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The Sheikh’s Christmas Proposal

Written by Abby Green

Chapter Two

Cassidy’s phone beeped a text message alert and she picked it up, her heart fluttering when she saw the name. Riad. Bold and uncompromising. Like him. Her heart shouldn’t still flutter, she thought with a sense of desperation. Surely after six months she should be feeling less…fluttery.

She read the text: I’ve been invited to a party in Tabat this weekend to celebrate my cousin’s upcoming ascension to the throne. Can you come? We’ll leave on my private plane tomorrow afternoon. I’ll call you later. R.

Cassidy figured that at least he had actually asked her…in his own fashion, clearly expecting her answer to be in the affirmative. She threw her phone down with a groan of frustration, wanting to respond, No, actually, I can’t go, I’ve got plans, but knowing that if she did, Riad was likely to be at her door in under an hour, demanding to know what those plans were, and then he would seduce her back into bed and scramble her brain to pieces until she didn’t have any plans but him.

The man was all-consuming. Insatiable. And the most generous lover she’d ever had, on every level. He insisted on showering her with lavish gifts in spite of her pleas not to. He’d finally got the message, though, when she’d set up a hugely successful online pop-up auction in aid of her favourite charity for orphaned children.

The moment she’d met him six months ago was indelibly engraved in her mind. She’d been asked to take part in a charity fashion show. The tickets had been stratospherically expensive, ensuring only the most monied guests could attend. There had been a buzz backstage all night about the most exclusive front-row guest of all—Riad Arnaud, a man descended from one of the oldest and most illustrious families in France.

He was renowned for not only his inestimable family wealth, which encompassed everything from industry to real estate and banking, but also for the exotic fact that he was also a Sheikh with an Arabian country to his name: Nadar. It added to the mystique of the man because he rarely alluded to the fact that he was the de facto ruler of a country that had enviable supplies of crude oil.

In spite of all of that, Cassidy had tuned out the other models’ rapturous speculation that he was there to find himself a new mistress. How crass, she’d thought, and assured herself that she’d never find a man like that attractive.

But then she’d met him…

After the show, Cassidy had been planning on slipping out the back door quietly, not really one for the glitzy after-parties. At twenty-five, she was now considered older. Something that didn’t faze her at all, and which gave her licence to appear unsociable if she wanted—she’d always been a homebody at heart.

Dressed down in jeans, sneakers, a loose vest top and light leather jacket, with her hair coiled into a topknot on her head, she’d had her hand on the door when she’d heard a deep accented voice say, ‘Leaving so soon?’

She’d looked around to see a man leaning nonchalantly against the wall, hands in the pockets of his dark trousers. Open-neck shirt, dark jacket.

Her heart had stopped. He was…stunning. Literally breathtaking. Exhibiting a kind of raw male beauty she’d never seen before. Which was astounding in itself when she worked in an industry where beautiful men were ten a penny. He made them look like ineffectual boys, though, because he oozed a very virile sex appeal that had Cassidy’s blood pumping through her veins and arteries uncontrollably.

Black hair was cut short and swept back from his face, exposing the kind of bone structure that would have made Michelangelo weep, and a sculpted mouth that was made for sin.

She’d blinked and said, ‘I’m sorry, do I know you?’ But even then, she’d known. He was dark, dark enough to make her think of the exotic Middle East. A Sheikh.

He’d straightened and held out his hand. ‘I’m Riad Arnaud.’

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About the author

I spent my teens reading (devouring) Mills & Boon romances. After ...

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Abby Green

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Ready for another rendezvous? Look for more books in the Melbourne After Dark miniseries: Unmasked by Stefanie London, available now from Mills & Boon Dare, and Hard Deal, available in September 2018.

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