Tycoon's Princess Bride (Harlequin Presents #2667) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Tall, dark and dangerous--the man from Mont Avellana...

Black-hearted billionaire Domenic Vincini wants the lush riches of rival island Niroli, including the jewel in Niroli's crown--Princess Isabella Fierezza. She's forbidden, but to Domenic, a man scarred inside and out, that makes her innocence all the more appealing. If Isabella gives in to temptation she'll tie herself--and her kingdom--to its sworn enemy....

...
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Tycoon's Princess Bride (Harlequin Presents #2667)

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Overview

Tall, dark and dangerous--the man from Mont Avellana...

Black-hearted billionaire Domenic Vincini wants the lush riches of rival island Niroli, including the jewel in Niroli's crown--Princess Isabella Fierezza. She's forbidden, but to Domenic, a man scarred inside and out, that makes her innocence all the more appealing. If Isabella gives in to temptation she'll tie herself--and her kingdom--to its sworn enemy....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426806667
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Series: Royal House of Niroli Series , #2667
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 187,601
  • File size: 132 KB

Meet the Author

At primary school, Natasha Oakley wrote that she wanted to be an author when she grew up. It seemed like a good idea at the time—she liked books and didn't want to leave home. But at 14 she discovered theater. It quickly became a passion and, for some time, she forgot all about writing and immersed herself in Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov.

After graduating from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, one of London's top drama schools, Natasha started working under her Equity name of Jessica Dean. The birth of her first son changed her priorities. Natasha didn't want to leave home again.

She began writing as a "creative displacement activity" when her fifth child started sleeping through the night. 60,000 words later she'd created some fantastic characters and a book with no plot at all. Terrible though it was, the ambition to be an author was reborn. Since Natasha has a tendency to flick through novels to check if it has a happy ending, it was easy to decide the kind of stories she wanted to write.

Her second submission to Mills & Boon was accepted in December 2003. She lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and five children. Her house is in a constant state of disarray, but she makes great cakes, writes books and no one seems to mind.

