Blog

Michelle Conder’s Blog Posts

The Italian’s Virgin Acquisition

Posted on Jan 16, 2017 in Books, Coming Soon

The Italian’s Virgin Acquisition

Sebastiano Castiglioni needs to take over as CEO of the family dynasty and he’s not above a little blackmail to get it. When his grandfather mistakes one of his interns – Poppy Connolly – as Sebastiano’s latest love interest and considers her “the one” Sebastiano uses whatever means he can to secure Poppy’s cooperation as exactly that. Poppy won’t take her boss’s money to pose as his fake girlfriend but when he offers her three wishes she finds herself hard pressed to say no…   Chapter One: Sebastiano grimly checked his Rolex as he strode into SJC Towers, his London office building, completely oblivious to the wintery rain landing like icy pellets on his face. He had been waiting for over two years for this day, and finally his crusty old grandfather was going to give up on his stubbornness and hand over the reins of the family dynasty. And not before time! Bert, his weekend security chief gave him a nod as he approached the desk, not at all perplexed to see his boss coming into work on a Sunday morning. ‘Catch the game yesterday, boss,’ Bert asked with a flashing grin. ‘Don’t gloat,’ Sebastiano advised. ‘You’ll ruin my tentatively optimistic mood.’ Tentatively optimistic, being optimistic in itself. Already this morning his current – and now ex – mistress had tried to dampen his enthusiasm by waiting outside his Park Lane home for when he’d returned from his six mile run. Evidently she’d seen Internet photos of him arriving and leaving one of the most lavish, and dullest, cocktail party known to man the night before, and wanted to know why he hadn’t invited her to attend with him. ‘Because it hadn’t occurred to him’, in hindsight, hadn’t been his best answer. Things had rapidly deteriorated after that, ending when she issued him with an ultimatum: either move their relationship forward, or end it. Not that he could blame her for being upset. He’d pursued her a month ago with the ruthless determination that had seen him climb to the top of the Forbes 500 list by the age of twenty-five and he’d yet to even sleep with her. Which wasn’t like him. He normally had a very healthy libido but he’d been off stride lately. Probably this damned situation with his grandfather. Not to mention the twenty-hour days he had been putting in at the office to finalize a deal that would see him enter, and dominate, the construction market on a global scale. Of course he’d apologized to the world-renowned ballerina but she hadn’t been impressed, casting him a beguiling little smile before blowing him a kiss over one elegant shoulder as she’d gracefully exited his life. Thinking about it now, he might suggest she give break up lessons to some of his past involvements. She’d make a small fortune in teaching basic relationship exiting etiquette to others, particularly to the Spanish model who had thrown her hair brush at him when he’d suggested they part ways some months back. ‘Better luck next time, eh?’ Bert chortled, pretending to look contrite. Sebastiano grunted. He knew Bert was talking about yesterday’s football match in which his team had been slaughtered, but he could equally apply the sentiment to his stalled sex life. Stepping into the lift he stabbed the button for his floor and hoped that his adroit EA had found time to collate the reports he wanted to present to his grandfather as part of his winning pitch. Ordinarily he’d never ask Paula to come in on a Sunday, but his grandfather had landed this visit on him at the last minute and he didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Not that his business acumen was the reason behind his grandfather’s reticence to hand him control of the company. No, what he wanted was to see Sebastiano settled with a lovely donna who would one day become the mother of his bambini. His grandfather wanted Sebastiano to have something other than work to sustain him. Something called work-life balance. A modern day catch cry if ever Sebastiano had heard one,...

