Spellbound in his arms, p.1
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       Spellbound in His Arms, p.1
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           Angel Sefer
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Spellbound in His Arms


  Spellbound In His Arms

  Angel Sefer

  A novel of

  The Greek Isles Series

  Winner of the Crowned Heart award for excellence from InD'tale Magazine

  Editorial Reviews for Spellbound in His Arms

  "Angel Sefer's intriguing new novel, 'Spellbound in His Arms'...already has made its way onto three best seller lists... The story takes place on the island of Corfu, and combines thrills, mystery, and romance." - The Greek Herald

  "The chemistry between the main characters, Jackie and Michael, is fiery and passionate right from the start, but what I really liked is that they were able to keep their heads to solve the mystery even as their relationship blossomed. There are plenty of bad guys and plenty of action in this book-- " - Caroline Fardig, #1 Best-selling Author

  "This book LITERALLY sucked me in with the very first paragraph. I had a very hard time putting this book down because it is so action packed!" - Joe Cool Review

  "I would summarize 'Spellbound in His Arms' in one word: exciting! This was a fun easy read that had it all; romance, excitement and mystery with Corfu for the backdrop of the story." - The Masquerade Crew

  "The author deftly interweaves the plot as it twists and turns until the reader fears for the lives of heroes Jackie and Michael. It's a fast paced, suspenseful read, with diabolical villains, an intrepid heroine and a super hot detective!" - InD'tale Magazine

  Spellbound In His Arms

  Copyright © 2013 by Angel Sefer

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles reviews.

  The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the author is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

  www.angelsefer.com

  All rights reserved

  Edited by Karen Block

  Cover Design by Tracy Stewart at SimplyBookish.com

  Dedication

  In memory of my late mother Helen, a wonderful mother and my best friend. She will always be remembered for her love, kindness and wisdom, and will live in my heart forever…

  Dedicated to my beloved family in Greece and USA for all their love, guidance and support throughout the years and especially, to my wonderful husband Bill and my amazing Aunt Angie.

  Content

  Chapter One: Jackie stopped dead in her tracks. What was that? A light noise, coming from somewhere in the back of the mansion, turned her blood to ice.

  Chapter Two: Running through the woods, Michael heard a car engine starting somewhere nearby. He rushed towards it, calling out for Jackie.

  Chapter Three: Philip Manos watched Elizabeth through the hidden camera. He suspected she wanted to turn him in.

  Chapter Four: The noise became louder and louder. Michael desperately reached for his father, trying to grab his hand, but the wind blew wildly and the broken sail banged hard against the steering wheel, sending the sailboat towards the rocks.

  Chapter Five: Roussos rolled with the pitching deck of the cargo freighter as the powerful storm tossed the ship around like a piece of driftwood.

  Chapter Six: It was a long night and Jackie didn’t get much sleep. Mixed feelings of fear and desire tormented her.

  Chapter Seven: Jackie woke up with a roaring headache. She felt cold and wet. Her body was aching from lying on something hard.

  Chapter Eight: Jackie sat at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and going over everything in her mind. It seemed this night would never end.

  Chapter Nine: Jackie perused the dim, damp basement where her kidnappers had dragged her an hour before, and then turned her gaze on the tall, older man who stood silently in front of her, intently studying her face.

  Chapter Ten: By the time Eric’s helicopter landed on the property, Eric’s men, seven out of the ten that were there with Manos, had taken care of Roussos and then went to the house and took care of Philip as well.

  Chapter Eleven: It was late by the time they finally made it back to the hotel. Michael wanted to take her to a hospital and have her checked out.

  Chapter Twelve: Michael left the police station parking lot and headed back for the hotel. He was glad, he had taken the briefcase with the contents of the safe to a safety deposit box at the local bank yesterday, so at least, he didn’t have to worry about that.

  Epilogue: It was a beautiful warm day in late September and the sun was shining brightly. Jackie stretched lazily in the lounge chair on the second floor balcony of the mansion, enjoying the amazing view.

  About the Author: Angel Sefer was born in Athens, Greece. She has studied and worked on both sides of the Atlantic.

  Note from the Author: The Greek Isles Series

  Contact information

  Chapter One

  Jackie stopped dead in her tracks. What was that? A light noise, coming from somewhere in the back of the mansion, turned her blood to ice. She immediately turned the flashlight off and stood still, holding her breath. Her mouth went dry. What if there was someone in the mansion? How would she explain who she was and what she was doing here in the middle of the night? Then again, would her explanations make any difference to whomever, or even worse whatever, was out there? The old mansion was pitch black, far away from any civilized soul and the owner dead. Who could it be?

  Jackie instinctively flattened herself against the wall, waiting, trying to track the source of the noise and peer through the darkness. Her heart pounded fast, so loud she could swear she could hear its echo in the room. The back of her neck prickled. Was it true? She silently cursed herself for laughing at Stephanos’ warnings. What if he was right? What if something supernatural was responsible for the mysterious deaths in the family of Greek tycoon, Andreas Demiris?

