Deserving of His Diamonds?

Deserving of His Diamonds?

4.3 11
by Melanie Milburne
     
 

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Emilio Andreoni's goal is perfection. A corporate king and Italy's most eligible bachelor, he craves only one more thing to complete his phenomenally successful life—the perfect woman!

Once he thought that woman was shy Gisele Carter, until her scandalous goings-on became headline news and he called off their seemingly perfect

Overview



Emilio Andreoni's goal is perfection. A corporate king and Italy's most eligible bachelor, he craves only one more thing to complete his phenomenally successful life—the perfect woman!

Once he thought that woman was shy Gisele Carter, until her scandalous goings-on became headline news and he called off their seemingly perfect engagement.

But now Emilio is faced with proof of Gisele's innocence. He's determined to win back the only woman who ever truly satisfied him, but first he must persuade Gisele she's worthy of wearing his diamonds again.…

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781459234772
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
08/01/2012
Series:
Outrageous Sisters , #1
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
172,611
File size:
307 KB

Read an Excerpt



Emilio was sitting in a cafe in Rome not far from his office when he finally found out the truth. His chest seized as he read the article about twin girls who had been separated at birth due to an illegal adoption. The article was journalism at its best: an intriguing and poignant account of how identical twins had finally been reunited, quite by chance, after a shop attendant mistook one for the other in a Sydney department store.

One mistaken for the other…

Emilio ignored his coffee and sat back in his chair and looked out at the bustling city crowds wandering past. Tourists and workers, young and old, married and single—everyone going about their business, totally unaware of the shock that was consuming him until he could scarcely breathe.

It hadn't been Gisele in the sex tape.

His throat felt as if a spanner were going down sideways. He had been so adamant about it, so stubborn. He had not listened to Gisele's protestations of innocence. He had refused to listen. She had begged and pleaded with him to believe in her, but he had not.

He had got it wrong.

She had cried. She had screamed. She had pummelled at his chest with tears pouring down her face, and yet he had walked away. He had cut all contact with her. He had sworn on his life he would never see or speak to her again.

He had got it wrong.

Emilio's company had almost folded over the scandal. He'd had to work so hard to get back to where he was today. Eighteen-hour, sometimes twenty-four-hour days, sleepless nights, endless travel, jet lag so bad he didn't sleep properly any more, no matter how utterly exhausted he was. He went from project to project like an automaton, putting in the hours, signing up the deals, paying off the debts and then finally banking the millions, his drive to succeed knowing no bounds.

And for all this time he had blamed Gisele.

He had fuelled his hatred of her every day since. It had festered inside him like a gangrenous wound. He had felt it in every pore of his body. Every time he had thought of her the temperature of his wrath had risen. It had burned like a roaring furnace deep inside him. It had blazed like wild flames through his veins. Some days it had almost consumed him. It had been like a fever he could not control.

His gut clenched with a fist of guilt. He had always prided himself on never making an error of judgement. He aimed—some would say ruthlessly—for perfection in every area of his life. Failure was anathema to him.

And yet with Gisele he had got it wrong.

Emilio looked at his phone. He still had her number in his contacts. He had left it there as a reminder to trust no one, to let no one under his guard. He had never thought of himself as the sentimental type, but when he brought her details to the screen his fingers shook slightly as they hovered over her name. Somehow calling out of the blue to say sorry didn't seem the right way to handle things. He owed her a face-to-face apology. It was the least he could do. He wanted to erase that mistake, to draw a line through it and move on with his life.

He clicked on his phone's rapid dial instead and called his secretary. 'Carla, cancel all of my appointments for the next week and get me a flight to Sydney as soon as you can,' he said. 'I have some urgent business to see to there.'

Gisele was showing a first time mother the handmade christening gown she had embroidered when Emilio Andreoni came in. Seeing him standing there, so tall, so out of place in her baby clothes boutique made her heart leap to her throat like a gymnast on an overused trampoline.

She had practised this day over in her head just in case he took it upon himself to apologise once he found out about her long-lost identical twin. She had imagined how vindicated she would feel that he would have to admit he had got it wrong about her. She had imagined she would look at him and feel nothing, nothing but the bitter hatred of him for his cruel and ruthless rejection and his inexcusable lack of trust.

