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The Savakis Merger Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2011

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About the Author

Annie West has devoted her life to an intensive study of tall, dark, charismatic heroes who cause the best kind of trouble in the lives of their heroines. As a sideline she’s also researched dreamy locations for romance, from vibrant cities to desert encampments and fairytale castles. Annie lives with her family at beautiful Lake Macquarie. She loves to hear from readers and you can contact her at www.annie-west.com or at PO Box 1041, Warners Bay, NSW2282, Australia.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Callie's heart thundered in her ears, muting the sound of their hoarse breathing. Hers and his, mingled together.

Aftershocks shuddered through her. Light flickered behind her closed lids, remnants of the white-hot ecstasy that had exploded through her moments ago. An ecstasy she'd never before experienced.

Who could have known? she dragged in a breath and inhaled his spicy scent. Clean masculine sweat, musky skin and something indefinable that made her want to burrow closer into his bare shoulder.

She nuzzled his damp skin and was rewarded with a rumble of approval deep in the wide chest that cushioned her. One large hand slid gently over her hip, long fingers caressing her bare flesh, pulling her closer to his hot, slick body so she lay half across him.

Callie's breath puffed out in a sigh of astonished bliss. He was strong, tender and generous.

Everything she'd never had from a man.

Everything she'd learned not to expect.

He'd taken her to paradise. Teased and pleasured her until reality shattered in a conflagration of sheer bliss.

She'd never known such intense joy as when she'd soared to ecstasy in his arms. She'd always be grateful for the gift he'd given her today. The shared pleasure that connected her, however briefly, to him. That sense of linkage, even more than the physical delight, warmed her to the core.

She 'd felt alone for so long.

From the moment she'd seen him row his dinghy from the gracious old yacht, his wide shoulders gleaming bare and golden in the sun, she'd sensed something different about him. Something special. He epitomised a masculinity so perfect it had sucked the breath from her chest.

She, Callie Manolis, who hadn't looked at a man with desire in seven years! Who'd thought she never would again.

For days she'd tried to ignore the stranger who invaded the seclusion of this private beach. Invaded her refuge. Each morning as she lay under the pine trees, spent from swimming, she attempted to focus on her book. But inevitably her gaze strayed to where he pottered on deck, fished, or swam in the clear waters of the tiny bay.

Even with her eyes shut she'd been aware of him. As he'd been of her.

Had he really needed to ask the way to the track for the nearest village? The sizzling gleam in his eyes told her he hadn't. But for once Callie had warmed to that wholly male glint of appreciation. It hadn't repelled or annoyed her.

He looked the way she felt when she saw him.

Ensnared by his dark, dark eyes, Callie had been like a swimmer adrift on the Aegean, cut off from reality. From her future plans, the pain of the past, even her distrust of men. What did trust matter in the face of this potent attraction? It was extraordinary yet stunningly simple.

Her lips curved against his skin. She couldn't resist the temptation to press a kiss there, tasting his salt tang. A sound between a growl and a purr vibrated from his throat, exactly matching her own sense of lazy triumph.

Perhaps sexual abstinence made this sudden passion so exhilarating. She was twenty-five and he was her second lover. Perhaps that was why…

Thought clogged as his hand moved splay-fingered down her leg. It circled, light as a wind-blown leaf, slipping between their bodies to caress her sensitive inner thigh.

Callie sucked in an astonished breath as the tingling started again deep inside. A jolt of desire pierced her, shocking her to full awareness in an instant.

Heat radiated from his touch as his hand strayed to the place where need had pulsed a short time ago. She gasped as he stroked her, tenderly yet deliberately. Stunned, she felt a shimmer of excitement ripple through her sated body like a rising tide.

'You like that?' There was lazy satisfaction in his deep voice. And a knowledge that told her he knew exactly how much she craved his touch.

He understood her reactions better than she. Callie was a novice at this but even a woman so inexperienced recognised a master of the sensual arts.

She flattened her hands on his chest and pushed herself up so she could look down into his face.

A smile lingered on his sensuous lips and his glittering eyes flashed an invitation. His unruly black hair flopped over his brow, in gorgeous disarray after she'd clutched it. Her gaze strayed past his solid jaw to the strong column of his throat. To the reddened patch on his neck.

Was that a love bite? She'd marked him with her teeth? Surely she hadn't been so wild.

'We can't,' she blurted out. 'Not again.'

One sleek black brow rose and he bestowed a slow confident smile that sent a buzz of pleasure through her.

'I wouldn't be too sure of that, little one.'

His questing fingers moved and her body trembled.

Automatically she clamped her fingers around his wrist, intending to drag his hand away. She needed to think. But she couldn't shift him. His arm was all hard bone and muscled strength. His touch was bliss.

