a diamond ring turned to ash when he unceremoniously kicked her out of his bed and onto the cold London streets.

Years later, Erin's world is rocked again when she meets her newest business client. She knows it's him the moment his designer aftershave hits her senses.…

Cristophe is going to make Erin pay back what he believes she stole—in whatever way he demands.… But little does he know that Erin's about to drop two very important bombshells!


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459234741
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Series: Harlequin Presents Series , #3077
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 30,585
  • File size: 296 KB

Meet the Author


Lynne Graham lives in Northern Ireland and has been a keen romance reader since her teens. Happily married, Lynne has five children. Her eldest is her only natural child. Her other children, who are every bit as dear to her heart, are adopted. The family has a variety of pets, and Lynne loves gardening, cooking, collecting allsorts and is crazy about every aspect of Christmas.


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Read an Excerpt




Cristophe Donakis opened the file on the Stanwick Hall Hotel group, which he expected to become the latest addition to his luxury hotel empire, and suffered an unanticipated shock.

Ironically, it took a great deal to shock Cristophe. At thirty years of age, the Greek entrepreneur and billionaire had seen a lot of bad behaviour and when it came to women in particular he was a complete cynic with low expectations. Orphaned at the age of five, he had survived several major setbacks in life, not the least of which had included foster parents whom he loved but with whom he had not a single thought in common, and a divorce, which still rankled for he had entered his marriage with the best of good intentions. No, what caused Cristophe to vault upright behind his desk and carry the file over to the window to avail of the best possible light was a glimpse of a startlingly familiar face in a photograph of the Stanwick executive staff.. a face from his past.

Erin Turner…a pocket Venus with pale hair that glittered like polished silver gilt and eyes the colour of amethysts. Straight off, his lean, darkly handsome features clenched into forbidding angles. Erin occupied a category all of her own in his memories, for she had been the only woman ever to betray him and, even though almost three years had to have passed since their last meeting, the recollection could still sting. His keenly intelligent gaze devoured the photograph of his former mistress standing smiling at the elbow of Sam Morton, the elderly owner of Stanwick Hall. Clad in a dark business suit with her eye-catching hair restrained by a clip, she looked very different from the carefree, casually clad young woman he remembered.

His tall, powerful body in the grip of sudden tension, Cristo's dark-as-night eyes took on a fiery glow. That fast he was remembering Erin's lithe form clad in silk and satin. Even better did he recall the wonderfully slippery feel of her glorious curves beneath his appreciative hands. Perspiration dampened his strong upper lip and he breathed in deep and slow, determined to master the near instantaneous response at his groin. Regrettably, he had never met another Erin, BUT then he had married soon afterwards and only in recent months had he again enjoyed the freedom of being single. He knew that a woman capable of matching his hunger and even of occasionally exhausting his high-voltage libido was a very rare find indeed. He reminded himself that it was very probably that same hunger that had led her to betray his trust and take another man into her bed. An un-apologetic workaholic, he had left her alone for weeks while he was abroad on business and it was possible that he had invited the sordid conclusion that had ultimately finished their affair, he conceded grudgingly. Of course, had she agreed to travel with him it would never have happened but regrettably it had not occurred to him at the time that she might have excellent, if nefarious, reasons for preferring to stay in London.

He studied Sam Morton, whose body language and expression were uniquely revealing to any acute observer. The older man, who had to be comfortably into his sixties, could not hide his proprietorial protective attitude towards the svelte little manager of his health spas. His feelings shone out of his proud smile and the supportive arm he had welded to her spine in a declaration of possession. Cristo swore vehemently in Greek and examined the photo from all angles, but could see no room for any more innocent interpretation: she was at it again…bedding the boss! While it might have done him good to recognise Erin's continuing cunning at making the most of her feminine assets, it gave him no satisfaction at all to acknowledge that she was still happily playing the same tricks and profiting from them. He wondered if she was stealing from Morton as well.

