Welcome to the world of
Fire and Ice:
The Skavanga Diamonds
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The Accidental Heir (eNovella)
Book 1: Diamond In The Desert
Name: Britt Skavanga
Age: 29 years old
Britt runs the family mine and has been holding the business together with little more than her fierce determination to keep people in work and the Skavanga name above the door.
Name: Sheikh Sharif al Kareshi
Age: 33 years old
A ruthless entrepreneur who views the Skavanga Diamond Mine as nothing more than an interesting addition to his business portfolio, and Britt Skavanga as an unexpectedly early dividend on his investment.
Breathless in a Bedouin tent
With the future of the Skavanga diamond mine in jeopardy, heiress Britt Skavanga needs an injection of cash-fast. She finds it in the mysterious Arabian investor known only as Emir...
Britt travels to the desert kingdom of Kareshi to confront her arrogant benefactor. If diamonds are in Britt's blood, then the scorching desert sand runs through Sheikh Sharif al Kareshi's. He's determined to show arctic beauty Britt how things are really done in Kareshi, including how hot nights in the desert can be...
‘Ms Skavanga –’
Emir’s touch on her skin was an incendiary device.
His hand on her arm, preventing her from leaving, was an outrage.
‘Britt,’ he murmured in a voice that held her still. 'It seems we have a timing problem.’
In that he was correct. There was no time. She needed the consortium’s money now.
‘There is a solution, if you will allow me to take it?’
She turned to look at him and sucked in a shocked breath. There was no mistaking the look in his eyes. Emir was not talking about business. The rumours about Kareshi came flooding back to her... the sultry air, the heat and passion of the people... the erotic expertise said to prevail in the country. Surely no civilised businessman would hint at such a thing within an hour of meeting her?
Emir promised pleasure. He promised forgetfulness, and for however short a time the prospect of that seemed preferable to doing battle endlessly on every front. How would it feel to have this big man hold her and have those strong hands bring her pleasure?
She must have swayed towards him, for the next thing she knew he was holding her in front of him. ‘Why, Britt. If I’d known how you felt we could have arranged something before the meeting.’
He was blunter than she had ever been, blunter than she was prepared for. A shocked breath shot out of her lungs as he dipped his head to brush her lips with his. She was instantly hungry for him , instantly frantic... for more pressure, more intimacy, and for everything to happen fast.
He disappointed her. Emir stare was experienced in every way and he took the greatest pleasure in subjecting her to what turned into an agonising delay. The clock ticked. The tension built. He held her stare as if he knew all about her arousal. When she was finally certain she couldn’t stand any more, he cupped her face in his warm, slightly roughened hands and kissed her deeply.
By mimicking the act her body longed for, he controlled her, and with a throaty growl she urged him on. This was in no way subjugation. This was a fierce coupling between two people who knew exactly what they wanted from each other.
Pressing her back against the boardroom table, Emir set about removing her clothes. He tossed her jacket aside and ripped her blouse open. She exclaimed with anticipation when he lifted her, stripping off her tights and briefs. From that moment on it was a contest between them for who could rid themselves of any barriers first. She was all mindless sensation; hot flesh brushing, touching, cleaving, in a tangle of limbs and hectic breathing, while Emir remained calm and strong and certain.
He felt so good…so very good.
And now there was only her inner voice trying to spoil things for her, screaming a warning, but she shut it off by sheer force of will. She wanted this...needed it. This was every fantasy come true. She watched as Emir protected them both, and saw no reason not to follow her instinct. She was highly sexed and highly resourceful when it came to feeding her appetite.
But was she ready for this?
She forgot everything the moment his hands caressed her breasts. She wanted this – wanted him. Just for once in her life she didn’t want to be the leader, the fighter–
And I wonder what he thinks about you.
To hell with what he thinks about me, she raged against her conscience.
To hell with you, don’t you mean?
Book 2: The Flaw In His Diamond
Name: Eva Skavanga
Age: 27 years old
Eva is a red-headed firebrand and an ardent conservationist. No man has lasted with Eva without being consumed in her fire until Count Roman Quisvada comes along. Going head to head with a tough, hard-hearted man raised in a mafia stronghold on a remote island is going to prove a lot harder than Eva thinks.
Name: Count Roman Quisvada
Age: 32 years old
A giant in the world of commerce, and a heartbreaker in the game of life, Roman is an expert in diamonds, with laboratories that specialise in cutting and polishing high value stones.
Roman sees conservationist Eva as a challenge to his mining business, and is determined to bring this most difficult of the Skavanga sisters to heel.