'Yes,' he whispered, his gaze fixed on her with searing intensity. 'Hold me while I touch you.'

Callie's eyes widened at his deliberate eroticism. Her heart leapt. The melting warmth between her legs belied her instinctive denial and she squirmed.

After their desperate lovemaking this should be impossible. Yet the feel of his sinewed hand moving beneath hers was…exciting. As was the burgeoning strength of his arousal against her thighs.

'No.' Her voice was breathless. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to claim control of her wayward body. 'I have to go. I have to—'

'Shh, glikia mou,' he murmured in that seductive, black-velvet voice. He withdrew his hand to cup her face with callused fingers. He stroked the erogenous zone at the corner of her mouth she hadn't known existed till today. 'Relax and enjoy. There's no rush. Nothing more important than this.'

His hand slid to the back of her head and he pulled her inexorably down to meet his mouth. The kiss was long, languorous and seductive. Callie's resistance seeped away like sea water through sand. Her bones melted as her lips opened and he ravaged her mouth with sweet possessiveness.

How could anything so unprecedented feel so right?

'You can leave later,' he murmured against her lips, each word a caress. 'Afterwards.'

Afterwards. The word circled in Callie's hazy brain then disintegrated as she kissed him back. The remnants of self-control dissolved in the heat of rising passion.

It was oh-so-easy to give herself up to the luxury of his expert seduction. To throw away a lifetime's caution and live for the moment. To forget the real world and the harsh lessons she'd learned there. Just for a little longer.

Madness.

That was what it had been, Callie decided as she stood before the mirror in her guest room. Nothing else could explain the way she'd allowed herself to be seduced.

No, not allowed. She'd encouraged him, eager for the feel of his tall, muscular body against hers. Impatient to pursue the sensual promise she'd read in his eyes. Eager for the sort of loving she'd never had, and now, to her stunned delight, had experienced for the first time.

With a stranger.

Her eyes rounded and a shudder rippled through her at the thought of what she'd done. She, the woman the tabloids had once dubbed the Snow Queen, had given herself to a complete stranger in passionate abandon! Not once. Nor twice. But three times, in heart-stopping succession.

Shock and shame flooded her as she remembered in exquisite detail.

Given herself! She grimaced at her reflection. She hadn't even had the grace to be embarrassed that he carried condoms when he'd come ashore today. All she'd felt was relief.

He had a swimmer's body, broad shoulders, slim hips, with long muscled limbs and the easy stride of a man at ease with his strength. The sort of body she'd seen on beaches at home in Australia a lifetime ago. Not what she'd expect on a tiny island off the tourist trail in northern Greece.

She knew gorgeous men. They left her unmoved. Their charm and good looks had never quickened her pulse.

The gossips had been disappointed as for six years she'd remained loyal to her much older husband.

Even the fact that her husband had desired her only as a possession to display and jealously guard hadn't driven her to seek consolation elsewhere. Alkis had been impotent and Callie had buried her libido as well as her emotions during their sterile, unhappy marriage. More, his sick jealousy and frightening outbursts ensured she kept men at a distance. She'd learned to brush off the importunate ones with a cool grace that had become her hallmark.

Never had she felt this fiery yearning when she looked at a man. Until today, just hours ago in the deserted private cove of her uncle's estate.

It had been a momentary insanity, brought on by worry for her aunt's health and stress from this duty holiday under her uncle's roof. By the release of unbearable tension after those dreadful last months with Alkis.

By a lifetime of being what her aunt would describe as a 'good girl', doing what was expected.

Callie's lips quirked in a humourless smile as she met her gaze in the mirror. She didn't look like a good girl now.

She'd done as her uncle insisted, donning a full-length gown, totally over-the-top for a family dinner. She'd piled her hair up and wore the flashy diamond pendant and bracelet set that was all she had left of Alkis' gifts.

But the formal clothes didn't conceal the change in her.

There was high colour in her cheeks, her eyes sparkled over-bright, her lips were plump as if kissed long and hard by an expert. And that look of secret satisfaction surely must betray her.

She should be mortified by what she'd done.

Yet, staring at the stranger in the glass, she knew an overpowering urge to flee. To forget the stuffy dinner her uncle had organised a...

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373528388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373528387
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,784,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Annie West loves writing passionate, intense love stories. She has devoted her life to an in depth study of tall, dark, charismatic heroes who cause the best kind of trouble in the lives of their heroines. Creating heroines who are a perfect match for those strong, stubborn men is one of her all time favorite things. As a sideline she's also researched dreamy locations for romance, from vibrant cities to desert encampments and fairytale castles.

Annie won the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for 'Protected By the Prince' and her titles have finaled in or won a range of romance reader awards. Romantic Times said in its review of The Sheikh's Ransomed Bride 'This is what a love story could be.'. CataRomance described it as '...an awesome page turner filled with sizzling sexual tension...'.

