BLURB FOR “ SICILIAN BLOOD“
Five years, a husband, plus a continent dividing them, and still Heather Burns can’t forget the two nights spent with Sicilian prince Massimo Ventura di Villanova, briefly her lover and since then her arch-enemy.
But one of those two nights was enough to conceive her twins- and now Massimo has found her and tricked her into going back to Sicily where she had vowed to never return.
And she is once again vulnerable, lost in the sphere of his evil but magnetic pull.
But Massimo reveals to Heather a devastating secret about her children that threatens to tear her world asunder.
With the strength and courage she never suspected, Heather fights against the man who plays with her soul. She will do anything to protect her family.
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She was dining ‘al fresco’ by the Mediterranean Sea with Sicilian prince Massimo Ventura di Villanova, sipping white Inzolia wine and drinking in his devastatingly good looks and worldliness.
“You know, you just might be the answer to years and years of hoping...” he had murmured, kissing her hand, and she was ecstatic.
But her dream of true love lasted two nights and a day.
“Get up,” he boomed on the second morning, his voice barely penetrating the haze of Heather’s dream.
She groggily opened an eye. The grand prince was hovering above her, shoving her clothes in her face.
Before she was fully awake, he was hustling her down the stairs, her high-heeled sandals rolling past her as if animated with a will of their own. She couldn’t understand what was happening, but knew she had to get away from this dream-date turned nightmare as quickly as possible. So much for her fairy tale ending.
He had seemed to be the answer in flesh and blood to every woman’s dream—Mediterranean looks, a dark, intriguing sensuality that monopolized your senses, a body made for battles of every kind, and eyes that promised delicious love-making to come. And he had been interested in what she had to say. His warm eyes had never left hers, his answers were intelligent and stimulating, his laughter apparently genuine.
They met in the Piazza San Giorgio, heart of the lovely medieval town of Ragusa Ibla, during her last weekend before flying back to England. She was competing in the Ibla Gran Prize classical music festival where young musicians from around the world came to strut their stuff. Heather had played the violin, rather badly, she thought, but Massimo had come backstage to congratulate her all the same. The attraction was undeniable, and that night, at twenty-years old, she threw all caution to the winds and let him take her to his palazzo, unaware that she would emerge embittered and wary, like a furious, hurt animal.
They spent two evenings and a full day together during which he wined and dined her at small, intimate restaurants, took her to the Castle of Donnafugata to listen to the Ibla Philharmonic Orchestra, and to various art galleries in nearby Modica. He had been so warm, so kind.
And that first night he had made mind-blowing love to her.
But the next morning he was different. All his tenderness and fire were gone, like a mask he had easily discarded, and when she stared at him in surprise through misty eyes, he apologized and scooped her up in his arms again. But the damage had been done. How could she have known the dream would explode in her face?
As she dozed, he had shaken her awake with his mad shouts that followed her all the way into the kitchen downstairs. There Heather stopped to pull her dress on, not bothering with her bra that she stuffed into her clutch. She stepped into her heels and darted out the door without looking back as tears blinded her.
In the lavender haze before dawn, the limestone buildings seemed to glow, pulsating with the force of her own mortification. She wiped her eyes and ran erratically down the slope, breaking a heel and scraping her knee on the rough pavement. She scrambled to her feet, ignoring the blood running down her shin.
“Bloody hell...” she sobbed. Could it get any worse? As in response, headlights flooded the road before her as a car pulled up, stopping alongside the curb. Was he coming to apologize? Too late.
Furious, Heather whirled as the passenger door opened, but she couldn’t see the driver in the dark.
“Ciao, bella,”came an unfamiliar voice. “Quanto vuoi?”
She gasped. Her meager knowledge of Italian translated that as ‘how much?’ She scooped up her shoes and ran from the most humiliating night of her life.
Now she knew that her dream of real love didn’t exist. It never had.
“Mummy, can I play with my dolls, please?”
“And can I play with my tractors?”
Heather smiled down at her four-year-olds fidgeting in the seats next to her. It was a three-hour flight to Catania Fontanarossa Airport in Sicily where her mother-in-law’s driver would be waiting for them. Faith and Robert were being as good as gold.
It had been almost five years since that horrible night in Sicily, when she had vowed never to go back, and as she sulked on the plane the next morning, she had found herself seated next to Jeremy Burns, a young financial advisor visiting his Brit expat mum in Sicily.
In three hours Jeremy had restored her to the belief that Englishmen weren’t that bad after all. Especially when compared to the one Sicilian she had met. Jeremy was reliable. Fun. Solid. And a great kisser, she found out a week later as they were strolling through Covent Garden. Too bad she hadn’t met him at the beginning of her trip. Then she wouldn’t have met…him.