What a woman wants...
Ultimate Italian playboy, Count Roman Quisvada, has more notches on his bedpost than...well, bedpost! No-nonsense Eva Skavanga arrived on his Mediterranean Island with a business arrangement, but Roman's much more interested in the pleasure her smart mouth and irrepressible curves can bring him.
He's not the sort of man a tender virgin would seek out for her first time but tomboy Eva is starting to enjoy feeling like a woman. Perhaps Roman could help her with more than just securing her family's diamond mine...?
Only if Eva can keep her heart off the table!
'What do you want most, Eva?'
She exhaled shakily at the sound of Roman's voice and had to bring herself back to a reality that had expanded beyond her wildest imaginings. 'I hardly know what I want,' she admitted honestly. 'I don't even know what I can have.'
'Try to tell me,' Roman coaxed. 'Search your deepest fantasies and tell me what you'd like me to do.'
'No,' he whispered, bringing her into the circle of his arms. 'You have to spell it out, Eva.'
They were standing by the bed. Roman was holding her with his chin resting lightly on her head, and she was shocked. 'You want me to tell you?'
'All right, then, touch me.'
'I am touching you, Eva.'
Yes, and her bones were melting, but it wasn't enough, and Roman knew, just as she knew there was more, if she could only bring herself to ask. But for once in her headstrong, outspoken life, she couldn't find the right words.
RT BOOK REVIEWS
THE FLAW IN HIS DIAMOND (4.5) by Susan Stephens:
The Skavanga sisters saved their arctic town by bringing in a consortium to extract the cache of diamonds from their company’s mine. Outspoken and eco-conscious, middle sister Eva wants to make sure the land is protected. For that, she’ll need the attention of one arrogant, sexy as heck, way-out-of-her-league Italian count. Roman Quisvada’s got an unwanted guest on his private island who is making too many demands, which is why he’s decided it’s time to tame this beautiful, fire-haired, unreserved tomboy shrew that he desires. Who’s taming whom? Stephens’ beautifully penned romance is a wonderful contrast of stark and luxurious in culture and landscape. Her stars are the perfect yin to yang, and their love scenes heat the tundra. Reviewed By: Debbie Haupt
Book 3: The Purest of Diamonds?
Name: Leila Skavanga
Age: 22 years old
Leila works in the archive department of the Skavanga Mining museum. A quiet home-bird, Leila has no love-live, and spends most of her time trying to keep the peace between her sisters, Britt and Eva.
Name: Raffa Leon
Age: 32 years old
Ruthless diamond merchant Raffa Leon has a less than flawless reputation, but Raffa is drawn to Leila Skavanga's innocence like a ravenous tiger to a sweet, timid mouse.
The Playboy, the Virgin, and One Passionate Night...
With his playboy reputation Raffa likes to keep things simple- no strings, no wedding, and definitely no children. But there's something about Leila Skavanga that tugs at emotions Raffa never knew he had.
Sweet timid mouse? Hear the mouse roar!
After one passionate night these two polar opposites must work together. Could Leila be the one woman to turn Raffa's world upside down?
The mining company had been in Leila’s family for generations since one of her ancestors had discovered a rich seam of minerals and the town had been named after it, but nothing attracted the attention of the world’s press like diamonds and there was no denying they were bring a lot of those pretty stones to the surface now.
‘That’s what they call us,’ Leila admitted, feeling faintly embarrassed as she considered herself the runt of the litter. ‘I’m the smallest stone with the most flaws –’
‘Which make you the most interesting in my book,’ the cabbie interrupted. ‘And you’re in with a chance – There’s one billionaire left for you.’
Leila laughed. She couldn’t help it. She loved his sense of humour. ‘I’ve got more sense. And I’m definitely not Raffa Leon’s type. And thank goodness for that!’
‘He’s got a bit of a reputation,’ the cabbie agreed. ‘But you don’t want to believe everything you read in the press.’
Remembering how the glossies made out that the three Skavanga sisters were currently monopolising the world stage, at least as far as celebrity was concerned, Leila was inclined to believe him. The only stage she stood a chance of monopolising was the bus shelter on her way to work.
‘And remember this,’ the cabbie added, giving Leila an appraising look. ‘Billionaire’s like to marry down. They want a quieter life at home – they have enough excitement in the office. Don’t take offence, love. I mean it as a compliment. You look like a nice, quiet girl, is all.’
