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The Ruthless Magnate's Virgin Mistress

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«The Ruthless Magnate's Virgin Mistress» - Линн Грэхем

Purchased by the ruthless tycoon From the moment he sees Abbey at a charity fashion show, Russian tycoon Nikolai Arlov wants every inch of that curvy, creamy body. When she refuses him, he ruthlessly switches tactics, aiming straight for her vulnerable heart…With her family’s business in serious trouble, Abbey knows Nikolai’s money is their only hope. She submits to his lethal brand of seduction and blackmail – ready and willing to do anything he desires. Only Nikolai has no idea his reluctant mistress…is a virgin… Virgin Brides, Arrogant Husbands Book Two in a new trilogy by Lynne Graham
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You are the most amazingly sexy woman,’ he breathed thickly.

It was not how Abbey saw herself, and the comment stunned her back into possession of her senses. Suddenly she felt naked and exposed and foolish. She reached down and yanked her clothing back up over her bare skin, struggling with clumsy hands to retie the straps. He dragged her hands out of the way and performed the task for her.

‘I don’t do stuff like this,’ she muttered, as if she was excusing herself, but her eager body refused when he tugged her back into his arms.

‘I want you now…I don’t want to wait,’ Nikolai growled.

That uncharacteristic sense of daring that had momentarily fired Abbey shrivelled and died. She whipped her hand away from him, shattered by her total loss of control. ‘This is wrong…this is not me. I hardly know you.’


Demure but defiant… Can three international playboys

tame their disobedient brides?

Lysander, the gorgeous, dynamic Greek tycoon…

Nikolai, the ruthless, charismatic Russian magnate…

Leandro, the sexy, aristocratic Spanish billionaire…

Proud, masculine and passionate,

these men are used to having it all. But enter Ophelia,

Abbey and Molly, three feisty virgins to whom their

wealth and power mean little. In stories filled with

drama, desire and secrets of the past, find out how

these arrogant husbands capture their hearts…








THE setting was a grand mansion in the most prestigious area of St Petersburg, its soaring majestic windows giving exclusive views across the Fontanka River. The enormous room was packed in the aftermath of a memorial service, yet many of the guests had not even known the departed. The lure that had brought them was the towering presence of Nikolai Danilovich Arlov, the oil magnate, whose vast wealth was the stuff of legend.

Indifferent as always to being the centre of attention, Nikolai was heavily engaged in a business phone-call. A tall, powerful figure, with cropped black hair and eyes as dark and hard as rain-washed stone, he was a breathtakingly handsome man with a smouldering sexual charisma that radiated masculinity. Women watched him with unhidden hunger, while his minders and aides studiously screened him from every possible approach. Few of those present received more than a distant nod from their host. But many would dine out for weeks on the social cachet of having been a guest in his jaw-droppingly fantastic home.

Nikolai ignored virtually everyone. As tough as an Arctic winter and as relentless as a juggernaut, he was a maverick who played by his own rules. He loathed time-wasters and tedious social events. It was the pursuit of power and profit that energised and drove him. He had attended his late father’s memorial service purely as a matter of form, for close connections of the family kind were utterly unknown to him. He could not even recall when he had last spoken to the old man. His father had hated and resented him almost from the day of his birth and his two older half-brothers feared and envied their fabulously successful sibling. However, neither of those undisputed facts had prevented Nikolai’s relatives from begging him to take charge of the dead man’s tangled affairs and ensure that the estate was settled without cost or inconvenience to themselves. It had not once occurred to them that Nikolai might have a more private and personal motivation for agreeing to carry out that thankless task.

When a dazzling blond beauty in a power suit appeared in a doorway invisible tension surged through Nikolai’s lean, powerful frame, but it lasted only for a split second. His classic, high, carved cheekbones might have been chipped out of solid bronze. One glance at Sveta’s expression told him that she was the bringer of bad news and that the questions that had plagued him as a child were to remain unanswered: the search of his father’s personal effects had proved fruitless.

‘Nothing.’ Frustration and annoyance laced Sveta’s low-pitched voice when she drew level with him. Like her colleagues, Olya and Darya, she was a high achiever, never satisfied with anything less than positive results.

Nichivo—no problem.’ His tone was one of dismissal and as he spoke, so he believed. He saw no reason why the mystery of his exact parentage should keep him awake at night. All the documents his father had left behind had now been examined; safes had been opened, desks emptied, deposit boxes tracked down. What had appeared to be a promising opportunity had failed to deliver even a jot of new information. He didn’t know the name of his mother and he didn’t know where or why he had been born. And now he most probably never would.

But so what? Nikolai asked himself with a mental shrug.

