SIZZLING CONTEMPORARY SUSPENSE from the #1 New York Times bestselling author. When a journalist learns that her real father is a powerful arms dealer, she travels to his private Caribbean island?where her attraction to a resort manager spirals out of control.
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June 02, 1991
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Excerpt from Impulse by Catherine Coulter
Boston, Massachusetts 26 years ago
He was a wonderful liar. The best. If I'd been thirty rather than just barely turned twenty, I still don't think it would have mattered. He was so good, you see. At the beginning, of course. Not at the end. At the end there'd been no need for lies. Uncle Ralph and Aunt Josie had taken me to the only French restaurant in New Milford and they'd tried to make things normal and fun for me and there'd been a birthday cake and champagne. And I smiled and thanked them because I knew how hard they were trying. I didn't cry because I knew if I did, Aunt Josie would cry too, because my mother had been her only sister. And two nights later on a hot Friday evening in June, I first saw him at the McGills' party.
His name was Dominick Giovanni, a very rich businessman, according to the hostess, Rhonda McGill, and even though he was a full Italian, he didn't really look all that dark, did he? Probably, she whispered to everyone, he was northern Italian. The way Rhonda was looking at him, I guessed he could have been full-blooded anything and it wouldn't have mattered. He was very polite in a cool, aloof way to the men, charming to the women, indeed gracious to everyone, as though he, not Paul McGill, were the host. Then he saw me, and that started it all. He was the most incredibly sensual man I'd ever met.
I've never kept a diary before, or a journal or whatever one calls it. I like the sound of "journal" better. It sounds more thoughtful, somehow, perhaps more profound.
Which is quite silly, of course. My actions have proved to me my own depths. But no matter. Today, the fourteenth of March, you are eleven months old, my darling; and we're living on old and stolid Charles Street near Louisburg Square in my parents' brownstone. Now mine. Ours.
They're dead, killed instantly I was told -- some comfort, I suppose -- but how does one really know how long it takes someone to die? They were very rich, and their pilot, August, had drunk too much whiskey and plowed the Cessna into a vineyard in the south of France. That happened in May. Dominick happened in June.
It's a good thing there's no law against a very stupid girl writing about her stupidity. But I mustn't forget that I'm writing this for myself, not for you, Rafaella, even though it may appear that way. No, I'm merely writing at you. But you will never read this. It seems easier this way, I guess. I'm writing everything down so I don't keep choking on my own fury, my hatred of myself, my hatred of him. I believe it's called catharsis, this getting things out of one and bringing them out in the open.
Perhaps I'm not quite so stupid after all. But I can't, I won't, allow my hatred for him to come between us or to touch you in any way. You're innocent; you don't deserve it. Maybe I don't either.
But then there was Dominick, and I fell in love with him on the spot.
How absurd that sounds -- to fall in love, a condition in which a female suspends all rational thought and becomes willingly besotted, a victim, really, with not much of a separate identity from that perfect man. Actually, in defense of my stupidity, I was more lonely than you can imagine. I was grieving for my parents. I loved them, more dutifully than emotionally perhaps, but when people die so violently and so suddenly, you don't really care exactly how it was that you loved them.