What if you had to make a heartbreaking choice? What if you learned that the child you were about to adopt—the only child you would ever have--was heir to a vast South American fortune? Could you choose between giving him up or raising him, not as his mother, but as a servant on the lush Peruvian estate?
And what if the boy’s handsome but ruthless uncle stole your heart—but in a culture where family and bloodlines were everything, you knew that, although he might take you as his mistress, he would never marry a woman who couldn’t give him children?
THE SANTANA HEIR, my July book from Harlequin Desire is a story about the ties that bind people together—ties of blood, ties of family, and ties of love. At the center is adorable, eleven-month-old Zac, whose dying mother sacrificed all to bring him into the world and give her barren stepsister, Grace, one chance to raise a child. Peruvian billionaire playboy, Emilio Santana, sees his own chance in little Zac—the chance to continue his late brother’s bloodline and relieve himself of the responsibility to marry and provide a family heir. The battle over Zac brings Grace to Peru, and a new love in an exotic setting. But things are not always what they seem—and if you think you’ve read this story before, prepare yourself for some surprises.
A few years ago I spent some time in Peru, right where this story takes place. The setting is rich in beauty, history and culture—perfect for a heartfelt love story. I hope you’ll enjoy this one. Here’s an excerpt for you.
Emilio ended the kiss, savoring the way their moist lips clung as they parted. He
hadn’t planned to kiss her. But it had happened and, for the moment at least, he wasn’t sorry. Grace Chandler’s luscious curves fit his body as if they’d been molded for that very purpose. Her sweetness flowed through him like hot caramel syrup through ice cream.
So much for his resolve to treat her like a sister. That wasn’t going to happen. He knew himself too well to question his instincts. But right now he needed to get her back to the house. She was badly scared, maybe even injured. Seduction would have to wait.
With a twinge of regret, he eased her to arms’ length. Her cheeks were flushed, her mouth damp and a little swollen. It was all he could do to keep from snatching her close once more and taking up where they’d left off.
“Are you all right, Grace?” Given the way she looked, it was a needless question.
For a moment she regarded him with lust-glazed eyes. Then a transformation came over her. Straightening her spine and squaring her shoulders she impaled him with a glare that would have done justice to Sister Benedicta, who’d whacked his knuckles in her arithmetic class.
“I’ll be fine,” she said. “But what just happened was a mistake, Emilio.”
He quirked an eyebrow. “I had the impression you enjoyed it as much as I did.”
Her look darkened. “I came here to decide what was best for Zac and for me. The last thing I need is having my judgment clouded by a Latin Romeo who’d hit on any female old enough to drive. As far as you and I are concerned, nothing happened here. Understood?”
“Understood.” The barb had stung more than he cared to admit. But long experience had taught Emilio when to advance and when to retreat. This was retreat time. But the conquest was far from over.
Grace Chandler was going to eat her words.
Grace’s chest tightened as she eyed Emilio’s golden stallion. “I suppose I’ll have to get on your horse.”
“Unless you want to limp home with one bare foot, yes, it looks that way.”
He swung onto the horse, then reached down for her. Feeling as if she were about to mount a fire-breathing dragon, Grace took his hand and allowed him to swing her up behind him. Years ago, riding such a magnificent animal would have thrilled her. Now all she felt was a paralyzing dread. The gentle Manso had eased her fear. But their wild plunge down the slope had reawakened the nightmare.
Emilio nudged the stallion to a walk. Its gait was like flowing silk, but she could feel the palomino’s dangerous power. When she looked at the ground, Grace felt dizzy. She wrapped her arms around Emilio’s ribs and clung.
The contact with his hard-muscled body triggered a gush of memory. Emilio’s kiss had burned all the way to the soles of her feet. It had been all she could to keep from rising on tiptoe to press her hunger against him. Even now, the thought turned her legs to warm jelly. But if she had any sense she’d blot the image from her mind. She’d been on the verge of a foolish mistake—a mistake that mustn’t be allowed to happen.
THE SANTANA HEIR is available this month in stores and on line, in paperback and e-book format. You can learn more about the story and my other books on my web site:
You can also contact me there with any questions or comments. I love hearing from my readers.
One lucky reader) who comment on my blog will be randomly selected to win a paper copy of THE SANTANA HEIR. Good luck!