True Violet by Vivian Winslow
The Violet Trilogy #3
The Gilded Flower Series #9
Genre: Erotic Romance
In this final installment of The Gilded Flower Series, shocking secrets are revealed and the long-buried truth comes out.
Things are heating up for Vi in Dubai, and it's not just the desert climate. Vi is starting to come into her own—having the hottest sex of her life and poised to take over her father's multinational conglomerate. Yet, her suspicions are confirmed when she uncovers a plot to destroy not just her but her best friends' lives. With an unlikely ally, Vi seeks to ruin those behind the plot. Will Vi be able to have it all and find her lasting happiness in the arms of the man she loves?
Relief spreads over Vi during breakfast as she politely engages in conversations with other division heads. It’s the last day, and her father’s closing remarks, scheduled after the breakfast, will mark the end. Despite the beautiful beach setting, the week has been long and tiring. She arrived in Muscat believing she could predict her future—well, at least the next month. But now, thanks to her father, it’s all turned upside down. She faces a monumental decision that will impact her life, and it’s not something she anticipated when she agreed to move to Dubai. She begins to bite her thumbnail nervously as Azahr invites their father to the podium to speak.
The theme of the conference was about divergent economic growth across global economies, which really meant how to ensure the continued success of Rai Industries. The senior Rai goes on about this, expertly discussing and even countering some of the claims made by the economists who spoke during the conference. He does it admirably, showing how sharp he remains at seventy.
Toward the end of his speech, he takes a turn Vi doesn’t see coming. She had asked him to give her a week to think over his offer, but clearly his grunt meant a ‘no’, not ‘yes’.
“Now, before I close, I want to thank my son, Azahr, for all his hard work in coordinating this conference, and also for his years of loyalty to Rai Industries. I want him to know that his allegiance has brought pride to me and our family.”
The audience erupts in restrained applause.
Her father holds up his hands to indicate he isn’t finished. “I expect you all have also had the pleasure of meeting my charming daughter, Violet, this week. It was important to me that you have a chance to get to know her.”
Suddenly all eyes in the room focus on Vi. She straightens and forces a reserved smile. This isn’t what she agreed to, but obviously this is her father’s way of saying there’s only one answer. Why did she ever expect him to actually listen to her?
“Over the next few months, Violet will be transitioning to take over as CEO of Rai Industries.”
Vi can feel her stomach tense. Her palms begin to sweat, and she quickly looks over at the Exit sign, gauging how long it will take for her to get out. This isn’t what she asked for, nor is it what she wanted. No, she wanted a position in Rai Industries, not any one in particular, just something that would give her closer access to her brother, to put her suspicions to rest.
Now, the game has changed. Not only will Azahr be out for blood, but her father has exposed her to the scrutiny of her colleagues and anyone else who may want to find out more about the mysterious, illegitimate Rai daughter. She mentioned this to him over lunch when he first proposed this idea. His response echoed Samir’s. She was ultimately untouchable. Personal judgments be damned. Vi would be secure. But at what price?
She gulps for air, trying to quell the chaos of emotions that are raging through her, uncertain of how to proceed. Her mind is in a fog. Her usual philosophy of following where the universe is pointing her seems to be failing her when it appears to be her father acting as her master.
Vi squeezes her hands together, digging her nails into her palms to calm herself. When she hears her name again, she looks over at her father who is motioning for her to join him. Beside him, Azahr looks like he’s about to have a stroke.
Her father moves the microphone closer to her. To Vi’s surprise, her words come out more composed and articulate than she would’ve expected.
“Thank you, Father,” she says, nodding toward him. Then looking out onto the faces of the people who soon will consider her their boss, she says, “Thank you to all of you. I understand that it may take time to place your trust in me to fill the rather large shoes of my father.” Vi looks at Samir quickly. “I do not intend to replace him, because it would be impossible. Rather, I hope to continue his tireless work and devotion to Rai Industries and see it achieve his vision of success and growth in the coming years. My father and I have discussed what that means, and we agree that diversifying Rai’s portfolio as well as investing in the people of India will be the best course for our future.” She reaches out and takes her father’s hand. Together, they raise their hands in a sign of victory, a camera flash momentarily blinding them.
Azahr walks out, wading through the throng of people coming up to congratulate Vi and her father.
As soon as Samir approaches, she smiles at him and shakes his hand.
“So last night was an interview of sorts,” he says.
She shrugs. “Nothing was certain. I asked for time to decide, but he obviously had made up his mind.”
“And you? Have you made up your mind?” His tone suggests hope.
Vi cocks her head and smiles. “Perhaps. When I do, you’ll be the first to know.”
Vivian Winslow was born and raised in Southern California. Before becoming a writer, she made a career out of moving around the world every couple of years thanks to her husband’s job. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two elementary school age children, and is grateful to finally have a place to call home for more than two years. New York is the perfect city to indulge her love of shopping, the arts and especially food. If she’s not at home writing or running around the city with her kids, you’ll most likely find her indulging in pizza on the Lower East Side or having a cocktail at her favorite bar in Alphabet City. That said, she’s still a California girl at heart and would gladly trade in her heels for a pair of flip-flops to catch a sunset on the beach.