THE FALCON DYNASTY SERIES
- SEPTEMBER 2011 -
- JULY 2011 -
The Book Depository
(free delivery worldwide!)
Amazon North America
Mills and Boon
"A gripping page turner written with warmth, humour and heart, Rescued by the Brooding Tycoon, book one in the brand new Falcon Dynasty saga, is another winner for Lucy Gordon!"
"Lucy Gordon plumbs the depths of the human heart with Rescued by the Brooding Tycoon, the first title in her enthralling new family saga about the Falcon Dynasty."
~ RESCUED BY THE BROODING TYCOON ~
Widow Harriet is content with her life - she doesn't need some upstart tycoon ruining it all! Yet, saving Darius from a capsized boat, she recognises that there's more beneath his brooding surface...Can he make her see that she might need rescuing too?
Darius is visiting Herringdean for the first time. Travelling by helicopter, he looks down and is disconcerted to find that he loves what he sees.
It was the burst of beauty that caught Darius unawares. He didn’t regard himself as a man vulnerable to beauty. Efficiency, ruthlessness, financial acumen, these things could be counted on.
But the sudden vision of sunlit sea, the waves glittering as they broke against the sand, stunned him and made him press closer to the window.
He could see a large house which must once have been elegant, but was now falling into disrepair. In front of it stretched a garden leading to a plain lawn, close to the sand.
“Land here,” he told the pilot, “on that lawn.”
The beach seemed to call him. It was an unfamiliar sensation for a man who wasn’t normally impulsive. In the financial world impulsiveness could be dangerous, yet now he yielded with pleasure to the need to explore below.
Slowly the machine sank onto the lawn. Darius leapt out, a lithe figure whose fitness and agility belied the desk-bound businessman he usually was, and hurried down to the beach. The sand was slightly damp, but smooth and hard, presenting little threat to his expensive appearance.
That appearance had been carefully calculated to inform the world that here was a successful man who could afford to pay top prices for his clothes. A few grains of sand might linger on his handmade shoes but they could be easily brushed off, and it was a small price to pay for what the beach offered him.
After the devastating events that had buffeted him recently there was nothing more blessed than to stand here in the sunlight, throw his head back, close his eyes, feel the soft breeze on his face, and relish the silence.
He was in his mid-thirties, tall, strong, attractive, seemingly ready to take on the world. Inwardly he knew otherwise. He had already taken on the world, won some battles, lost others, and was weary to his depths.
But here there could be a chance to regain strength for the struggles that lay ahead. He breathed in slowly, yielding himself to the quiet, longing for it to last.
Then it ended.
A shriek of laughter tore the silence, destroying the peace. With a groan he opened his eyes and saw two figures in the sea, heading for the shore. As they emerged from the water he realised that one of them was a large dog. The other was a young woman in her late twenties with a lean, athletic build, not voluptuous but dashingly slender, with long, elegant legs. Her costume was a modest black one-piece, functional rather than enticing, and her brown hair was pinned severely back out of the way.
As a man much pursued by women Darius knew they commonly used swimming as a chance to parade their beauty. But if this girl was sending out any message to men it was, “I wear what’s useful, so don’t kid yourself that I’m flaunting my body to attract you.”
“Can I help you?” she cried merrily as she bounced up the beach.
“I’m just looking round, getting the feel of the place.”
“Yes, it’s wonderful, isn’t it? Sometimes I think if I ever get to heaven it’ll be just like this.”
Although he would have died before admitting it the reference to heaven so exactly echoed his own thoughts that now he found he could forgive her for interrupting him.
He indicated the house behind him. “I believe that belongs to Morgan Rancing.”
“Yes, but if you’ve come to see him you’ve had a wasted journey. Nobody knows where he is.”
Rancing was on the far side of the world, hiding from his creditors, including himself, but Darius saw no need to mention that.
She stepped back to survey him, a curious look in her eyes. Then it vanished as though an idea had occurred to her only to be dismissed as impossible.
“You’re lucky Rancing isn’t here,” she observed. “He’d hit the roof at you bringing down your machine on his land. Nobody’s allowed on his property.”
She gave a chuckle. “Be a sport. If you see him, don’t say you caught me on his private beach. He disapproves of my swimming here.”
“But you do it anyway,” he observed wryly.
“It’s so lovely that I can’t resist. The other beaches are full of holiday makers but here you can have it all to yourself; just you and the sun and the sky. She flung out her arms in a dramatic gesture, smiling up at him. “The world is yours.”
He nodded, feeling a curious sense of ease at the way her thoughts chimed with his own, and looked at her with renewed interest. Despite her boyish air she wasn’t lacking in feminine charm. There was real beauty in her eyes which were large and deep blue, full of life, seeming to invite him into a teasing conspiracy.
“That’s very true.” he said.
“So you won’t tell him that you saw me on his private beach?”
“Actually, it’s my private beach.”
Her smile vanished. “What do you mean?”
“This island is mine now.”
“Rancing sold it to you?” she gasped.
Without knowing it she’d said the fatal word. Rancing hadn’t sold him the island, he’d tricked him into it. In a flash his goodwill towards her vanished, and a stubborn expression overtook his face. “I told you it’s mine,” he said harshly. “That’s all that matters. My name is Darius Falcon. Perhaps now you’ll tell me who you are.”
“Harriet Connor,” she said. “I have an antique shop in Ellarick.”
From behind Harriet came a loud yelp. The dog was charging up the beach, spraying water everywhere, heading straight for Darius.
“Steady Phantom,” she called, trying to block his way.
“Keep him off me,” Darius snapped.
But it was too late. Gleeful at the sight of a stranger to investigate, the dog hurled himself the last few feet, reared up on his hind legs and slammed his wet, sandy paws down on Darius’ shoulders. He was a mighty beast, able to meet a tall man face to face, and lick him enthusiastically.
“Get him off me. He’s soaking.”
“Phantom, get down!” Harriet cried.
He did so but only briefly, hurling himself at Darius again, this time with a force that took them both down to the ground. As he lay helplessly on the sand Phantom loomed over him, licking his face and generally trying to show friendliness. He looked aggrieved as his mistress hauled him off.
“Bad dog! I’m very cross with you.”
Darius got to his feet, cursing at the wreck of his suit.
“He wasn’t attacking you,” Harriet said in a pleading voice. “He just likes people. I’ll pay to have your suit cleaned.”
“Cleaned?” he snapped. “I’ll send you a bill for a new one. Keep away from me, you crazy animal.”
He put up his arm to ward off another encounter, but Harriet threw her arms protectively around the dog.
“You’d better go,” she said in a voice that was now as icy as his own. “I can’t hold him forever.”
“You should know better than to let a creature that size run free.”
“And you should know better than to wear a suit like that on the beach,” she cried.
The undeniable truth of this soured his temper further, leaving him no choice but to storm off in the direction of the helicopter. As they lifted off Darius looked down and saw Harriet gazing at the machine, one hand shielding her eyes. Then Phantom reared up again, enclosing her in his great paws, and at once she forgot the helicopter to cuddle the dog. So much for being cross with that stupid mutt, Darius thought furiously. Clearly he was all she cared about.
He thought of how he’d stood on the beach, alone, peaceful for the first time in months, and how clumsily she had destroyed that moment. He wouldn’t forgive her for that.
From the book RESCUED BY THE BROODING TYCOON by Lucy Gordon.
Copyright 2011 by Lucy Gordon
Cover Copyright © 2011 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. ® and tm are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
~ a taste of italy at home ~