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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The bar was as impersonal as Leo had promised. It nestled in the basement of the hotel, was fairly dark, which was good, fairly intimate, which was less good, and fairly crowded, which was essential. Because Ellie was finding his presence nerve-racking, and that was only partially because of the extraordinary circumstances of their meeting and the gut-wrenching agony of her own little secret.
The fact was that her body was not behaving the way it should. He seemed to be emanating some kind of lethal electric charge that had every pulse in it jumping.
She watched covertly as he strode up to the bar to get their drinks and then lowered her eyes as he turned to swing back toward their table, which was set aside from those in the center.
"So," Leo said, handing her the glass of wine she hadn't ordered and sitting down opposite her.
"I asked for orange juice."
"You were telling me why you lied to me."
"You can't let that go, can you?"
"I have never been lied to before."
"Never? What a sheltered life you must have led." Her eyes skittered away from the smile of pure charm that altered the harsh arrogance of his face.
"Easy prey for a woman like you." But the hardness she would have expected was missing from his words. They were almost teasing, which surely couldn't be right considering the mess they were now in.
"No law degree," Ellie said, taking a very small sip of wine and then gently depositing her glass on the circular table. "No rich parents, I'm afraid. No Boston, in fact. I guess," she sighed heavily, reliving the weight of sadness that had propelled her visit to far-off shores, "I was just so sad at the time. My mum had died the year before and my father had died only a matter of months before I went to America. I was very?very close to my parents, you see, I just wasn't ready for either of them to die, never mind both." She rubbed her eyes with her thumbs and drew a deep breath.
Ellie didn't want his understanding. It complicated things, turned her secret into a guilty one, even though she could not have located him when she had discovered the pregnancy even if she had wanted to.
"You came along and you made me feel like a princess, so I turned myself into one! I created someone interesting and radiant and carefree and I made her wealthy because I didn't think that you would be too interested in someone who was pretty poor, someone who was just out of teacher training college and was planning to teach eleven-year-olds at a school not seven miles from the house she had lived in since she was a child. That would have been too dull for you, so I turned myself into somebody else, somebody more interesting. I needed to escape for a while and so I did. It's as simple as that."
Yes, it made sense. Her laughter had been joyous but brittle and her eyes had been too damned honest for him to really believe what her mouth had been saying. That was why he had fallen for her. Which didn't mean that she hadn't screwed up his life one way or another.
"I suppose you're furious," she said, expecting his wrath and waiting to receive the blow because she could deal with his wrath a lot better than she could deal with that glimmer of wordless compassion that he had earlier shown.
"More like impressed with your acting abilities," Leo told her wryly, "I don't suppose you teach drama by any chance."
"English and geography." He was looking at her, really looking at her and the directness of his gaze made her feel suddenly giddy. Something here had changed and she didn't know what. She just knew that she had to get away before?before what??
Before something happened that shouldn't?something that she could not afford to let happen?