The Shameless Life of Ruiz Acosta
The Argentinian's Solace
A Taste of the Untamed
The Man From Her Wayward Past
A Christmas Acosta e-novella
CHRISTMAS NIGHTS WITH THE POLO PLAYER
Taming The Last Acosta
Acostas Box Set
What Nero wants, Nero gets - doesn't he?
Reigning polo champion Nero Caracas bows to no man...and certainly not to women! With red-hot Latin blood coursing through his veins, what he wants he gets...Bella Wheeler has followed in the footsteps of her horse-trainer father - though determined to eclipse his disreputable legacy, she remains professionally distant from everyone! This aloof beauty has two things Nero wants - the best horse in the world...and a body as pure and untouched as her snow-white ice maiden's reputation!
“Do you mind if I join you?”
A shiver of recognition ran down Bella’s back as the man with the husky Latin American voice lifted the latch on the stable door and walked in. There was only one man who could breeze through security in Her Majesty’s backyard - the Guards’ polo club in Windsor. Nero Caracas, known as the Assassin in polo circles, played off ten, the highest ranking a polo player could achieve, and enjoyed privileges around the world others could only dream of. Impossibly good-looking, Bella had seen Nero commanding the field of play, and had lusted after him like every other hot blooded woman, but nothing could have prepared her to be this close to so much man.
“So this is Misty,” he said, running an experienced palm down the pony’s shoulder, “She looks smaller close up - ”
“Appearances can be deceptive.” Racing to the defence of her favourite pony, Bella forced her hands to go on oiling the mare’s dainty hooves. She’d lived close to animals for so long she was as acutely tuned in to danger as they were, and though the mare seemed calm, Bella was on red alert.
“The match starts soon - ”
And? Bella thought, still polishing. As trainer and one of the coaches of the British team she knew only too well when the match started. Surely it was Nero, as captain of the opposing team, who should be elsewhere?
Nero’s reputation preceded him. He had obviously thought he could drop in and his smallest wish would be granted with one eye on the timetable for a match in which he would captain the Argentinian team. No such luck. The Assassin could yield to the Ice Maiden on this occasion. And he did, but with a warning glint in his eye. “I need to speak to you about Misty,’ he said, running another appreciative glance over her pony.
“This isn’t the time,” Bella said coolly, realising only when their stares clashed that she was running the same type of assessing look over Nero – experience had nothing to do with it. Bella's points of reference were in her head. And all the better for staying there she thought, having taken in Nero’s conker tan, close fitting white breeches, plain dark polo shirt, wayward curls catching on his ferocious black stubble, not to mention the leather boots hugging his hard muscled calves. It was safer, certainly.
“As you wish,” he said.
When he dipped his head, one professional acknowledging another, she saw the steel of challenge in his eyes. Nero Caracas was hardly the most sensible enemy for a woman in Bella’s precarious financial position to make. The recession had taken a deep bite out of her resources and the polo world was too small, too incestuous to take chances. You failed in the eyes of one you failed in the eyes of everyone. But she wouldn’t fail, Bella told herself firmly, straightening up to confront this god of the game. “Is that everything?”
Nero’s lips pressed down. “No,” he said with a shake of his head. “I think Misty would benefit from being ridden by a man who really appreciates her -”
“I can assure you that the captain of the English team appreciates Misty - ”
“But does he ride her in a way that brings Misty pleasure?”
Did Nero Caracas have to make everything sound like an invitation to bed?
She glanced at her watch.
“Do I make you nervous, Bella?”
She laughed. “Certainly not – I’m merely concerned that you’re leaving yourself dangerously short of time.”
“My timing is split second,” Nero assured her.
Was that humour in his eyes? As the rugged Argentinian caressed Misty’s neck Bella lost herself for a moment. All muscles and tough, virile appeal, Nero Caracas was quite a man. Another woman, another time - who knew what might come of this meeting? Bella thought wryly, dragging herself round.
“En garde,” Nero murmured when she came to stand between him and the dapple grey polo pony. “I would like you on my side, Isabella Wheeler, not working against me for the competition.”
Bella gave him an ironic look. “I’m very happy where I am, thank you.”
“Maybe I can change your mind -”
“I wish you joy of that -”
“If that’s a gauntlet, I should warn you, Bella, I always pick them up.”
Too much man - Too close - Too desperately disturbing –
Irritated by the fact that her highly strung mare had remained calm when Nero entered the stable, Bella demanded sharply, “Anything else?”
Sensation overload, she registered dizzily as Nero’s long dark stare made her heart go crazy. Nero Caracas was ridiculously attractive even in the world of audacious risk-takers he inhabited. He had more charisma than was good for any man. No woman wanted to be reduced to a primal mating state by an unreconstructed male. A woman wanted control – something Bella possessed in vast amounts… usually -
‘...Nero has something more on his mind than horseback riding. The Untamed Argentinian is is a wonderfully cheeky read set in a fun locale.’ 4 1/2 stars!
—Andrew Shaffer for RT Reviews
‘Magnificent, doesn't even begin to describe this love story. Past hurts for them both concerning their childhoods but in the end, Nero realized his love for this woman was simple and pure and returned to fetch her back home to Argentina in a most romantic and lovely way, thanks to the very talented Susan Stephens.’
—Marilyn Shoemaker for The Pink Heart Society
“Susan Stephens is on top form with her latest novel for Harlequin Presents, The Untamed Argentinean!”
A red-hot read that will keep readers up way past their bedtime, The Untamed Argentinean is another fabulous read by Susan Stephens!
—Julie Bonello for CataRomance
Mills & Boon Modern (UK)
Harlequin Presents (US)