From Lust to LoveFollowing the death of her father, a grief-stricken Ellie James goes to Las Vegas on a whim to try to enjoy the New Year. She meets and falls in love with handsome and worldly Leo, and spends a night of passion in his arms. But in the morning, wracked with guilt over her impulsive behavior, she runs back to England without a word. What she doesn't realize is that her one night with Leo will change her life forever.
by Cathy Williams
Leo Silva is a rich and powerful man, but he still carries the pain he felt after Ellie's flight from their bed in Vegas. Now, engaged to marry a beautiful socialite, he must track Ellie down and finally put their union behind him. He isn't prepared for the feelings she inspires within him once again....
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Leo Silva had never believed in fate. His grandfather had emigrated a pauper from South America with his young family in tow and had pulled himself laboriously up the ladder against all odds, and his father had carried on the tradition, building the Silva empire brick by sweat-drenched brick.
His was a tradition of education, hard work, and keeping one step ahead of the opposition.
There was no room for the simpering luxury of believing that results came from anywhere other than the ability to outthink, outperform and outmaneuver anyone and everyone.
But fate, out of the blue, had suddenly appeared on one of the back pages of the New York Times and the timing could not have been more propitious.
Leo glanced down at the passing article that had caught his attention and smiled with utter satisfaction at the blurry picture staring back at him.
Eleanor James, enjoying her fifteen minutes of fame for deflecting a shooting incident at a high school in inner city London. Would she have had any idea that her act of bravery would cross the Atlantic to find its way to his desk at 7:30 on a grim November evening?
He almost laughed out loud at the splendid coincidence of it all. But he didn't. Instead, he pushed his leather swivel chair back, all the better to stretch out his long legs on the surface of the highly polished walnut desk, and reached for the telephone.
The call took less than ten minutes and it was to his trusted friend, the only person now who knew his secret and the potential it had to irrevocably ruin if not utterly obliterate the highly organized and carefully plotted path of his life.
"Antonio, I have found her." No preliminaries because none were needed. Antonio Ruiz would know precisely to whom he was referring, as indeed he did.
"Pick up your copy of the New York Times and turn to page twelve. There is a little article somewhere near the bottom of the page, very easy to miss. She is living in London, it would seem, and is hale and hearty and saving little children's lives." He leaned heavily back in the chair and stared up at the ceiling, allowing his beautifully proportioned mouth to curve into a smile. The smile of the predator that has finally found its prey, after an exhaustive chase.
"Your papa would be happy, may his spirit rest in peace."
"I take it you would like me to ensure that you are on the next flight over?"
"Concorde." He stared at the tips of his handmade Italian shoes and for the first time in four years, felt an uncustomary feeling of peace settle on his broad shoulders. "No need to waste resources finding out about her life. There is no time for that. I just want her telephone number and where she is living."
"Oh, and Antonio, it goes without saying that secrecy is of the essence. Especially in view of my highly publicized and eminently satisfactory betrothal." He tried to think of Caroline but instead found his head full of images of a fresh-faced, dark-haired, blue-eyed girl, a wisp of a creature with a smile like sun breaking through clouds.
"The ticket will be on your desk no later than lunchtime tomorrow. Oh, and Leo ? good luck."
Leo smiled grimly and savored the pleasurable feeling of knowing that luck was the last thing he needed. He had found her and now, at last, he was in a position to exorcise that hidden, sordid detail in his past once and for all.