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Read an Excerpt

Her Royal Highness, Princess Isabella of Niroli knew from the flashing pinprick of green light in the far right-hand corner of the conference room that she was being watched.
And she didn't like it. Not one bit. She straightened her spine in one tiny, barely perceptible movement and let absolutely no emotion appear on her face. She was used to surveillance. Telephoto lenses were aggressively focussed on her every time she stepped out of doors and even the fairly basic security system in her family's fourteenth century castle was considerably more sophisticated than the one protecting Domenic Vincini's inner sanctum.
Even so…
That blinking green light made her feel irritated. She twisted the fine platinum bangle of her wrist watch so the diamond encrusted face was uppermost and looked at the time.
How much longer was she prepared to wait for Signore Vincini to put in an appearance? Five minutes? Ten? How many before she appeared too desperate?
Maybe it was already too late to think about that? Maybe by forcing this meeting she'd already undermined her barAnd, in all those months, she'd not once met Signore Vincini, the power behind the Vincini Group and the man who would ultimately make the decision.
She'd been warned that he was a man who could not be forced…or cajoled. Rumour had it that he worked like an automaton and made his judgements without reference to anything other than the 'bottom line'. In recent years he'd stopped visiting his proposed investments or, indeed, the existing hotels he owned across the Mediterranean, yet he somehow managed to keep a finger on the pulse.
Back on Niroli that had sounded exaggerated. Surely a developmentthe size of the one they proposed would warrant a more personal involvement…but, what if it was true?
Perhaps her 'charm offensive' was, at best, pointless and at worst…
Damn.
She didn't want to think about failure. Isabella stared unseeing across the width of the conference room. There was so much resting on her ability to bring this deal together— not least her own future on Niroli. Her hand moved to twist her watch round once more. She'd give him another five minutes and then—
'Your Royal Highness?'
Isabella turned at the sound of a hesitant voice. The quietly handsome man who'd ushered her into the room twenty minutes earlier let go of the door handle and unconsciously flexed his fingers.
'M-may I offer you something to drink, Your Highness?' 'Nothing, thank you.' She smiled, and then watched with resignation the slow blush that moved up from his neck.
Why did men react like that? She'd chosen her clothes so carefully in the hope she'd be seen as something other than an elegant coat hanger. There wasn't much else she could do, short of sticking a paper bag over her head and wearing a bin liner—which probably wouldn't help her be taken seriously either.
'S-signore Vincini wondered…if…' he cleared his throat '…I might assist you? R-rather than keep you waiting any longer.'
Her eyes flicked up to the pulsing green light. Was Domenic Vincini watching this? Somehow she felt certain he was—an all-seeing omnipotent being. 'I'll wait.'
'I've been asked to say that Signore Vincini is delayed indefinitely. He sends his apologies and—'
'Then I'll wait indefinitely,' she said, cutting him off, her voice uncharacteristically crisp.
Isabella watched the nervous bob of his Adam's apple and allowed herself to feel a moment's sympathy, but not so much that she'd do as he wanted. She couldn't.
Whatever Signore Vincini felt about her being here, there was no point in trying to explain the complex rivalry that existed between Niroli and Mont Avellana to this man. He wouldn't understand.
No one born away from the islands would appreciate the depth of mistrust. It had been built over centuries and was practically sewn into the fabric of daily life. And, in her opinion, it was time it stopped.
She picked up her briefcase and set it out on the table. With practised fingers she manipulated the combination lock and opened the case out. 'Perhaps I might have a glass of water after all?'
A sharp frown snapped across Domenic Vincini's face as his half-sister perched her bottom on the edge of his wide desk. 'Is there something you want?'
'I've come to talk to you.' 'I'm busy,' he said, retrieving the papers she'd dislodged. 'You're always busy.' Silvana picked up his letter opener and idly ran her fingers over the pewter point, the fact that she was messing with his things was as irritating as her being here. 'You must know you can't keep her waiting for ever. She's obviously not going anywhere until she's spoken to you, so why put off the inevitable?'
'She' being Her Royal Highness, the Princess Isabella of Niroli. His eyes flicked over to the closed-circuit television screen on his desk. 'It was her choice to come without an appointment—'
'You wouldn't have given her one if she'd asked.' Domenic sat back in his chair and looked at his half-sister. 'Because it's unnecessary,'he agreed smoothly. 'Eduardo can tell her everything she needs to know.'
'She's waiting to talk to you.' 'Even a Nirolian princess must have met with disappointment before.'
What was it about Princess Isabella that made everyone think it necessary for him to immediately stop what he was doing? As if he didn't know. He rubbed a tired hand over his face. She had the kind of smile that made the paparazzi scramble and strong men falter.
'Can't you sit on a chair like a normal person?' he snapped. 'No, if I did you'd ignore me. This way I know I've got your attention.' Silvana returned the letter opener to his desk and studied him for a moment. 'It would take ten minutes of your time. You do want to build on Niroli, don't you?'
'Mildly.'
She let out her breath in one go. 'You're being offered nine thousand two hundred acres with forty-two miles of water-front. This isn't a take-it-or-leave-it kind of offer, it's a fantastic opportunity.'
'It's an option—' 'It's more than that and you know it. Damn it, this is what you said you wanted. Years ago. This was the grand plan.'
Something to rival Sardinia's Costa Smeralda… He remembered.
