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How far will the rich and powerful go in order to achieve their goals? That is the question Lyssa must decide when she finds herself caught between two formidable adversaries: powerful business tycoon and shipping magnate, Alex Andrakis and close childhood friend, ‘Dynamic’ Nell Winters, brewery heiress and prolific businesswoman.
Following the failure of her marriage in Greece, Lyssa returns to her family home in London, to discover that her mother, a once-celebrated actress, is now facing crippling debts. When Lyssa begins to investigate these, she becomes embroiled in the intricate business dealings of Nell and her arch-rival Alex. Irresistibly drawn to widower Alex and his unhappy young son, Lyssa begins to uncover some unexpected and disturbing facts.
The more involved she becomes, the more shocking are the discoveries she makes. The conflicts culminate in a frightening battle for survival as Lyssa finds herself the prime target between the possessive Nell and obsessive Alex. With her loyalties deeply divided, can Lyssa make the right choice for everyone concerned?
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“Nicky, ela! We’re leaving.” Alex interrupted coldly from the doorway.
Lyssa turned quickly, surprised at his hostile tone.
“Oh not yet, Alex. I want to talk to Lyssa.”
“Now.” Alex’s face looked like thunder.
“But you said—”
“Forget what I said. We’re leaving.”
Lyssa watched him in confusion. “Is there something wrong, Alex? Perhaps I can help?”
He threw her a contemptuous look. “Help? Oh I think you’ve ‘helped’ quite enough. I suppose I must congratulate you on a job well done, Lyssa. I promised to do nothing without consulting you—you might have offered me the same courtesy in return.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Your technique, Lyssa. A clever little trick, but your tactics stink”
“Wait…I don’t understand”
“You ought to have followed your mother onto the stage. Your performance certainly fooled me.” He turned and began pulling the protesting boy up the staircase. She followed them in bewilderment as far as the oak door, where he turned and cast a final, angry look at her. “Goodbye, Lyssa. I wish you and your cunning friend every success.”
“Which friend?” she whispered to herself after he disappeared and before she recalled that she only possessed one.
She turned towards the drawing room where she found her mother pacing the floor in agitation, ramming her stick vigorously into the thick, silken pile of the carpet at every turn.
“What happened, Mother?” Lyssa asked, as she watched the limping figure.
“Poor Alexis is a little upset about it all,” Dame Constance explained. “I didn’t expect him to take it quite so badly—in fact, I’d hoped he might be rather pleased for me. I think I shall go and lie down. That young man has quite exhausted me with all his questions.” She limped toward the door, stopped upon reaching it and half turned to face her puzzled daughter. “And Lyssa…thank you, my dear. Please don’t imagine that I’m unappreciative of your efforts. This is a great load off my mind. Oh, and if you are off to see Nell, why don’t you ask her to dine with us one evening? Or, perhaps I really should ask her myself?” Dame Constance continued to muse over the question as she left the room.
Lyssa stared after the retreating figure of her mother; still an elegant and commanding woman, despite her limp and advancing years. Then Lyssa repeated Nell’s name inaudibly, with a slow nod of her head.