Enrico DiRinaldi wants a wife and children, even though an accident has left him unable to walk. So he proposes a marriage of convenience to Gianna Lakewood. The passion Enrico ignites in his innocent bride leaves her breathless. So why is Enrico so intent on keeping his convenient wife by his side?
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Also available in Audio Book. Monroe writes a compelling, sensitive story. Almost heartbreaking, but not entirely, as it surely left a smile on my face. With a strong plot and compelling characters Ms Monroe is fast becoming one of my favorite Harlequin authors.
Ms Monroe is defiantly a new author to watch.
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This is an emotional and gripping story that I hope to read again and again. Bravo to Lucy Monroe for penning another exceptional tale! It was by turns sweet and scorching and very, very poignant. This one will definitely go on my list of comfort reads because it left me with a smile on my face and the knowledge that dreams really can come true.
This book lacks nothing. I enjoyed every page of it. Would they make contact? They never had before, no matter how much she ached for it. He started to lower his head and her heart kicked up its pace.
Oh, yes. This would be the time. But even as she strained toward him, he began to back away. His image dissolved completely as the discordant note of a ringing telephone tugged her toward consciousness. Gianna Lakewood picked up the cordless handset still half immersed in dreamland, a land where Enrico DiRinaldo was not engaged to Super Model, Chiara Fabrizio.
How do I say this? He is in a coma. She could find that out later. She needed to know where Rico was and how soon she could get there. She started shucking out of her pajamas. New York? She hopped over to the nightstand, one leg still encased in cotton pajama bottoms, and grabbed a notepad and pen from the drawer.
She hung up before Andre could say another word. He would understand. Eight years of unnoticed and unrequited love, even his recent engagement to another woman had not been able to dampen those feelings. She rushed around her tiny apartment, throwing together the necessary items for her trip to New York. She considered checking into flights, but discarded the idea. It was a two-and-a-half hour drive, but it would take longer to get to the airport, book a flight and make the plane trip to New York.
Nor did she take time to throw on make-up. She barely dressed, leaving off her bra and slipping into a worn pair of jeans, light-weight sweater and tennis shoes, no socks.
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The DiRinaldos had always said she was family. The only family she had left. The fact she could claim no blood relation was irrelevant at the moment. Five minutes that felt like five hours later, a young man dressed in green scrubs came to lead her to ICU. In cases like this having loved ones around in the first hours can make all the difference. He was actually the intern working with the ICU doctor on call. She walked into the ICU unit, her eyes not taking in the medical paraphernalia surrounding Rico.
All she could see was the man in the bed. Six foot, four inches of vitality as lifeless as a waxwork doll.
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Eyelids covered the compelling silver eyes she loved so much. His face was badly bruised and one shoulder was splotched with purple as well.
She moved forward until she stood beside the bed, her lower body pressed against the metal bedrail. Her hand reached out of its own volition to touch him.
She desperately needed to feel the life force beating beneath his skin.
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Seeing no bandages, she laid her hand very lightly over the left side of his chest. Her knees almost buckled with emotion. The steady beat of his heart under her barely touching fingers was proof that as still as he was, as pale as he looked, Rico was still alive. She took it and mopped up without once taking her focus off the man in the bed.
DiRinaldo in a little while. You can talk to him then.
She nodded and turned her eyes back on Rico, immediately forgetting the intern was in the small cubicle. There was only Rico. You have to live. None of us can.
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Your mother, your father, your brother…we all need you. I know that is what you want.
You always said you were going to have a houseful of children. She kept talking, pleading with him to wake up, not to give up and she told him over and over again how much she loved him. He will, you know.
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The doctor smiled, his tired blue eyes warming a little. She left a number to call when he wakes up. Gianna nodded absently, once again focused almost entirely on Rico. She rubbed the skin of his hand with her thumb. The doctor made some comments about physiological differences between coma and normal sleep that she only half listened to.
She felt the blood rush into her cheeks.
Should she lie again? Speculation flickered briefly in his expression before he nodded. She picked up his hand. It was heavy and she kissed his palm before laying it back on the bed, her own covering it. I was five and you were thirteen.
You should have hated having me tag after you. You held my hand and talked to me about Mama. You took me to Duomo Cathedral, such a beautiful place, and told me I could be close to Mama there.
It hurt so much and I was scared, but you comforted me. She suppressed the memory of how different it had been a year ago when her dad died. Do you hear me? I want you to get better.
I thought nothing could hurt more than when you announced your engagement…but I was wrong. Do you hear me, Rico? Sometime in the last five hours, she had lowered the bedrail and settled her head beside him.
She needed the physical contact as a reminder that Rico was still alive. Her eyes slowly focused as she blinked in the subdued lighting of the ICU cubicle.
He grimaced. Papa insisted on complete privacy and secrecy. Rico was the only one with that information. He left unsaid the obvious. Rico was in no condition to share his knowledge with them. She glared at the younger version of Rico. The woman nodded. DiRinaldo is in a coma? The doctor shook his head.