Read More

Defying the Billionaire’s Command

Posted on Jan 16, 2017 in Books

Defying the Billionaire’s Command

Hardened cynic Dare James is furious. Some woman has gotten her claws into his grandfather. He returns in a blaze of fury to the family estate to lay down the law… only to find himself attracted to the woman he had every intention of evicting. Carly Evans is horrified – she’s his grandfather’s doctor, not a gold digger! She can’t wait to wipe the smug smile from Dare’s frustratingly handsome face. Only before she knows it, Carly is caught in an inescapable web of attraction… and suddenly defying the billionaire’s command is the last thing she wants to do! Chapter One It was often said that Dare James was a man who had everything, and most days he’d be hard pressed to disagree. Blessed with bad-boy good looks, and the stamina and physique any star athlete would envy, he enjoyed expensive cars, even more expensive women, and homes that spanned the globe. A self-made billionaire by the age of thirty, he had started with nothing and now, thanks to sheer hard work and old-fashioned grit and determination, he pretty much had anything a man could want. What he didn’t have was the ability to handle fools lightly, especially pompous, fat-cat fools who understood that the stock market went up and down as long as their own wealth wasn’t affected. Dare propped his feet on his desk and leaned back in his chair. ‘I don’t care if he thinks we should dump the stock,’ he told his CFO over the phone. ‘I’m telling you to hold it. If he wants to question my judgment again he can take his business elsewhere.’ Clicking off the call, he thumbed through to the next issue he had to deal with. ‘Trouble?’ Dare glanced towards his office door to find his mother framed in it. She’d flown from North Carolina to London the previous night, stopping overnight at his before she headed to Southampton to visit an old friend. Dare smiled and dropped his feet from his desk. ‘What are you doing up this early, Ma? You should still be asleep.’ His mother strolled into his office and perched on one of his sofas in the sitting area. ‘I needed to talk to you before I head off today.’ Dare glanced at his watch. Business always came first in Dare’s world, except when it came to his mother. ‘Of course, what’s up?’ If she wanted to borrow Mark, his driver, to take her to Southampton he’d already arranged it. ‘I received an email from my father a month ago.’ Dare frowned, now that he hadn’t expected. ‘Your father?’ ‘I know.’ Her brow quirked. ‘It was a surprise to me too.’ Dare wasn’t sure what shocked him more, the fact that she’d received an email in the first place, or the fact that she’d taken so long to tell him about it. ‘What does he want?’ ‘To see me.’ Her hands twisted together unconsciously in her lap and Dare’s gut tightened. When a man who had kicked his daughter out of her home for marrying someone he didn’t approve of contacted her thirty-three years later you could bet something was up. And Dare doubted it would be good. ‘Bully for him,’ he said without preamble. ‘He invited me up to the house for lunch.’ The house being Rothmeyer House, a large stone mansion set on one hundred and twenty-seven acres of lush English countryside. Dare made a derogatory sound in the back of his throat. ‘Surely you’re not considering it,’ he dismissed. Because he couldn’t think why she would. After the way the old man had hurt her, it was the last thing he deserved. And the last thing his mother should risk. Unfortunately he could already tell that she was not only considering the invitation, but that she wanted to go. ‘The man’s done nothing for you,’ he reminded her, ‘and now he wants to see you?’ Dare knew he sounded contemptuous on her behalf and he was. ‘He has an ulterior motive. You know that, right? He either needs money or he’s dying.’...

Read More

Update – 14th April, 2015

Posted on Apr 14, 2015 in Blog

Hi All, You may have noticed that I’ve just added another book to my booklist. It’s Prince Sachem’s story. For those of you who have read Prince Nadir’s Secret Heir, Zachim is his brother and his story just jumped out at me. That book – Hidden in the Sheikh’s Harem – will be out in October of this year. This will be my tenth book for Harlequin which is a nice milestone to reach! Since finishing that book I have been taking a little break and refilling the well and reading and watching movies and TV shows. I saw the first three episodes of Sons of Anarchy which I enjoyed but probably won’t watch more of because it all seems a little samey. I know that’s not a word. I also saw the doco Blackfish which was great. Can’t remember any others at this point (it has only been two weeks since finishing the book!). But I have read a lot. Finished Linda Francis Lee’s “The Glass Kitchen” which was wonderful and reread the Alchemist just because. I’m also glutting a bit on Loretta Chase’s books. I’ve read Lord of Scoundrels but not her others and I’m enjoying them immensely. So talented. I’ve also painted the back fence (we’re about to get our back garden landscaped) and our deck. Okay, my husband helped with the deck but it was still many hours work! But fun. I like doing manual labour. And painting gives such a good sense of instant satisfaction. Now I’m about to start on my next novel which looks to be a Young Adult. I have twin brother’s circling in my head. One falls for the girl next door and the other falls for the worst girl in senior high. Never done YA before but the characters are insistent. We’ll see what happens. Mx...

