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«A Spanish Affair: Naive Bride, Defiant Wife / Flora's Defiance» - Линн Грэхем

These two powerful Spanish men are impossible to forget! NAIVE BRIDE, DEFIANT WIFE Alejandro Navarro Vasquez has long desired revenge. His wife betrayed him with an act that, by this proud Spaniard's code, was unforgivable. His opportunity for justice comes when the private detective he's hired finally pinpoints Jemima's whereabouts. And now Alejandro will settle the score with his runaway wife!FLORA'S DEFIANCE Flora Bennett is determined to adopt her baby niece, despite Angelo van Zaal's assumption he will have guardianship. And, though Angelo's annoyed with himself for wanting her, Flora annoys Angelo even more by avoiding the shimmer of sexual attraction between them. But there is a way he can make her obey all his wishes….
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Two glamorous romance stories in one volume—for the first time!—by USA TODAY bestselling author Lynne Graham

Naive Bride, Defiant Wife

Alejandro Navarro Vasquez has long desired revenge. His wife betrayed him with an act that, by this proud Spaniard’s code, was unforgivable. His opportunity for justice comes when the private detective he’s hired finally pinpoints Jemima’s whereabouts. And now Alejandro will settle the score with his runaway wife!

Flora’s Defiance

Flora Bennett is determined to adopt her baby niece, despite Angelo van Zaal’s assumption he will have guardianship. And, though Angelo’s annoyed with himself for wanting her, Flora annoys Angelo even more by avoiding the shimmer of sexual attraction between them. But there is a way he can make her obey all his wishes….


High-powered negotiations, exotic locales and lavish parties…marriages of convenience, surprise pregnancies and undeniable passions. This 2-in-1 collection will take you into the luxurious world of the rich and powerful, where all that you could ever desire is at your fingertips….

But for these irresistible tycoons, the thing they want the most is the thing they’ll have to work the hardest to attain…. Because the stakes are never higher for these passionate, jet-setting men than when they’re fighting for the affection of the women they love.

A Spanish Affair

Naive Bride, Defiant Wife

Flora's Defiance

Lynne Graham



lives in Northern Ireland and has been a keen romance reader since her teens. Happily married, Lynne has five children. Her eldest is her only natural child. Her other children, who are every bit as dear to her heart, are adopted. The family has a variety of pets, and Lynne loves gardening, cooking, collecting of all sorts and is crazy about every aspect of Christmas. Visit her online at her website at www.lynnegraham.com.


Flora's Defiance

Naive Bride, Defiant Wife


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten


ALEJANDRO NAVARRO VASQUEZ, the Conde Olivares, sat on his superb black stallion in the shade of an orange grove and surveyed the valley that had belonged to his ancestors for over five hundred years. On this fine spring morning, below a clear blue sky, it was a gorgeous view encompassing thousands of acres of fertile earth and woodland. He owned the land as far as the eye could see, but his lean, darkly handsome features were grim as they had often been since the breakdown of his marriage almost two and a half years earlier.

He was a landowner and wealthy, but his family—which every Spaniard cherished far beyond material riches—had been ripped asunder by his imprudent marriage. For a male as strong, proud and successful as Alejandro, it was a bitter truth that undermined his every achievement. He had followed his heart and not his head and he had married the wrong woman, a very expensive mistake for which he was still paying the price. His half-brother, Marco, had taken a job in New York, cutting off all contact with his mother and siblings. Yet if Marco, whom Alejandro had helped to raise after their father’s premature death, had appeared before him at that moment could he have forgiven the younger man and urged him back to his childhood home with sincerity and warm affection?

Alejandro swore under his breath as he pondered that merciless question and the less than acceptable negative answer that he would have had to give it. However, when it came to Jemima, there was no forgiveness in his heart, only outrage and aggression. He nursed a far from charitable desire for vengeance against the wife and the brother who had together betrayed his trust and his love. Ever since Jemima had walked out on their marriage and disappeared, defying his wishes to the last, Alejandro had burned with a desire for justice, even while his keen intelligence warned him that there was no such thing when it came to affairs of the heart.

His mobile phone vibrated and, suppressing a groan of impatience, for it was always a struggle to protect his rare moments of leisure, he tugged it out. His ebony brows rose when he learned that the private detective he had hired to find Jemima had arrived to see him.

He rode swiftly back to the castle, wondering impatiently if Alonso Ortega had finally managed to track down his estranged wife.

