Men like Marc Castellano don't forgive. They get revenge...
Five years ago, Ava McGuire married Marc's business rival, causing a high-profile scandal. But no one knows that Ava was forced to say "I do." Now a widow, she's left with nothing but crippling debts and another scandalous proposition.
Marc is going to have Ava right where he wants her...not with a ring on her finger, not even in the palm of his hand. But in his bed for as long as he desires....
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October 31, 2010
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Excerpt from Castellano's Mistress of Revenge by Melanie Milburne
From the book...
'Of course, Madame Cole, you get to keep the jewellery and any other personal gifts Mr Cole gave to you during your marriage,' the lawyer said as he closed the thick document folder in front of him. 'But the Monte Carlo villa and the yacht, as well as Mr Cole's entire business portfolio, now belong to Signor Marcelo Castellano.'
Ava sat very still and composed in her chair. She had trained herself over the years to keep her emotions under strict control. No flicker of fear showed in her eyes, and no tremble of her neatly manicured hands as they lay elegantly on her lap betrayed her. But, deep inside her chest, her heart felt as if a large hand had closed over it and begun to squeeze it with a brutal strength. 'I understand,' she said in a coolly detached tone. 'I am in the process of making arrangements for my things to be moved from the villa as soon as possible.'
'Signor Castellano has insisted you do not leave the villa until he meets with you there,' the lawyer said. 'Apparently there are things he wishes to discuss with you to do with the handover of the property.'
This time it was almost impossible to control the widening of her eyes as she looked across the wide desk at Monsieur Letourneur. 'I am sure the household staff will be perfectly capable of giving him a guided tour,' she said, tying her hands together to stop them from fidgeting with her bag.
'Nevertheless he insisted on seeing you in person, at 8:00 p.m. this evening,' Monsieur Letourneur said. 'I believe he wants to move in immediately.'
Ava stared at the lawyer, her heart starting to flap in panic. 'Is that legal?' she asked. 'The short-term lease on an apartment I had lined up fell through and I haven't had time to search for an alternative. There's been so much to do and I--'
'It is perfectly legal,' Monsieur Letourneur said with a hint of impatience. 'He has owned the villa for several months now, even before your husband passed away. In any case, a letter was sent to you a few weeks ago to inform you of Signor Castellano's intention to take possession.'
Ava felt her insides turn somersaults, not smoothly executed ones, but jerky and uncoordinated tumbles that left her feeling dizzy. She stared at the lawyer, unable to speak, barely able to think. What was she to do? Where was she to go at such short notice? She had money in her account, but certainly not enough to pay for a hotel for days, perhaps even weeks on end whilst searching for a place to live.
Right from the start Douglas had insisted on everything being in his name. That had been part of the deal he had made when insisting she become his wife. Then upon his death there had been so many expenses with the funeral and the outstanding bills he had left unattended to in the last stages of his illness.
'But I received no such letter!' she finally said when she could get her thoughts into some sort of working order. 'Are you sure one was sent?'
The lawyer opened the file in front of him and passed her a copy of a computer-written letter which confirmed her worst nightmare. Somehow the letter must have gone astray, for she had never received it. She stared at the words printed there, unable to believe this was happening to her.
'I believe you have a history with Signor Castellano, oui?' The lawyer's voice jolted her out of her anguished rumination.
'Oui, monsieur,' she said with a frown still pulling at her brow. 'Five years ago...' she swallowed tightly '...in London.'
'I am sorry things did not work out better for you, Madame Cole,' the lawyer said. 'Mr Cole's wishes were for you to be well provided for, but the global financial crisis hit him very hard, as indeed it did many investors and business...