Cristo had dumped Erin from a height when she let him down but the punishment had failed to soothe an incredulous bitterness that only increased when he had afterwards discovered that she had been ripping him off. He had had faith in Erin, he had trusted her, had even at one point begun to toy with the idea that she might make a reasonable wife. Walking into that bedroom and finding another man in the bed he had planned to share with her, along with the debris of discarded wine glasses and the trail of clothes that told its own sleazy story, had knocked him sideways. And what had he done next?

Lean, strong face rigid, Cristo grudgingly acknowledged his own biggest mistake. In the aftermath of his discovery that Erin had cheated on him, he had reached a decision that he was still paying for in spades. He had made a wrong move with long-term repercussions and for a male who almost never made mistakes that remained a very humbling truth. With hindsight he knew exactly why he had done, what he had done but he had yet to forgive himself for that fatal misstep and the fallout those closest to him had suffered. Handsome mouth compressed into a tough line at that reflection, he studied Erin closely. She was still gorgeous and doubtless still happily engaged in confidently plotting and planning how best to feather her own nest while that poor sap at her elbow gave her his trust and worshipped the ground her dainty feet trod on.

But Cristo knew that he had the power to shift the very ground in an earthquake beneath those same feet because he very much doubted that the reputedly conservative and morally upright Sam Morton had any awareness of the freewheeling months that Erin had enjoyed in her guise as Cristo's mistress, or of the salient fact that at heart she was just a common little thief.

That bombshell had burst on Cristo only weeks after the end of their affair. An audit had found serious discrepancies in the books of the health spa Erin had been managing for him. Products worth a considerable amount of money had gone missing. Invoices had been falsified, freelance employees invented to receive pay cheques for non-existent work. Only Erin had had full access to that paperwork and a reliable long-term employee had admitted seeing her removing boxes of products from the store. Clearly on the take from the day that Cristo hired her, Erin had ripped off the spa to the tune of thousands of pounds. Why had he not prosecuted her for her thieving? He had been too proud to parade the reality that he had taken a thief to his bed and put a thief in a position of trust within his business.

Erin was a box of crafty tricks and no mistake, he acknowledged bitterly. No doubt Morton was equally unaware that his butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth employee played a very creditable game of strip poker. That she had once met Cristo at the airport on his birthday wearing nothing but her skin beneath her coat? And that even the coat had gone within seconds of entering his limousine? Did she cry out Morton's name and sob in his arms when she reached a climax? Seduce him as only a very sensual woman could while he tried to give the business news his attention instead? Most probably she did, for she had learned from Cristo exactly what a man liked.

Disturbed that he still cherished such strong memories of that period of his life, Cristo poured himself a whisky and regrouped, his shrewd brain swiftly cooling the tenor of his angry reflections. The phrase, 'Don't get mad, get even' might well adorn Cristo's gravestone, for he refused to waste time on anything that didn't enrich his life. So, Erin was still out there using her wits and her body to climb the career and fortune ladder. How was that news to him? And why was he assuming that Sam Morton was too naive to know that he had caught a tiger by the tail? For many men the trade-off of as much sex as a man could handle would be acceptable.

And Cristo registered in some surprise at his predictability that he was no different from that self-serving libidinous majority. I could go there again, he thought fiercely, his adrenalin pumping at the prospect of that sexual challenge. I could really enjoy going there again. She's wasted on an old man and far too devious to be contained by a male with a conventional outlook. He began to read the file, discovering that Erin's wealthy employer was a widower. He could only assume that she had her ambition squarely centred on becoming the second Mrs Morton. Why else would a scheming gold-digger be working to ingratiate herself and earn a fairly humble crust? He was convinced that she would not have been able to resist the temptation of helping herself to funds from Sam Morton's spas as well.

Her healthy survival instincts and enduring cunning offended Cristo's sense of justice. Had he really believed that such a cool little schemer might turn over a new leaf in the aftermath of their affair? Had he ever been that naive? Certainly, he had compared every woman he had ever had in his bed to Erin and found them all wanting in one way or another. That was a most disconcerting truth to accept. Clearly, he had never got her out of his system, he reflected grimly. Like a piece of baggage he couldn't shed, she had travelled on with him even when he believed that he was free of her malign influence. It was time that he finally stowed that excess baggage and moved on and how better to do that than by exorcising her from his psyche with one last sexual escapade?