'Actually, it's better. It's on Niroli. Twelve years ago, when we first started talking about a luxury purpose-built resort, no one thought that a remote possibility. It doesn't get more perfect than this,'his half-sister continued, her expressive hands moving as quickly as she spoke. 'Luca Fierezza's casinos already bring in the kind of clientele we need.As does the annual opera season and the very fact Niroli still has a monarchy brings a certain charm. This is everything you and Jolanda talked about doing.'
Together. They'd talked about doing it together. And on Mont Avellana. 'I'm considering it—'
'What you're doing is letting it slip through your fingers— and I don't understand why. If we don't take up the opportunity soon, then Princess Isabella will look elsewhere.' 'That's her prerogative.'
Silvana let out an exasperated scream. 'This deal is worth billions—'
'This deal will cost billions,' Domenic slid in quietly. 'Which you knew when you began negotiations.' His eyes narrowed. True. He'd known that, but this was Niroli. The arguments for and against buying the land were so personal, and so interwoven, he couldn't tell which side they fell.
'So what's changed? It's not as though you're miraculously prepared to consider developing the land we have on Mont Avellana—'
With an abrupt movement Domenic sat forward. Just the mention of his birth-island caused images to flash through his mind with fierce rapidity. It hurt. Still. He picked up his fountain pen and twisted it between long, lean fingers.
Silvana bit her lip. 'I'm sorry.' 'It's nothing.' Domenic's voice sounded rough even to his own ears. Nothing? How could he say that? Traumatic memories crowded round, fresh and clear. He could see the fire licking through the roof. Hear the shouting. Even taste the bitter, acrid smoke in the back of his throat.
And he could smell the burning—indescribable, but unforgettable…
In the air, on his clothes, in his hair.
He swallowed painfully. After four years there should be a way of managing his experience. He ought to have found a way of keeping control and…
'I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry. I didn't think.' Focus on the practical. Time had taught him to concentrate on the matter-of-fact rather than his emotions. And the fact was Mont Avellana wouldn't seduce Europe's rich and famous away from Sardinia, Sicily and a fast-developing Niroli. It had the white sandy beaches, but little else when compared to its nearest neighbour.
Domenic set his pen down on the table with meticulous care. 'Are you angry I've not developed the palazzo?'
'Of course not,' Silvana said a little too quickly. She climbed off the desk and walked over to the water cooler. 'It has to be your decision. Whatever you feel is right…'
He watched as she pressed the button to fill a cup with ice-cold water. His decision to make. So why did he feel as though the empty palazzo was a quiet rebuke?
'Do you want any?'she asked with a look over her shoulder. Domenic shook his head and spoke quietly. 'Mont Avellana lacks the infrastructure of—'
'I know. Nothing's in place.' Silvana walked back and pressed a light kiss on the top of his head.
But…? He waited for the 'but'. However sorry she might be, he knew his half-sister too well to think that the conversation was over.
'And I agree. Totally.' She smoothed a hand across his shoulder. 'Mont Avellana probably isn't right for us.'
Still he waited. The rest of the world tiptoed round him, fearful of saying anything that might remind him how much he'd lost. But Silvana had no such sensitivity. She just ploughed in and told him what she thought—even though she'd been standing beside him when his life had fallen apart.
Perhaps because she'd been standing there…? 'Jolanda wouldn't blame you for reacting to market circumstances, you must know that. So why haven't you signed? What's going on, Dom? This could all have been settled weeks and weeks ago.'
Domenic twisted his pen and watched the light play on the sleek metal. The 'why' was complicated. If he'd been the kind of man who believed his problems could be solved by therapy, no doubt his analyst would have had a field day on the 'why' of it.
'And why keep Princess Isabella sitting in the conference room for twenty-five minutes?'
'Eventually she'll speak to Eduardo,'he said with assumed nonchalance.
'And if she doesn't?'
Domenic shrugged. 'I dislike having my hand forced.' Silvana sat herself in the chair on the other side of his desk. 'That's not what's happening. She's en route to Niroli and stopped off as a courtesy to—'
'That's what she told you?' he asked. 'She hasn't had to. Everyone knows she's been at the wedding in Belstenstein as King Giorgio's representative. She wore a Mariabella Ricci dress in the palest pink. Absolutely fabulous.'
Domenic stood up and walked slowly over to the large picture window with its view of the painfully modern rooftop garden. Jolanda would have hated the angular lines. He should never have allowed it. He looked over his shoulder. 'Perhaps a reasonable percentage might also know Rome isn't en route to Niroli from Belstenstein.'
'She might have other business in Rome.' 'Unlikely.' Domenic smiled grimly. Now, if there'd been a film première in Rome this weekend, a fashion show…
'You're deliberately missing the point.' 'No, you are.' He turned. 'If I decide to build on Niroli it'll be because I believe it'll be profitable. No other reason. If I decide not to, it's because I believe it won't be. But, before I commit myself to a decision either way, I want to know why Luca Fierezza has decided to concentrate on projects away from the island.'
Silvana's mouth dropped open. 'How the…hell do you know he's going to do that?'
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    My favorite book of the entire series! It was so touching and Is

    My favorite book of the entire series! It was so touching and Isabella was so beautiful inside and out. Highly recommend. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Tear jerker

    Went thru a few kleenexs with this one. So much pain to overcome. Read and enjoy. Very good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

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    Posted October 3, 2010

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    Posted March 21, 2011

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    Posted August 12, 2011

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