This is the final part of my trilogy in which Leah and Ari finally find their lost kid sister, who was adopted. The hero is Gaetano who is a King and the heroine, Lara, is the woman he married in secret two years earlier.
He had amnesia at the time and when his memory returns, this former playboy is incredulous that he met and married a woman within six weeks. His reaction to the discovery that he has a wife makes her run off, so he then searches for her so that he can get a divorce.
Only, Lara has given birth to his son which complicates matters and Gaetano struggles to get control of his emotions and acknowledge what he really wants. Lara doesn’t want to get hurt again but Gaetano is very tempting.
Can they each forgive each other’s mistakes and rediscover their love?
UPDATE (Feb 2022): Lara and Gaetano’s story will be called “The King’s Christmas Heir“.
Excerpts From the Book
’You’ll freeze if you stay out in this.’
Behind the house, a hilly outcrop of rock ran down to the edge of the garden. She was cleaning the kitchen when she heard the shout, and the dogs began barking. The sudden noise spooked her. When she looked out the window she saw a man lying in the snow near the tree, which Cathy always had draped in outdoor lights for the festive season. By the deep tracks in the snow she had guessed that he had tripped over the low border of shrubs that marked the garden boundary and had fallen there.
In dismay she pulled on her friend’s outdoor boots and jacket, pausing only to grab up the walking stick by the door because she knew she would struggle to get an injured man into the house without help. How long would it take for emergency services to arrive in such weather? Where had he come from? He was dressed like a walker but it was the hardly the season for hill walking.
In the act of trying to raise himself the man slumped down again, relieving her of the fear that he was unconscious.
’ You’ll freeze if you stay out in this.’
Shivering, Lara shook his shoulder.’ Up!’ she instructed in desperation.’ It’ll take ages for anyone to come here and help and by then you might be dead of exposure.’
‘You’re a cheerful little soul,’ her accident victim mumbled.
Relieved that he was at least well enough to be sarcastic, Lara grabbed a handful of the back of his jacket and tried to pull him but he weighed a ton.’ Come on!’ she urged.
‘I hit my head…everything’s spinning,’ he framed.
She lifted her chin, game on, Gaetano!
‘You look incredible. I gather you want him to regret how he treated you?’
‘It’s a bit late in the day for that,’ Lara contended.’ But that doesn’t mean I want him to look at me and feel that his worst expectations of me have been vindicated, which I’m sure is exactly what he thought when he took me by surprise today in the park.’
Alice handed her the car keys for the Fiesta parked in the drive. Lara slipped off the shoes and drove off. Her heart was sitting at the foot of her throat. She just couldn’t credit that she was about to see Gaetano again. That brief encounter in the park already had the unreal hazy edge of a dream. No, not a dream, she decided ruefully, a nightmare. What woman wanted to lay eyes on the male who had broken her heart again? Gaetano di Santis had ripped her in two, but she wasn’t the same trusting and vulnerable girl that she had been. She lifted her chin, game on, Gaetano!
’I was Cinderella but I didn’t get my prince-‘
‘Am I really that predictable?’
‘Where he’s concerned? I’m afraid so. Look, I’d better run if you’ve already handed over the keys and you don’t want your vast wardrobe stuffed disrespectfully into bin bags,’ she teased because they both knew that Lara owned very little.’ See you later.’
Lara joined Freddy in the nursery. Gaetano joined them for Freddy’s bath, divebombing little boats and ducks with an aeroplane while Freddy screamed with excitement. After a quick supper, her son was ready only for his cot.
‘Your friend has arrived and will be joining us for dinner,’ Gaetano informed her. ‘I gather, you didn’t tell her who I was-‘
‘Why would I?’ Lara parried ruefully.’ I was Cinderella but I didn’t get my prince-‘