Claiming His Pregnant Wife [Secure]
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by Kim Lawrence
Description: When Francesco Romanelli met Erin Foyle, they were married within days--but it took just a month for their marriage to fall apart... Believing her husband to be nothing more than a cheat, Erin starts divorce proceedings. But though she won't be Francesco's wife, she will never be free of him--she is pregnant with his child. Francesco discovers Erin is pregnant--how dare she keep it from him? If he has his way, the divorce will never happen. He's on a mission to reclaim her--as his wife and in his bed.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents,
eBookwise Release Date: September 2007
29 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [285 KB]
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FRANCESCO ROMANELLI had pulled into the outside lane of the motorway when the mobile phone in his pocket began to vibrate again. An impatient grimace furrowing the smooth olive-toned skin of his high, intelligent forehead, he studiously ignored it. However, the interruption did cause his attention to briefly stray to the empty passenger seat where another phone lay, this one switched off.
It was about the only thing that had survived his blitz, when he had gone through the home they had briefly shared and removed every item that had even remotely reminded him of his broken marriage and his wife. Or so he had thought.
If his diligent housekeeper hadn't been so thorough in her war against dust he would have remained ignorant of the phone's existence, and, more importantly, ignorant of its explosive contents.
Which was presumably just what his wife had intended.
What else was he meant to think?
Francesco's jaw clenched as he fought to contain the sense of molten outrage that threatened to overwhelm him every time he thought of the situation he now faced. In fact, he had thought of little else for the past four days and was now digging pretty deep into his reserves of self-restraint!
After the events of the previous months it seemed darkly ironic, he reflected, releasing a self-derisive grunt, that this time last year he had been complaining to his twin brother that his life had become too predictable!
At the time Francesco had just split from his current lover. It had been a civilised parting of the ways, much as their arrangement had been. Normally considered pretty perceptive, Francesco hadn't seen it coming. However, with the wisdom of hindsight he realised that the writing had been on the wall when she had asked him where he thought their relationship was going.
Francesco had been forced to admit that he did not see it going anywhere specifically.
It had not crossed his mind at the time that she would have any problem with his admission. Why would it? The lady in question, a corporate lawyer who was as smart as she was beautiful, had gone out of her way at the outset of their relationship to warn him that she had no time in her life for emotional entanglements. So it had come as some surprise to Francesco to hear her say, 'Nothing personal, Francesco, I've actually never had better sex, but with my body clock ticking I can't afford to waste my time with a man—even one as lovely as you—who is commitment-phobic.'
Francesco had not been offended by her comments or lost any sleep over them, but they had made him wonder…'Do you think I'm commitment-phobic?' he later asked his twin.
Rafe's response was tactful. 'Of course not, but maybe if you put as much effort into your personal relationships as you do work?'
'That's the problem. I don't have to put that much effort into work…some days,' he admitted. 'I find myself hoping that there will be a disaster just so that I can fix it…there's just no buzz. My life is totally predictable. There are no real challenges—nothing to get the adrenaline pumping.'
'Maybe there's a life-changing surprise around the corner, Francesco,' his brother suggested, looking amused.
'Dio mio, I hope so.'
* * *
What did they say? You should be careful what you wish for because it might come true!
Maybe, Francesco speculated darkly, life-changing scenarios were like buses—after a long drought when they did come they came thick and fast!
And they rarely took the guise you anticipated.
In his case in the space of a few months he had suffered the devastating loss of his twin brother in tragic circumstances and, while still coming to terms with that loss, had discovered love at first sight was not merely confined to the pages of romantic fiction.
Though maybe marrying the person you fell in love with within five days should be!
As Francesco looked down at the brown finger on his left hand that was encircled by the heavy gold band his grip tightened on the steering wheel. His upper lip curled contemptuously: love! It hadn't been love, he told himself grimly. It had been a combination of lust and blind infatuation.
Some people might have suggested that his reaction to the letter that had arrived a week earlier from Erin suggested something more than infatuation or lust. But they didn't understand the extent of his problem with failure, and wasn't that essentially what divorce was?
Admittedly, walking out of the office two minutes before an important meeting without telling anyone where he was going, getting onto a plane and heading for England with the intention of explaining to his wife in person that he would never give her her freedom was a pretty strong reaction to the suggestion of failure.
But he would have explained to these doubters that failure was a word that had never been in his vocabulary. Failure was something that happened to other people. His premise in life had always been that if you wanted something badly enough you made it happen, you fought for what you wanted.
The plane had been landing when the thought had hit him. Why should he even try and fight for her? He didn't want her.
What would I want with a woman who doesn't trust me?
Francesco knew that Erin might even construe his arrival as the first move to reconciling their relationship, and that just wasn't going to happen. She was the one in the wrong.
The one he had expected to come crawling back.
Copyright © 2007 by Kim Lawrence.