By this point Leila was convulsed with laughter. ‘And no offence taken,’ she said, holding herself together long enough to speak. ‘Now you be careful of the icy roads. I’m guessing you’ve got a long, cold night ahead of you.’
‘Too right, I have. Goodnight. Have fun!’
‘I will –’ Just as soon as she had visited the cloakroom to sort out her dress. Parties might not be Leila's thing, but she had no intention of letting her glamorous sisters down by arriving at their party covered in mud.
Waiting for a gap in the traffic, she crossed the road, and then hastily backed into the shadow of a doorway when she saw Raffa Leon standing at the top of the steps, scanning the street. He was probably waiting for some glamorous socialite to decant from a limo’...
There went her plan to make an anonymous entrance!
Not necessarily… She could run up the steps, duck her head and scoot past him. He wouldn’t even notice –
Everything was going perfectly. Raffa was looking one way, while she ran up the steps on his blind side. And then she hit a patch of ice and her heels went one way while she went the other. With a shriek, she prepared to hit the stone step hard.
If there was one lap she didn’t want to sit on tonight it was this lap!
‘Raffa Leon!’ She faked surprise. ‘Goodness me! Please forgive me. I didn’t see you standing there –’
And surprise? Make that deeply, deeply embarrassing. If Raffa had been playing for the Spanish rugby team he would have brought the crowd to its feet with that save!
‘I’m glad I caught you.’ The deep, faintly accented voice held more than a hint of amusement, as the man for whom the phrase tall, dark and handsome, had been invented, lifted her to her feet.
‘Ha..aa...’ was the best she could manage weakly as she made a big performance of brushing herself down. Raffa smelled divine, and he was unreasonably gorgeous in a swarthy, piratical way, but it was the energy flowing off him that made her...
eNovella: The Accidental Heir
Name: Princess Astrid of Hammersvik: Princess-in-training.
Astrid, is determined to do the best she can for her country, but it isn't easy to go from gum-chewing student living in obscurity, to gracious and useful ruler of Hammersvik. Plus, Prince Karl, who has been selected as the perfect man to show Astrid the royal ropes, is proving to be a real pain in the neck...
Name: Prince Karl Thorberg: Adventurer, Prince, and much loved ruler of his thriving country.
If Karl is to bring Astrid up to speed in the time available he needs to use the short sharp shock method. Fortunately, this is something at which Karl excels...
USA Today bestselling author Susan Stephen's digital novella reveals just how hard it is to be a modern day princess in this passionate and powerful story that will stay in your minds, long after the last page!
The last of her clan, Princess Astrid steps up to claim her birth right as ruler of the Arctic lands of Hammersvik. But first she must complete the rigorous training her advisors insist upon.
Her unlikely tutor is Karl Thorberg, Prince of the neighbouring lands, intrepid explorer and reckless thrill-seeker. He insists pampered Astrid leave her palace and experience, first hand, the wild Arctic landscape she will rule.
As the freezing Artic wind rages round them, passions are heating up between Astrid and Karl. It's not long before Karl is tempted into some very un-princely behaviour! But during their one night of indiscretion, he inadvertently resolves another condition of her reign - that she provides an heir!
Princess Astrid of Hammersvik backed into the palace cinema room, balancing a phone, a stack of DVD’s, a couple of magazines, a bulging make-up bag, a can of soda, a packet of gum, and a giant sized bag of munchies, on top of the coffee-table-sized books she had received through the post that morning.
‘Didn’t anyone think to put the light on in here?’ Muttering beneath her breath, she found the switch and somehow managed to knock it on with the back of her head.
‘Turn that light out!’
‘What the…’ Creeping forward she took a closer look at the enormous slumbering form currently stretched out on one of the lavish leather day beds arranged in front of the screen.
‘I don’t take instruction,’ she informed the magnificent intruder. ‘I give them.’
LOL! The Royal Council had insisted she must instruct, demand, command, and generally be what Astrid considered downright rude, so people didn’t think she was weak. With so many unscrupulous pretenders to the throne only too eager to unseat her, appearing weak was not a good idea, so she’d play along for now, but as soon as she had dealt with the troublemakers she intended to win respect through fair treatment to all. She loved her country and would do everything she could to keep it safe.
But if she was going to test those royal wings on anyone –
‘Can’t you see I’m sleeping?’ A deep male voice grumbled as she turned on all the lights.
‘Who the hell are you?’ Astrid could take most things in her stride, even a man who looked like a Viking and who had just proved that he could swear like one too.
