Dear Reader,

I’m thrilled that this month sees The Savakis Merger on sale in North America. Published in the UK as ‘The Savakis Mistress’, there was a delay getting this book to America. In that time I’m pleased to say it finalled in both the Award of Excellence Contest and the Australian Romance Reader Awards, as well as attracting some fantastic reviews and lovely reader emails.

From society ice-queen…
Only hours ago she was a tempting stranger. Now Damon Savakis knows who she really is – Callie Manolis, society ice-queen and duplicitous niece of his arch enemy…
…to his unwilling mistress.
Yet when Callie’s avaricious uncle loses the Manolis money, she becomes the bargaining chip in the Savakis merger! But Damon is unprepared for her bravery, poise and purity in a world full of greed.

Callie is a woman who’s learned the hard way not to take risks, or to trust any man. After early loss and the trauma of marriage where she was nothing more than a trophy, now is the chance to make a real life for herself. But after years being strong she makes one fatal error, when she gives in to her attraction for a stranger. Now she finds there’s a price to be paid for recklessness.

Damon is a man on a mission – to conclude the deal that will finally bring to book his lifelong enemy. That's what he's worked most of his life to achieve. Until he discovers the woman he’d believed special is instead part of a seedy business stratagem by his rival. Can he focus on his plan to right past wrongs, or will he learn there are things more important than vengeance?

This is an intense story about a pair who set sparks flying from their first meeting. They’re passionate, provocative and determined, but they both hide vulnerabilities that have shaped their lives. Watching Callie and Damon learn to trust and finally to love, has been one of the joys of my writing career so far. And yes, even though I’m the author, I definitely got that ‘awww’ feeling when they finally faced their fears and the joys of true love. I hope you do too if you pick it up. One reader described the book this way: “Callie and Damon's story was wonderful beyond words. I've read most of your books, but this is BY FAR my favourite. It was sooooooo good!”

Warmest wishes and happy reading,

Annie West



Excerpt from The Savakis Merger

by Annie West

Cover art copyright © by Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher

A little background may be needed. Callie and Damon have met before, but it’s only now, in her Uncle’s house, that Callie learns the man she'd been falling for isn't here to claim her. Instead he's concluding a cold-blooded business deal by marrying her shy, unwilling cousin Angela.

‘Callie?’

Damon’s baritone dragged her back to the present. She blinked and found she’d wrapped her arms round her torso. Slowly she unwound them and stood straight, looking at a point near his collar bone.

‘Angela deserves the chance to marry the man she loves.’

‘Don’t tell me you believe in romantic love?’

She shrugged, trying to don an air of insouciance. She felt too brittle. As if her façade of control might splinter.

‘For some. For Angela.’ Not for herself. She’d given up that fantasy long ago.

He dismissed her argument with a single slashing gesture. ‘I don’t see a problem. Especially with your uncle onside. Between us we can overcome any doubts she has.’

All warmth leached from Callie’s body. She knew her uncle’s tactics too well. The mixture of blustering threat and heartfelt appeals for the good of the family.

At Angela’s age Callie had succumbed and agreed to marry the polite older man who’d payed court so graciously. Too late she’d learned her husband’s old world charm hid a cruel and unstable disposition.

The knowledge filled her with desperate resolve.

‘No! You can’t. You mustn’t.’ The words spilled out and she took an involuntary step towards Damon, one hand outstretched in her urgency.

‘Mustn’t, Callie? You’re not in a position to dictate to me.’ Damon towered over her, eyes glinting with challenge.

Her hand dropped as fear swamped her. How could she win against this man? What weapons did she have to thwart him?

‘Once you’re married you’re tied permanently.’ She’d bet Damon would see a failed marriage as a personal failure. ‘Are you ready to settle down and devote yourself to one woman?’

‘Why?’ Heat flickered in his eyes. His stare was so intense it grazed her cheeks. ‘Have you changed your mind about our affair?’ He closed the space between them, forcing her to retreat till the balustrade dug into her back.

‘No! I just-’

‘You just decided you didn’t like your little cousin doing well for herself.’ Damon’s lip curled derisively and Callie’s heart dived. She’d never overcome his bias against her. ‘You don’t like being overlooked. I bet Angela has lived in your shadow for years.’

‘That’s not true!’ Callie had never wanted centre stage. Only Alkis’ determination to show her off had propelled her into a social sphere where she’d learned, painfully, to hold her own, despite the barbs and whispered gossip. She looked at Angela and saw herself at eighteen: quiet and far too vulnerable. ‘Angela’s not a rival, she’s-’

A disparaging flick of his hand silenced her. ‘I’m not interested.’ He paused, eyes pinioning hers. ‘Although…’

‘Although?’ Her hands wrapped around the railing as she straightened. Was he having second thoughts? Hope blossomed.

‘One thing might make me reconsider,’ he said slowly, one hand rubbing his jaw.

‘Yes?’ She took a half step forward before slamming to a halt, suddenly far too close to his big body. His heat shimmered through her, his scent reminding her of intimacies she tried hard to forget.

Damon reached out and cupped her chin with his palm. Her body responded with a thrill of excitement that drew every nerve to attention. Slowly, oh so slowly, his thumb slid across to her mouth, swiping deliberately across her bottom lip and tugging her lips apart.

She fought to keep her eyes open against the surge of physical longing his touch evoked. Callie’s fingers clenched into fists at her sides, the breath catching in her chest till she felt light-headed.

One caress, one touch, did that!

‘Yes.’ His sibilant stretched out in a hiss of satisfaction as he lowered his head.

She should move. Pull away. Run! But her feet were glued to the spot, her will to resist eclipsed by a flood of remembered pleasure.

‘Come to me tonight, Callie. Give me one night and I’ll say no to marrying Angela.’  

Excerpt from the title: The Savakis Merger by Annie West
ISBN: 9780373528387 Copyright ©: 2009 by Annie West
First North American publication 2011
The excerpt is posted by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Amazon Barnes & Noble The Book Depository eHarlequin




Contest!


To celebrate the release of The Savakis Merger, Annie is giving away prizes in a contest exclusive to Newswire readers.

To enter the draw, just answer these two questions:

1. THE SAVAKIS MERGER opens with Callie and Damon together. Where are they? (You can find out by reading the opening few pages  - here’s a link to it at eHarlequin – or by guessing from the photos on the book page of Annie’s website).

2. Name one other upcoming release by Annie.

You’ll find the answers on Annie’s website.

Email us at staff@authorsoundrelations.com with your answers before midnight on November 9th, 2011. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and mark the subject as 'The Savakis Merger'. Winners will be contacted via email shortly thereafter.

One winner will receive a $25 gift certificate from Amazon and a signed copy of ‘The Savakis Merger’. Two more winners will each receive a signed copy of one of Annie’s Presents titles and a Parisian bookmark.

Good luck!

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