Revered businessman Falco Orsini has left life in the special forces behind--though he uses his powerful skills occasionally, when duty calls.
But duty is always on Falco's terms! When his estranged father asks him to protect a young model who is being stalked, he begrudgingly agrees...only because of the vulnerability he can see in her eyes.
Elle Bissette won't be a victim--she can take care of herself! And surely big, dark, devilish Falco is dangerous. Because one kiss from a man like him will leave her breathless....
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October 31, 2010
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Excerpt from Falco by Sandra Marton
There were those who said that Falco Orsini was too rich, too good-looking, too arrogant for his own good.
Falco would have agreed that he was rich, that he was probably arrogant, and if you judged his looks by the seemingly endless stream of beautiful women who moved in and out of his bed, well, he'd have had to admit that perhaps he had something going for him that women liked.
There were also those who called him heartless. He would not have agreed with that.
He was not heartless. He was honest. Why let a competitor buy an elite investment bank if he could scoop it up instead? Why let a competitor get the edge in a business deal if he could get it first? Why go on pretending interest in a woman when he no longer felt any?
It wasn't as if he was a man who ever made promises he had no intention of keeping.
Honest, not heartless. And in the prime of life.
Falco was, like his three brothers, tall. Six foot three. Hard of face, hard of body. Buff, women said. That was true but it had nothing to do with vanity. He was fit the way a man must be when he knows keeping himself that way could mean the difference between life and death.
Not that he lived that kind of existence anymore.
Not often, at any rate.
Not that he talked about.
At thirty-two, Falco had already led what many would consider an interesting life.
At eighteen, he'd grabbed his backpack and thumbed his way around the world. At nineteen, he'd joined the army. At twenty, he became a Special Forces warrior. Someplace along the way, he picked up a bunch of disparate university credits, a skill at high-stakes gambling and, eventually, a passion for high-stakes investing.
He lived by his own rules. He always had. The opinions of others didn't concern him. He believed in honor, duty and integrity. Men who'd served with him, men who dealt with him, didn't always like him--he was too removed, some said--but they respected him almost as much as women coveted him.
Or hated him.
It didn't matter.
Family was everything.
He loved his brothers the same way they loved him, with a ferocity that made the four of them as formidable in everything as they were in business. He would have given his life for his sisters, who would happily have returned the favor. He adored his mother, who worshipped all her sons as perhaps only Italian mothers can.
Who gave a damn about him?
Falco, like his brothers, had written off Cesare Orsini years ago. As far as his wife and daughters were concerned, Cesare owned a carting company, a construction firm and some of New York City's priciest real estate.
His sons knew the truth.
Their father was the head of something he referred to only as La Famigilia.
He was, in other words, the same as the thugs who had originated in Sicily in the last half of the nineteenth century. Nothing could change that, not the Brioni suits, not the enormous mansion in what had once been Manhattan's Little Italy and was now Greenwich Village. But, for their mother's sake, there were times Falco and his brothers put that aside and pretended the Orsinis were just another big, happy Sicilian-American family.
Today, for instance. On this bright, late autumn afternoon, Dante had taken a wife.
Falco still had trouble getting his head around that.
First Rafe. Now Dante. Two brothers with wives. And, Dante, it turned out, wasn't just a husband, he was also a father.
Nicolo and Falco had spent the day smiling, kissing their new sisters-in-law and grinning at Dante and Rafe. They'd done their best not to feel like jerks cooing at their infant nephew--not that it was difficult because the kid was clearly the world's cutest, most intelligent baby. They'd...