And yet that first glimpse of him sent a shockwave through her that made her feel as if the floor beneath her feet were suddenly shifting. Emotions she had bolted down with bitter determination suddenly popped against their restraints. One by one she could feel them spreading through her, making her chest ache with the weight of them. How could it physically hurt to see someone face to face? How could her heart feel pain like a stab wound at seeing his tall, imposing frame standing there? How could her insides clench and twist when his coal-black eyes met hers?

Gisele had seen him in the press several times since their break-up and although each time it had made her feel a tight sort of ache, it had felt nothing like the raw, claw-scraping pain of this.

He still had the same darkly tanned olive skin. The same Roman nose, the same penetrating dark brown eyes, the same intractable jaw that right now looked as if it hadn't seen a razor in the last thirty-six hours. The slightly wavy black hair was a little longer than the last time she had seen him—it was curling around the collar of his shirt and it looked as if his fingers had been the last thing that had moved through it. There were bruiselike shadows beneath his thickly lashed bloodshot eyes, no doubt put there by yet another sleepless night out with one of his one-night stand bimbo bed-mates, she imagined.

'Excuse me…' she said to the young mother. 'I won't be a minute.'

Gisele walked over to where he was standing next to the premature baby clothes. He had one of his hands on a tiny vest that had a pink rosebud with little green leaves embroidered at the neck. The vest looked so tiny against his hand and it occurred to her then that Lily would have been too small for it when she had been born.

'Can I help you with something?' she asked with a brittle look.

Emilio's eyes meshed with hers, holding them captive. 'I think you know why I am here, Gisele,' he said in that deep, rich voice she had missed so much. It moved along her skin like a caress, settling at the base of her spine like a warm pool of slowly spreading honey.

Gisele had to fight hard to keep her emotions in check. This was not the time to show him she was still affected by him, even if it was only physically. She had to be strong, to show him he hadn't destroyed her life with his lack of trust. She had to show him she had moved on, that she was self-sufficient and successful. She had to show him he meant nothing to her now. She drew in a breath and lifted her chin, keeping her voice cool and composed. 'Of course.' She gave him an impersonal on-off movement of her lips that was nowhere near a smile. 'How could I forget? The two-for-one sale on all-in-one suits we have on at the moment. You can have blue, pink or yellow. I'm afraid we're all out of the white.'

His gaze never once wavered from hers; it was as dark and mesmerising as ever. 'Is there somewhere we could talk in private?' he asked.

Gisele straightened her shoulders. 'As you can see I have customers to see to,' she said, indicating with a waft of her hand the young woman browsing along the racks.

'Are you free for lunch?' he asked, still watching her steadily.

Gisele wondered if he was studying her for flaws. Could he see the way her once creamy skin had lost its glow? Could he see the shadows below and in her eyes that no amount of make-up could disguise? He had always prized perfection. Not just in his work but in every facet of his life. He would find her sadly lacking now, she thought, in spite of her name and reputation finally being cleared. 'I own and run this business,' she said with more than a hint of pride. 'I don't take a lunch break.'

Gisele saw his dark critical gaze sweep over the baby wear boutique she had bought a few weeks after he had cut her from his life just days before their wedding. Building it up from yet another struggling suburban retail outlet to the successful exclusive affair it was now had been the only thing that had got her through the heartbreak of the past two years.

Some well meaning friends, along with her mother, had suggested it would have been better to have sold the business as soon as she had been told Lily wasn't going to make it, but somehow, in her mind, holding on to the shop was a way to hold on to her fragile little daughter for just that little bit longer. She felt close to Lily here, surrounded by the handmade blankets and bonnets and booties she made for other babies to wear. It was her only connection now with motherhood and she wasn't going to relinquish it in spite of the pain it caused to see those brand-new prams being pushed through the door day after day. No one knew how hard it was for her to look and not touch those precious little bundles inside. No one knew how long at night she clung to the bunny blanket she had made for Lily's tiny body to be wrapped in during those few short hours of her life.

Emilio's eyes came back to connect with hers. 'Dinner then,' he said. 'You don't work past six, do you?'

Gisele watched in irritation as the young mother left the shop, no doubt put off by Emilio's brooding presence. She sent him a glare. 'Dinner is out of the question,' she said. 'I have another engagement.'

'Are you involved with someone?' he asked, pinning her with his eyes.

