As an undercover investigator for a giant insurance corporation, Diana de Revillon is assigned to recover nine priceless stolen paintings. A professional with a 100% success record, the golden girl’s quest brings her into both the glittering world of mysterious and handsome billionaire David Mendel, who appears to fall for her socialite/party-girl cover, and the underworld of tough narc, Tom Estevez, who is wise to her.
Across the face of Europe’s dazzling cities to the showdown on David Mendel’s sumptuous yacht, both she and Tom pursue what they suspect the mastermind David has – the nine famous paintings to be exchanged for ‘snow and ice’, cocaine and diamonds. But in the diamond-studded glamour of Mendel’s world, the seducer has become the seduced. Diana has come under David’s fascinatingly masterful spell – and is brought to the brink of a damnable choice: expose him or trust him.
“I have two eighty,” called the auctioneer. “Do I hear more?”
Immediately, the tension in the room rose like the mercury on a scorching Riviera afternoon. A duel was on. From across the room, Diana could feel David Mendel’s dissecting scrutiny. He responded with another subtle finger gesture.
“Three fifty for Sultana’s Folly,” said the auctioneer. “Jean-Paul, do you have higher?”
She barely nodded to her bid-spotter, Jean-Paul. The young man in the tux couldn’t conceal his pleasure at the way the bidding was going. He relayed her signaled bid on to the auctioneer, and the electronic board flashed the most recent bid, hers for $400,000.
A ripple of astonished whispers rolled across the auditorium, then ebbed in expectancy of her competitor’s response. Desperately, she wanted to light a cigarette, but she remained motionless, dispassionate and regal, waiting. After all, patience and perseverance, that was her game.
David Mendel responded to her coolness with an astonishing jump in the bidding—to $750,000.
Jesus Freudian Christ.
Maja bint Fadine cast him a dubious look. Obviously, Diana thought, the late sultan’s great-granddaughter was as astounded as was she and everyone else present.
Coolly, Diana signaled a $150,000 increase when she bid, and her grandmother sucked a hissing breath that quickly expanded her already ample bosom. “Have you lost your mind, Diana?”
Abruptly, David Mendel raised the bid. He could certainly afford to keep pace with her bidding, but the businessman in him surely recognized the senselessness of raising the bid on a thoroughbred yearling beyond its worth—unless, perhaps, the competitor in him goaded him into taking unnecessary risks purely for the pleasure of it.
Satisfied now with what she had been wanting to know, she let the bidding pass her by.
As she and her grandmother walked up the aisle toward the exit, the display board winked SOLD and the amount: $1,000,000.
About the Author
Declared by ABC's Nightline as one of three best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the award-winning Parris Afton Bonds has been featured in major newspapers and magazines and published in more than a dozen languages.
She donates spare time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates, both whom she considers her captive audiences.
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