He knew what Erin Turner was and he also knew that memory always lied. Memory would have embellished her image and polished her up to a degree that would not withstand the harsh light of reality. He needed to puncture the myth, explode the persistent fantasy and seeing her again in the flesh would accomplish that desirable conclusion most effectively. A hard smile slashed Cristo's handsome mouth as he imagined her dismay at his untimely reappearance in her life.

'Look before you leap,' his risk-adverse foster mother had earnestly told him when he was a child, fearing his adventurous, rebellious nature and unable to comprehend the unimaginably entertaining attraction of taking a leap into the unknown. In spite of all his foster parents' efforts to tame his passionate temperament, however, Cristo's notoriously hot-blooded Donakis genes still ran true to form in his veins. His birth parents might not have survived to raise their son but he had inherited their volatile spirits in the cradle.

Without a second thought about the likelihood of consequences, indeed merely reacting to the insidious arousal and sense of challenge tugging at his every physical sense, Cristo lifted the phone. He informed the executive head of his acquisitions team that he would be taking over the next phase of the negotiations with the owner of the Stanwick Hall Hotel group.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    The H/H did not connect

    I have been waiting for this book to come out because I liked the premise and was I disappointed. The heroine never had any emotion. She allowed the hero to blackmail her into sex or he would show that she embezzled funds from him and she still climaxed because he was so good in bed! Give me a break, she prostituted herself.
    When she finally proved that she was not guilty of embezzlement, the hero turned the tables on her, pointing to her failure as a manager. She never got angered, she had no emotion.
    The whole book is about what the hero wants and the heroine just goes along with everything.
    I read 3 harlequins daily and I am astounded by Lynne Graham writing such tripe.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Abby

    I'll give this a two star because i actually liked the plot but What the heck? I agree, the story line was good, but by the time i finished the book i absolutely hated the heroine. I mean, come one, you're a woman. Show a little more backbone. She agree with everything he said even if not right away but evantualy because she will justify why she agree with him. I mean, you'll think someone would be furious about being wrong accused by the man you thought cared about you. Urg, disgusting. I felt like the author was trying to picture the heroine as someone forgiving and strong, but what she ended up doing was making her weak with no backbone and no idea how to stand up for herself.
    I really expected more from this book and i would recommend it, but only to people who don't mind cheesy line and disgustingly melted cheese romance. I like my romance a little less melted with the heroine and hero more on equal footing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2012

    I was quite disappointed with this book. I'm a fan of Lynne Grah

    I was quite disappointed with this book. I'm a fan of Lynne Graham and had this book on my wishlist for awhile. The heroine was too passive and the parenting of the twins was atrocious. She made them seem like spoiled little brats but mom was too worn out so just get used to it. It seemed like everyone walked all over her, the kids and Christophe who uses her and blames her for everything.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Enjoyed but was waiting for more.

    I read it and enjoyed the story was waiting for more clashes were she got him to grovel a little more. I would have been a little more upset with his marrying someone else then what she seemed. Lynne usually grabs me more than this but still glad i read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2014

    Great read

    Good story a little frustrating at times but overall a good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Ok

    It was an ok read i really did not like the fact that she could not handle her own kids and just let them do wat they wanted. The the kids where out of control and not nice at all saying how they hate there dad . Nota book for me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Good Read

    Nice, good, read eith a typical happy ending. This is true chick lit. I have read other work from this author, and will continue to do so.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    It's okay

    The plot was good but wow could that heroine be any more of a doormat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Good

    Pretty good didnt like the fact he married someone else then years later they got back together

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Not one of her best

    This book was truly unmemorable. Not one of her best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Finally a harlequinn story that touches real life

    This story was more than macho man takes his woman. Erin and Cristos were written as true equals. A story told with humour and the complexities of male/female romantic and parenting roles. One of the best Harlequins yet!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Good

    Good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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