Classic Romance

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An anthology featuring Jane’s novella “The Italian’s Blackmailed Bride”

Emily Pelosi lives for exacting revenge upon Italian businessman, Tristano Ferre. Once friends and lovers, they are now bitter enemies locked into legal and personal combat. Their fathers once jointly owned a fashion business together, but Emily’s father was forced out, branded a thief, and eventually committed suicide. For five years, Emily’s only thoughts have been to ruin the Ferre business by making quality, yet very inexpensive, knockoffs of the Ferre merchandise. Tristano forces has her detained in Customs and Emily has the choice to spend the week at her beloved childhood island retreat that Tristano now owns, or go to prison in Puerto Rico and await trial. Emily gladly chooses prison until Tristano threatens to imprison her very ill mother as well… what Tristano really wants is to exorcise the past, to make Emily feel again, and begin a life with the only woman he’s ever wanted. Has Emily’s all-consuming desire for revenge blinded her to the happiness within her reach?

Classic Romance

One Christmas Night

read an excerpt →

An anthology featuring Jane’s novella “The Italian’s Blackmailed Bride”

Emily Pelosi lives for exacting revenge upon Italian businessman, Tristano Ferre. Once friends and lovers, they are now bitter enemies locked into legal and personal combat. Their fathers once jointly owned a fashion business together, but Emily’s father was forced out, branded a thief, and eventually committed suicide. For five years, Emily’s only thoughts have been to ruin the Ferre business by making quality, yet very inexpensive, knockoffs of the Ferre merchandise. Tristano forces has her detained in Customs and Emily has the choice to spend the week at her beloved childhood island retreat that Tristano now owns, or go to prison in Puerto Rico and await trial. Emily gladly chooses prison until Tristano threatens to imprison her very ill mother as well… what Tristano really wants is to exorcise the past, to make Emily feel again, and begin a life with the only woman he’s ever wanted. Has Emily’s all-consuming desire for revenge blinded her to the happiness within her reach?

One Christmas Night

Classic Romance

Themes & Archetypes

Italians

Harlequin

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One Christmas Night

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“You can’t arrest me.” Emily Pelosi’s voice betrayed none of the icy cold she felt on the inside. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

“Step aside, mademoiselle,” the uniformed customs agent repeated tonelessly, destroying the effect of his lilting Caribbean accent.

Emily worked to keep her irritation from showing. She wasn’t easily intimidated, had never been timid, and after five years of fighting fire with fire, she held her ground now, hanging on to what had been written up once in the London Times as ‘her remarkable cool.’ “Can you legally detain me?”

The customs agent looked at her as if she were stupid. “Yes.”

Emily’s brain raced, trying to absorb facts. Clearly she was in trouble, and clearly it wouldn’t do to alienate the customs agent further. “I understand. But if someone could just get my friend…she’s outside, waiting?”

“She’ll just have to wait.”

Emily looked away, swallowed, the long veil of her chestnut hair half-hiding her face, cloaking her frustration. Be cool, stay calm, Annelise will eventually return to the terminal and we’ll get this whole thing straightened out.

Head throbbing, eyes dry and gritty after the red-eye flight from Heathrow, she scanned the small island terminal. The squat cement building was virtually deserted, leaving just her and the customs agent alone.

She wished for the first time she’d taken something to sleep like Annelise had instead of working. But Emily had made herself work through the night. Just as she always worked these days. Emily Pelosi. Workaholic.

For a moment Emily had a strange view of her life, the life lived in international airport terminals, foreign hotels, business meetings conducted over pots of green tea.

She didn’t live, she thought wearily, she existed. To attack. To plunder. To destroy. But now she had to focus on more practical matters, like that of Annelise outside waiting. “I understand you’re not interested in my friend, but if someone could just let her know what’s happening.”

“Your friend has already been advised that she can’t return to the terminal.” The customs agent crossed his arms over his chest. “And you must wait until the detectives arrive.”

Detectives? Detectives from where? Emily had been flying into Anguilla for years enroute to St. Matt’s, and she’d never been stopped before, never been hassled about anything. “You have a warrant then?” she asked, feeling as if she were piecing a puzzle in the dark.

“Yes, mademoiselle. We have a warrant issued by members of the EU.” The uniformed officer spoke with the heavy accented English of the Eastern Caribbean. Most of the islands close to South America were multi-lingual-French, Dutch, English, Spanish-and many of the smaller islands, like St. Matt’s, were privately owned.

“But this isn’t part of the European Union.”

“We’re working more closely with US and EU Customs to control piracy.”

Piracy. International smuggling. And suddenly Emily suddenly understood. “Which members of the EU?”

“A group called the Altagamma.”

The Altagamma. Her lips nearly curved in a small, bitter, brutal smile. Of course. It was all beginning to make sense.

The Altagamma was the association that represented quality Italian goods for the national and international markets. Some forty brands comprised the Altagamma, with sales in excess of 11 billion dollars-most of which came from exports. And Tristano Ferre, was the new president of the Altagamma.

Tristano Ferre.

Emily felt a shaft of ice pierce through her chest.

Tristano Ferre. This was his doing.

For a moment her head buzzed with white noise, the kind of empty static sound that drowned out other sound. There were few people she knew as well as Tristano. Few people she hated as much. Tristano had taken over from his father, Briano, a number of years ago and if Briano was hard, tough, ruthless, Tristano was a thousand times worse.

end of excerpt

One Christmas Night is currently available in digital format only:

Harlequin

ISBN: 0373837380

December 1, 2006

Digital: