Savannah has returned to Greece with the intention of making her peace with the Kiriakis family. But Leiandros Kiriakis has other ideas. He still believes the lies about Savannah, and is set on making her pay for the past.
Savannah is reluctant when Leiandros demands that she share his home. There’s an unbearable sexual tension already throbbing between them. As for Leiandros, now he has Savannah right where he wants her – and in a short time he’ll be giving her an ultimatum: if she doesn’t want to lose everything she holds most dear, she’ll agree to be his wife!
I broke up with the Presents line awhile back. Reading this book reminded me why.
Savannah was married to Leiandros’s cousin Dion. Dion was a selfish, jealous, callous, abusive person. He spent years verbally abusing Savannah and poisoning his family against her. She finally worked up the courage to leave him after he lost control one night and physically abused her. She took her girls and fled to America. When Dion was killed in a car accident along with Leiandros’s wife, Petra, Savannah returns to Greece for the funeral.
A year after the funeral Leiandros issues an ultimatum to her: either she return to Greece with her children or he’d cut off her monthly allowance. Savannah has spent the last 4 years getting her degree and, while she now has it, doesn’t have a job. She needs her monthly allowance to pay for the care of her very ill, elderly aunt. The monthly fee for her aunt’s nursing home is coming due. If she doesn’t get the money from Leiandros her aunt will be moved to a state nursing home, which would most likely kill her.
Leiandros has always wanted Savannah. He decides to wait a year after the funeral – a proper grieving period – then issues his ultimatum. Though she believes she’s only coming for a short visit, he has other plans. He wants justice for the wrongs Savannah caused…and he intends to get it by marrying her and forcing her to have his children.
This book is chock full of fail. I’m not even sure where to start. First we have Savannah. The night she was introduced to Leiandros they shared a kiss before he realizes she was the wife of his cousin. Since then he’s thought the worst of her based on his cousin’s lies. Dion swore Savannah was cheating on him and her daughters weren’t his. So Leiandros thinks her a whore, constantly making cutting remarks about her and putting her down. And yet…she loves him. She’s always loved him. The man calls her a whore, accuses her of infidelity and being the cause of Dion and Perta’s deaths and of keeping her girls from his family…and she loves him. So much that its hard for her to be around him without aching for him.
Then we have Leiandros. He claims to value family above all else – hence his hatred for Savannah, who stole his nieces from him and killed her husband by running away – yet when he finds out about her ailing aunt, says she doesn’t realize Savannah is there anyway and won’t be alive much longer.
“I have spoken to the doctor in charge of your aunt’s care. He says there is one nurse on staff that is a favorite of your aunt’s. I can assure she is available for your aunt’s personal care.”
“I know who you are talking about and she’s just discovered she’s pregnant. What about when she goes on maternity leave? Will you allow me to go then?”
“According to her doctors, by then your aunt will no longer be with us.” His own frustration came out in the cruel statement he regretted the moment it left his lips.
Savannah did not look beaten any longer. She looked angry enough to attack him. “She is very special to me. She’s the only family I’ve got.”
“Do you discount me, my mother, Sandros, Helena and Iona so easily? Even your own daughters? Are we not all your family?”
What a prince. The aunt who raised her is dying, but she should forget all about her in favor of him and his family? Lovely.
He also blackmails Savannah into first flying to Greece, then into marrying him. He emotionally manipulates her daughters so they push Savannah to marry him – something she does nothing about, by the way – and forces her to introduce them to the rest of the family, who openly scorn Savannah. Then accuse her of not playing nice when his family treats her badly.
“I think it would be an excellent idea for your mama and I to get married. Would you like to see the chapel where I plan to marry your mama?”
The girls made heavy hints about the suitability of such a church for a fairytale wedding. After Leiandros’s blatant statement of intent, Savannah had quickly disabused her daughters of the notion she had agreed to marry him and informed all three conspirators she was unwilling to discuss the subject any more that day. But by the time they left the chapel, Savannah felt hunted.
A man she hasn’t seen in a year and barely new before that tries to blackmail her into marriage, then manipulates her daughters into pushing for same, yet she doesn’t attempt to stop him from doing so? Only denies it to the girls and goes on her merry way?
Leiandros realizes she was abused by someone in the past, but he assumes it was one of her many lovers (you’ll remember his cousin told him she slept around all the time). When he confronts her about it (toward the end of the novel) she finally gets frustrated and shows him the file she conveniently kept with pictures of herself after Dion beat her and copies of the police report and restraining order. Without proof I doubt Leiandros would have believed her. Naturally he’s appalled at the behavior of his cousin. He asks her to tell him the full story, then confesses that he’s loved her since the first time he met her – when he kisses her before realizing she was married to his cousin.
“It was more than desire. I fell in love with you that night. Just to be in the same room with you afterward was torture. I had to fight my feelings for six long years. I felt so much guilt I denied my heart and called my love sexual passion. You’ll never know the torment I felt when Dion and Petra died in that crash.”
“I know. You lost your baby and your wife.”
He grimaced. “I grieved that, but not as I should have. I grieved the loss of my baby more than Petra and it wasn’t even twenty-four hours before my thoughts turned to making you mine. I told myself it was for justice, to replace what I had lost, but the truth is I couldn’t live without you anymore. The barriers between us were gone and so was my self-control.”
She quickly pecked him on the lips for saying such very nice things and then smiled. “So you decided to blackmail me into marrying you.”
His pregnant wife wasn’t even cold in her grave when he began plotting to make Savannah marry him? Though he did think to himself – at the graveside service – that he’d wait a year to bring Savannah home, the proper grieving period. Kind of him, wasn’t it? And Savannah thought it was nice of him to be glad his wife, baby and cousin were dead so they could be together? Really?
I couldn’t find one redeeming quality about either of them. Honestly, they deserved each other.
I’m giving this a 1.5 out of 5 because the story was well written.