Read More

Hidden in the Sheikh’s Harem

Posted on Apr 14, 2015 in Books, Coming Soon

Hidden in the Sheikh’s Harem

Order on Amazon  Chapter One: Prince Zachim Bakr Al-Darkhan tried not to slam the door as he left the palace apartment his half-brother was using for his brief visit but it wasn’t easy. Nadir was being a cranky, stubborn hard-ass, refusing to take his rightful place as the next King of Bakaan, which left Zach in line for the job. ‘Everything, all right, Highness?’ Damn; he was so preoccupied with what had just gone down he hadn’t even sensed the elderly servant he’d known all his life waiting in the shadowed recess of the arched windows. But, no, everything was not all right. Every day that passed without a leader made their people more and more uneasy. His father had only been dead for two weeks but already there were whispers of some of the more insurgent tribes gathering for ‘talks’. Yeah, like the Al-Hajjar tribe. Once their families had been rival dynasties but two centuries ago the Darkhans had defeated the Hajjars in a brutal war, creating resentments that still remained. But Zach knew that the current leader of the tribe—Mohamed Hajjar—hated his father, not only because of their history, but because he held his father responsible for the death of his pregnant wife ten years ago. And probably his father had been partly responsible because, Allah knew, he had been responsible for the death of Nadir’s mother for entirely different reasons. The fact was their father had been a miserly tyrant who’d ruled through fear and had been ruthless when he didn’t get his own way. As a result Bakaan was stuck in the dark ages, both in its laws and infrastructure, and it was going to be an enormous challenge to pull it into the twenty-first century. A challenge that his brother was better suited to take on than Zach. And not just because Nadir was politically savvy with the boardroom instincts of a Great White, but because it was his rightful place as the eldest son. With Nadir taking charge it would also free Zach up to do what he did best – creating and managing change on a street level where he could do the most good. Something he’d already started doing after his delicate mother had begged him to come home five years ago because Bakaan had been on the brink of civil war. The cause of the unrest had stemmed from a rogue publication started by someone in one of the mountain tribes detailing his father’s failings and calling for change. There wasn’t much in the publication Zach could argue with, but he’d done his duty and settled the unrest in his father’s favour. Then, appalled at the state his country was in, he’d set aside his Western lifestyle – which included a very successful speedboat-racing hobby – and stayed, working behind the scenes to do what he could until his increasingly narcissistic and paranoid father had either seen sense or died. Death had come first and the only thing Zach felt was hollow inside. Hollow for the man who had only ever seen him as the spare to the throne, and not a very worthy one at that. ‘Highness?’ ‘Sorry, Staph.’ Zach shook off the memories he didn’t want to delve into and started striding towards his own private wing of the palace, Staph quick-stepping to keep pace with him. ‘But, no, everything is not all right. My brother is proving to be stubborn.’ ‘Ah, he does not wish to return to Bakaan?’ No, he did not. Zach knew Nadir had good reason for not wanting to but he also knew that his brother was born to be king and that if he could get passed the bitterness he felt for their father he would want to rule their small kingdom. Realising that Staph was having trouble keeping pace with him, Zach slowed. ‘He has some other considerations to think of right now,’ he hedged. Like an infant daughter he hadn’t known about and the mother he was set on marrying. Now, there had been a revelation to shock the hell...

Read More

Website hacked!

