Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Kate Walker
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Dark, proud and sinfully gorgeous, Guido Corsentino is determined to reclaim his wife! Outwardly, Amber is perfect and untouchable, but Guido knows the passionate woman inside. One kiss and he's certain she'll give him whatever he demands. But Guido is also certain of something else: Amber ran away from him once--so she won't be given the opportunity to run again. He'll protect her from the consequences of her actions ...in his bed!
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2007
14 Reader Ratings:
IT WAS the perfect day for a wedding.
The sun was shining, the breeze was warm and soft, and all along the edges of the gravel path that led from the carved wooden lych-gate to the metal-studded door of the little village church the early flowers of spring were blooming purple and gold and white. In the trees, newly covered in soft green foliage, even the birds were chirping softly to each other.
It was the perfect day and the perfect setting for an elegant English country wedding.
But in Guido Corsentino's mind, nothing could be perfect about the wedding towards which he was heading, his long, savage strides covering the ground with furious speed. And the mood that gripped him was far from idyllic; totally at odds with the bright sunlight of the day, the relaxed and smiling attitude of the crowd that had filled the narrow country lane.
They'd gathered there to see all the friends and relations of the bride and groom arrive in gleaming fleets of chauffeur-driven limousines. They'd watched them emerge, the men in smart, tailored morning dress, the women looking like so many brightly coloured birds of paradise as they made their way through the small churchyard. They'd oohed and aahed at the sight of the bride, slender and beautiful in her white silk gown, the antique lace veil covering her pale face, arriving at the church almost exactly on time to meet her groom.
And now they lingered, chatting quietly as they waited for the newly married pair to emerge from the church, hand in hand, as husband and wife.
They hardly spared a glance for the tall, dark, handsome man who strode past them, his total concentration fixed on the weathered stone building ahead. The few who looked his way took him for just one more of the wedding guests, though his black shirt, black trousers and loose black jacket were much more relaxed than the formal frock coats and top hats of the earlier arrivals. And if they noted the hard, cold set of the expression on his stunning, strongly carved face they took it for simple irritation that he was late and that the ceremony had already begun without him.
The truth was that Guido Corsentino was exactly on time. He had planned his arrival at the church for one very precise moment, and that moment was just about to arrive. And when it did he would be ready for it.
Ducking his black-haired head so as to dodge the low arch of the wooden lych-gate, he marched up to the closed door of the church and came to an abrupt halt. A dark smile of grim satisfaction curled the corners of a wide, expressive mouth as he caught the faint sound of music and voices from the cool interior.
He couldn't have timed it better.
Pausing to fasten the single button on his jacket, straighten the cuffs of his fine black cotton shirt, he reached for the door handle. As his fingers touched it, his heart kicked once, hard and high, at the thought of what—of who he would see beyond it. A memory surfaced with a cruel stab and an added twist of something darker and more primitive low down in his body.
The memory of another wedding, another setting so very different from this one. Another time, another place…
The need to see her just once more warred savagely with the need to walk away to never see her lying face again. But the real reason he was here, the reason he had travelled thousands of miles just for this, came back in a rush, stiffening his spine and hardening an already coldly savage heart. Almost fiercely his head came up, he flexed his broad shoulders. His dark head held high, he opened the door as little as possible, and slipped quietly inside.
The bride and groom stood at the far end of the long aisle, facing the altar, their backs to him. The groom was the tall, narrow-framed man he was expecting, his thin blond hair already disappearing to display a bald spot near the crown of his head. He wore the formal frock coat as if he was born to the part—at least, as much as Guido could see from his back.
Beside him, she—his bride—was tall too; tall and slender. A blur of white.
White! Something inside him rebelled savagely at the thought. Bile burned in his stomach, lifted to his throat, making him swallow hard in distaste.
The name escaped him in a whisper of savage fury.
Luckily the choir was singing some hymn so that no one heard him. Everyone had their attention on the front of the church too, and hadn't noticed his arrival.
So they didn't see the way that his face set even harder, his lips twisting in anger and the bitter taste of disgust flooding his mouth with acid.
Amber Wellesley wasn't entitled to wear white. He had made very sure of that.
But perhaps she had lied to her new fiancé about that. Just as she must have lied to him about something else. Something much more important.
She had lied when she had said she loved him.
His dark bronze eyes focused on the woman in white who stood at the altar steps, totally unaware of his presence.
Now that his gaze had cleared again he could see how the wonderful glory of her chestnut hair was piled high on her head, fixed with ornate silver pins over which the delicate veil tumbled in a waterfall of gauze. He had once known how it felt to unpin those burnished locks, comb them loose, feel them tumble over his hands, his skin…
Copyright © 2007 by Kate Walker.