Such paltry facts were irrelevant to a male who had always known who he was and where he was going. At the age of thirty-three he had realised his every ambition a thousand times over. He had nothing to apologise for and nobody to impress. Investigating his maternal ancestry was a waste of valuable time and energy.

At the precise moment that Nikolai reached that conclusion a commotion was breaking out at the lower end of the room. Heads were turning to a buzz of excited comment. A frown was indenting his brow even before he was informed that his current lover, Brigitta Jansen, had just made her entrance. She had flown in from Paris without an invitation. Cold displeasure gripped him because he considered her arrival as that of a gatecrasher and an intrusion on his privacy. A smile on her flawless face, the Dutch movie actress walked towards him, basking in the attention she was attracting.

Fifteen minutes later, Nikolai was on his way to the airport alone. He had left Brigitta in hysterics, surrounded by her sycophantic staff of hangers-on. If her intent had been to make him feel guilty for ditching her, she had failed abysmally. Emotional blackmail was no more to his taste than feminine demands or the suggestion that he might be anything other than a single guy, free to sample other company and other beds as and when he liked.

He wondered why he always landed bunny-boilers who started out cool and calm but speedily went into the pursuit mode of deadly missiles. He told no lies; he was direct about what he wanted. Sex was as necessary to his health and comfort as food. It had nothing to do with the mythical L word that women flung as an excuse to try to change the ground rules. Love wasn’t in his vocabulary. Why was something as basic and simple as sex a continual flashpoint for trouble? Perturbed by that unprecedented train of philosophical thought and by the dark mood he was determined not to acknowledge, he took another business call with alacrity.

An hour after dining on his private jet, Nikolai left Sveta and her colleagues at work and went for a shower. Fifteen minutes later, he answered the knock on the bedroom door with only a towel wrapped round his lean bronzed hips. His black brows drew together in astonishment when Sveta walked in. Her suit had vanished and her remarkable body was now embellished only by an apricot silk corset-and-knicker set. ‘What the hell—?’

‘Please don’t say anything until I’ve finished, sir. Olya, Darya and I thought that you might be in the mood to be distracted,’ Sveta murmured softly.

Olya, a voluptuous brunette, strolled in, wearing a similar outfit in emerald green. ‘You’ve had a tricky week. A little down time in the right female company could help you to relax.’

Darya, the third of his aides, her platinum-blond hair cut razor-short above her strikingly attractive face, entered sporting turquoise lace lingerie and struck a provocative pose. ‘We know what you need. We also believe that we can deliver. Choose one of us and there will be no repercussions, emotional or otherwise.’

His hard, handsome face unrevealing, Nikolai studied the three women and wondered why on earth he had assumed that there was safety in numbers. No repercussions? Who did they think they were kidding? As sharp as blades in the intelligence stakes and as effective in business as sharks in a wildlife pond, each of them was ferociously loyal to him. No man could have equalled their single-minded devotion to his interests. And like him they never forgot what they came from.

‘But if you feel that one-to-one might be too personal or divisive to team spirit…’ Sveta leant back against the door to close it with her shapely derriere and gave him an understanding smile ‘…we have no objection to sharing you and every expectation that you will rise to the challenge.’


‘YOU look amazing,’ Sally, the beautician, chattered as she fanned out Abbey’s unruly mane of flame-coloured curls over her slim shoulders. ‘You’re going to be the star tonight.’

Abbey seriously doubted that forecast and reckoned that only a woman confident of her face and body would actually want to take part in a fashion show. She was only there by default, stepping in last minute for the amateur model who had twisted her knee in a fall during the dress rehearsal. Abbey had never liked either her face or her body. When she was a child the mirror had been her enemy, destroying her every dream of being a fairy princess in disguise.

One of her earliest memories had been of hearing her father complain that she was an ugly duckling. Sadly for her, however, the swan phase had failed to transpire, Abbey reflected wryly. Her hair had stayed defiantly red, her freckles had increased and her elongated gawky legs had continued to ensure that she towered over most people at a comfortable five feet nine inches in her bare feet. In her opinion, her unfashionably large breasts and hips only increased her oddness. Only once in her life had Abbey considered herself blessed by any claim to attraction. That had been the miraculous day when Jeffrey Carmichael had asked her out.

During the months that had run up to their wedding day the world had truly seemed to be a joyous place sprinkled with stardust and happiness. But even Jeffrey had once suggested that she might look better as a blonde.

‘Caroline is incredible,’ Sally commented as a fair-haired woman in a wheelchair sped busily past. ‘I really do admire her. To have lost so much and still be so keen to help others.’

