A Baby To Bind His Innocent by Michelle Smart (The Sicilian Marriage Pact #1)
English | 2020 | Romance | ePUB |2.8 MB
A marriage built on a lie…
Until her pregnancy test confirms the truth!
Claudia Buscetta is swept off her feet by Ciro Trapani. Their wedding night is everything she dreamed of – but then she overhears Ciro’s confession: the marriage was his way of avenging his father. Heartbroken Claudia prepares to walk away from him forever…only to discover she’s pregnant!
Driven Ciro is suddenly bound irrevocably to his enemy’s daughter! Claudia is far from the pampered ‘princess’ he imagined. And living with her sparks a fierce battle…between his quest for revenge and his burning desire for his wife!
‘Where in America do you live?’ she asked as she opened a cupboard and removed two mugs from it. This particular cupboard had, until less than two weeks ago, contained an abundance of dried pasta. The shelf beside it that had housed his mother’s recipe books now had colourful ornaments on it.
‘Isn’t New York dangerous?’
‘No more dangerous than any other major city.’
Her perplexed eyes met his briefly. ‘Oh. I thought…’ She blinked, shook her head and opened the fridge. ‘How do you take your coffee?’
‘Black, no sugar.’
The oven’s timer went off. It was such a familiar sound that Ciro clenched his hands into fists to stop fresh rage bursting out. His childhood had been punctuated with that timer beeping, always followed moments later by his mother’s call for dinner.
Protecting her hands with oven gloves, Claudia removed the item, filling the kitchen with even more of that evocative pastry scent. By the time she’d finished, the coffee was ready. She brought the mugs to the table and sat across from him. When she met his eye he was intrigued to see a flush cover her cheeks before she darted her gaze away.
‘How are you settling in?’ he asked.
‘Very well.’ She jumped back to her feet. ‘Biscuit?’
She returned with a ceramic tub and removed the lid. ‘I made these yesterday so they should still be fresh.’
He helped himself and took a bite. Immediately, his mouth filled with heaven. ‘These are amazing.’
The same flush of pleasure as when he’d complimented the smell that had filled the kitchen covered her face again. ‘Thank you… Would you like some of the apricot tart when it’s cooled down? If you’re still here…’ More colour stained her face. ‘I’m sure you have things to be getting on with.’
‘Actually, I don’t.’ He took a sip of his coffee and eyed her openly. ‘I’m on a short vacation.’
‘My father died recently. I’m trying to sort his affairs and help my mother.’
Her next, ‘Oh,’ had a very different inflection. ‘I’m sorry. That’s awful. I didn’t know.’
Sure you didn’t, he thought cynically. He only died the day after your father legally stole this house for you.
‘He had a heart attack.’
She was an excellent actress for her large, soft brown eyes brimmed with sympathy. ‘I’m sorry,’ she repeated. ‘I can’t begin to imagine how you’re feeling.’
‘Like I’ve been shot in the heart. He was only sixty.’
‘That’s no age.’
‘No age at all. We assumed he had decades left.’ He gave a theatrical shake of his head. Claudia Buscetta might be an excellent actress but she had nothing on Ciro, who’d had a week to prepare for this moment and knew exactly how he was going to orchestrate things. ‘It’s the regrets that play on the mind. If I ever marry and have children—which I really hope to do if I ever fall in love—he won’t meet them. My children will grow up not knowing their grandfather. If I’d known the stress he was under…’ He gave another shake of his head.