The Cinderella Seduction
Greek tycoon Nikolaos Costas has a debt to collect fro the Stefanopoulos family and he won’t leave until he gets his money. Stefanie Stefanopoulos has been tasked with entertaining—i.e. distracting—him while he’s in town, all in hopes of getting him to forgive the debt. She may not be an ugly duckling, but she’s a far cry from her petite stepsisters and she knows that the gorgeous playboy won’t even notice her. It doesn’t stop her from wanting him to, though.
Four months ago, Nick’s bachelor-style life was turned upside down. Now the sole parent to a seven-year-old daughter he never knew existed, Nick doesn’t have time for pleasure. But he hadn’t factored in Stefanie or the intense attraction he’d feel for her. As her seduction heats up, so do the stakes, both professionally and romantically. Can he let business go long enough to allow Stefanie into his heart?
Cornering Stefanie alone in the kitchen, Nick reached for the platters she’d collected. “Stop,” he said, reaching for them. “It is a holiday, is it not?”
Stefanie hesitated and then surrendered the stack. “It is, but I’m the caterer. And you’re a guest.”
Setting the plates on the counter, he shook his head. “No, today you are a generous friend who has made beautiful food to be enjoyed by, it seems, everyone but herself.” A dark brow lifted. “Have you even tasted this baklava?” He gestured to the tray set out on the counter.
Stefanie hesitated. It wasn’t as though she needed the extra calories, though she could hardly say so to him. “No I haven’t, but I make it all the time.”
“For others, yes. When was the last time you sat down with a sweet and an espresso and savored?”
Stefanie hesitated. She spent so much time tasting dishes in her kitchen as she was preparing them that she was rarely hungry—and just as rarely full. Sitting down to an actual meal, or even a snack, was a rarity. “I don’t know. A while, I guess.”
Nick reached around her to the counter, his pectoral brushing her breast, whether deliberately or accidentally Stefanie couldn’t say for certain. What she could say for certain was that it felt good—really good. Good enough to want more.
I am the seducer, not the seducee, I am the seducer, not the seducee…
No matter how many times she mentally repeated the mantra, she didn’t feel in complete control at the moment. She didn’t feel in control at all.
Eschewing the spatula, Nick stuck his hand in the pan and pulled off a gooey precut wedge.
“You know what you just did is sacrilege,” Stefanie said, fighting a smile.
Smiling back, he brought the dessert to her lips. “I am making the food gods very angry, I am sure, but I will risk it if you will. Open.”
The last time someone had fed her she’d probably been all of five. Stefanie hesitated and then opened. Gooey, honeyed heaven sweetened the inside of her mouth.
“Chew,” he ordered softly, bringing his face down to hers, and to her surprise once more, she obeyed.
A syrupy thumb slid across her bottom lip, raising a bevy of tingles. “It is good, yes?” His eyes locked on hers and suddenly she wasn’t at all sure he referred to the pastry.
Fighting the urge to suck at his digit, Stefanie swallowed—hard. “It’s delicious.”
Nick stepped back, eyes dark and dancing. “Yes, Stefanie, it is. Now come upstairs and join the party. Your friends are missing you. I am missing you.”
“No buts.” He held out his hand, the same hand he’d used to feed her. “There is a time for staying behind-the-scenes, for hiding out in the kitchen, and this is not it.”
About the Author
Award-winning author, Hope Tarr earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Education before coming to grips with the tough truth: she wasn’t especially interested in analyzing people or teaching them. What she wanted was to write about them! Today Hope is the author of more than twenty historical and contemporary romance novels for multiple publishers including THE CINDERELLA SEDUCTION, the finale to her Suddenly Cinderella Series for Entangled Publishing. Hope is also a co-founder and current curator of Lady Jane’s Salon®, New York City’s first—and still only—monthly romance reading series now with satellites in eight U.S. states. The Romance Writers of America’s New York City chapter recently honored Hope as their 2013 Author of the Year. She lives in Manhattan with her real life romance hero and their feline family members. When not writing, she enjoys running, hiking, martial arts—and browsing restaurant menus.
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