She worked hard at keeping her composure. Did he really think she would have dived headfirst into another relationship after what he had done to her? She often wondered if she would ever feel safe in a relationship again. But she daren't admit to her singleton status. She had a feeling he wasn't just here to apologise and to clear the air between them. She could see it in the dark magnetic pull of his gaze. She could sense it in the atmosphere, the way the air she shared with him thickened with each breath she took into her lungs. Damn it, she could even feel it in her traitorous body as it reacted to his dark, disturbing presence the way it had always done in the past. Her senses went on full alert, her legs giving a little tremble as she thought of how he had taught her all she knew about physical intimacy, how it had been his body and his alone that had shown her what hers had been capable of in giving and receiving pleasure. 'I can't see how that is any of your business,' she said with a hoist of her chin.

A muscle flexed beside his mouth. 'I know this is hard for you, Gisele,' he said. 'It's hard for me too.'

'Meaning you never thought you'd ever have to apologise to me for getting it wrong?' she asked with a cutting look. 'Hate to say I told you so.'

His expression immediately became shuttered, closed off, remote. 'I'm not proud of how I ended things,' he said. 'But you would have done the same if things were the other way around.'

'You're wrong, Emilio,' she said. 'I would have looked high and low for an alternative explanation for how that tape came about.'

'For God's sake, Gisele,' he said roughly. 'Do you think I didn't look for an explanation? You told me you were an only child. You didn't even know you had a twin. How was I supposed to come up with something as bizarre as that? I looked at that tape and I saw you. I saw the same silver-blonde hair, the same grey-blue eyes, even the same mannerisms. I had no choice but to believe what I was seeing.'

'You did have a choice,' Gisele said, shooting him a blistering glare. 'You could have believed me in spite of, not because of, the evidence. But you didn't love me enough to trust me. You didn't love me at all. You just wanted a perfect wife to hang off your arm. That wretched tape tarnished me so I was of no further use to you. It wouldn't have mattered if the truth had come out in two minutes or two hours instead of two years. Your business was always going to be the priority. You put it before everything.'

'I put my business on hold to come out here to see you,' he said, frowning at her broodingly.

'You've seen me, so now you can jump back on your private jet and fly all the way back,' she said, sending him a haughty look as she spun on her heel.

'Damn it, Gisele,' he said, snagging one of her arms to stall her.

Meet the Author

Melanie Milburne read her first Harlequin at age seventeen in between studying for her final exams. After completing a Masters Degree in Education she decided to write a novel and thus her career as a romance author was born. Melanie is an ambassador for the Australian Childhood Foundation and is a keen dog lover and trainer and enjoys long walks in the Tasmanian bush. In 2015 Melanie won the  HOLT Medallion, a prestigous award honouring outstanding literary talent. 