  Now, trapped here, feeling something lurking in the dark, she wished she’d thought better, before flying six thousand miles away from home on this weird, creepy assignment. But she always jumped head first into every new challenge. She should have known her impulsiveness would get her into trouble one day.

  She waited, motionless, for a couple of minutes that seemed as eternity, too scared to even breathe. The fact that she couldn’t see anything around her made matters even worse. The dim moonlight behind the threatening clouds didn’t penetrate the stained glass windows. The interior was as pitch black and eerie as the forest surrounding the old mansion. Jackie desperately tried to pick up the slightest noise. But, there was nothing—only dead silence.

  She knew she was being foolish. There is nobody here, she reassured herself. Why should there be? The place was deserted and had been for months. All she needed to do was to find what she had come for and get out as soon as possible.

  Blind in the complete darkness, she took a couple of steps to her right, keeping her hand against the wall. At the same time, her other hand clung tightly to the flashlight, ready to use it as a weapon. All her senses worked overtime to detect the slightest noise or movement whatsoever. Even though she sensed nothing, the warning bell going off inside her head was impossible to ignore.

  Suddenly, Jackie stiffened. Some
thing was moving closer to her…a lot closer. She froze in place and held her breath.

  A strong hand grabbed her by the throat and shoved her violently against the wall. A sudden strong light shone in her face blinding her. She instinctively closed her eyes.

  She struggled to breathe, but the grip tightened around her throat. Fear paralyzed her. On the cusp of fainting, she heard a deep, masculine voice, commanding in Greek, “Who are you?”

  She gasped for air and flailed at her assailant with her flashlight. He blocked her move with impossible speed and effortlessly knocked the flashlight out of her hand. Jackie raised her arms and frantically tried to free her throat from the deadly grasp. It was no use. The hand seemed to be made of steel.

  A second later, the question was repeated, more insistent this time. The grasp loosened just a little bit, allowing some air into her lungs and giving her a chance to answer.

  “Please…” she managed to whisper.

  She heard him taking a deep breath, but couldn’t see anything with his flashlight shining in her face.

  “Who are you?” he asked, in English this time. His voice was deep, with a clear foreign accent.

  Who is he and what is he doing here? Jackie wondered anxiously. What could she possibly say to him? She couldn’t tell him the truth. But, on the other hand, would he settle for anything less? Her mind worked double time as she sensed him shifting impatiently.

  “You do speak English, don’t you?”

  “Yes…yes,” she whispered. “Please, I can’t breathe” she continued, trying to buy some time. Actually, it was the truth. She could barely breathe with his strong hand wrapped tightly around her throat.

  “Who are you?” he insisted, without relaxing his grasp any more.

  “Jackie...Jackie Alexander,” she muttered.

  “And what are you doing here, Jackie Alexander?” he demanded.

  Now, that was the hard part. She had prepared a few things in her mind, just in case there were questions raised for her sudden, unexpected visit to the island. But she hadn’t expected to find anyone in this old mansion in the middle of the night.

  “I’m…a relative of the owners,” she said. This part wasn’t far from the truth.

  The man hesitated for a moment.

  “I’m a relative of Constantinos Demiris,” she repeated.

  His hand released her throat, and she sucked in a ragged breath. He remained unbearably close though, blocking every possible escape route.

  She heard a distinctive click, and the bright light of a chandelier filled the room.

  Jackie looked around her, disoriented, and finally, her eyes rested on him. He was tall, at least six inches taller than she, and at five feet eight inches, she was no shrimp. He had jet-black hair and a well built muscular body any athlete would envy. His face was very handsome, with a strong jaw and the bluest eyes she had ever seen. Those eyes now searched her face intensely. Jackie felt uneasy under his piercing gaze. It was as if he could clearly see all the way to her soul.

  For a moment, they stared into each other’s eyes and Jackie felt her heart suspended in her chest…but not from fear this time. Even though he looked tough, she had to admit he was startling handsome and manly—a “seductive stranger” as Aphrodite, her romantic teenage cousin, would call him.

  The thought of sweet, innocent Aphrodite jolted her back to reality. She had to find out who or what was causing the deaths of all the heirs. They had died one by one, all in accidents, starting two years ago with the oldest. Now, her dearest cousin back in Atlanta was next in line. Jackie was desperate to find out how and why. And coming to the Demiris mansion on the island of Corfu was the right place to start her search.

  “That still doesn’t explain what you’re doing out here in the middle of the night.” He watched her closely.

  Jackie could tell that he was on guard, ready to prevent any attempt to escape. He was obviously stronger and faster, but didn’t seem aggressive.