‘My apologies for coming to see you without an appointment, Your Excellency,’ the older man murmured with punctilious good manners and a promising air of accomplishment. ‘But I knew you would want to hear my news as soon as possible. I have found the Condesa.’

‘In England?’ Alejandro questioned and, having had that long-held suspicion confirmed, he listened while Ortega furnished further details. Then, unfortunately, at that point his mother, the dowager countess, entered the room. A formidable presence, Doña Hortencia settled acid black eyes on the private detective and demanded to know if he had finally fulfilled the purpose of his hire. At the news that he had, a rare smile of approval lightened her expression.

‘There is one more fact I should add,’ Ortega revealed in a reluctant tone of voice, evading the uncomfortably intense scrutiny of his noble hostess. ‘The Condesa now has a child, a little boy of around two years of age.’

Alejandro froze and a yawning silence greeted the detective’s startling announcement.

The door opened again and his older sister, Beatriz, entered with a quiet apology to her brother for the interruption. She was hushed into silence by her domineering mother, who said glacially, ‘That wanton English witch who married your unlucky brother has given birth to a bastard.’

Horrified at such an announcement being made in front of Alonso Ortega, Beatriz shot her brother an appalled glance and hastened to offer the detective refreshments in an effort to change the subject to one less controversial. His discomfited sister, Alejandro appreciated, would quite happily sit and discuss the weather now while he, her more primitive brother, was strongly tempted to seize hold of Ortega’s lapels and force every single fact from the man without further ado. But, possibly sensing his employer’s impatience, the detective handed Alejandro a slim file and hastily excused himself.

‘A…child?’ Beatriz gasped in shock and consternation the instant the door had closed on the detective’s departure. ‘But whose child?’

His profile set like granite, Alejandro answered his sister only with a dismissive shrug. It was certainly not his child, but for him that had to be the biggest badge of ignominy he had ever endured. Yet another metaphorical nail in Jemima’s coffin, he conceded bitterly. Jemima, he had learned the hard way, knew exactly how best to put a man through an emotional and physical wringer. Dios mio, another man’s child!

‘If only you had listened to me,’ Doña Hortencia lamented. ‘The instant I met that wicked young woman I knew she was wrong for you. You were one of the biggest matrimonial prizes in Spain and you could have married anyone—’

‘I married Jemima,’ Alejandro pointed out tersely, for he had never had much time for the older woman’s melodrama.

‘Only because she mesmerised you like the shameless hussy she is. One man was never going to be enough for her. Thanks to her, my poor Marco is living on the other side of the world. That she could have given birth to an illegitimate child while still bearing our name is the most disgusting thing I ever—’

‘Enough!’ Alejandro incised with crushing force to close out that carping voice. ‘There is no point to such recriminations now. What is done is done.’

Doña Hortencia, her lined face full of anger and malice, rested accusing eyes on his lean strong visage. ‘But it is not done yet, is it? You still haven’t begun divorce proceedings.’

‘I will travel to England and see Jemima as soon as the arrangements can be made,’ Alejandro pronounced grittily.

‘Send the family lawyer! There can be no need for you to make a personal trip to England,’ his mother protested with vigour.

‘There is every need,’ Alejandro contradicted with all the quiet, unhesitating assurance of his rich, well-educated and extremely aristocratic background. ‘Jemima is still my wife.’

As Doña Hortencia broke into another barrage of loud objections Alejandro lost patience. ‘I inform you of my intentions only as a matter of courtesy. I do not require either your permission or your approval.’

Alejandro retired to the privacy of his study and poured himself a stiff brandy. A child? Jemima had had a child. He was still in shock at that revelation, not least because he could hardly forget that his wife had miscarried his baby shortly before she’d left him. That was how he knew beyond any shadow of doubt that this child, which she had given birth to since, then could not possibly be his. So, was the boy Marco’s baby? Or some other man’s? Such speculation was sordid, he acknowledged with a distaste that slivered through his lean powerful frame like a knife blade.

He leafed through the file but the facts were few. Jemima was now living in a Dorset village where she ran a florist’s shop. For a moment as he allowed himself to think about his estranged wife memories threatened to overwhelm him, but he shut them out, utilising the fierce intelligence and self-discipline that were second nature to him. Yet where had either trait been when he got involved with Jemima Grey in the first place?

He could make no excuses for his behaviour because he had freely acknowledged the huge and irrefutable differences between them even before he married her. Of course, what had mesmerised him then—to borrow his mother’s expression—was Jemima’s superlative sex appeal. Like many men, he had been more vulnerable to that temptation than he had ever realised he might be.

