A Diamond Magnate Novel
Series: Diamonds are Forever Trilogy #3
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Genre: Dark Romance
wasted like gemstones in the dust, walked over by an oblivious shoe. It takes
many suffering years and layers of mountains to squeeze carbon into a precious
stone. Now that I’m polished and hard like a diamond, he doesn’t get to kick me
back into the dirt.
him don’t love women like me.
diamonds are forever.
are Forever concludes this trilogy. Diamonds in the Dust (Book 1) and Diamonds in the Rough
(Book 2) must be read to follow the story.)
and fresh air do me good. I feel invigorated when I get to an open-air textile
market I remember from driving past here once. The smell of grilled chestnuts
from the vendor stand mixes with the odor of chemical dye from the fabric.
Weaving through the aisles, I drag the familiar perfume into my lungs. Despite
my situation, my spirits lift. It’s like the smell of roasted beans when
entering a coffee shop on a cold morning or the welcoming scent of ink and
paper in a bookstore on a lazy afternoon. Only, it’s the cocktail of threads
and colors that makes my heart beat faster. With it comes the rush of memories
from the fashion academy and, like an answering echo, a wave of nostalgia. I
miss this. I miss the slide of fabric through my fingers and the soothing hum
of a sewing machine.
organza hanging from a wooden rail lifts in the breeze. The floral print
catches my eye. It’s pink and lilac, soft and lovely. I said I was done with
sewing, but maybe it’s because I’ve been stuck on my old designs. Romantic
designs. Walking to a stand with a much statelier roll of navy linen, I rub the
coarse fabric between my fingers. Maybe I was looking at the wrong dreams.
like this fabric, ma’am?” the vendor asks.
The woman has a friendly smile. A red scarf tied around her hair brings out the
warm tone of her skin and eyes.
have any money on me. I didn’t even know this was my destination when I started
walking. “Oh, I’m just browsing.”
the lady however much she wants,” a deep voice says.
my heel. The sight of him takes my breath away even after all this time. With
his hands shoved into his pockets, Maxime’s stance is relaxed, but I recognize
the power running underneath. As always, he’s dressed immaculately. Even his
casual street clothes scream of sophistication and a keen sense of fashion. A
roll-neck black T-shirt and fitted pants are rounded off with a brown coat,
matching scarf, and short boots, but it’s not the clothes that define the man.
It’s his presence. It’s how he dominates the space and demands attention. It’s
what that look on his face promises.
talking to stare. I stare, too. I take in the familiar sharp chin and deep
lines, the crooked nose and bump on the bridge, the gray eyes that cut through
defenses and intentions, and the strong mouth that makes knees weak. His hair
is ruffled, curlier from the humid air, and the longer sideburns give him an
artistic look. He could be an eccentric painter or a brilliant rocket
scientist, a mafia boss or a man bathing a woman on his knees. He could be a
jet fighter pilot or a diamond tycoon. A woman’s imagination could run wild.
What every female here knows with instinctive knowledge is that those hands,
those hidden hands, can stroke a cheek as gently as they can squeeze around a
throat. This is a man who can make a woman’s fantasies come true, and his gaze
is trained on me with possessiveness. Adoration. Lust.
remained locked as he takes his wallet out of his pocket and pulls out a few
clears her throat. Her voice is husky when she asks, “How many meters would you
please,” I say, ripping a number from the sky.
lips lift in one corner. The smile makes his unconventionally
beautiful-unattractive face seem more predatory than friendly.
closer, he presses his lips against my ear and says in English, “Let me buy
this for you.”
accent hits me between the knees. We’ve been speaking French since my return.
I’ve forgotten what his deep timbre sounds like when he whispers in my mother
tongue. He smells like the king of winter, of cold weather and citrusy days.
The perfume of chemical dye retreats as that winter heat rushes over me. The
man and everything he stand for overwhelm my senses.
mind can focus on his words is a miracle. I think back to his story, to the man
who had two choices, the kidnapper who could take his target kindly or with
force. I don’t want force. I don’t want kindness. I want honesty.
ask with a dry throat.
strokes over my ear. His words are self-assured and seductive. “Because I can.”
away, he creates an avalanche of cold when he takes his heat with him. I look
down to where he’s rubbing the fabric between his fingers in a gesture that
seems oddly like a caress. I shiver as if feeling that caress on my skin.
a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a
diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising,
communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing
has always been an integral part of her professions.
After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to
write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published over twenty novels since 2011, as
well as several short stories and articles. Two of her shorts have been
selected by the International Literary Society for an anthology from across the
When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine
currently lives in France with her husband and children. Their household is a
linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.