‘That’s Caroline all over,’ Abbey agreed as she admired her brother’s wife equally. Caroline might have lost the power of her legs six years earlier, but she still cared for her husband and two children, met the demands of a full-time job and made room for fund-raising activities to support Futures, the spinal injuries charity that had helped her in her hour of need. The fashion show that Abbey had helped to organise was being held in aid of Futures.

‘Someone told me that she got hurt in a car crash on her brother’s wedding day…’

‘Yes,’ Abbey confirmed, her freckles standing out against her sudden pallor. ‘A drunk driver.’

‘I’m sure I read about it in the newspaper at the time.’

‘There was a lot of press coverage.’ Abbey did not want to think back to what had happened to the wedding party that dark, wet October day. One moment she’d had everything to live for, the next nothing, but she knew how lucky she was to have emerged virtually unscathed from the wreckage. Her brother’s life had been torn apart and, although the pessimistic had forecast otherwise, his marriage had survived the cruel blow that Caroline had suffered.

‘Love the make-up, Sally,’ Caroline remarked, wheeling to a halt beside them. ‘You’ve done Abbey proud.’

‘It wasn’t difficult. She’s got great bones and eyes.’

‘You look wonderful,’ Caroline told her sister-inlaw warmly.

Abbey studied her reflection. She thought she looked outrageous with her violet-coloured eyes smothered in exotic plum shades and glitter and diamante shimmering in an artistic arc across her cheekbones, but she supposed that the spectacular heavy make-up was all part and parcel of the illusion of glamour. ‘Is Drew here yet?’ she enquired.

Caroline’s face shadowed. ‘No. He was still at the office when I called.’

Abbey felt Caroline’s disappointment and wondered what her brother was playing at. Nobody had worked harder than Caroline to get this show on the road and she deserved for her husband to take respectful notice of her achievement. But, then, the family concierge business, Support Systems, had recently moved to upmarket premises in Knightsbridge and hired more staff, substantially increasing overheads. As a result, all of them were working longer hours and dealing with more clients. Abbey adored the busyness and variety of her job. Customers hired them to take care of everything they could not find the time to do for themselves—wide-ranging tasks that ran from walking the dog and picking up dry cleaning to booking holidays, shopping for presents and finding domestic staff and repairmen.

It was all a far cry from the life her snobbish sexist father would have chosen for her. He had refused to allow her to go to university or to train for a profession. Abbey remained painfully aware that, next to her brother, she had been a nobody in her father’s eyes. The older man had often treated his only daughter as an irritation and a disappointment. In fact only on the day Abbey married Jeffrey had her father looked at her with approval and pride as if marriage to a successful man was her biggest achievement.

‘You look like the Queen in Snow White,’ her niece, Alice, whispered, big eyes fixed in fascination to her aunt’s face.

‘The baddie who thought she was gorgeous and cracked the magic mirror she was always talking to?’ Abbey groaned.

‘She may have been bad but she was really beautiful,’ Alice lisped.

‘Watch your face,’ Sally warned when Abbey bent down to hug the six-year-old with easy affection. Across the room, Alice’s twin brother, Benjamin, was as usual fully engrossed in a book. Abbey was very close to her brother’s children. After the car accident she had moved in with the family to help out while Caroline was undergoing an intensive physiotherapy programme. She had soon discovered that the children’s needs and her own unrelenting grief had been best met by keeping busy for as many hours of the day as possible.

Nerves were making Abbey as tense as an overstretched piece of elastic. Sally removed the protective cape she wore and Abbey got up to go and peer out at the audience from behind the curtains that shielded the catwalk from the dressing area. ‘I don’t know why I agreed to do this,’ she muttered.

‘Because it’s for a good cause,’ Caroline piped up cheerfully at her elbow. ‘And all our lucky stars came out tonight. Guess who’s out here?’

‘One of the A-list celebrities you invited?’ Abbey guessed.

‘Nikolai Danilovich Arlov.’


‘For goodness’ sake, Abbey. You’ve got to know who he is! Only a Russian billionaire—’

‘The one whose vigorous sex life is always giving the tabloids headlines and centre spreads?’ As Caroline gave a reluctant nod of confirmation Abbey grimaced. ‘The guy’s only one step removed from a barnyard animal. He’s sleaze personified.’

‘His donation will still be welcome. Don’t be so judgemental, Abbey,’ her brother’s wife scolded. ‘Rich single men always have loads of girlfriends—’

‘He always picks sluts willing to spill all their bedroom secrets in print for a hefty payment. It tells you all you need to know about him—’

‘That the poor guy is a target for the greediest and most unscrupulous gold-diggers in town?’