Possibly life prior to that point had spoiled him with too many easy female conquests. His failure to keep a lid on his fierce sexual desire to possess Jemima’s pale slim body had proved to be his fatal weakness, he assured himself with grim conviction. Fortunately, however, the passage of time and the process of hard disillusionment he had experienced during his short-lived marriage had obliterated Jemima’s desirability factor entirely.

His ill-judged marriage had, after all, virtually destroyed his family circle. But in the short term, Jemima had no family support of her own and she was still his legal wife; regardless of his feelings on that score she remained his responsibility. As did her child, whom the law would deem to be his child until a divorce was finalised, Alejandro conceded, irate at that demeaning fact. He had to go to England.

No Conde Olivares since the fifteenth century had ever been known to act as a coward or to shirk his duty, no matter how unpleasant it might be. Even in the most trying circumstances, Alejandro expected no less of himself. He reckoned that Jemima was fortunate to be a twenty-first-century woman, for his medieval ancestors would have locked an unfaithful wife up in a convent or killed her for inflicting such a stain on the family honour. Though at least his less civilised ancestors had possessed the power of retaliation, he reflected broodingly.

* * *

WHILE JEMIMA WRAPPED the bouquet in clear, decorative cellophane, Alfie peered round the corner of the shop counter, his big brown eyes dancing with mischief. ‘’Ello,’ he said chirpily to the waiting customer, shyness not being one of Alfie’s personality traits.

‘Hello. He’s a beautiful child,’ the woman remarked, smiling down at Alfie as the toddler looked up at her with his irrepressible grin.

It was a compliment that often came Alfie’s way, his mother conceded as she slotted the payment in the till, while wondering what age her son would reach before that particular description embarrassed him. But like father like son, she thought ruefully, and in looks Alfie was very much a product of his Spanish father’s genes, with gorgeous dark brown eyes, olive-tinted skin and a shock of black silky hair. All he had inherited from his less exotic mother was her rampant curls. On the inside, however, Alfie had all the easy warmth of his mother’s essentially optimistic nature and revealed only the occasional hint of his father’s infinitely darker and more passionate temperament.

With a slight shiver, Jemima pushed that daunting thought back out of her mind again. With Alfie playing with his toy cars at her feet, she returned to fashioning a flower arrangement requested by a client who had photographed a similar piece of floral art at a horticultural show. Pure accident had brought Jemima to the village of Charlbury St Helens at a crisis point in her life and she had never regretted staying on and laying the foundations for her new future there.

The only work she’d been able to find locally while she’d been pregnant was as an assistant at a flower shop. She had needed to earn back her self-respect by keeping busy and positive. Discovering that she had a very real interest in floristry, she had found more than a job to focus on and had since studied part-time for formal qualifications. By the time her employer decided to retire, owing to ill health, Jemima had had the courage and vision to take over the business and expand it by taking on occasional private projects that encompassed small weddings and other functions.

She was so proud of running her own business that sometimes she had to pinch herself to believe that she could have come so far from her humble beginnings. Not bad for the daughter of a violent, criminal father who had never worked if he could help it, and a downtrodden, alcoholic mother, who had died when her husband crashed a stolen car. Jemima had never dared to develop any aspirations as a teenager. Nobody in her family tree had ever tried to climb the career or social ladders.

‘Those kinds of ideas aren’t for the likes of us. Jem needs to get a job to help out at home,’ her mother had told the teacher who’d tried to persuade the older woman that her daughter should stay on at school to study for her A-level exams.

‘You’re like your mother—dumb as a rock and just about as useful!’ her father had condemned often enough for that label to have troubled Jemima for many year afterwards.

With lunch eaten, she walked Alfie down to his session at the playgroup in the village hall, wincing when her son bounded boisterously through the door calling his friends’ names at the top of his voice. Alfie, named for his great-grandfather on Jemima’s mother’s side of the family, was very sociable and full of energy after spending the morning cooped up at the shop with his mother. Although Jemima had created a play corner in the backstore room for her child, there really wasn’t enough space to house a lively little boy for long. With the help of a childminder, she had often contrived to keep Alfie with her during working hours, but now that he was of an age to join the playgroup in the afternoons and she no longer attended floristry classes she needed a lot less childcare. Considering that her close friend and former childminder, Flora, was now often too busy with her bed-and-breakfast operation to help out as much, Jemima was grateful for that fact.

