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Xenakis's Convenient Bride

By:Dani Collins



 The challenge: two weeks without your billionaire fortune!

Greek magnate Stavros Xenakis must go undercover to win a bet-and escape  his grandfather's demands that he take a bride. Until encountering  deliciously tempting housekeeper Calli proves that a wife is exactly  what he needs!

Calli's baby being taken away robbed her of the ability to trust anyone.  Now Stavros's offer to marry her gives her the chance to finally find  her son. But Calli doesn't expect their honeymoon to be so sinfully  sensual-and for life as the temporary Mrs. Xenakis to be so exquisitely  satisfying...





"Calli will be coming to New York with me. As my wife."

"What?" Calli didn't realize she'd been holding a champagne flute until  it hit the tiles and smashed. "Why on earth would you suggest we marry?"

"My grandfather has been pressuring me to find a wife. He's holding off  stepping down as director until I do. All the women I know would demand a  real marriage. By that I mean years of my life. Children. Half of my  assets if we divorce."

"You don't like children?" It suddenly became a pivotal sticking point  in a conversation that was too outlandish to be happening, but she  couldn't help jumping to a vision of finding her son and watching  Stavros reject him.

"I'm told I need an heir, but I'm in no hurry." He swirled the clear  liquid in the bottom of his glass. "In fact, I plan to leave that up to  my sisters – but I'm impatient to take the reins of the company. I need a  wife to present to my grandfather. One who will act the part but leave  on cue. Why do you want to move to New York? Do you have a deep, dark  secret you want to stay buried?" He narrowed his gaze. "Tell me now. I  don't want a scandal popping up to smudge the family name."





'I'll wager that not one of you can go two weeks without your credit cards...'

The Secret Billionaires

Challenged to go undercover-but tempted to blow it all!

Tycoons Antonio Di Marcello, Stavros Xenakis and Alejandro Salazar  cannot imagine life without their decadent wealth, incredible power and  untouchable status-but neither can they resist their competitive  natures!

Dared to abandon all they know, these extraordinary men leave behind their billionaire lifestyles and take on 'ordinary' lives.

But, disguised as a mechanic, a pool boy and a groom, they're about to meet the real challenge...

Conquering the women they'll meet along the way!

Di Marcello's Secret Son by Rachael Thomas

May 2017

Xenakis's Convenient Bride by Dani Collins

June 2017

Salazar's One-Night Heir by Jennifer Hayward

July 2017





PROLOGUE

STAVROS XENAKIS THREW his twenty-thousand-euro chips into the pot, less  satisfied than he usually was postchallenge, but it had nothing to do  with his fellow players or his lackluster hand.

His longtime friend Sebastien Atkinson had arranged his usual  après-adrenaline festivities. It had wound down to the four of them, as  it often did. Many turned out for these extreme sports events, but only  Antonio Di Marcello and Alejandro Salazar had the same deep pockets  Stavros and Sebastien did. Or the stones to bet at this level simply to  stretch out a mellow evening.

Stavros wasn't the snob his grandfather was, but he didn't consider many  his equal. These men were it and he enjoyed their company for that  reason. Tonight was no exception. They were still high on today's  exercise of cheating death, sipping 1946 Macallan while trading  good-natured insults.

So why was he twitching with edginess?

He mentally reviewed today's paraski that had had him carving a steep  line down a ski slope to a cliff's edge before rocketing into thin air,  lifted by his chute for a thousand feet, guiding his path above a ridge,  then hitting the lower slope for another run of hard turns before  taking to the air again.

It had been as physically demanding as any challenge that had come  before and was probably their most daredevil yet. Throughout most of it,  he'd been completely in the moment-his version of meditating.

He had expected today to erase the frustration that had been dogging  him, but it hadn't. He might have set it aside for a few hours, but this  niggling irritation was back to grate at him.

Sebastien eyed him across the table, no doubt trying to determine if he was bluffing.

"How's your wife?" Stavros asked, more as a deflection, but also trying to divine how Sebastien could be happily married.

"Better company than you. Why are you so surly tonight?"

