They say that crime knows no bounds. Or does it?
Doukas Tremes and his brothers, the Lords, are one of the most influential and dangerous crime families in Greece. In their world, everything revolves around crime, and they stop at nothing.
Having inherited a failing business, Ria Vamou tries to make ends meet. On top of everything else, a gang is pressuring her to pay them protection for her taverna.
Love is nowhere near her plans. All it takes is one night, one photograph, one kiss, and everything changes. Forever!
Nothing will stop Doukas from making Ria his because he finally found a woman worth starting a war over.
Doukas is the first full-length standalone novel in the Greek Crime Lords Series. It describes scenes of violence and sexual content, so please read at your own discretion.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult Audiences Only
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 5 – NC-17
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
It all started with a picture in my head of a guy seeing a girl's photo and is consumed by her. I've actually written it as part of my first novel, the Give & Take Duet, but it didn't actually fit there.
And then I started thinking, "What if this love story was complicated? What if the guy is a criminal? Does he have the right to find his better half?"
The rest is history, as they say. Doukas and Ria's story surprised me by its intensity and the caracters' tenacity to overcome the hurdles life kept throwing their way.
And when I actually got down to write Doukas, I thought it'd be nice to have a good support system in his family. Initially, he was meant to have a twin brother, but soon that changed, ending up with four brothers and a sister.
Soon enough, the small outline for one book became a plan for eight novels in the series of Greek Crime Lords and Royals.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted Doukas to be different from the usual tortured hero. He sees a woman in a photo and has to know her. On the other hand, Ria has gone from one disappointment to another and finds it hard to trust Doukas and his motives. But some people are just meant to be, and these two are such a pair.
Ria doesn't have much family to speak of, but Doukas's family is enough compensation as they take her to their midst and protect her against the person who threatens to tear down everything she's worked so hard on.
Doukas's siblings are a rather odd bunch, but they all stick together – like a family is supposed to do. Everyone has their quirks, and it's so entertaining trying to find ways to surprise Ria with their kindness. They might be one of the most feared families in Greece, but Ria gets to see a different side of them, one that not many people know because the Lords don't allow many people to get close to them.
I sprint out the door and right into Doukas’s arms. The first thing I feel is his body’s warmth as he puts his arm around my waist to steady me. I look up at his mesmerizing eyes and then at his tantalizing lips. He’s even more dazzling up close, if that’s even possible. I wish I could ask him to hold me tighter. To kiss me.
Doukas reaches up, and his knuckles caress my cheek.
“Where are you racing off to?” he asks with a low, husky voice.
“You,” I admit and lean into his touch.
Doukas stares at me, bemused as if I hold the answers to all his questions.
The spell is broken the moment the door behind me opens and an elderly couple walks out. Reluctantly, I step out of Doukas’s muscular arms to thank them for coming.
What is the matter with me? Someone would think I haven’t seen a man in my life. In my defense, I haven’t met a man like Doukas before. It’s not just his magnetizing good looks, there’s an indescribable pull—almost a need—to get to know him better. To feel his scorching touch electrify my whole body. Perhaps I should be afraid. He’s a stranger, and in all my twenty-four years, I’ve met all kinds of people, from perfect gentlemen to petty criminals. But I’m not afraid of Doukas. My instincts have never steered me wrong.
Looking down at my hands, I remember what brought me out here in the first place.
“Mm… we found this on your table. Is…is this yours?” Even I don’t recognize my trembling voice.
Doukas looks down at my hand, no doubt recognizing the EarPods. With a slight nod, he pockets the gadget, and very slowly, he brings my hand to his mouth, placing a kiss on my open palm. His soft lips make me shiver, and as an unfamiliar warmth spreads across my body, I wish I could feel them on me again.
“Perfect in every way,” he murmurs.
“What do you mean?” I ask tentatively, hoping I haven’t heard wrong.
“I tried to imagine how you really are, but nothing comes as close as this.”
“That doesn’t answer my question,” I challenge him. I was going for demanding, but it came out breathless.
“I beg to differ.”
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