It was a pleasant surprise therefore when Flora came into the shop an hour later and asked Jemima if she had time for a coffee. Brewing up in the small kitchen, Jemima eyed her red-headed friend and read the other woman’s uneasiness with a frown. ‘What’s up?’

‘It’s probably nothing. I meant to come over and tell you at the weekend, but a whole family booked in with me on Saturday and I was run off my feet,’ Flora groaned. ‘Apparently some guy in a hire car was hanging around the village last Thursday and someone saw him taking a picture of your shop. He was asking questions about you in the post office as well.’

Jemima stilled, dark blue eyes widening while her heart-shaped face paled below her cloud of wildly curling strawberry-blonde hair and the stance of her tiny slender figure screamed tension. Just an inch over five feet in height, she had reminded the more solidly built Flora of a delicate blown-glass angel ornament when they’d first met, but she had later appreciated that nobody as down-to-earth and quirky as Jemima could be seen for long in that improbable light. However, her friend was unquestionably beautiful in an ethereal way and if men could be equated to starving dogs, Jemima was the equivalent of a very juicy bone, for the male sex seemed to find her irresistible. Locals joked that the church choir had been on the brink of folding before Jemima had joined and a swell of young men had soon followed in her wake, not that any of them had since got anywhere with her, Flora reflected wryly. Badly burned by her failed marriage, Jemima preferred men as friends and concentrated her energies on her son and her business.

‘What sort of questions?’ Jemima prompted sickly, the cold chill of apprehension hollowing out her stomach.

‘Whether or not you lived around here, and what age Alfie was. The guy asking the questions was young and good-looking. Maurice in the post office thought he was playing cupid…’

‘Was the man Spanish?’

Flora shook her head and took over from her anxious friend at the kettle to speed up the arrival of the coffee. ‘No, a Londoner according to Maurice. He probably just fancied trying his chances with you—’

‘I don’t remember any young good-looking men coming in here last week,’ Jemima pointed out, her concern patent.

‘Maybe he lost interest once he realised you were a mother.’ Flora shrugged. ‘I wouldn’t have told you about him if I had known you would get wound up about it. Why don’t you just get on the phone and tell…er…what’s his name, your husband?’

‘Alejandro,’ Jemima supplied tautly. ‘Tell him what?’

‘That you want a clean break and a divorce.’

‘Nobody gets away with telling Alejandro what to do. He’s the one who does the telling. It wouldn’t be that simple once he found out about Alfie.’

‘So you go to a solicitor and say what a lousy husband he was.’

‘He didn’t drink or beat me up.’

Flora grimaced. ‘Why should such extremes be your only yardstick? There are other grounds for divorce, like mental abuse and neglect—and what about the way he left you at the mercy of his horrible family?’

‘It was his mother who was horrible, not his brother or his sister,’ Jemima pointed out, wanting as always to be fair. ‘And I don’t think it’s right to say I was mentally abused.’

Flora, whose temper was as hot as her hair, regarded the younger woman with unimpressed eyes. ‘Alejandro criticised everything you did, left you alone all the time and got you pregnant before you were ready to have a kid.’

Jemima reddened to the roots of her light-coloured hair and marvelled that she could have been so frank with Flora in the early weeks of their friendship, sharing secrets that she sometimes wished she had kept to herself, although not, mercifully, the worst secrets of all. Of course, back then, she had been as steamed up as a pressure cooker of emotions and in dire need of someone to talk to. ‘I just wasn’t good enough for him…’ She spoke the truth as she saw it, as lightly as she could.

Growing up, Jemima had never been good enough for either of her parents and the ability to search out and focus on her own flaws was second nature to her. Her mother had entered her in juvenile beauty contests as a young child but Jemima, too shy to smile for the photos and too quiet to chatter when interviewed, had not shone. Bored out of her mind as she was as a daydreaming teenager, she had done equally poorly at the office-skills course her mother had sent her on, shattering her mother’s second dream of her becoming a high-powered personal assistant to some millionaire who would some day fall madly in love with her daughter. Her mother had pretty much lived in a fantasy world, which, along with the alcohol, had provided her with her only escape from the drudgery and abuse of a bad marriage.

