Rossellini's Revenge Affair [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Yvonne Lindsay
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Lana Whittaker had been clueless about her husband's affair. Until his tragic death--leaving his mistress clinging to life, their unborn child's future hanging in the balance. And the most shocking: Lana was left penniless, homeless and the guardian of the baby. So when a stranger, a darkly handsome millionaire businessman, offered help, she had to accept. Raffaele Rossellini blamed Lana, that ice-cold blonde, for the loss of his beloved sister. But he'd see to it that she lost, too--everything she held dear. Including the man she'd come to love--himself.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Desire
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2007
25 Reader Ratings:
He despised and loathed her with every breath in his body.
She was there, a woman apart. Alone. Widowed.
Widowed when she should have been divorced.
Tall, elegant, unnaturally composed. Had she even loved her dead husband? He doubted it. If she'd loved him, she would have let him go. Let him go to Maria instead of clinging to a marriage long dead.
Oblivious to the biting wind that drove unrelenting sheets of rain against his skin, Raffaele Rossellini stood some distance from the scattering graveside mourners.
He fed the anger that rose within him as if fuelling a log-filled fire with dry kindling. Would his treasured sister be lying in a hospital bed now, supported only by life-giving machinery, if the cool blonde in black had given in to her husband's repeated requests to be set free? Set free before the birth of a child who would now never know its father or its mother.
Grief rent him anew, dragging an unwilling groan of loss from deep inside his chest.
He had done his duty and come today out of respect for the man his sister had loved. A man he himself had done business with and considered a friend. Soon Raffeale would be back at his sister's side. Whether she knew he was there or not.
Her life support would be terminated after the birth of the child. A birth doctors hoped to delay as long as possible to give the infant a chance at a stronger start to life. While Raffaele warred with the barbaric reasoning that another life should not be unnecessarily lost, it contradicted every measure of decency and grace his vibrant younger sister had possessed to keep her in suspension until the safe delivery of her child.
He tried to tell himself it was what she would have wanted—she'd loved the baby so very much and looked forward to its birth—but knowing she would have given her life for her child did little to assuage the devastating loss of knowing she was already gone. There but not there. Living, yet not alive.
Raffaele narrowed his eyes against the rain as he focussed on the golden head of the woman he knew only from hearsay. The widow of the man whose lifeless form had been laid to rest in the yawning grave before her. She stood in frozen isolation at the graveside without so much as a tear gracing her smooth pale complexion. Not even now, long after the last of her fellow mourners had gone, did she even have the decency to show any sense of loss.
Bitterness warred with the rage that billowed inside him. He'd failed in his promise to his dying mother many years ago that he would protect his sister with everything in his power. Now it was too late to mend the irrevocable damage his indulgence in Maria's whims had wreaked.
When he'd discovered her affair with a married man he should have stepped in earlier, even though trying to stop his headstrong sister would have undoubtedly been impossible. Yet he should have done something to see her achieve her dream of marriage to the father of her child. He should have wrangled an introduction to Lana Whittaker and somehow, some way, used his considerable power to coerce her into agreeing to her husband's request for dissolution.
Too late. He was too late.
The vivid image of his sister's body, inert in her hospital bed yet swollen with the advent of new life, burned like a brand in his mind. Yes, he'd failed to protect Maria but he would not fail her unborn child.
Raffaele Rossellini never made the same mistake twice.
The child would grow up as his own; that was now his promise to Maria. Her son or daughter would be totally loved and, in time, would know all about his or her mother so she would not fade away as a distant memory.
His eyes burned with unshed tears as he stared at the back of the woman at the graveside.
He would not fail again.
He swallowed against the grief that fought to escape from deep within him. One way or the other, he vowed silently, Lana Whittaker would know the power of the Rossellini wrath. He would make her pay. Make her pay for Maria's suffering—the anguished phone calls he'd received at home, in Italy, when her pregnancy had been confirmed and she'd realised that Kyle would not be able to marry her before their child's birth.
Lana Whittaker would know regret as he knew it.
She would know loss.
* * *
Lana shivered beneath her sodden black wool coat acutely aware of the tall dark stranger who had hovered on the periphery of the crowd during the brief service and who now remained rooted to the spot, his gaze burning a hole in the back of her head.
Who was he?
She daren't look back at him. If he was paparazzi, the last thing she needed right now was her face plastered across the tabloids. The circumstances of her husband's death would filter out soon enough.
How could Kyle have done this to them? To her? How could she not have seen—not have known—he was having an affair? She tried desperately, as she'd done so frequently in the past forty-eight hours, to remember if there had been a sign or a clue he hadn't been happy. But there was nothing. He'd been his demonstrative and loving self even as she'd driven him to the airport for his business trip down to New Zealand's capital city, Wellington. A trip he'd taken for one week each fortnight for the past three years.
Copyright © 2007 by Dolce Vita Trust.