The Shy Bride

By: Lucy Monroe

TRADITIONAL GREEK HUSBANDS





Notorious Greek tycoons seek brides!





Childhood friends Neo and Zephyr worked themselves up from the slums of Athens and made their millions on Wall Street!





They fought hard for their freedom and their fortune. Now, like brothers, they rely only on one another.





Together they hold onto their Greek traditions…and the time has come for them to claim their brides!





This month Neo’s story: THE SHY BRIDE





Next month meet Zephyr in: THE GREEK’S PREGNANT LOVER





Lucy Monroe started reading at the age of four. After going through the children’s books at home, she was caught by her mother reading adult novels pilfered from the higher shelves on the bookcase…Alas, it was nine years before she got her hands on a Mills & Boon® Romance her older sister had brought home. She loves to create the strong alpha males and independent women that people Mills & Boon books. When she’s not immersed in a romance novel (whether reading or writing it), she enjoys travel with her family, having tea with the neighbours, gardening, and visits from her numerous nieces and nephews.







For Robin Hart, a wonderful friend and hypnotherapist, who has helped me tremendously through a very difficult time. Thank you!





PROLOGUE


THE port of Seattle didn’t look so different from some of the hundreds of other ports Neo Stamos had been in since joining the crew of the cargo ship Hera at the age of fourteen. And yet it was unique from all the others because this is where his life changed. This is where he would walk off the Hera and never walk back onto it.

He and his friend Zephyr Nikos had had to lie about their ages to join the Hera‘s crew six years ago, but that had been a small price to pay in order to leave behind the life they’d known in Greece. Neo and Zephyr had been Athens street thugs that found a common desire—that of making something more of their lives than rising to the top ranks in their gang.

And they were going to do it, twenty-year-old Neo vowed as the sun broke the eastern horizon.

“You ready for the next step?” Zephyr asked in English.

Neo nodded, his gaze set on the port growing closer by the minute. “No more living in the streets.”

“We haven’t lived in the streets for six years.”

“True. Though some would not consider our bunks here on the Hera much of an improvement.”

“They are.”

Neo agreed, though he didn’t say so. Zephyr knew and shared his feelings. Anything was better than scavenging to eke out an existence that still required living by someone else’s rules. “But what is to come will be even better.”

“Yes. It may have taken six years, but we have the money to take the next step in our new lives.”

Six years of a hell of a lot of hard work and sacrifice. They had saved every drachma possible of their earnings. For two men who had grown up in an orphanage and then the streets when they ran away, that had been a lot. They knew how to come by clothes, books and other necessities through interesting if not necessarily legal methods. Not unless one considered underage gambling a stumbling block to legality.

When they were not working, or gambling to augment their meager salaries, they had been reading everything they could get their hands on about business and real estate development. Each had become an expert in a different aspect of the field, combining their superior brainpower rather than duplicating effort.

They now had a detailed plan to increase their assets through initially flipping houses and, eventually, full-scale, high-end real estate developments.

“Next it will be business tycoons Zephyr Nikos and Neo Stamos,” Zephyr said with conviction.

A slow, extremely rare smile curved Neo’s lips. “Before we are thirty.”

“Before we are thirty.” Zephyr’s voice was filled with the same determination Neo felt deep in his gut.

They would succeed.

Failure was not an option.





CHAPTER ONE


“THIS is a joke, right?” Neo Stamos stared at the fancy certificate with the logo of a local charity fund-raiser on it.

His oldest and only real friend, not to mention business partner, Zephyr Nikos had to be kidding. He had to be. No way could the certificate be meant for Neo. He had to have gotten it for someone else and was using it to pull Neo’s chain before giving it to them.

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