Alessandro Di Livio is fiercely protective of his family, and he's determined to keep gold-digging Sam Maguire away from his sister's husband...even if it means seducing her himself!
Sam is no femme fatale--in fact she's a virgin! But under Alessandro's expert touch she succumbs to one night in his arms. And when passion leads to pregnancy, Sam knows that Alessandro will do whatever it takes to have her as his wife and their baby as his heir!
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May 31, 2007
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Excerpt from The Italian's Wedding Ultimatum by Kim Lawrence
SAM identified the person who had come to stand behind her chair long before his hands came to rest lightly on her shoulders. Her heart rate quickened a little before she forced herself to relax. As she turned her head her smile stayed in place. It wasn't easy, but Sam had reached the point where she felt pretty well qualified to give a master class in hiding her true feelings.
She firmly steered her thoughts from the self-pitying direction they were drifting. Reality check, Samantha Maguire--you weren't singled out for any particular cruelty from fate. Hearts get broken most days of the week!
So live with it, girl, she told herself sternly.
She was living; in fact she was living proof that there was life after a broken heart! Not that she was ever in danger of downplaying the disaster that was unrequited love--when the only person you had ever imagined spending the rest of your life with married someone else you didn't become indifferent overnight, or even after two years. But you did develop a protective shell; you had to.
There were days now when Sam could go an entire morning without thinking about Jonny Trelevan. Admittedly on those occasions she hadn't had a glass of champagne and he didn't have his hand on her shoulder!
Sam suspected that getting on with her life and not brooding on what might have been would probably have been easier if she could have erased him from her life, but that had never been a serious option. There were just too many connections. Not only were the Trelevan and Maguire families friends and neighbours in the small Cornish seaside town where she had been born and brought up, but Jonny's twin, Emma, was one of her best friends. And now, after the christening that morning, they were both godparents to Emma's first daughter, Laurie.
"So this is where you've been hiding, Sam." Jonny bent down and his lips brushed gently against her cheek.
She was surprised by the unexpected gesture. Jonny wasn't normally a wildly tactile person--at least not with her--and, for a brief moment unable to shield her feelings, Sam dropped her chin and fixed her attention on the baby in her lap while she fought to regain her composure.
Her god-daughter looked back at her and gave a gummy smile. Sam felt a stab of wistful envy for the childlike innocence.
Why are you worrying? she asked herself as she grinned back at the baby and tweaked her button nose. 'Are you laughing at silly Aunty Sam...?" See--even a ten-month-old knows Jonny wouldn't notice if you stripped naked.
Or if he did it would only be to ask if she was warm enough! The bottom line was that to Jonny she was always going to be good old Sam--the slightly odd, skinny redhead from next door.
As she lifted her chin a moment later, her serene just-goodfriends smile firmly pinned in place, Sam's unwary gaze connected head-on with the enigmatic hooded stare of Alessandro Di Livio, who was standing a little apart from a laughing group of guests on the other side of the room.
She stiffened, and her smile guttered.
A little apart just about described the man who, in Sam's opinion, carried 'aloof' to the point of plain rudeness.
With some men she might have suspected that the entire dark, brooding man-of-mystery thing was cultivated for effect, just to make people notice him. But Alessandro Di Livio didn't need to make the effort.
He got noticed!
Of course he got noticed. He was tall, lean, and rampantly male, and if his body looked half as good without clothes as it did--Sam lost the thread momentarily as she thought about him naked. Face rosily tinged, she reined in her wayward imagination and concentrated on his face. Individually, his strong, dark features were memorable; collectively, they were nothing short of perfect. And that was before you even touched on the subject of the forcefield of raw sexuality that preceded him into any room!