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Deserving of His Diamonds? (Harlequin Presents Series #3080) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
Deserving of his Diamonds by Melanie Milburne 4 STARS I would have read this book faster if not for the tears making it hard to see the words. I feel like I have been in a emotional wringer with this book. It does have love scenes in the book. Gisle found her fiance did not trust her when he heard and saw her on line in a sex tape. He kicked her out of his house told her to never contact him again. Gisele was heart broken that he did not believe her. Two years later Emilio Andreoni read in the paper about her twin being reunited. Emilio who was building a perfect life found he was not perfect but made a big mistake. Gisele Carter did not know she was a twin. Her father did not let her know that he had an affair that resulted in twin girls. Each parent took one twin. Gisele owns a baby store with clothes and she will do personal needle work that the customers want on it. One day she looks up and her former fiance is thier wanting to say he was sorry. She did not want anything to do with him. He threw her away days before thier wedding. Since that time she had thier baby and lost her. She still has a hard time eating and sleeping. Work is all she does now. Emilio wants her back. When she refuses to even talk to her he buys her building than offers her a million dollars for a month of her time. She agrees for two months. She wants to make him sorry he let her go. They find out they did not know each other as well as they thought when they were a couple before. Thier were a few scenes that just it me hard. I like Gisele and would like to get to know more about her twin in a future book. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review from Netgalley. 08/01/2012 PUB Harlequin Presents
DrAnneUT More than 1 year ago
Deserving of His Diamonds By Melanie Milburn Published by Harlequin ISBN 9780373130863 This book was supplied to me by the publisher via NetGalley in return for the promise of a fair and honest review if I chose to review the book. I will say at the outset that I didn’t like this book. Mainly I didn’t like the hero, Emilio, because of his too-rigid mindset, although he was now trying to make amends for it. But to decide that Gisele was worthy of his diamonds is too small for his world, and proclaims that world too small, and too unworthy, of Giselle. He had wanted Giselle as his wife because she seemed so patient and malleable he thought he could control her the way he controlled his businesses. She would accept, and follow, everything he told her to do. He didn’t respect her as an individual, as a woman, as his wife-to-be. And when the blue films turned up that appeared to show Giselle in highly compromising situations, he refused to believe her denials, no matter how much she cried, screamed, proclaimed her innocence. He forbade her ever to attempt to contact him again. That had been years ago. “And for all this time he had blamed Gisele. He had fuelled his hatred of her every day since. It had festered inside him like a gangrenous wound.” And he had been wrong. It had been an unknown identical twin who had made the film. Meanwhile Giselle had borne his child, knowing from the third month of pregnancy that the tiny girl could not survive. She had lived only four hours after birth. Out of some kind of desire to make amends to the child who couldn’t live, or to be around babies who had lived, Giselle had established a baby clothes boutique, for which she personally made and embroidered all the things she sold. (I question the logistics of this. It takes too long to do hand embroidery for one woman to keep even a very snooty boutique stocked.) It was there that Emilio went when he decided he had to apologize to Giselle in person, that a telephone call or an email was insufficient. “She had practiced this day over in her head just in case he took it upon himself to apologize once he found out about her long-lost identical twin. She had imagined how vindicated she would feel that he would have to admit that he had got it wrong about her. She had imagined she would look at him and feel nothing, nothing but the bitter hatred of him for his cruel and ruthless rejection and his inexcusable lack of trust.” Of course, it doesn’t happen that way. He has always prized perfection in everything, and in her eyes he is as perfect as ever. She wonders whether he will notice that she is now too thin, that her skin has lost its glow, her hair its luster. But he doesn’t. He makes it clear that he wants her back, under the same terms as before. The same terms are what he does not get. He winds up agreeing to pay her two million dollars to live with him and pretend to be engaged again for one month, after which she is free to do whatever she wants to do. So she winds up back in his house, and life, and of course bed, where he is so unobservant he doesn’t notice the stretch marks that are certain to be there. Of course all comes right in the end, and he (!)decides that her little boutique should spread, which will mean hiring managers and saleswomen and handworkers to do the embroidery and will remove the personality from the boutiques. But that can’t possibly matter to Giselle, who becomes—after all—the trophy wife to a rich man who demands perfection. To prove how perfect he is, he meets and forgives her sister. Maybe you will like Deserving of his Diamonds. As I said to start with, I don’t. Giselle is a little too patient and forgiving for my taste, and no matter how penitent he might feel, he doesn’t act penitent. Anne Wingate Author of Scene of the Crime and other works of fiction and nonfiction.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Posted on Romancing the Book's blog Reviewed by~Desere Review Copy Povided by~the Author By now I have learned that in a Melanie Milburne book there is always some twist that you do not see coming and ends in sometimes disastrous consequences and other times with a delicious ending. In the first installment of the stories of duet sisters we meet Gisele, years ago she lost it all, the man she loved, her pride and good name and also the most precious gift she ever knew. Now she is a well established business woman taking each day at a time and trying not to think of the one man that she loved with all her heart and in the end nearly destroyed her. Suddenly the man himself, Emilio, makes a comeback. He has come to apologize but one look at Gisele and he develops a sudden change of plans. He will gain her trust and prove she is worthy of being his woman again. He blackmails and emotionally tortures her into submission, but what will he do when Gisele’s secret is revealed. Will he throw her out and walk away from her again or will he stand by her? Right here is where you will be hanging onto your seat just as I did. I could not wait to see what he would do and the result was a wonderful new and fresh reaction that I have not come across in other similar book before.  In true Melanie Milburne form, she weaves a story of passion, intrigue, romance and love with a fabulous twist. I loved how the author takes us back into the past in order to reveal the future of Emilio and Gisele. I also loved how the author made the book feel so real, as sometimes when reading a romance novel the characters and their stories feel so fake. Yes, I know they are but sometimes it just feels so out of touch with reality. Melanie Milburne created a story that had me so emotionally involved that I actually cried real tears right along with Gisele and the terrible pain she goes through.
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Clarisack More than 1 year ago
I like the story and I recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please move camp to moon all results due to my lock out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a moving story. I cried off and on thru the whole story. I also lost a child who only lived a couple of hours and the author got the feelings and guilt that parents go thru right on. Please read this book and enjoy this very moving love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago