Can the pain of the past brings about the happiness of the future?
Stefano Kostapoulos plans to demolish the dilapidated Pink Villa inherited from his grandmother and build a modern resort on the Greek island of Mykonos. But the old American co-owner refuses to sell his shares and sends his lawyer to Greece. Undeterred, Stefano plans to shred the newcomer to pieces at the hearing.
Except that the attorney is a gorgeous redhead who knocks Stefano out of his axis when he meets her incognito. Sparks fly during a first encounter that leads to a memorable night of passion.
In court, Counselor Ashley Sheppard, the co-owner’s granddaughter, is in for a nasty surprise. Her handsome Greek god is the opponent. Her heart gnaws with pain, yet she attacks him with all her strength during the hearing.
Stefano wins the lawsuit, but is about to lose Ashley. To keep her in Mykonos, he strikes a deal with his old enemy. Does Ashley dare to trust the Greek playboy? Or even understand her grandfather’s strange volte-face regarding the Pink Villa?
Excerpt: The Past.
She stood and walked to the center of the room, addressing the judge. “Your honor, I came all the way from the USA to attend this hearing. Mr. Zanis is my grandfather. He’s also an eighty-two year old man in bad health. In Mykonos, you heard of this scandal and the feud between Mr. Zanis and the Kostapoulos family.” Crossing her arms, she surveyed the audience and studied their expressions, as her words were translated in Greek. Mostly curious smiles, interested looks, and a few sarcastic grins.
“Let me tell you the beautiful but sad story of two young people who loved each other. George Zanis— Yorgho as he was called here—was twenty, from a relatively poor family, who couldn’t afford to send him to college. He made the big mistake of falling in love with the prettiest girl in Mykonos. Elena was the daughter of the powerful mayor and richest man in town. To be able to ask for her hand in marriage, Yorgho worked two and three shifts a day as a mechanic and saved all his money. And then he did a crazy thing for the girl he loved. He bought an old house no one wanted, renovated it, and offered it to his girlfriend.”
During translation, she scanned her audience and let her gaze rest on Stefano. “As a lawyer, all I’ve seen in my life and in my personal experience, are jerks who take advantage of innocent girls, or womanizers who collect nights of pleasure.”
A collective gasp answered her bold accusation. Stefano narrowed his eyes.
“But these young people were different. Innocents who believed in love. Unfortunately, Yorgho was rejected by Elena’s family. As a last resort to win her hand in marriage, he decided to seek his fortune in America and come back a rich man to marry her. Elena promised to wait for him. Like many young lovers, they gave in to their passion and shared a night in each other’s arms. Big mistake,” she spat out, with a disgusted glance toward Stefano who smiled.
God, how she wanted to punch that smile. She spun toward the judge. “You know the rest. A pregnant Elena was forced to marry to save the honor of her family. She lost the child two days before her wedding. What you don’t know is that Yorgho and Elena remained friends all their lives and exchanged letters once or twice a month. Elena visited the Pink Villa regularly to read her best friend’s letters.”
Ignoring Stefano’s new scowl, she continued, “Now your honor, how could you deny an old man’s last wish to preserve the gift he’d given to his love?”
“Ms. Sheppard, I appreciate your presentation. I am sure everyone here has been touched by this amazing love story. But does Mr. Zanis plan to come and live in the Pink Villa?” the judge asked as he tilted his chin.
The question was crucial to the outcome of the hearing but she couldn’t lie to win her case. “Mr. Zanis is too sick to travel.”
“Therefore he might never step again into the Pink Villa. Why would he prevent the good residents of Mykonos from enjoying a new resort and the income it would bring?”
“The Pink Villa holds sentimental value.”
“It’s not a good enough reason.” He tapped his table with the gavel. “Mr. Kostapoulos, you can buy Mr. Zanis’ half. The court will send him his due. I am granting the permits to demolish the Pink Villa and build a tourist resort.”