Was it obvious? He grimaced. "I haven't won yet." He was among friends  so he admitted the rest. "And my grandfather is threatening to  disinherit me if I don't marry soon. I'd tell him to go to hell, but..."         

     



 

"Your mother," Alejandro said.

"Exactly." They all knew his situation. He played ball with his  grandfather for the sake of his mother and sisters. He couldn't walk  away from his own inheritance when it would cost them theirs.

But "settle down?" His grandfather had been trying to fit Stavros into a  box from the time he was twelve. Lately it had become a push toward  picket fences. Demands he produce an heir and a spare.

Stavros couldn't buy into any of that so, yet again, he was in a power  struggle with the old man. He usually got around being whipped down a  particular path, but he hadn't yet found his alternate route. It chewed  and chewed at him, especially when his grandfather was holding control  of the family's pharmaceutical conglomerate hostage.

Stavros might be a hell-raiser, but his rogue personality had produced  some of the biggest gains for Dýnami. He was more than ready to steer  the ship. A wife and children were cargo he didn't need, but his  grandfather seemed to think it would prove he was "mature" and  "responsible."

Where his grandfather got the idea he wasn't either of those things,  Stavros couldn't say. He upped his ante to a full hundred thousand,  despite the fact his hand had not improved. He promptly lost it.

They played a little longer, then Sebastien asked, "Do you ever get the  feeling we spend too much of our lives counting our money and chasing  superficial thrills at the expense of something more meaningful?"

"You called it," Antonio said to Alejandro, tossing over a handful of chips. "Four drinks and he's philosophizing."

Sebastien gave Stavros a look of disgust as he also pushed some chips toward Alejandro's pile.

"I said three." Stavros shrugged without apology. "My losing streak continues."

"I'm serious." Sebastien was the only self-made billionaire among them,  raised by a single mother on the dole in a country where bloodlines and  titles were still more valuable than a bank balance. His few extra years  of age and experience gave him the right to act as mentor. He wasn't  afraid to offer his opinion and he was seldom wrong. They all listened  when he spoke, but he did get flowery when he was in his cups. "At our  level, it's numbers on a page. Points on a scoreboard. What does it  contribute to our lives? Money doesn't buy happiness."

"It buys some nice substitutes." Antonio smirked.

Sebastien's mouth twisted. "Like your cars?" he mused, then flicked his  glance to Alejandro. "Your private island? You don't even use that boat  you're so proud of," he said, moving on to Stavros. "We buy expensive  toys and play dangerous games, but does it enrich our lives? Feed our  souls?"

"What are you suggesting?" Alejandro drawled, discarding a card and  motioning for it to be replaced. "We go live with the Buddhists in the  mountains? Learn the meaning of life? Renounce our worldly possessions  to find inner clarity?"

Sebastien made a scoffing noise. "You three couldn't go two weeks  without your wealth and family names to support you. Your gilded  existence makes you blind to reality."

"Could you?" Stavros challenged, throwing away three cards. "Try telling  us you would go back to when you were broke, before you made your  fortune. Hungry isn't happy. That's why you're such a rich bastard now."

"As it happens, I've been thinking of donating half my fortune to  charity, to start a global search-and-rescue fund. Not everyone has  friends who will dig him out of an avalanche with their bare hands."  Sebastien smiled, but the rest of them didn't.

Last year, Sebastien had nearly died during one of their challenges.  Stavros still woke from nightmares of reliving those dark minutes. He'd  wound up with frostbite burns on his fingers, but he'd been frantic to  save Sebastien, unable to watch a man die again. A man whose life he  valued. He felt sick recollecting it and took a sip of his whiskey to  sear away the nausea.

"Are you serious?" Alejandro charged. "That's, what? Five billion?"

"You can't take it with you." Sebastien's shrug was nonchalant. "Monika  is on board with it, but I'm still debating. I'll tell you what." He  leaned forward, mouth curling into the wicked grin he always wore when  he proposed cliff diving or some other outrageous act. "You three go two  weeks without your credit cards and I'll do it."

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