Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.
Sun, sea and a sexy stranger - a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart… Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy. With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist. But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?
‘So, what do you think, so far? Is it the place? For my wedding?’ Lacey asked. She dragged her body into a sitting position.
‘It’s a beautiful spot. The mountains of Albania just across the water, the sea, the sand … not forgetting the water platform.’ She levelled a smile at her sister.
‘It’s pretty special,’ Lacey agreed, nodding.
‘But no matter how special the place, it has to be right. You and Mark have to be right.’ Ellen faltered on the last part of the sentence. This was so hard. How could she understand how Lacey was feeling? And what qualifications did she have for guiding her? Years trying to be the mother she really wasn’t. That was it. Nothing else. It was exhausting.
‘It feels like we’ve been engaged forever,’ Lacey admitted.
‘It feels like we’ve been planning the wedding forever.’
Lacey sighed. ‘I need to be sure that when the cake’s been cut and eaten … when the doves have been released and all the goody bags have been given out … when the disco’s playing “Run” by Leona Lewis … I need to be sure it still feels special.’
‘Volleyball! We have volleyball in five minutes over on the sand court!’
Sergei’s voice had broken into the conversation, booming the next part of the animation program through the microphone.
‘Lace, if you need the thought of a big wedding … if organising the party of your life is the only thing making your relationship special, then …’ Ellen started.
‘It isn’t … I don’t think. I’m just not sure how to be sure.’ Lacey stopped talking and put a smile on her face at the sight of Sergei striding towards them.
‘Why are you smiling at him like that?’
‘Like a drunk celebrity on Alan Carr: Chatty Man.’
‘Drink your drink. Good morning,’ Lacey purred as Sergei arrived next to them.
‘Good morning. How are you?’ Sergei’s eyes were fixed firmly on Lacey’s bikini top, his dark hair perfectly gelled back, sunglasses on his face.
‘All the better for seeing you looking so energetic and ready for action.’
‘Don’t stand too close, Sergei. She’s been vomiting since seven.’ Ellen put her empty cocktail cup down.
‘You have too much last night?’ he inquired.
‘Too much what?’ Lacey batted her eyelids.
‘Please! Just tell us what you’d like us to sign up for before I start being sick.’
‘Volleyball. In five minutes.’
Within a couple of minutes her sister’s mascara would be running down her face and her hair would resemble Seal in his dreadlock phase. Surely that would make her less attractive to Sergei.
‘I won’t. I can’t. I don’t know how to,’ Lacey protested.
‘I teach you,’ Sergei assured.
‘Great. That’s you occupied. I’m going to see if they have space left on the coach trip.’ Ellen got up from the lounger.
‘What coach trip?’ Lacey asked.
‘It was on the board outside the restaurant.’ She began to gather her things up together. ‘Some place beginning with “S”. I’m not sure. I don’t care. It looked nice and it isn’t volleyball,’ Ellen stated.
‘But we’ve only just sat down,’ Lacey protested.
‘And until you’re ready to make decisions one way or the other about this wedding I’ll be in the place beginning with “S”.’
‘Well, what am I going to do?’
‘I don’t know. Just try not to get pregnant.’
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