Rich, Ruthless and Secretly Royal. Robyn Donald

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Название Rich, Ruthless and Secretly Royal
Автор произведения Robyn Donald
Жанр Контркультура
Серия Mills & Boon Modern
Издательство Контркультура
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781408912805

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       ‘If you’re afraid, Hannah, all you have to do is pull away.’ Kelt loosened his already relaxed grip.

      Something—a wild spark of defiance—kept Hani still. A basic female instinct, honed by her past experiences, told her she had nothing to fear from Kelt.

      ‘I’m not afraid of you.’

      Kelt’s expression altered fractionally; the glittering steel-blue of his gaze raked her face.

      Hani held her breath when his mouth curved in a tight, humourless smile.


      And then he bent his head the last few inches and at last she felt his mouth on hers, gentle and without passion, as though he was testing her.

      The warnings buzzing through her brain disappeared in a flood of arousal. Kelt tasted of sinful pleasure, of erotic excitement, of smouldering sexuality focused completely on her and the kiss they were exchanging—a kiss she’d never forget.

      Robyn Donald can’t remember not being able to read, and will be eternally grateful to the local farmers who carefully avoided her on a dusty country road as she read her way to and from school, transported to places and times far away from her small village in Northland, New Zealand. Growing up fed her habit; as well as training as a teacher, marrying and raising two children, she discovered the delights of romances and read them voraciously, especially enjoying the ones written by New Zealand writers. So much so that one day she decided to write one herself. Writing soon grew to be as much of a delight as reading—although infinitely more challenging—and when eventually her first book was accepted by Mills & Boon® she felt she’d arrived home. She still lives in a small town in Northland, with her family close by, using the landscape as a setting for much of her work. Her life is enriched by the friends she’s made among writers and readers, and complicated by a determined Corgi called Buster, who is convinced that blackbirds are evil entities. Her greatest hobby is still reading, with travelling a very close second.

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      DRUMS pounded out into the sticky tropical night, their vigorous beat almost drowning out the guitars. Her smile tinged with strain, Hani Court surveyed the laughing, singing crowd from her vantage point at the other end of the ceremonial area.

      The village people had thrown themselves into the celebrations with typical Polynesian gusto, the occasion their way of thanking the group of New Zealand engineering students who’d fixed and upgraded their derelict water system.

      First there had been feasting, and now they were dancing. A teacher at the local school, Hani wasn’t expected to join them.

      Instead, watching the whirling, colourful patterns the dancers made, she resisted aching, nostalgic memories of Moraze, her distant homeland. There, beneath a tropical moon every bit as huge and silver as this one, men and women danced the sanga, an erotic expression of desire, without ever touching.

      Here, half a world away on Tukuulu, the dancing was purely Polynesian but it shared the graceful hand movements and lithe sensuality of the sanga.

      Six years ago Hani had accepted that she’d never dance the sanga again, never laugh with her brother Rafiq, never ride a horse across the wild, grassy plains of Moraze. Never hear her people cheer their ruler and his sister, the girl they’d called their little princess.

      Never feel desire again…

      Unfortunately acceptance didn’t mean resignation. Pierced by longing for everything her stupidity had thrown away, she glanced around. She wasn’t on duty, and no one would miss her if she sneaked back to her house in the teachers’ compound.

      A prickle of unease scudded down her spine. She drew in a breath, her stomach dropping into freefall when her eyes met a steel-blue scrutiny.

      Transfixed, she blinked. He was taller than anyone else and the stranger’s broad shoulders emphasised his height; hard, honed features provided a strong framework for a starkly handsome face. But what made him stand out in the exuberant crowd was his formidable confidence and the forceful authority that gave him an uncompromising air of command.

      Every sense on full alert, Hani froze. Who was he? And why did he watch her so intently?

      Quelling an instinctive urge to run, she felt her eyes widen as he walked towards her. Her tentative gaze clashed with a narrowed gleaming gaze, and a half-smile curved his hard, beautifully cut mouth. Colour swept up through her skin when she recognised the source of his interest.

      Sexual appraisal.

      OK, she could deal with that. But her relief was rapidly followed by shock at her body’s tumultuous—and entirely unwelcome—response.

      Never—not even the first time she’d met Felipe—had she experienced anything like the surge of molten sensation in every cell as the stranger came nearer, moving through the crowd with a silent, lethal grace. Her skin tightened, the tiny hairs lifting as though she expected an attack.

      Warned by that secret clamour, she stiffened bones that showed a disconcerting tendency to soften and commanded her erratic heart to calm down.

      Cool it! she told herself. He probably just wants a dance. Followed by a mild flirtation to while away the evening?

      That thought produced an even faster pulse rate, pushing it up to fever pitch.

      Perhaps he thought she was a local; although she was taller than most of the islanders her black hair and softly golden skin blended in well enough.

      He stopped beside her. Bewildered and shocked, Hani felt his smile right down to her toes; it sizzled with a sexual charisma that emphasised the aura of controlled power emanating from him. With a jolt of foreboding she realised he was being eyed covertly or openly by most of the women within eyeshot.

      Antagonism flared inside her. Here was a man who took his powerful masculine attraction for granted.

       Just like Felipe.

      But it was unfair to load him with Felipe’s sins…

      He said in a voice that made each word clear