One Night Baby [Secure]
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by Susan Stephens
Description: When Kate met Hollywood producer Santino Rossi, she was swept away. He was unaware of her innocence, or of the baby they made that night. That sensuous evening is forever etched on Santino's mind--so when Kate appears in Rome, five years later, he's ready for a rerun of their passionate affair. The only problem is Kate's obvious evasion of his attentions. Santino is determined to find out what she's hiding.... And get her back in his bed!
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents,
eBookwise Release Date: August 2007
24 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [277 KB]
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'HOW soon could I come to Rome?' Kate Mulhoon's fingers turned white as she clutched the telephone receiver. I'd go anywhere on earth for you, Caddy, but not Rome…
But even as the words played out in her mind Kate knew she could no more leave her beautiful cousin Cordelia in need of support on a film set in Rome than she could…than she could what? Take the risk that she might come face to face with Santino Rossi again?
An icy blast chose that moment to rattle the office window reminding Kate of another night when she had been working late five years before. But that night seemed like another life, another person living it…
And that person didn't exist any longer, Kate told herself fiercely, fixing her concentration on the computer screen.
'Kate, are you still there?' Caddy said anxiously.
'Just saving my files.'
It was cold in the office—the heating went off at six—and Kate wished she could be bundled up in a woolly jumper rather than her customary office uniform of tailored suit and thin white blouse. She was often accused of dressing older than she should, but Kate had her reasons.
Satisfied her work was safe Kate skipped straight to flight information. Caddy wasn't just one of her favourite people in the world, she was the film star Cordelia Mulhoon, and as such one of the agency's most important clients. It was Kate's responsibility to look after those clients. She saw all types coming through the revolving doors and Caddy was no self-infatuated wimp. If Caddy called for help, then she needed it.
Without Caddy's mother, Aunt Meredith, to take care of things at home Kate wouldn't have considered leaving the country, but Aunt Meredith was like a rock and wouldn't blink at the sudden disruption to her routine. Even so it wouldn't be easy to leave Kate's litte girl, Francesca, behind. It would have to be a short stay…
Kate brushed a strand of hair from her face as she studied the list of flight departures to Rome. It had been a long day, and a long time since she had last consulted a mirror. Kate wore her dark blonde hair pulled back for the sake of neatness rather than fashion, and the glossy waves fell almost to her waist. She might work in a so-called glamour job, but glamour had passed Kate by. She was a very private person who liked nothing more than going for long walks with Francesca or baking cakes together in Aunt Meredith's cosy farmhouse kitchen. She would plead guilty in a trice to not spending enough time on her looks, and thought her tall, slender figure unremarkable. In fact Kate thought everything about her unremarkable. She was glad of it, because unremarkable was safe…safe from notice, safe from discussion, safe from gossip.
Kate's eyes were her most compelling feature. They were a deceptively soft shade of grey, but it was her gaze that was so expressive, and that had been known to turn steely when there was something or someone to defend.
'I feel bad about this already,' Caddy said anxiously.
'Then don't,' Kate murmured distractedly. She had just identified a suitable flight.
'I wouldn't ask you to come unless I really needed you—'
'You don't have to tell me that,' Kate said gently to reassure her cousin.
Caddy's emotional bank was always threatening to overflow, which was why she was such a remarkable actress. Kate had always been considered the steady cousin, the thoughtful cousin, which had made her break-out behaviour five years ago all the more remarkable. As far as her parents were concerned she had gone from golden girl to outcast in the time it took her to tell them she was pregnant. Only Aunt Meredith had stood firmly in her corner. And now it was Meredith's daughter, Kate's beloved cousin Caddy, who needed Kate's help. There wasn't a chance she would let Caddy down and send someone else in her place, though Pandora's box was a kiddy's lunch-box in comparison to the trouble Kate knew she could start in Rome. Rome was Santino Rossi's home town, and Santino Rossi belonged to that night from the past. By some cruel twist of fate Santino was also the producer of Caddy's latest film.
What were the chances she wouldn't bump into Santino Rossi at the Cinecitta studios where Caddy was filming?
Zero, Kate accepted grimly.
All her instincts might scream caution and urge her to stay at home, but loyalty wouldn't allow her to take the coward's course and so in order to know what to expect when she arrived she delved a little deeper.
'What's happened, Caddy? Can't your manager handle the problem for you?' But even as she asked the question Kate knew it was wrong. What sort of question was that to ask someone she thought of as a sister? Only exceptional circumstances could have prevented Kate from securing the first flight she found. And Santino Rossi was exceptional circumstances.
But Caddy was her dearest friend. 'I'm booking the flight now, Caddy—'
There was a gasp of relief from the other end of the line. 'Oh, Kate, I'm so relieved. Marge Wilson has been a useless manager. I wish I'd listened to you in the first place and never hired her. She's drunk all the time, and—'
'We all make mistakes,' Kate cut across Caddy firmly. 'And don't thank me. I know you'd do the same for me.'
Copyright © 2007 by Susan Stephens.