The Kyriakos Virgin Bride [Secure]
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by Tessa Radley
Description: It was preordained that Greek billionaire Zac Kyriakos would marry a woman pure of heart and body. His quest had proved futile until he found sheltered heiress Pandora Armstrong whose youth, beauty and naivet suited all his needs. Zac's whirlwind courtship swept Pandora off her feet--but it wasn't until after their amazing wedding night that she discovered why Zac had wanted her so desperately. Now she was left to doubt her husband's true feelings...and wonder if he would still want his virgin bride when he found out she hadn't been....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Desire,
eBookwise Release Date: September 2007
8 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [284 KB]
GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS: Available to customers in: US, NZ, SG, TW, ER, GQ, LS, MG, MW, SD, SN, HM, MN, GD, JM, LT, SI, BY, FO, TR, PS, BM, AS, IO, SB, FK, SR, AF, FJ, CA, ES, PR, PH, BF, EG, KE, NG, RE, BV, TF, GE, KP, MV, PK, TL, BQ, HT, KN, CZ, CH, GI, IS, RS, SJ, BH, MH, NU, BO, AD, AL, AE, GF, MX, FR, IT, BE, CF, DZ, EH, GN, MA, MZ, SO, TD, TG, BT, KG, NP, VN, IM, AW, BB, CW, EE, LU, VA, IQ, QA, KI, PF, TK, AR, PE, AM, NI, KR, VI, UM, KM, MR, NA, NE, TN, TZ, KH, TJ, GG, LC, CY, FI, GR, HR, MD, JO, KW, OM, SY, YE, CC, FM, GT, MY, CD, CG, GA, ZA, ZM, ZW, MM, DM, GP, TT, VG, DK, HU, IE, LV, PT, SE, MC, ME, NO, IL, LB, GL, CK, GU, NR, PG, CL, GY, BL, BZ, DE, CN, BJ, CM, CV, GM, SH, UG, HK, UZ, GS, PN, SX, AT, AX, BG, MT, RO, BA, LI, MK, RU, PM, CX, PW, VU, CO, SV, UY, AU, BR, JP, BI, BW, CI, SL, BD, BN, ID, IN, LA, MO, TH, TM, MS, BS, CU, DO, MQ, TC, VC, PL, SM, UA, SA, TO, WF, HN, PY, NL, DJ, ET, GH, GW, LY, ML, MU, RW, ST, SZ, AZ, KZ, KY, MF, SK, JE, IR, MP, NC, NF, TV, WS, CR, EC, PA, VE, LK, AG, AI What's this
Pandora Armstrong spoke the vow in a clear, steady voice, and a warm tide of radiance swept over her. She sneaked a look up at her groom. Zac Kyriakos stood like a rock beside her, feet apart, facing the archbishop. Serious. Intent. Utterly gorgeous.
He was staring straight ahead. His profile could've been culled from any of the statues or friezes in the Acropolis Museum he'd taken Pandora to explore three days ago. The arrogant nose that ran in a straight sweep from his forehead to the nose tip, the strong jaw, the broad and high-boned cheekbones all resembled the marble statues she'd seen. But it was on his full mouth that her gaze lingered. Jeez, his mouth…
Full and sensuous, it was a mouth made for pure sin.
Zac glanced down and caught her staring. His colder-than-glass green eyes blazed, possessive. And that sexy to-die-for mouth curved into a smile.
Desire shot through her. Pandora tore her gaze away and stared blindly at the bouquet of creamy white roses clasped in her free hand.
Dear God. How could she feel like this about a man? And not just any man. This was Zac Kyriakos, who made her feel feverish and shaky. What had he done to her?
She blinked, fighting the urge to wipe her eyes, in case she woke up and discovered she'd dreamed the whole thing. How could she, Pandora, Miss Goody Two-Shoes—except for that terrible summer three years ago—have fallen in love so quickly?
Dimly she heard the archbishop say, "You may kiss the bride."
The vows and the kiss were not part of the Greek Orthodox ceremony. Zac had requested the traditional vows for her sake.
She was married!
Married to the tall, dark and exceedingly handsome man whose right hand she clutched so tightly that her fingernails must be leaving crescent-shaped marks on his palm. Inside, her stomach cramped with nervous excitement. It wasn't every day that a woman married a man who until three months ago had been a stranger.
She lifted her head. Their eyes connected. Heat arced between them. Zac's eyes smouldered. Possessive. Hungry. But there was a question in those compelling eyes, too.
Pandora nodded, a small, almost imperceptible nod, granting him the permission he sought.
Zac's hand tightened on hers. The warm weight of his other palm rested on the curve of her hip covered by the embroidered wedding gown passed from Kyriakos bride to Kyriakos bride through centuries. A gentle tug turned her to face him. His head swept down. That devastating mouth brushed hers, warm and intimate.
And just like that Pandora forgot about the archbishop, forgot about the people packed into the pews. Forgot that this was Zac Kyriakos. Shipping tycoon. Billionaire.
The only reality was the sensual touch of his lips on hers. And the heat that shivered through her.
Too soon he set her away. Only then did she become aware of the flashing cameras and remember they stood in a church where nearly a thousand people watched. Instantly the trembling heat evaporated. Despite the blazing white August sun outside, she felt suddenly chilled.
* * *
"Goodness!" Pandora's eyes stretched wide as she stared at the noisy wall of paparazzi surrounding the bridal car as they turned into Zac's estate in Kifissia, the exclusive area north of Athens where the reception was being held.
"Overwhelming?" A flash of white teeth and a wicked grin lit up Zac's darkly tanned face. "A three-ring circus?"
"Yes." Pandora leaned back, trying to hide from the intrusive camera lenses. From the minute she'd stepped off the plane the paparazzi had been waiting to mob her. But Zac and his bodyguards had kept the hungry horde at a distance. Pandora supposed she should have anticipated the furious speculation the wedding between Zac Kyriakos and a reclusive heiress had roused. The great-grandson of a Russian princess and the legendary Orestes Kyriakos, Zac had inherited most of his fortune from his grandfather, Socrates, after Orestes had used his kidnapped bride's wealth to restore the state of the Kyriakos fortune to its pre-Great War glory. Both Orestes and Socrates had been legends in their own times, and Zac himself featured prominently on the covers of the world's finance magazines, as well as making the annual list of most eligible bachelors in the known universe for the last decade.
But naively Pandora hadn't given his fame a thought, hadn't expected to have her wedding treated like that of royalty.
"Smile. They think our wedding is romantic. A modern fairy tale," Zac whispered into her ear. "And you're the beautiful princess."
Feeling as though she were performing to the gallery, Pandora turned to the window and bared her teeth in a travesty of a smile. The cameramen went crazy. And then they were sweeping through the tall wrought-iron gates, along the private tree-lined avenue through parklike gardens.
"Pandora." Without warning, Zac's expression turned serious and he reached for her hand. "Remember what I told you when you arrived? Don't read the papers. Don't search for those photos in the newspapers tomorrow. The lies and half-truths that accompany them will only upset you. Concentrate on us, on our future together," he said, his voice unexpectedly fierce as his thumb caressed the soft skin on the inside of her wrist. "The speculation, the gossip and garbage the tabloids dredge up will destroy you."
"I know. I already promised you I won't read the papers." She sighed. "I only wish Dad had been here." Her father's absence was the only shadow that hung over an otherwise perfect day. But since a bad bout of pneumonia four winters ago had left his lungs permanently damaged, necessitating regular doses of oxygen, her father no longer risked airline travel. "I always thought he'd be there on my wedding day to give me away."
Copyright © 2007 by Tessa Radley.