Entangled Publishing is celebrating the holidays with 25 Days of Holiday Steals. They’re spotlighting a special steal of a deal each day from December 1st through December 25th. So be sure to check back each day to see what special offer is up for grabs that day!
Today’s Steal Is...
This is a hero you would want to run into under the mistletoe!
Millionaire Under the Mistletoe by Stefanie London is on sale for just 99¢!
So be sure to grab your copy today.
It’s so nice when he’s naughty.
Stella Jackson would rather stab herself in the eye with her own stiletto than return to England. Especially in winter. But to fulfill her grandfather’s last wish, she has to spend Christmas at the estate she inherited from him…with the one man she wishes she could forget. Self-made millionaire Evan Foss wants one thing from Stella—her estate. But thanks to their rocky past, he’s the last person she’ll sell to. So when she takes him up on a bet, with the estate as the prize, Evan can’t believe his luck. The only problem is that seeing her now, sexy and all grown up, tempts Evan to finish what started years ago between them.
Someone was smiling down on Evan Foss today. He hadn’t expected Stella to be flying in from Trieste, much less occupying the seat across from him. But catching her unprepared was an opportunity he wouldn’t waste.
Evan drank Stella in. She’d changed a lot since he’d seen her last, blossoming from an awkward, albeit gorgeous, young woman to a more curated version of herself. Her wide blue-green eyes sparkled like the waves in Positano. They hadn’t changed, and he remembered how they’d reflected her joy and excitement and sadness with vivid clarity. Her hair was smoother and sleeker than the tangle of unkempt waves he’d once run his hands through. But her face had hardened. There was a determined set to her jaw and an icy reserve that immediately slid into place when she recovered from blurting out his name. That was new.
Then there was her body—all willowy lines and lean bronzed limbs. Her slim legs were encased in jeans so tight they could have been spray-painted on. She wore a pair of white high-top Converse Chucks, which was perhaps the only sign that the girl he once knew still lurked within.
“Like what you see?” she asked, a twisted smile on her lips. “Maybe I’m a bit more to your tastes now?”
So much for hoping that she’d forgotten the shit storm from four years ago.
“I was admiring your shoes.” He shrugged. Try as she might, Stella wasn’t going to knock him down with one sharp remark. But, she was going to be a tough nut to crack.
Evan didn’t shy away from a challenge, however. Hell, he thrived on it. And convincing Stella Jackson to give him what he wanted would be a great pleasure indeed.
“I don’t know how some girls fly in heels.” She smoothed a hand over her hair and he noticed that her ring finger was bare. Wasn’t she supposed to be engaged?
“Don’t subscribe to the beauty is pain ethos?” He cocked his head. “How does that work given you’re employed by a five-star hotel?”
“You’ve done your homework.” She closed her magazine with an obvious degree of reluctance. “Well done.”
“I was surprised you hadn’t taken over your grandfather’s business.”
Surprised and relieved. It would have been difficult to convince her to sell the property if she intended on keeping it for herself. Since she wasn’t planning to take over her grandfather’s company, all he had to do was convince her to sell to him.
At the mention of her grandfather, she shut down and turned back to face the seat in front of her. Conversation over, apparently.
The plane taxied toward the runway and the cabin crew bustled up and down the aisles, checking the overhead compartments and ensuring passengers had their seat belts buckled. He pressed his fingertips to his temples as the security video played on the screens.
He had two and a half hours. This flight was an opportunity for a head start to their negotiations and it was clear Stella hadn’t forgiven or forgotten his mistake. No matter, he’d battled worse odds. All he had to do was figure out how to get her to consider his proposal. Because once he had an opening, he knew his plans would blow her socks off.
But talking to her currently was like trying to start a conversation with a brick wall. Ordinarily he’d go in hard, muscle his way into his opponent’s attention. Demand to be heard. He’d acquired a reputation for that early on. The “young bull” they’d called him in an article about up and coming property players a few years back. So what else was new? Evan had always fought tooth and nail for what he had. For respect.
Stella, however, required a different approach. A softer approach. That much he remembered and, while it wasn’t his preference or his forte, he would always do whatever needed to be done to close a deal.
He turned to Stella, who had her nose buried in her magazine again.
“You really should pay attention to the video,” he said. “Otherwise you won’t know what to do in the unexpected event of an emergency.”
He said the last few words mimicking the serious tone of the video and was rewarded with the barest hint of a smile. “You’ll help me get my mask on, won’t you?”
“You have to help yourself before attending to others.” He mimicked the video again.
“Ain’t that the truth?” The smile slowly faded from her lips.
Her fingertips traced the watch on her wrist. He recognized the man’s oversized face and well-loved band. The hand that’d worn that watch had helped him for years, guided him through the toughest parts of his life, given him an opportunity to be something more than a drain on the economy. To be more than a statistic.
He swallowed against the tightness in his throat.
The plane’s speakers crackled to life and the pilot announced that all crew should prepare for take-off. The plane whirred, picking up speed and hurtling along the runway. Evan loved the thrill of the exact moment when the plane left the ground, his stomach always flipped as weightlessness encompassed him. He’d never flown as a child and on his first trip at the age of seventeen he’d been so excited the feeling was forever etched into his memory.
He stole a glance at Stella. Her white-knuckled hands gripped the seat of her recliner and her eyes squeezed shut. Before he could consider the consequences, he reached out, stretching his arm across the aisle and grabbing her hand. Her fingers felt fragile in his, the slight tremble cutting him to the bone. As the plane hit a rough patch, a small whimper escaped her lips.
“So you’re staying for the whole month?” he asked, trying to ease her into conversation.
“I’m staying until Christmas Day,” she said tightly, though whether that was due to her fear of flying or her annoyance at him, he had no idea.
“There’s plenty to see in a month.”
“I’m not planning to sightsee, Evan.” She removed her hand from his as the plane evened out. “I have a job to do. I have meetings to go to and things to deal with at the estate.”
“The estate’s in great condition, I’ve been keeping it in top shape since…” Shit. He wasn’t sure how to finish that sentence without dredging up a whole lot of stuff he wasn’t ready to deal with. “Let’s talk about my proposal for the estate.”
“Can’t the business talk wait until we arrive?” Her yawn was so fake he was mildly insulted.
“We’ve got time to kill and it might distract you from trying to snap the arm rest in two.”
Her lips pursed. “Do you know how I like to kill time?”
She reached down to the handbag that sat under the seat in front of her and pulled out a pair of chunky Bose headphones. “I like to block everything out.” She popped the headphones over her ears. “We’ll talk when I get to the estate.”
“Subtle,” he muttered.
You’ll have to sharpen up your game for this bid, she’s not going to let you off the hook that easily.
So what? He knew how to deal with stubborn property owners, and Stella was no different. If there was one thing he’d mastered in his career climb, it was convincing people to see that his way the best way. The only way. In an ideal world he’d play it straight with Stella, because he owed her family so much. But he wouldn’t sacrifice success to be a nice guy.
That estate would be his. One way or another.
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