Books

Michelle Conder’s Books

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,...

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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.’...

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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...

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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...

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Revenge in Room 426

Posted on Oct 12, 2014 in Books

Revenge in Room 426

Step behind the hotel room doors of the Chatsfield, London… Journalist Chloe Tyler has a plan: 1. Use the press junket for Liam Hunter’s latest movie to get revenge. She shares a past with this movie star and his betrayal left her broken-hearted and a total laughing stock. 2. She’ll use him, seduce him and once he’s begging? Cut him loose. But Chloe is playing a dangerous game and soon a pretend seduction becomes all too real! Suddenly the world’s best laid plan for revenge might just be the one thing standing in the way of Chloe’s happiness! This is a short story on Amazon Kindle. Read an excerpt It was him! No, no, it wasn’t… damn, yes it was. And he looked… Chloe Tyler flattened herself against the brickwork at the Chatsfield London hotel and tried not to stare. Which was a bit like those lab experiments where small children were told not to touch a plate full of cookies or something equally tempting, because Liam Hunter was born to be stared at. He always had been. The most popular boy in high school, probably the most popular boy in kindergarten as well, he was, at twenty three, now the most popular star to grace the silver screen. Privileged. Wealthy. Spoilt. Chloe pulled a face. Basically the opposite of her. The poor, dorky exchange student who had gone to America looking for adventure and come away with egg on her face. Like every other girl in senior high she had fallen head over heels in love with him. Then she’d got to know him when she’d started tutoring him in English and not only did she think him the best looking guy she had ever seen but the nicest as well. Boy, did he relieve her of that misapprehension very spectacularly. And very publicly. His horrible prank had been the most humiliating experience of her life and he’d even posted the video of it on YouTube where it had gone viral. God, even her father had seen it. Making sure to keep well out of his line of vision Chloe was unable to tear her eyes away from his long, muscular frame as he strolled along the red carpet and greeted what seemed like thousands of screaming fans and paparazzi. It had been five years since the nightmare of prom night. Making sure to keep well out of his line of vision Chloe was unable to tear her eyes away from his long, muscular frame as he strolled along the red carpet and greeted what seemed like thousands of screaming fans and paparazzi. It had been five years since the nightmare of prom night. Five years since she had seen Liam Hunter – aka rat loser extraordinaire – in the flesh and unfortunately he looked better than ever. Larger. Leaner. His tawny brown hair, worn long now, sat just above shoulder length in an artful array of thick layers. His broad shoulders were encased in a navy blue shirt open over his trademark white t-shirt, and aged denims road low on his lean hips and muscular thighs, ending in worn workman boots. Ha. The man – for that was what he was now – had never done a day’s hard labour in his life. He was the Golden Boy who could do no wrong, except that he had a snake’s personality and he thought nothing of hurting others. Of hurting her. And her fall had been that much steeper because he’d done it after making her feel so special. So wonderful. So beautiful. Yeah, right. That should have been her first clue that something was up. If there was one thing Chloe wasn’t it was beautiful. Oh, she had some pluses – she had creamy skin that despite her red hair hardly freckled and blue eyes with long dark lashes and an okay smile. Unfortunately she had red hair – really red hair – that had a tendency to frizz when it was humid and her nose was a little on the prominent side, made worse, in her...

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Prince Nadir’s Secret Heir

Posted on Oct 12, 2014 in Books, Coming Soon

Prince Nadir’s Secret Heir

Back cover Blurb Prince Nadir’s brief liaison with virginal Moulin Rouge dancer Imogen Reid was over almost before it began. And Imogen fled…carrying something very precious to Nadir. Now he’s found her again and he has a plan: Step 1: Take Imogen and their daughter back to Bakaan. Step 2: Ignore his body’s betraying desire for the woman he never forgot. Step 3: Marry Imogen, thus securing his heir and stabilizing his desert kingdom. But step two proves increasingly difficult to execute, especially when it’s clear he’s not the only one struggling. So now it’s time for plan B…finish what they started in Paris! Order on Amazon Read an excerpt from Chapter one Some days started out well and stayed that way. Others started out well and rapidly deteriorated. This day, Nadir Zaman Al-Darkhan, Crown Prince of Bakaan, decided as he stared at a very large and very ugly statue squatting in the corner of his London office, was rapidly sliding towards the latter. ‘What the hell is that?’ He glanced over his shoulder at his new PA, who blinked back at him like a newly hatched owl transfixed by a wicked wolf. She’d been recommended by his old PA, whose recently acquired husband had taken offence at the seventeen-hour work-days Nadir habitually kept, and he wasn’t sure how she was going to work out. In general people either treated him with deference or fear. According to his brother, it had something to do with the vibe he gave off. Apparently he emanated an aura of power and ruthless determination that didn’t bode well for his personal relationships, which was why he didn’t have many. Nadir had merely shrugged when Zach had delivered that piece of news. Personal relationships ranked well down below work, exercise, sex and sleep. Not always, a sneaky voice whispered in his ear and he frowned as that voice conjured up an image of a woman he had once briefly dated over a year ago and had never seen since. ‘I believe it’s a golden stag, sir,’ his PA all but stuttered, definitely falling into the fearful category. Applying some of that ruthlessness his brother had mentioned, Nadir banished the image of the blonde dancer from his mind and turned back to the statue. He could see it was a stag and he only hoped it hadn’t once been alive. ‘I got that, Miss Fenton. What I should have said is—what the hell is it doing in my office?’ ‘It’s a gift from the Sultan of Astiv.’ Ah, just what he needed—another gift from some world leader he didn’t know, offering commiserations over the death of his father two weeks ago. He’d only been back in Europe a day since the funeral and he was, frankly, tired of the reminders which always brought up the fact that he felt nothing for the man who had sired him. Annoyed, he strode across to his desk and sat down. His PA stopped in his doorway with her iPad clutched to her chest. ‘Tell me, Miss Fenton. Should a person feel badly that their father has just passed away?’ His PA’s eyes slowly widened as if he’d just raised a gun to her head. ‘I couldn’t quite say, sir.’ Meaning she didn’t want to say. Which didn’t surprise him. It wasn’t as if he was known for seeking out the personal opinion of those who worked for him. Not on private matters anyway. Still, he couldn’t quite contain his frustration as his PA shuffled into his office and perched on the edge of an office chair. Between fear and awe he’d go with awe every time but his new PA looked as if she was waiting for him to attack her with a blunt instrument, which could have something to do with the whole host of unwanted emotions and memories his father’s death had stirred up in him. He knew a shrink would tell him that was a good thing. As far as Nadir was concerned, long buried emotions and memories were long buried for a very good...

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