You can catch up on Annie's latest news at her website www.annie-west.com or via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anniewest.author. She lives with her family at beautiful Lake Macquarie on the east Coast of Australia. She loves to hear from readers and you can contact her at annie(at)annie-west(dot)com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nas Dean on November 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Savakis Merger (Harlequin Presents Extra)

Savakis Mistress (Modern)

THE SAVAKIS MERGER by author Annie West is a November 2011 release by Harlequin Presents.

For the first time in her life, widow, Calista Manolis indulge in a wild passionate afternoon with a stranger on the beach. Later the stranger is introduced to her as
Damon Savakis, her uncle's business competitor and the man who was planning a takeover of her uncle's company. Daman also has hidden agenda as he wants revenge against the family!

Callie would do anything to stop her uncle forcing her cousin Angela into arranged matrimony with Damon. But will she agree to Damon's condition, and become his mistress?

And what will happen when Damon tires of his mistress, will he just discard her aside?

Annie West did it again! She came through with another winner in THE SAVAKIS MERGER. Her characters come alive on the pages with the use of sharp and humorous dialogue and vivid atmospheric details that the reader is personally involved in their happiness. It is a story with real characters, inspired plot and delightful resolution.

Damon and Callie's story is hugely emotional and highly romantic tale readers will find absolutely impossible to resist. This story has depths to its characters and you can feel all the pain and passion Damon and Callie feel.
This book without a doubt, made it to my favorite list!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Shoemaker on December 1, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Author Annie West continues to amaze me with her spectacular contemporary romances. The Savakis Mistress is no exception as the passion between Damon Savakis and Callie Manolis sizzles and literally leaps off of the pages from the very beginning of the book and continues throughout the entire story. Once you begin, you're hooked and won't want to stop reading this very intense and splendid romantic tale.

My heart went out to the heroine Callie as the only love and joy she's ever known was taken away from her at a young age when her parents died. She was forced to live with her horrible and manipulative uncle who for his own means, arranged for her to marry a much older man, every bit as cruel and devious as her uncle. Now she's free of her marriage as her husband died. Her only hope for happiness is her inheritance. However now that's gone as well thanks to her uncle. All of her dreams of starting her own business are down the drain. On top of everything else she's trying to save her cousin from another yet arranged marriage her uncle is planning for his meek daughter to get him out of debt.

Callie had felt alone for so long. She had been spending time on the beach watching a very handsome man on his yacht for days so when he came ashore and spoke with her it became madness between them. For in a cove these two strangers made love not knowing each others names. Never in her life had she ever done something so impulsive nor felt the power and passion this stranger gave her. Then everything comes crashing down as she returns to her uncles villa only to meet the man her uncle wants her cousin to marry, the very man Damon Savakis with who only an hour ago she was in his arms.

When Damon shows up as a guest at the Manoli villa, it's like reading a diaster.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Clarke on August 3, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Any story where the 'hero' forces a young woman to prostitute herself so she can save an innocent young member of the family is a major turn-off. Especially when he sits there taunting her, enjoying her shame and pain. ick, ick and ick - I don't care how *sensitive* hero conveniently becomes, he is still a sexual creep.

Callie, Callie, Callie - what a deadbeat author to waste your beautiful persona.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tamale8888 on February 8, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I bought this book in my country, it was titled "The Savakis Mistress" (Harlequin Mills & Boon Sexy). This is a story of a woman who, at the age of eighteen, sacrificed her personal happiness to secure her family. She is practically sold by her guardian uncle (who also pilfers her inheritance, the snake!) and weds a man astonishingly older, thinking he was genuine in his pursuit of her. But she ends up in a loveless, sex-starved marriage, psychologically and verbally abused by her husband, and paraded like a piece of meat to make other men envy him for having captured a beautiful and classy trophy wife. When her husband expires, she relishes her freedom and vows to not miss out on life's pleasures. But her happiness is heart-rendingly short-lived, as she is again practically pimped by the same vile uncle to a man she had a fling with during her very short time of freedom. The man has an agenda...to exact revenge on her kin (her uncle!) who hurt his family in the past. She ends up being negotiated as a perk for the man's bailing her uncle out of financial ruin. She again sacrifices herself to spare her young cousin from being preyed on by her former fling and to provide medical assistance to her aunt.

Her plight broke my heart. I felt her pain. But I couldn't help admire her strength of character and her eventual assertion of freedom. Though she falls for the man who manipulated her into being his mistress, her quiet grace and class naturally enlightens him how precious a gift she was. I was so focused on her that the male lead, despite his usual good looks, wealth and power, paled in comparison. Despite the superlatives used to describe him, he didn't make me gush at all. Compared to her, he was just a forgettable romance novel stereotype of male testosterone.
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