Jemima’s father, whose only dreams related to making pots of money without ever getting up off the sofa, had wanted Jemima to become a model, but she failed to grow tall enough for fashion work and lacked the bountiful curves necessary for the other kind. After her mother’s death, her father had urged her to become a dancer at a club run by his mate and had hit her and thrown her out of the family home when she’d refused to dress up in a skimpy outfit and attend an audition. It was years before she saw her father again and then in circumstances she preferred to forget. Yes, Jemima had learned at an early age that people always expected more from her than she ever seemed able to deliver and, sadly, her marriage had proved no different. It was for that reason that making her own way in life to set up and run her business had added greatly to her confidence; for once she had surpassed her own expectations.

Yet when she had first met Alejandro and he had swept her off her feet, he had seemed to be her every dream come true, which in retrospect seemed laughable to her. But love had snatched her up like a tornado and made her believe in the impossible before it flung her down again. Somehow, and she had no idea how, she had truly believed that she could marry a rich, educated foreigner with a pedigree as long as her arm and make a go of it. But in practice the challenges and the disparities had proved insurmountable. Her background had come back to seriously haunt her, but her biggest single mistake had been getting too friendly with her brother-in-law, Marco. Although, she reasoned defensively, had Alejandro been around more and made more effort to help her come to terms with her new life in Spain she wouldn’t have been so lonely and wouldn’t have jumped at the offer of Marco’s company. And she had adored Marco, she acknowledged abstractedly, recalling how wounded she had felt when even after her marriage broke down he had made no attempt to get in touch with her again.

‘You were too good for that husband of yours,’ Flora told Jemima with strong emphasis. ‘But you really should tell Alejandro about Alfie instead of staying in hiding as if you have something to be ashamed of.’

Jemima turned her head away, her cheeks colouring as she thought, If only you knew… Telling the whole unvarnished truth would probably turn her closest friend off her as well, she reckoned painfully.

‘I honestly believe that if Alejandro found out about Alfie, he would go to any lengths to get custody of him and take him back to Spain to live,’ she replied heavily. ‘Alejandro takes his responsibilities towards the family very seriously.’

‘Well, if you think there’s a risk of Alfie being snatched by his father, you’re wise keeping quiet about him,’ Flora said, although there was an uncertain look on her face when she voiced that opinion. ‘But you can’t keep him quiet for ever.’

‘Only, for now, it’s the best option,’ Jemima declared, setting down her coffee to attend to a customer as the shop bell on the door sounded.

Soon afterwards, she went out to deliver a floral arrangement for a dinner party to one of the big houses outside the village. On the way home she collected Alfie, his high energy dissipated by a couple of hours of horseplay. The tiny terraced cottage she rented on the outskirts of the village enjoyed a garden, which she had equipped with a swing and a sandpit. She was proud of her small living space. Although the little house was inexpertly painted and furnished cheaply with flat-pack furniture, it was the first place she had ever been able to make feel like her home since childhood.

Sometimes it seemed like a dim and unbelievable fairy tale to recall that after she had married Alejandro she had lived in a castle. Castillo del Halcón, the Castle of the Hawk, built by his warrior ancestors in a mix of Islamic and European styles and filled with history, luxury and priceless artefacts. Moving the furniture or the pictures around had been forbidden and redecorating equally frowned on because the dowager countess, Doña Hortencia, could not bear any woman to interfere in what she still essentially saw as her home. Living there, Jemima had often felt like a lodger who had outstayed her welcome, and the formal lifestyle of changing into evening clothes for dinner, dealing with servants and entertaining important guests had suited her even less.

Had there been any redeeming features to her miserable marriage? she asked herself, and instantly a picture of Alejandro popped up unbidden inside her head. Her spectacularly gorgeous husband had initially felt like a prize beyond any other she had ever received, yet she had never quite been able to stifle the feeling that she didn’t deserve him and he deserved better than her. It crossed Jemima’s mind that most of the best things that had happened to her in life had occurred seemingly because of blessed accidents of fate. That description best covered Alfie’s unplanned conception, her car choosing to break down in Charlbury St Helens after she had run away from Spain, her marriage, and ironically it even covered her first meeting with Alejandro…

He had knocked her off her bike in a car park or, rather, his driver’s overly assertive driving style had done so. She had been on her day off from the hotel where she was working as a receptionist and riding a bicycle was a necessity when she was employed in a rural business and buses were scarcer than hens’ teeth. The opulent Mercedes had ground to a halt and Alejandro and his chauffeur had emerged to check out the damage done while she was struggling to blink back tears from the pain of her skinned knees and bruised hip. Before she had known what was happening to her, her damaged bike was stacked in the local repair shop and she was ensconced in the luxury Mercedes, being swept off to the nearest hospital A and E department by the most gorgeous-looking guy she had ever met in her life. It was a shame that she really hadn’t noticed that day just how domineering and deaf to all argument Alejandro could be, for he had refused to listen when she declared that she did not require any medical attention. No, she had been X-rayed, cleaned up, bandaged and bullied within an inch of her life all because Alejandro’s dazzling smile had cast a spell over her.