‘Are you talking about Nikolai Arlov?’ Sally chimed in. ‘He’s been on his mobile phone ever since he arrived. He is absolutely gorgeous. If I got the chance to sleep with him I’d want to kiss and tell as well!’

Caroline giggled. ‘Are you serious?’

‘I’d be proud to tell the world that I had caught his eye,’ the beautician insisted. ‘And according to what I’ve read about his generosity, it would be well worth my while to be one of his harem.’

‘Men like that are just users,’ Abbey opined in disgust.

‘What would you know about men like that?’ her sister-in-law queried drily. ‘When were you last out on a date?’

‘You know when,’ Abbey reminded her.

‘Was it the guy who spent the whole evening talking about his ex-wife and confiding that he still loved her?’ Caroline groaned.

‘He had tears in his eyes when he told me,’ Abbey completed and peered out at the audience. ‘Where is the billionaire seated?’

‘You can’t miss him. He’s right at the end of the runway with a sizeable entourage—three beauties ministering to his every need and two massive minders hovering over him.’ Sally shared that extraneous information with enthusiasm.

‘The paparazzi are waiting outside for him. Just having Nikolai Arlov in the building is a major coup,’ Caroline declared with satisfaction. ‘Thanks to him, Futures will get valuable free publicity.’

‘At least he’s useful for something other than selling tacky tabloids,’ Abbey declared as the avant-garde designer of the fashion collection moved to the podium and the music switched to the intro and the opening speech. She peered down the runway but it was no good: her long-distance eyesight wasn’t good enough. All she could see was a big dark man with two dazzling young women hanging over him like attentive waitresses. The first model sashayed down the runway to a chorus of appreciative applause. Pale at the prospect of her approaching debut, Abbey moved out of the way of the models lining up to await their turn.

Many models had featured in Nikolai’s bed, but that did not mean he had garnered any interest in fashion. Business calls were a welcome release from boredom while he waited for the show to begin. But the very leggy redhead who appeared half an hour into the show was so sensationally beautiful that Nikolai actually forgot what he was talking about on the phone. He didn’t know what it was about her, but he took one look and he wanted her with an immediacy and an urgency he hadn’t experienced in years. Her mesmerising smoky eyes reflected the dense purple-blue of the amethyst pendant someone had cleverly fixed round her throat. Her bone structure was striking, unforgettable. She was all woman from her head of fabulous Titian curls to the swell of her voluptuous breasts and generous hips. A shimmering dark blue evening gown showcased her luscious curves and lent her the theatrical allure of a thirties movie star.

‘I want to meet her after the show,’ he told Sveta without hesitation. ‘Find out who she is.’

Abbey simply thought Nikolai was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. He had stunning eyes, cheekbones sharp enough to cut diamonds and a gorgeous wide, shapely mouth. Whatever, one glance and she felt utterly overwhelmed by that amazing combination of purely superficial attributes, her heart thumping inside her like a road drill and her mouth as dry as a bone. She was shocked rigid by her response, for she had always believed she was more cerebral than physical. She didn’t know what drew her to him beyond the obvious. It was as though his precise arrangement of features executed some sort of spellbinding effect on her and her wits took a hike, for when she looked once at his bold bronzed features she found she had to look again and again and again and at length to satisfy her indecent craving to see him.

Sveta murmured, ‘She’s married. She’s wearing a ring.’

Nikolai never slept with other men’s wives. It was one of the very few embargos he respected: he gave married women a very wide berth. ‘Check it out,’ he urged, unwilling to credit that she might be out of reach, as it was rare for anything to be unconquerable for Nikolai; there were always ways and means of acquiring what he wanted. And his senses were already humming at the prospect of entertaining the redhead in his bed that night, unveiling those magnificent breasts and endless long legs for his private enjoyment. He remembered the way her glittering gaze had lingered on him and had no doubt that his interest was returned. If she was a wife she was an unfaithful one.

One of the dressers began to strip the evening gown from Abbey and assist her at speed into her next outfit. Another removed her jewellery. Her skin felt clammy and she felt dizzy. What had happened to her out there? Men didn’t have that big an effect on Abbey. Her nature was cool rather than passionate. Jeffrey was the only man she had ever wanted and she had fallen for him in her teens, moving from an explosive adolescent infatuation to deep joyous love with continued exposure to his company. There had never been anyone else for her and only loneliness and the fear that she might be acting a little obsessively had persuaded her, with Caroline’s encouragement, to try dating other men over the past year. All those dates had been non-starters, for none of those men had had an ounce of Jeffrey’s intelligence or natural charm.

