Description : The Billionaire Affair
‘THE resemblance is quite remarkable, Caroline. You could have been the sitter&mdashe here, take a look.’ Edward Weinberg’s slender, long-boned hands beckoned her and she put the guest list for the up-anding private viewing down on the beautiful, fastidiously uncluttered expanse of his desk and went to join him in front of the painting a uniformed porter had just brought up from the strongroom and placed on an easel.
Her employer’s remark regarding the likeness was irrelevant, but she was consumed with curiosity to at last see the masterpiece that Michael, Edward’s son, had acquired at a small, country-town auction a few months ago.
Carefully cleaned, painstakingly authenticated, the lost work by the pre-Raphaelite painter J. J. Lassoon had caused deep ripples of acquisitive excitement amongst the select band of collectors who could afford to pay serious money for the pleasure of owning a thing of covetable beauty.
Caroline had been in the north of England advising the new heir to one of the great houses on what he could dispose of, with the most profit and the least pain, to pay death duties, and had missed out on all the excitement.
‘Which will be the more important, the prestige or the profit?’ She glanced at Edward from black-fringed, deep violet eyes but his expression gave nothing away. He had the face of a mournful aesthete, his tall, elegant figure looked fragile enough to be bowled away by a puff of wind. But he was as tough as old boots. If she had been asked to put money on his true feelings she would have put prestige...