Love at first sight, Jemima labelled with an instinctive frown of antipathy while she shifted about restlessly in her bed that night. She had never believed in love at first sight, indeed had grown up promising herself that she would never allow any man to wield the kind of power over her that her father had always exercised over her mother. But despite the hard lessons she had believed she had learned at her mother’s knee, Jemima had taken one look at Alejandro Navarro Vasquez and fallen as hard and as destructively for him as a brick thrown from a major height. And the real lessons she had learned she had picked up from Alejandro himself, only she had failed to put what she learned to sensible use.

Long before Alejandro had shocked her with his proposal of marriage, he had put her through months of dating hell by not phoning when he said he would, by cancelling meetings last minute and by seeing other women and getting photographed with them. Even before she’d married him he had battered her heart and trodden her pride deep in the dirt. But she had understood even then why he was giving her the runaround. He was, after all, a Spanish count, while she worked for peanuts at a little hotel that he considered to be a dump. He had known she was not his equal on any level and the disparity had bothered him deeply from the outset of their acquaintance. Six months after that first encounter, however, Alejandro had seemed to shed that attitude…

Sol y sombre…sun and shade, querida mia,’ Alejandro had murmured then as he compared the pale skin of her slender arm to the bronzed vibrancy of his darker colouring. ‘You cannot have one without the other—we belong together.’

But they had mingled as badly as oil and water, Jemima conceded with the dulled pain of acceptance that she had learned she had to live with, and she finally dropped off to sleep around two in the morning by dint of trying to forget the delivery she had to get up for the next morning.

There was hardly any floor space left in the shop once she had loaded the fresh blooms into the waiting containers. Her fingers numbed by the brisk spring morning temperature and too much contact with wet stems and water, Jemima rubbed her hands over her slim jeans-clad hips and tried not to shiver, because she knew that one shiver would only lead to another half-dozen and that in the end she would only feel colder. After all, winter or summer, the shop was always cool. It was an old building with poor insulation and she was always quick to remind herself that too much heat would only damage her stock. She went into the back room and dragged a black fleece jacket off the hook in the wall and put it on. Alfie was out in the little backyard playing on his trike while making loud motoring noises and she smiled at the sight of his innocent enjoyment, which took no account of the early hour he had been dug out of his cosy bed or the chilly air.


It was a voice she had hoped never to hear again: rich, melodic, dark and deep, and so full of accented earthy male sexiness it sent little quivers down her sensitive spine. She shut her eyes tight, refusing to turn round, telling herself wildly that her mind had somehow slipped dangerously back into the past and that she was imagining things…

Imagining waking up in bed with Alejandro, all tousled black hair, stubble and raw male sensual appeal…Alejandro, who could ignite her hunger with one indolent glance from his stunning black-fringed dark-as-the-night-sky eyes and seal it by simply saying her name…But even as a steamy burst of imagery momentarily clouded her brain and interfered with her breathing, she was instead recalling the emptiness of her bed once she had fallen pregnant and the wounding anguish of that physical lack of interest in her rapidly swelling body. As a chill slid through her slender length she spun round.

And there he was, Alejandro Navarro Vasquez, her husband, who had taught her to love him, taught her to need him and who had then proceeded to torture her with deprivation for her weakness. She was shocked, deeply, horribly shocked, her dazed violet-blue eyes widening to roam slowly over him as if she could not credit what she was seeing. Thick blue-black hair swept back from his brow, a fitting overture to the splendour of high patrician cheekbones bisected by a strong arrogant nose and punctuated by a sensually shaped and perfect masculine mouth. He was a staggeringly handsome man and fabulously well turned out in a dark business suit of faultless cut and polished handmade shoes. He always looked immaculate…except in bed, she recalled dully, when her hands had disarranged his hair and her nails had inflicted scratch marks down the long golden expanse of his flawless back. And she wanted to scream against the recollections that would not leave her alone, that were uniting with her sense of panic to destabilise her even more.

‘What are you doing here?’ she exclaimed breathlessly…


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