  She began to relax. Now that the initial shock of her capture was behind her, she needed to regain control of the situation.

  “And who exactly are you?” she demanded.

  A smile appeared on the handsome stranger’s face and he gave her an appreciative look. “You’re a tough cookie, aren’t you?” he said.

  Jackie shifted uneasily, as she felt his gaze caressing her skin. Her pulse accelerated. She could see the desire in those beautiful eyes, as blue as the waters of the Ionian Sea surrounding the island. Oh, God! How easily I could get lost in those eyes.

  “Michael Apostolou” he said suddenly, catching her off guard. “Detective Michael Apostolou” he added, putting emphasis on the word detective.

  Oh no! He was with the police. That was the worst thing that could happen to her right now. She had only been on the island for a few hours and here she was, caught by the police breaking and entering. How would she get out of this? Why hadn’t she waited until tomorrow morning to talk to the attorney, as Stephanos had instructed her? But no, she wanted to check out the documents in the safe, without anyone looking over her shoulder.

  Having no clue who or what could be causing the deaths in the Demiris family, Jackie hoped to find something in the folders hidden in the safe to shed some light on this mystery. She intended to read through every single one of those documents, searching for information which could possibly prevent another murder and uncover the one who would benefit from killing the others.

  Knowing that he was watching her closely to see her reaction, Jackie remained as calm and apparently relaxed as she could possibly manage.

  “And now, Miss Alexander, would you mind explaining, what you were doing breaking into this house in the middle of the night?” There was a touch of sarcasm in his voice.

  “I didn’t exactly break in,” Jackie explained.

  Michael took a step closer and leaned over her, watching her very closely. “And what would you call breaking a window and climbing inside a building that doesn’t belong to you?” The sarcasm was even more obvious now.

  Jackie raised her chin and looked at him puzzled. “But I didn’t break any window.” This whole damn thing was getting out of hand. She needed a way out of here and as far away from him as possible. Now, why would that thought make her feel sad? What was the matter with her? Had fear paralyzed her and messed with her ability to think straight?

  “Oh, really?” he asked. He grabbed her arm, and pulled her towards an arch, which led to what seemed to be the living room.

  Jackie gasped. A window hung wide open and pieces of broken glass peppered the carpet. She hadn’t done that. Turning to look at him though, she was absolutely sure she was going to have a hard time convincing him of that. Those amazing blue eyes were looking at her accusingly. Suddenly, she realized that someone else had broken the window. She tensed, looking around anxiously.

  Michael followed her look but didn’t release her arm. “Well?” he asked. “What do you have to say about this?”

  “I didn’t do it,” she said, looking at him straight in the eyes. “I came in through the front door.”

  “Oh, is that so?” he asked and his lips pressed into a thin line. She could tell he was losing his patience.

  But it was the truth. She had tried the front door first and was surprised to find it unlocked. It had seemed kind of strange, but she wanted to get in and out as fast as she could and didn’t give it a second thought. Being out here, miles away from any living soul and especially in the middle of the night, wasn’t something she was crazy about. However, she had a job to do, and she wanted to do it fast and clean.

  “I swear I didn’t break that window.” She tried to free her arm from his grip.

  “Now, you listen to me…” A loud noise, like something falling on the second floor, interrupted him. He immediately let go off her arm and took off towards the foyer. A gun appeared in his hand.

  “Don’t move!” he ordered over his shoulder. He rushed towards the massive staircase, with the gra
ce of an athlete and the swift moves of a panther.

  Jackie stood still. She watched him climb the stairs, two steps at a time. Her mouth went dry, and her heart pounded fast in her chest. What now?

  On a sudden impulse, she turned and climbed out the broken window. She moaned as she scratched herself on the pieces of broken glass still hanging from the window frame. Stepping on the veranda that surrounded the ground floor, she frantically looked around. She rushed down the front steps and ran towards the thick woods.

  ***

  Michael rushed upstairs, holding his gun in his right hand. Reaching the second floor, he stood still at the top of the stairs. He looked down the corridor, towards the direction the sound had come from. Dead silence….

  He tried the light switch, but the lights didn’t come on. No lights seemed to be working on the second floor. Only the light from the chandelier in the foyer downstairs helped him find his way around. He walked down the hallway, opening doors and searching every room. Still nothing….

  He reached the last room and carefully opened the door. Stepping inside, he flattened himself against the wall. He stood still, listening, when a soft breeze of fresh air struck him in the face. He looked towards the open window and approached it, just in time to glimpse Jackie entering the woods.

  Damn that girl! She got away!

  He was ready to turn and run back downstairs when he saw him. The man was tall and slim and dressed in black. He was running towards the woods in the same direction Jackie had taken.

  Michael drew a deep breath. He could feel it in his guts—the girl was in grave danger.

  He stormed downstairs and out of the mansion, following the direction the other two had taken.

 
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