Sasha walked away from handsome millionaire Gabriel Cabrini to marry someone else and he has never forgiven her. Now widowed, Sasha is shocked when Gabriel is named as heir to her late husband's wealth and guardian to her two young sons. She's completely in his power!
Sasha will not surrender, no matter how persuasive Gabriel might be. There is far too much at stake...especially the one thing that he must never know .
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October 01, 2006
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Excerpt from Master of Pleasure by Penny Jordan
SASHA turned her head to look at her nine-year-old twin sons. They were playing on the beach like a pair of seal pups, wriggling and wrestling together, and jumping in and out of the waves that were washing gently onto the secluded Sardinian shoreline.
"Be careful, you two," she warned, adding to the older twin, "Sam, not so rough."
"We're playing bandits." He defended his boisterous tackling of his twin. Bandits had become their favourite game this summer, since Guiseppe, the brother of Maria who worked in the kitchen of the small boutique hotel that was part of the hotel chain owned by Sasha's late husband, had told them stories about the history of the island and its legendary bandits.
The boys had their father's night-dark hair, thick and silky, and olive-tinted skin. Only their eye colour was hers, she reflected ruefully, giving away their dual nationality ' seacoloured eyes that could change from blue to green depending on the light.
"Told you I'd get free." Nico laughed as he wriggled dexterously out of Sam's grip.
"Careful. Mind those rocks and that pool," Sasha protested, as Sam brought Nico down onto the sand in a flying tackle that had them both laughing and rolling over together.
"Sam, look ' a starfish,'Nico called out, and within a heartbeat they were both crouching side by side, staring into a small rock pool.
"Mum, come and look," Nico called out. Obligingly she picked her way across to them, crouching down in between them, one arm around Sam, the other round Nico.
"Come on. And I'm the Bandit King, remember." Sam urged Nico to get up, already bored with the rock pool and its inhabitant.
Boys, Sasha thought ruefully. But her heart was filled with love and pride as she watched them dart away to play on a safer area of smooth sand. She turned to look back towards the hotel on its rocky outcrop, while still keeping her maternal antennae firmly on alert. This hotel was, in her opinion, the most beautiful of all the hotels her late husband had owned. As a wedding gift to her he had allowed her a free hand with its renovation and refurbishment. The money she had expended had been repaid over and over again by the praise of their returning guests for her innovative ideas and her determination to keep the hotel small and exclusive.
But with Carlo's death had come the shock of discovering that the other hotels in the group had not matched the financial success of this one. Unknown to her, Carlo had borrowed heavily to keep the business going, and he had used his hotels as collateral to secure his loans. Bad business decisions had been made, perhaps because of Carlo's failing health. He had been a kind man, a generous and caring man, but not the kind of man who had taken her into his confidence when it came to his business and financial affairs. To him she had always been someone to be protected and cherished, rather than an equal.