Romance on the Greek Isles
Paul, 32, has a Harvard Business School MBA, is very wealthy and is single. He is well experienced in guiding MBA applicants and advises Sophie, 24, also single, in her successful Harvard Business School MBA application. His friend from high school Robert, who is Sophie’s steady boy friend for six years, had asked him for this favor, so he could not refuse. Sophie is as beautiful as a Greek Goddess and extremely multitalented and smart. They both live in Athens, Greece. They madly fall in love. They date. But, so does an underlying tragedy appear. As their love passionately blossom, so does their tragedy sprout.
On their first date she tells him, “I respect you for not having taken advantage of me”… Does she mean it? Or does she badly want him? How badly does he want her? What is in their minds? What signals do they exchange? How do they interpret them? What will happen?
He visits her at HBS on her first year. They travel together, twice during the summer after her first year. Paul reserves two single rooms on their first trip to NYC although he badly wants her. She makes her advances but he rejects them because of what she told him on their very first date. She is crushed. After the first trip to NYC and her rejection she decides to give him a second chance.
He invites her to Paris. She sends him strong signals, but the NYC scenario is repeated. Both want each other badly but Paul is afraid. Sophie is fuming mad. She decides that the next time Paul invites her to a trip she will refuse his offer and dump him. Paul attends her graduation. Shortly after, he emails her with another invitation to a sandy luxury Greek resort. He mentions two single rooms, again. She mails him back declining his offer angrily. He calls her. All hell breaks loose. She is fuming mad. He interrupts her proposing a suite. She talks for ½ an hour explaining that she wants to be flirted, and feel wanted. Paul explains that he only followed what she told him on the first date. She madly goes on for another ½ hour explaining that it’s the man’s job to do the courting and consummate the relationship. She feels insulted, humiliated and ignored. They agree that she calm down, think cool and to text him. Three hours pass and she texts: “Let’s go”. They go to the resort and it happens. The consummation is described indirectly, obliquely without the words sex, making out etc. ever being used there or at any other part of the book. He proposes marriage. She warmly accepts. His mother actively opposes the marriage and threatens to blow up everything. Her sister and Paul’s dad actively support Sophie. Paul’s mother calls Sophie and tells her Paul has been cheating on her. Paul’s father leaves his wife and moves to Palm Beach while filing for divorce. Paul’s mother’s sister disinherits her sister. The mother finally accepts Sophie. They spend a week, on a friend’s villa on the green Greek island of Kefalonia, with its white beaches, azure sea and a tall mountain with very dark fir trees. They stay in an Athens resort. They buy a house near Athens. Sophie’s former boyfriend for six years Robert pressures her to drop Paul, calls her on the phone several times a day and increasingly stalks her and ends up physically following and threatening her. He stalks her again and attempts to kidnap her at which point Paul and Sophie request court protection and hire armed security guards. Robert goes to jail but is later released on bail. They travel to Switzerland, Boston and NYC on business. They visit Cuba and Saint Bart’s. They travel to India, Tanzania and Namibia and then to Paris. Paul’s friend lends them his yacht and they cruise barren, off the beaten track jewels of islands with their white washed houses. They get married a few days before New Year’s and spend their honeymoon in Venice. As they return home a former senior year high school –one month- Paul’s girl friend appears with a boy she claims is Paul’s. As the DNA tests and court battles linger Paul and Sophie’s love is torn apart.