Inviting his enemy onto his private jet… and into his bed!
Billionaire Mateo Marin wants nothing to do with archaeologist Evelyn Edwards, his late father’s stunning assistant. Not when their work always came before his family’s happiness. So when Evie gate-crashes his birthday party, he’s outraged—if inexplicably drawn to her.
Evie’s professional reputation means everything to her, and she needs Mateo’s help to save it. But embarking on a quest together around the world is more than innocent Evie bargained on. From Spain to Shanghai, each city holds a different adventure. Yet one thing is constant: their intoxicating attraction!
Mateo descended the short flight of steps from the private jet that had brought him from Spain to Shanghai in a fraction of the time it would have taken Evelyn on a commercial airline, with Henri shouting down the phone in his ear.
‘A bottle of whisky! I left a bottle of whisky in your room, not a woman! How could you think I’d do such a thing?’ Henri demanded.
Mateo pinched the bridge of his nose.
‘I mean, I’m a lot of things, Marin, but a procurer of women is not one of them.’
‘And thatis the most important part of everything I’ve told you, is it?’ groused Mateo.
‘Right. Your Father’s pretty assistant—’
Mateo pulled up short. ‘I didn’t say she was pretty.’
‘You kissed her. Is she not pretty?’
Mateo clenched his jaw together, cursing that, no matter how much coffee he’d drunk that morning, or whisky he’d drunk last night, he could still taste a sweet citrus on his tongue. ‘That is not the point,’ he reluctantly replied. ‘She stole from me—’
‘So you kissed your father’s pretty assistant—’
‘She’s a professor,’ he reminded Henri, much in the same way that she’d reminded himlast night.
‘Evelyn Edwards stole your father’s notebook and you’re in Shanghai to get it back,’ Henri replied in loud, sharp words down the phone.
‘Yes,’ Mateo said, pulling the phone away from his ear and wincing slightly as one of the cabin crew took his suitcase to the black town car waiting for him on the private landing strip. He smiled perfunctorily at the woman who had ideas in her gaze and suggestions on the tip of her tongue, and, ignoring both, he got into the back of the car…alone.
Mateo pressed against the dull throb at his temples. Contrary to what women—and Evelyn Edwards—seemed to think, he wasn’t a notorious playboy willing to bed anyone that entered his bedroom. He still couldn’t work out what had come over him last night. He counted his drinks before she had appeared in his room. He’d only had one and that was most definitely not enough to fuddle his mind to the extent that he grabbed and kissed, thoroughly kissed, a strange woman in his room, no matter why he’d thought she was there.
‘Your message said that you’d left a present in my room.’
‘It. Was. Whisky.’
‘Where? Where did you leave this mythical bottle of whisky?’ Mateo demanded for the hundredth time.
‘I left it beside your bed.’
‘You left it in the darkest corner of my room, not known as the best place for leaving presents! I’m hanging up now,’ Mateo announced, despite the smile pulling at the curve of his lip. Family—Mateo knew—was made of more than just DNA. It was made from being there when needed. Present and in person.
Time and time again throughout his whole life his father had made him wait. Second to a treasure hunt that was scribbled about in the pages of a notebook Mateo couldn’t bring himself to read. There had been so many times over the years when his mother had needed her husband. When they’dneeded him. But instead, it was Mateo who had stepped up to comfort his mother when she cried. He’d been the one who had made sure that his mother had what she’d needed, the security she’d needed. And his father? He’d buried himself in his research, or some dig site that might finally prove his utterly baseless theories about princesses and pirates true.
So yes, he’d come to Shanghai because he wanted that notebook back. If only to burn the thing and be done with it for ever.
Debs, 5* Amazon.co.uk