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"Readers will enjoy Jackson and Freya as a couple as they embark on a special healing process together. Gordon has written a wonderful tale about the journey of love."
4 stars, Romantic Times
~ THE FINAL FALCON SAYS I DO ~
Mr. Right under her nose...
When Freya Falcon is jilted on her wedding day, the notoriously stubborn and brooding Jackson Falcon discovers a protective side brought out by this newly vulnerable woman. Freya is surprised by Jackson's behaviour. They've spent so long denying any romantic interest in each other that she hasn't seen how kind, thoughtful and downright gorgeous the man really is! But her heart is raw, and despite his charms, she can't quite trust him....
It's up to the final Falcon brother to prove to Freya that he has indeed been Mr. Right all along.
A BRIDE DESERTED ON HER WEDDING DAY
Freya is about to get married, not to Jackson, but to his friend, Dan. As they drive to the church, Dan admits that he only proposed to her because Amos tried to prevent their wedding by threats. Furiously he defied Amos and proposed. But now he regrets it.
Aghast, Jackson says he should have been honest with her from the start.
‘That’s true,’ Dan says. ‘And there’s still time to put things right.’
He jumps out of the car and runs, leaving a horrified Jackson to go to the church and tell Freya that she’s been abandoned at the altar. And inwardly he feels it’s all his fault.
* * *
He tried to tell himself that Freya would cope well. She was a trained nurse, a strong, efficient, determined young woman, not a wilting violet. But a voice in his mind wouldn’t let him get away with that.
You’re just telling yourself what you want to believe. This is going to devastate her, and it’s your fault, so stop trying to make it easy on yourself.
As he slipped quietly into the main body of the church he saw the family gathered in the front pews. Travis looked up and gestured for him to approach.
‘What’s up?’ he asked as Jackson neared. ‘Where’s the groom?’
‘He’s not coming. He changed his mind at the last minute and dashed out of the car. I tried to follow but I lost sight of him.’
‘What do you mean?’ demanded Janine. ‘He can’t just dump my daughter with the wedding about to start.’
‘I’m afraid that’s what he’s done. It seems he’s always had doubts and suddenly they crushed him.’
Before anyone could say more the organ burst into the melody of ‘Here Comes The Bride.’
Everyone stared to the end of the aisle, where Amos could clearly be seen with Freya on his arm. Jackson cursed himself for clumsiness. He should have waited outside for the car, and told them the truth there. Then Freya could have returned home at once, without having to make the humiliating trip down the aisle.
He thought of hurrying forward, approaching her now before she came any closer, but she was already in the spotlight
For a moment he almost believed that this was somebody else. The ‘strong, sensible young woman’ who lived in his mind had vanished, replaced by a girl in a glamorous white satin dress. Her fair hair, normally straight, had been curled into an exotic creation, covered by a lace veil that trailed down almost to the floor.
There was a glow about her that he’d never seen before. She was smiling as though fate had brought her to a blissful destination. It made her look exactly as a happy bride ought to look, and Jackson closed his eyes, sickened by what was about to happen.
As they neared him and saw that he was alone, Amos’ began to frown.
‘Where’s the groom,’ he rasped. ‘Why isn’t he with you?’
‘Sssh!’ Freya silenced him with a finger over her lips. ‘He must have slipped away to the Gents. He’ll be here in a moment.’ She gave Jackson a teasing smile. ‘I expect he had a bit too much to drink last night, didn’t he?’
Her good nature was almost too much for him to bear. How could Dan not have wanted to marry this sweet creature?
‘I’m afraid there’s been a problem,’ he said in a low voice. ‘He isn’t here. He’s – he’s not coming.’
‘What do you mean?’ Freya asked. ‘Is he ill?.’
‘No he’s not ill,’ Jackson said. ‘I’m sorry Freya but he changed his mind at the last minute. He got out of the car and ran.’
‘He ran?’ Freya whispered. ‘To get away from me? Oh no! But why?’
‘He lost his nerve,’ Jackson said uneasily.
The words seemed to swirl in Freya’s head, meaningless yet full of monstrous meaning.
‘What do you mean – lost his nerve?’ she stammered. ‘It doesn’t take nerve to – to – ’
To marry someone you love. The words were on the tip of her tongue, yet some power stopped her from saying them.
Jackson understood and struggled for an answer.
‘It’s a big occasion,’ he managed. ‘Some men can’t handle it.’
But Dan was used to big occasions, and they both knew it. Freya’s look of disbelief told Jackson he’d have to do better than that.
‘Why?’ she said fiercely. ‘What really happened?’
‘He just – couldn’t cope suddenly.’
Freya swung away from him, trying to cope with the feelings that stormed through her. Pain, disbelief, disillusion, humiliation all fought for supremacy. Humiliation won.
Dan had charmed her, filled her grey world with light, made her feel special, the kind of woman that other women envied. Now he was knocking her down in the eyes of the world. She clenched her hands into fists, holding them up against her eyes and emitting a soft groan.
Behind her Jackson said, ‘Freya – ’ reaching out to touch her, but she pulled away.
‘I’m all right,’ she said, dropping her hands.
He didn’t believe it for a moment, but he respected her determination to appear strong.
A murmur was rising from the congregation as they sensed trouble. The vicar drew close, and spoke quietly.
‘Perhaps you’d like to come into the back and talk privately.’
Amos reached out to take Freya’s hand but Jackson was there first, slipping his arm around her and leading her away to where there were no curious eyes. The family followed them.
When they were safely in the back room Jackson repeated the story, keeping hold of Freya’s hand, feeling the terrible stillness that had settled over her.
‘Why did he do it?’ she whispered. ‘What did he say?’
‘Only that when he came to the point – he just couldn’t,’ Jackson prevaricated, wishing the earth would swallow him up.
‘I must speak to him. I need a phone.’
‘Not now,’ Jackson said quickly.
‘Yes, now,’ she said.
Darius produced a cell phone. Freya reached for it but Jackson got there first, seizing her wrist and shaking his head to make his brother back off.
‘Let go of me,’ she said. ‘Darius – ’
But Darius had read the dark message in Jackson’s eyes.
‘He’s right, Freya,’ he admitted. ‘Not just now. Give yourself a moment first.’
She turned furious eyes on Jackson.
‘You’ve got a nerve. Who are you to tell me what to do?’
‘I’m your brother who’s concerned about you,’ he said firmly.
‘And who thinks he can dictate to me. Give me that phone. I must talk to him.’
‘Wait. Let me try.’
He didn’t know what he was trying to achieve by speaking to Dan first. The situation was already a car wreck. But he took out his own cell phone and dialled the number. There was only silence.
Freya lost patience, seizing the phone from him and dialling again. Still there was no response. She closed her eyes, feeling as though she was surrounded by an infinity in which there was neither light nor sound. Only nothingness. At last she gave up. Her shoulders sagged.
‘He’s turned his phone off,’ she said bleakly. ‘He really is running away from me.
From the book THE FINAL FALCON SAYS I DO by Lucy Gordon.
Cover Copyright © 2013 by
Harlequin Enterprises Limited. ® and tm are trademarks of the
published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
~ a taste of italy at home ~