Caroline joined her sister-in-law while the younger woman’s make-up was being touched up. ‘Nikolai Arlov has asked for your phone number!’ she announced.

‘He can’t have it,’ Abbey replied without hesitation as her arms were guided into a shirt and her legs into wide-legged trousers. A fashionable tan raincoat was fed into place over both garments and the belt cinched to accentuate her narrow waist. What did she have to say to a Russian billionaire with a notorious reputation with her sex? Absolutely nothing.

‘But you will at least speak to him?’ Caroline pressed anxiously. ‘We can’t afford to offend the guy. Think of Futures’ funds, Abbey.’

Abbey could not help resenting that piece of advice, for she could see no reason why she should be forced to speak to a man she didn’t want to speak to. And then all of a sudden she remembered how she had looked at him minutes earlier and felt guiltily that her behaviour might well have prompted him to make an approach.

‘Okay. Drew here yet?’

‘Not yet,’ the blond woman responded ruefully.

‘He’s obsessed with work right now,’ Abbey proffered as an excuse.

‘As long as that’s all that’s keeping him out late so many nights,’ Caroline quipped, startling Abbey.

‘For goodness’ sake, Drew adores you!’ Abbey countered.

‘He’s been rather evasive and quiet on the adoration front recently. But, no, I don’t think there’s another woman,’ Caroline confirmed, meeting Abbey’s anxious gaze in the mirror. ‘I don’t think he’s got the time or the energy to neglect two of us!’

Abbey relaxed again, but she hadn’t missed the thread of annoyance and worry in her sister-in-law’s voice and she resolved to have a word with her brother for his thoughtlessness. What on earth was Drew playing at? Did he really work this late often? Didn’t he appreciate that Caroline needed his support and company at home? Abbey refused to work after eight in the evening unless there was a crisis; she usually went into the office very early in the morning and it was impossible to burn the candle at both ends and stay healthy. At night she liked to go home via the gym where she exercised, and then cook a light supper and chill out before bedtime.

‘A billionaire wants to ask you out and you’re not even shaking!’ Sally censured. ‘Aren’t you excited?’

‘Why would I be? He’s extremely handsome, but what would we have in common?’ Abbey asked.

‘I want you to go out with him just so that you can tell me what it was like,’ the beautician confided. ‘Are you going to speak to him after the show?’

‘Seems like I don’t have much choice.’ But when Abbey thought about Nikolai Arlov’s wonderfully dark deep-set eyes her stomach contracted. She questioned her susceptibility, disturbed by the nervous tension licking through her like a forest fire. She felt as though she didn’t know herself any more. And when she sashayed down the catwalk again, his intense gaze didn’t stray from her for a single second. She avoided looking in his direction to the best of her ability but, in an odd way that she didn’t want to think about, she liked his unwavering attention.

‘You should borrow something to wear for the supper afterwards. After all the glam outfits you’ve paraded in front of him it won’t do to appear in the jeans and T-shirt you arrived in,’ Caroline opined.

‘My own clothes will do fine.’

Her sister-in-law caught her narrow wrist between her fingers before she turned away. ‘Don’t blow Arlov away. You can’t mourn my brother for ever.’

Why not? Abbey almost demanded. Jeffrey was dead and that would last for ever. In the same way she knew she would miss her husband for ever and never forget him. She didn’t think she would ever get over losing the love of her life and she wasn’t ashamed of that fact. Love like that was precious, a great deal more precious than anything she had been offered since her husband’s death had left her a widow. She was not stupid. She was all too well aware that most men only thought of one thing when they looked at her large breasts and long legs. Ironically that one thing had been the very last thing on Jeffrey’s mind, she conceded wryly.

Nikolai was not surprised to find Abbey Carmichael waiting for him at the buffet held after the show. But he was taken aback by her make-up-bare face and casual apparel, since women usually went to a great deal more effort in the glamour stakes when he was around. In actuality she could get away with the scrubbed natural look because her creamy freckled skin had the sun-warmed glow of a peach and she simply looked younger and more fragile with her glorious fiery hair tumbling casually round her narrow shoulders.

Caroline and Futures’ charity director greeted the Russian tycoon and began to talk to him. Abbey sipped her glass of wine and studied the tall black-haired Russian, wondering why his obvious boredom should set her teeth on edge. No doubt he performed miracles with his money, but he didn’t necessarily have to have a personal interest in the charities that benefited from his generosity. She was conscious that his attention was on her, not on his companions. Her bra felt tight when she breathed and her breasts tingled with awareness inside the lace cups. Minutes later, Abbey was beckoned over and introduced.

‘Abbey Carmichael…Nikolai Danilovich Arlov…’


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