By:  Emma Swan  Completed
Language: English
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Devastatingly handsome French tycoon Sébastien Olivier de Monfort has his sights set on Cassandra‘Cass’Applegate. Her seeming inexperience intrigues him… she used to be married! Cassandra's marriage was a sham. It left her feeling unattractive and unwanted. Now that Sébastien has claimed her as his lover, he'll teach the innocent Cassandra how much pleasure can be had in the bedroom... But passion leads to something else, totally unexpected, and Sébastien vows he'll take Cassandra to Paris... and to the altar!

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34 Chapters
“The Six Nations Championship or The Guinness Six Nations offered rugby fans another great show. Today, Ireland and France left their best on the field. The Irish Lions and Les Bleus (French for The Blues) gave us a lesson about fair play and commitment. With a nail-biting finish like that, I think we can safely say that this tournament is wide-open and set to be one of the most exciting yet. This is Cassandra Applegate, reporting live from Croke Park in Dublin. Back to you in the studio, Stanley.”          Cassandra kept the smile pasted on her face until she could hear the chatter die away in her earpiece and then handed her microphone to her assistant, Ciara, with relief once she knew she was off-air.          She avoided looking to where she knew the man was still standing, his shoulder propped nonchalantly against the wall, hands in the poc
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          She desperately tried to claw back some semblance of control. He rocked back on his heels and a different light came into his eyes. An altogether more dangerous light. And Cassandra could see that she was effectively trapped. The space between the seats was far too narrow for her to even attempt to push past him, and the only alternative would be to jump into the next aisle, a far too unladylike and desperate way to escape. And, in the skirt she was wearing, utterly impossible.          Cassandra felt unbelievably threatened. She called up her best brusque manner and hitched her laptop bag strap higher on her shoulder, hoping he’d take the hint.“This conversation is getting us nowhere, mister. Now, really, I have to get back to my office, and I’m sure you have somewhere far more exciting to be.”          After a long, i
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          The gesture was fleeting but absolutely earth-shattering. He broke their eye contact, leaving Cassandra feeling curiously emptied. With a brief, succinct excuse muttering something about getting drinks, James left them alone.          The rest of the crowd Sébastien Monfort had been talking to melted away too. He turned back, fixing on her with that intense gaze again.“You’ve had time to change, I see. Tell me, is this work too?”          Cassandra's body got taut. Hot, burning irritation was rising.“Of course, I changed… It’s a party. And, yes, this is still work.”          His eyes swept down, taking in what she knew to be a perfectly suitable although very unexciting dress. It was a black shift, high-neck
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          The next day, Cassandra looked at herself in the mirror of the ladies' toilet at work. Nervously, and hating herself for feeling nervous, she smoothed her already smooth hair. She’d tied it back in its usual style for work and now tucked it firmly behind her ears.          She leaned close to check her make-up. She’d had to put slightly more on than usual today to cover the circles under her eyes. She’d arrived home late last night, and had then stayed up researching as much information about Sébastien Monfort as she could.          The fact that she hadn’t had to stay up long said it all. He rarely gave interviews. In fact, the last one had been at least two years previously.          He was the CEO of Banque Monfort and had reached that exa
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“I don’t appreciate being manipulated into this kind of situation, Monsieur Monfort.”           Sébastien looked at Cassandra’s tight-lipped profile from across the other side of the car and had to subdue the urge to show her exactly how much she might appreciate being manipulated.           He knew she felt the simmering tension between them too. At one point during the interview earlier, when she’d had the temerity to dig so deep, way too deep into his life, their eyes had stayed locked together for long seconds and he’d read the latent desire in those amber depths even if Cassandra tried to deny it. “I prefer to think of it as a gentle nudging.”           She cast a glimpse at him and made some kind of inarticulate sound. “There was nothing gentle about it. Your unspoken threat was very clear, Monsieur Monfo
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          Cassandra fell silent as she thought of her parents. She was acutely aware of their increasing frailty, and especially her father, who had had a quadruple bypass the previous year. With her older siblings busy with families and their own problems, the care and concern of their parents largely fell to her.           Not that she minded, of course. But she was aware nevertheless that they worried about her, that they wanted to see her settled like the others. Especially after what happened to Brian.           They’d finished their meal, and the plates had been cleared. She took a quick sip of coffee and avoided Sébastien’s laser-like gaze. It was as if he could see right through her head to her thoughts. She hoped the coffee would diminish the effect of the wine, which had been like liquid nectar.        
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          By the time Cassandra was standing in her tiny kitchen the next morning drinking her usual cup of tea, she felt much more in control. She only had to look around her small house to feel on firmer ground. This was reality. This was all she’d been able to afford after Brian had died.          Her mouth tightened. Contrary to what everyone believed, she hadn’t been left a millionairess after her football-star husband had died in the accident. She was still picking up the pieces emotionally and financially from her five years of marriage.          And, while her emotional scars might heal one day, the financial ones would be keeping her in this tiny cottage and working hard for every cent for a very long time. The truth was that Brian had left astronomical debts behind him and, because their divorce hadn’t come
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           The shock was rapidly wearing off by the time Cassandra had stepped back into her house, followed by a tall, stunning and magnificent Sébastien Monfort. She crossed her arms and rounded on him with a scowl on her face. Once again, he was demonstrating that ability to suck in the space around him and make everything seem small and inadequate.          She tried to block out the fact that he was quite simply the most gorgeous man who’d ever stood feet away from her and looked at her with an intensity that bordered on being indecent.“That…Um… That phone call was a conversation that shouldn’t have had to happen. And, just so you know, it was all your fault.”          He inclined his head slightly and smiled slightly. He looked huge in her tiny living room.“I apologize, but, as
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          Happy that she’d justified her actions to herself, and not willing to pay attention to the buzz of something in her blood when she heard the strains of her favorite blues CD coming from the sound system, she found it soothing rather than scary.“I hope you don’t mind?”          Cassandra looked over to where Sébastien was bent down at the system, the material of his trousers and shirt straining over taut, hard muscles in his thighs and back. She shook her head, her mouth feeling very dry.“No… no… Cass, stop…” she whispered almost imperceptibly and took another quick sip of wine.            The dinner was extremely pleasant and by the time Cassandra was taking his cleared plate from him, and apologizing again that their dinner had been on
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          He saw the cards that had accompanied the flowers neatly lined up to show the sentence they’d spelled out. Something forceful struck him then. He’d never gone to such trouble before. Women always said yes… It was always that easy to have every woman he’d wanted.          Only recently his experiences with women had always proved somewhat unsatisfactory. And now merely kissing Cassandra was making him feel like a randy teenager again, like a schoolboy on his first crush. And it was wonderful, unsettling, and somehow bothering all tied up into one cool package.          Cassandra welcomed the distance as she watched Sébastien put his coat on, accentuating his shoulders, his broad back. Those wonderful shoulders that she’d just been clutching with complete abandon, because if she hadn&rsquo
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