The Rodrigues Pregnancy (Harlequin Presents #2381) [NOOK Book]

The Rodrigues Pregnancy (Harlequin Presents #2381)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426872891
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 8/23/2010
  • Series: Foreign Affairs Series , #2381
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 177,261
  • File size: 396 KB

Read an Excerpt

The Rodrigues Pregnancy


By Anne Mather

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-12381-7


Chapter One

THE villa dreamed in the afternoon sunlight. Pale stone walls, blush pink tiles dripping with purple and white bougainvillea that curled over the eaves and framed the shuttered windows. There was iron grill-work circling the first floor gallery, a dark contrast to the vivid colours of the flowers. It was everything Olivia had hoped it would be and more besides.

It wasn't big. Indeed, compared to the houses she'd shared with Tony over the years, it was almost conservatively small. But that suited her. She didn't want big. She didn't want impressive. She just wanted somewhere she could call her own. Somewhere she could live unnoticed, undisturbed.

Beyond the gardens - lush lawns and rioting vegetation - the blue-green waters of the Caribbean creamed onto an almost white beach. It was delightful, it was heaven, and it was hers - for the next few months at least.

But Olivia shivered suddenly as the memory of why she was here swept over her. Tony was dead. Her husband of more than fifteen years had died as he had lived, screwing his latest mistress. And, as if that weren't enough, the police had informed her that they'd both been high on cocaine at the time.

Naturally the press had indulged in a feeding frenzy at these revelations. Antonio Mora had always been news and, even though he was dead, he'd continued to excite speculation. Particularly as his latest partner had been the wife of a local senator.

Of course that aspect of the affair had soon been hushed up, and the question of why Olivia had remained married to him for so many years had resurfaced with predictable ease. It had always been assumed that she'd overlooked his many sexual exploits because of his money. But it wasn't true. If she'd divorced Tony she'd still have been a wealthy woman. She'd signed no prenuptial agreement. A good lawyer could have probably ensured that she'd get half of everything Tony had.

No, it was Luis who had ensured that she and her husband stayed together. Luis, who had been only three when she'd come to work for Tony as the boy's nanny. And, after discovering the fiasco of their whirlwind marriage, it had been Luis she'd continued to love.

Not that Tony had been an unkind man. When they'd met for the first time, she'd been instantly attracted by his charm and good looks. What she hadn't realised was that Tony had a different agenda. While she'd been looking for a lasting relationship, he'd been looking for a mother for his son.

He'd known she would never do anything to hurt Luis. The child had taken to her from the start and she'd let that blind her to his father's faults. Besides, after a fairly ordinary upbringing in England, she'd been flattered by Tony's interest in her. No one knew better than she did how persuasive he could be.

Tony's funeral had been a nightmare. Reporters from more than a dozen countries had been jostling for pictures of the 'grieving' widow. The fact that Olivia had found it impossible to put on a show for the media had aroused even more speculation. When she'd stood dry-eyed beside her husband's coffin Olivia hadn't realised that it would be her picture that would dominate the headlines for the following week.

Yet, she'd got over it. And she had cried, too, in her suite at the house Tony had owned in Bal Harbour. They'd been together too many years for her not to feel some emotion. And she had cared for him once before she'd learned what a liar he could be.

But, ultimately, it wasn't Tony's lies that had driven her to seek this seclusion. Her hand probed the slight swell of her stomach and her teeth dug into her lip. She was a liar, too, though there was no one now to accuse her of being a hypocrite. The guilt she had she shared with no one but herself.

And for weeks after Tony's death she hadn't allowed herself to think about what had happened the night he'd died. She'd been kept too busy sorting out his affairs to pay any attention to herself. Which was good. When her mind was busy, she could put the past behind her. She could pretend that she hadn't sacrificed her self-respect.

Avoiding Christian Rodrigues had been harder. The man who had been her husband's deputy, and with whom he had shared a common heritage, had never been easy to ignore. But he had shamed her; he had made her no better than the husband whose faithlessness she had despised. And now he was behaving as if it mattered to him what happened to her. That he had some right to say how she conducted her life from now on.

It was ludicrous. He didn't care about her. He'd proved that by seducing her that night. She couldn't bear to be around him knowing how he felt about her.

She was pretty sure he despised himself for allowing it to happen.

She knew that he'd felt sorry for her. She was too old, after all; too unglamorous to attract a man like him. Christian was like Tony. He was ambitious as well as clever. When he chose a wife, she'd have status as well as beauty.

It was when she'd discovered she was expecting Christian's baby that she'd realised she had to get away. With Luis in college in San Francisco, there was nothing to stop her from leaving Miami. San Gimeno had seemed the perfect destination, and escaping here had been easier than she'd thought.

For once, she'd appreciated the advantages that money had given her. Although much of his estate was in trust until Luis's twenty-first birthday, Tony had left her well provided for. Of the six properties he'd owned around the world, two of them - the mansion in Bal Harbour and an apartment in Miami - now belonged to Olivia. And with a trust fund that would pay her something in the region of two million dollars a year, she need never worry about security again.

Olivia had her own plans, however. As soon as - well, as soon as she returned to the States she intended to donate much of her inheritance to her favourite charities. She would keep enough for her and her baby to live on. But she had no desire for her child to know the hollow existence Luis had endured for so many years.

Nevertheless, she'd been grateful for the luxury of hiring a private jet to bring her to the island. She wanted no one to know where she was until her baby was born. She didn't want to hurt Luis, and she would miss his regular phone calls, but Christian must never know what he'd done.

One of the smaller islands in the Bahamas group, San Gimeno had been left virtually untouched by the tourist boom. There were few hotels to speak of and its economy depended on its agriculture and fishing industries. It was the perfect retreat and although she'd only been here a couple of months, she loved it already.

Leaving the veranda where she'd been sitting enjoying the view, Olivia trod across the grass to the palm-fringed dunes that edged the beach. The turf was coarse beneath her feet, but she was getting used to going barefoot. It gave her a sense of freedom and she liked it.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Rodrigues Pregnancy by Anne Mather Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2011

    UNLIKEABLE CHARACTERS

    I didnt care for any of the characters.Also, the author did no research regarding prematurity or breech birth.Skip this one

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    Great read

    Recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Great storie

    Read it 4times

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted November 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted June 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted March 29, 2013

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    Posted August 2, 2011

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