Stealing back her necklace was easy.
Keeping it is an entirely different problem.
Evie Madison’s life changed irrevocably the night her necklace was brutally taken. Ten years later, the chance to steal it back is too good to miss.
But agreeing to what is tantamount to blackmail by the man she vowed to hate forever just to keep the ruby pendant wasn’t part of the plan.
Raph Dauphin needs a fiancée fast, and what better impersonator than the woman who stole his heart and duped him a decade ago.
Except Evie isn’t the only person who wants the necklace.
She’s been left for dead once before…
Will they succeed this time?
Set in the South of France, French Retribution is a standalone steamy romantic suspense featuring a sinfully sexy hero, a fake fiancée, and a genuine HEA.
Raph would recognise those blue eyes anywhere. Shimmering like a field of flax on a summer’s day, her gaze held him captive as it scoured the crowded marketplace. Her face might have been partially concealed by the rack of clothes she crouched behind, but he would never forget the colour of those eyes.
What the hell was she doing here in this small Spanish town? He hadn’t seen her at the villa, so she wasn’t one of Etienne’s guests. Unless he’d kept her hidden in his room. The thought riled him, even after all this time.
He ran a finger round the inside of his collar, easing his shirt away from his neck. It was only half past ten, but already the stifling temperature made him long to be gone from here and travelling down the coast road back into France. A sea breeze was just what he needed to clear his mind.
But first he had a question to be answered.
Pushing through the throng of people bustling down the main aisle of the market, he walked over to the makeshift clothes stall. She was so preoccupied watching the crowds as they milled about that she didn’t notice him as he stood opposite her on the other side of the metal garment rail.
Her eyes widened in surprise, and a small gasp fell from her lips as she turned towards him. She recovered quickly, slipping on the sunglasses that dangled in her hand and schooling her face into a blank expression.
“Pardon Monsieur, vous me prend pour quelqu’un d’autre.”
He smiled to himself. Her French hadn’t improved much over the years, but her light, lyrical voice was still the same.
“Chérie—” He held his closed fist over his chest, feigning distress, and switched to English. “Don’t break my heart all over again by saying you’ve forgotten me?”
She didn’t acknowledge his words but turned her gaze back to the busy market square with the customary haughtiness he’d once seen as a challenge to break through and make her smile.
A trader called out from a nearby stand and drew his thoughts momentarily away from her. With hands heavily tanned from years in the sun, the vendor offered passers-by a taste of his melons, picked that morning. Their pink flesh looked cool and tempting on the tray.
Thirsty, he swallowed hard and stared back at Evie. In profile, she was more beautiful than ever. He used to spend hours tracing the outline of her face with his fingers. Over her brow, down her slim, straight nose, into her cupid’s bow and across those soft sensuous lips.
His voice was husky when he spoke again. “Surely you haven’t forgotten us.” That got her attention.
She pushed her sunglasses back on top of her head. Ice cold eyes met his. It should have been enough to chill him, even in this heat, but he’d hardened his heart against Evie a long time ago.
“Sorry, my mind’s a complete blank.” A polished smile accompanied her words.
“Would you like me to refresh it?” He kept his tone low, seductive, although it irked him that maybe he wasn’t as memorable as he thought. Had she really forgotten him?
“Go away,” she said in a loud whisper. A faint blush spread across her cheeks, and she lowered her head, causing the sunglasses to drop over her eyes. She started to flick furiously through the clothes in front of her.
He reached over and placed his hand on hers, stilling the sound of hangers scraping along the metal rail. “That’s no way to greet an old friend.”
She snatched her hand back. “We’re not friends!”
“D’accord, you’re right. Lovers, then. Do you spurn all those you cast aside?”
At Evie’s sharp intake of breath, his heart-rate sped up as he recognised the desire that his words had sparked inside of her.
“Raph, I don’t have time for this.”
His ego was appeased. “So you do remember my name?”