Posted on Oct 12, 2014 in Blog

So I went away to the US for my three week trip with a great friend from the US that culminated in my first RWA conference in Texas and while I was away my site was hacked and disappeared into nowhere land. Thankfully it is back and it is now a work in progress to pretty it up and make it work properly. I’ve updated my next two books and put excerpts on there for everyone to read and get excited about! And now back to the trip. What fun it was to spend time with my friend Pam and to drive around the South East of the US. I started in Washington DC then went to Mt Vernon, Richmond, Roanoke, Asheville (toured the Vanderbilt mansion!), Charleston and Savannah. Then I went on to New Orleans by myself and finally headed to San Antonio. It was a complete blast and I loved every minute of it. Especially the conference where I pushed my way into a full Susan Elizabeth Phillips workshop and met some absolutely wonderful authors who I have admired from afar. Then I returned home to my family and it was like Christmas day. I had presents and stories and my kids had the day off school and we had the most fantastic day. After that I frantically tried to finish off a novel that was due right before our family ski trip to New Zealand where my husband broke his ankle on the second day! Not so good. Then it was back home to finish the now late novel (whew – was I glad to have that one off my desk) and onto school holidays. The last three months feel like a whirlwind and I am now in the blissful state of starting my next book! I hope everyone else is well and I look forward to being in contact more frequently in the future....

Read More

Russian’s Ruthless Demand

Posted on Oct 12, 2014 in Books

Russian’s Ruthless Demand

Out of the ice, into the fire! Determined to prove herself to her illustrious family, Eleanore Harrington accepts an offer to create a glittering new ice hotel. The catch? Her new boss is Lukas Kuznetskov, a man as cold and unyielding as the ice she works with. Lukas assumed that Eleanore would melt to his every command. But his blood is fired by the white-hot embers smoldering between them, and his focus shifts from professional to pleasure! When he discovers Eleanore’s body is as pure as the driven snow, the ruthless Russian makes her virginity his final demand… Welcome to The Chatsfield! Order on Amazon Read an excerpt from the first chapter. You’re breaking up Petra. Who did you say quit? Lukas Kuznetskov frowned down the phone line, straining to hear as his PA explained the latest issue with the supposedly creative genius who had been hired to build his ice hotel. Apparently the man had stormed out after Lukas had questioned his latest offering, complaining that he was too controlling and stifled his creativity. Creativity? He swore under his breath. So far Lukas had come up with the overall concept of the hotel himself while the architectural wizard had done little more than fill in the technical details and organise the preliminary build. With only a month left until the most anticipated project in Russia was due to open it was fair to say Lukas was a little agitated. ‘Please tell me he at least redesigned the interior of the guest bedrooms like I asked,’ he growled, grinding his teeth when Petra confirmed that no, he had not. Useless, lazy, good for nothing… Lukas sucked in a sharp breath as he strove for calm and told Petra he’d handle it. As if he wasn’t busy enough. ‘Trouble?’ Having momentarily forgotten his Italian ship engineer was in the room Lukas turned away from the splendour of Italy’s Adriatic coastline and glanced at the plans laid out on a scored wooden table. They had just finished going over his design for a supertanker that could carry twice as much cargo as any other on the market and go at twice the speed. If they could pull it off it would be another feather in Lukas’s already well plumed cap. Tomaso Coraletti was as close to a friend as Lukas had ever allowed himself to have and the older man stroked his neat beard as he listened to the problem. ‘Biscotti, Lukas?’ Turning, Lukas replaced his scowl with a smile when he saw Tomaso’s sweet wife Maria standing before him with a silver tray of freshly made biscotti in her hands. Tomaso reached across and took a piece before Lukas could respond and got his hand swatted for his efforts. ‘Bah!’ she scolded. ‘Lukas is a growing boy. He needs it more than you.’ Tomaso scoffed and Lukas chuckled. He’s stopped growing a long time ago and they both knew it. ‘Grazie mille, Maria.’ He took a slice of the treat even though he didn’t want it and pocketed his phone. ‘It is the best biscotti in the whole of Italy.’ Tomaso boasted. ‘Maybe one day you will be lucky enough to have someone make you biscotti like this if you’re good.’ Lukas had known Tomaso ever since he joined his first container ship as a deck boy. In fact it had been Tomaso who had gotten him the job. He had been the ship’s engineer and had convinced his brother, the Captain, to give Lukas a trial. He’d been sixteen year old troublemaker at the time but still different from the other street kids from the putrid sector of town he’d grown up in because he had ambition. Something the older man had recognised when Lukas intervened while a group of young thugs tried to fleece Tomaso of his pocket change. Of course Lukas hadn’t trusted his good will straight away. While most of his peers sought safety in numbers, joining or forming gangs to keep them safe, Lukas kept to himself, learning at a young age that needing others...

Read More