She lurched back as the giant sprang up. He towered over her. His shoulders blocked out the light, and while his impressive torso was clad in a workmanlike jumper in an indeterminate shade of green, his bottom half was…
Book 4: His Forbidden Diamond
Name: Princess Jasmina of Kareshi - known as Jazz
Age: 25 years old
Free spirit Jazz is shackled to her belief that to placate the traditionalists in Kareshi while her brother implements change she must subdue her free spirit and become ultra-conservative.
Name: Tyr Skavanga
Age: 33 years old
Returning soldier Tyr still carries the burden of war, and his only wish is to repair and rebuild, regardless of whether his dedication to this monumental task leaves him with an empty personal life.
When Jazz meets Tyr Skavanga again after many years, the electricity between them is world-shattering. So much so, Tyr shakes Jazz's conviction that she must shun all men but the husband she hopes her brother will find for her.
Can Jazz remain true to her vow of chastity now Tyr is back on the scene?
Will warrior Tyr finally soften enough to accept Jazz is back in his life?
How can love survive and grow when it goes against everything the two of them have pledged to do?
His heart banged in his chest when Jazz turned to look at him. Some invisible electrical cord connected them. What was it he’d said so confidently to Britt only minutes before? I’m going to see a lot of friends tonight and I’m going to treat them all the same...
No one else stood a chance of top billing with Princess Jasmina of Kareshi in the room. Britt had been derelict in her description of this new version of the tomboy Jazz, who hadn’t just grown up, but who had blossomed like an exotic flower into the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Jazz’s new air of serenity intrigued him. It was as if she had created a role for herself that she was determined to play out to the full –
He dismissed the new role Jazz had slotted herself into with a disapproving huff. She was avoiding the truth.
A bit like him, then?
Not a bit like him!
Swiping his hair back, he turned his mind to the flash of fire he’d seen in her eyes when Jazz had first spotted him entering the ballroom. It reminded him of the days when Her Royal Cheekiness had used to rip the crap out of him on every possible occasion. Level calm had returned to her eyes now that Jazz was concentrating on the group of women surrounding her –
He turned to look at Britt.
‘She’s beautiful, isn’t she?’
There was always more to Britt’s questions than it appeared, so he responded with caution. ‘I guess.’ His world was private. He’d lived alone for too long to share his personal feelings, not even with Britt.
He should have known his sister didn’t need any conversational pointers to read him. ‘Don’t shake her up, Tyr,’ Britt implored. ‘Be mild-mannered around her – don’t pull the marauding Viking act. Jazz is trying her hardest to play the conservative card, so that traditionalists aren’t rattled when Sharif makes sweeping changes for good in Kareshi.’ Britt shook her head for emphasis. ‘This evening is really hard for her, Tyr. Being out in mixed company, I mean. But Jazz needs this. She has such a free spirit – but you know that.’ Britt frowned. ‘She’s sacrificed more than we know for Kareshi –’
‘Her freedom?’ he cut in.
‘Tyr, please – Don’t make it any harder for her,’ Britt begged him with a restraining hand on his arm. ‘You, of all people, can surely appreciate the value of sacrifice. So just say – Hey, good to see you – and back off. All right?’
‘Thanks for writing the script for me, sis’.’ He raised an amused brow.
‘Just don’t mess with Jazz. She’s got enough to contend with.’
‘I’ve no intention of messing with Jazz, as you put it, but I’d have to be wood from the neck up not to respond to such a beautiful woman.’
‘Just keep your feelings under wraps, Tyr. Spare Jazz the heartache. She’s always been half in love with you. And you’ve been alone a long time, remember – ’
‘Relax, Britt. I’m not that desperate. I haven’t exactly been a saint while I’ve been away.’
‘You can find love in all sorts of unexpected places,’ Britt agreed, ‘But I don’t think Jazz is looking for the type of love you’re offering.’
He gave his sister an amused look. ‘I hope she isn’t looking for love at all.’
‘Why, Tyr?’ Britt’s stare pierced him. ‘Would you be jealous?’
‘Of Jazz’s suitors?’ He laughed that off. Offering Britt his arm, he led his sister deeper into the crowded room.
Diamond In The Desert The Flaw In His Diamond The Purest Of Diamonds? His Forbidden Diamond
Diamond In The Desert The Flaw In His Diamond The Purest of Diamonds? His Forbidden Diamond
The Accidental Heir
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His Forbidden Diamond August 2014
The final book of four in this series will feature returning war hero, the sisters' long-lost brother,
Tyr Skavanga, and the beautiful Jasmina, younger sister of Britt's husband, Sheikh Sharif.