When making love, Marco D'Angelo was sensual and passionate. But when it came to declaring his love, he was unable to open his heart. When their whirlwind marriage fell apart, Payton left him, taking their two young daughters with her.
Two years later, Payton has returned to Italy--the time has come for the girls to get to know their father. At first Payton is determined to keep her distance from Marco. But on seeing him again her feelings for him can no longer be ignored...she's forced to admit that her body still yearns for her husband's touch...
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By Jane Porter
Thorndike PressCopyright © 2003 Jane Porter
All right reserved.
Chapter One"I won't let her ruin the wedding." Marco d'Angelo's deep voice rang out in the high ceiling Milan salon. He rarely raised his voice and the seamstress and models at the far end of the elegant salon briefly glanced his way before resuming the fitting.
Princess Marilena placed a light hand on Marco's arm. "She won't ruin the wedding, darling. The ceremony isn't for months."
"Two and a half months." They were getting married less than a week after the Spring show previewing the new collection, and the new collection so far hadn't come together.
They were running out of time.
"I don't think you should worry yourself yet. Things always have a way of working out," the princess added evenly.
Marco wasn't so sure. His angular jaw tightened, and his thick eyebrows lowered, becoming heavy black slashes above brooding eyes. His gaze narrowed, focused on Marilena's pale hand where it rested on his coat sleeve, studying the opulent engagement ring he'd given her less than a month ago.
He'd hunted the ring down, a three carat emerald cut diamond surrounded by sapphires in an eighteenth century gold setting. The ring had belonged to the royal Borgiano family for three centuries until Marilena's father, Prince Stefano Borgiano, had been forced to sell it twenty-five years ago.
Thearistocratic Borgiano fortunes had fallen even as the d'Angelo's had risen. But right now Marco didn't feel very blessed. He was troubled, deeply troubled, aware that the new collection lacked imagination. Inspiration.
It was, he thought irritably, boring. And that, in the fashion world, was a fate worse than death.
Like his father before him, Marco had never needed an outsider to tell him when something worked or didn't. He knew. He felt it in his gut. And his gut was telling him now that the Spring collection would be a disappointment if he didn't find the spark soon. If he couldn't make magic.
But what was the special something?
He didn't know yet, and he certainly wouldn't find the answers with his ex-wife here. "I don't trust her," he said after a moment, his voice low and rough. "Payton's only ever been interested in herself."
"She said her visit was just for holiday, didn't she?"
Marco glanced up to meet Marilena's steady gaze. She had remarkable eyes, the irises the color of caramels, the rich tawny color contrasting perfectly with her glossy black hair and lush black lashes.
As the head of d'Angelo, Milan's top fashion design house, Marco worked with stunning models every day, and had dressed many of the world's most beautiful women for nearly two decades, but Princess Marilena Borgiano was a class apart.
The hard press of his lips eased. "How can you be so understanding?" he asked, reaching into his coat pocket for a cigarette before remembering he'd promised her he'd quit smoking.
Her slim shoulders shrugged in an ultrafeminine, ultra-Italian gesture. "Because Payton's not a threat."
Marilena must have caught the arch of his eyebrows as she smiled, her full dark red mouth curving. "We've known each other a long time, Marco, you and me. We've been through a great deal together. We understand each other and we know what we want. It's different from your first marriage, yes?"
Completely different, he thought, biting down on his back teeth, his temper nearly flaring again. If pressed, he wouldn't even call the brief twenty-one month arrangement a marriage. It was more like a disaster.
No, a nightmare.
Marilena stood on tiptoe and pressed a quick kiss to his mouth. "Don't look so angry, darling. She won't be here long, and she'll have the girls with her. I know you've wanted a relationship with them -"
"That was a long time ago, before she held them hostage, before she used them against me. Maybe once they were my daughters, but they're not mine anymore. Payton made sure of that."
Marilena clucked softly. "That's not true. They're still your children. You adore the girls. I know you've missed them terribly."
Marco swallowed around the sudden lump in his throat. He had missed them. He'd missed them so much he almost felt sick inside. "Payton knows I'll sue for custody," he said after a long moment. "She knows if she comes back, she'll find it next to impossible to take them out of the country again."
Marilena cocked her head. "So, why is she bringing them here now?"
Good question, Marco thought. A very good question indeed.
Excerpted from Marco's Pride by Jane Porter Copyright © 2003 by Jane Porter. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Peyton is raising her twin daughters in California alone. When she's diagnosed with cancer, like her mom and aunt were previously, she decides to take the girls to Italy to be with their father. Although the girls consider their father (Marco) to be a stranger, Payton knows that he is the only person that can care for them if something were to happen to her. This book was full of love, love lost and love rekindled. The story was written wonderfully and kept you captivated from the beginning. I found myself rooting for Payton and wanting to dislike Marco. At the end Marco realizes the mistakes he's made in letting his pride get in the way. I would definitely recommend this book. There are a bunch of twists and turns in this book. You never know what's going to happen next and it makes it hard to put the book down. This is a must read!
Ugh i gtg but ill bbl promise!
A Story of Love and Family. Peyton turns to Marco in desperation when her cancer diagnosis makes it more important than ever for their twins to know their father. Marco's Pride is the story of the family's reunification and the couple finding their way back to love. An enjoyable read.
I couldn't out this book down. I thought I would just read a chapter or two before bed, boy was I wrong. I had to know what happened to Marco, Payton and their children. I loved that Payton was so strong in spite of all that she was feeling and going through. Porter did an excellent job of making feel all the emotions the characters were feeling. I found myself even tearing up at certain points. I loved this book!
Finished reading, couldn't put the book down. Jane Porter is a contemporary writer... there's not a lot of Romeo-fluffs in her work. It's easy to be captivated by her characters because they speak like we do today. The story is about second chances in love. The hero may be tough but he is kind and sweet. Paython is smart and lovely. They were meant to be together . I am looking forward to reading more of Jane's work. She's a personal favorite.
After a failed marriage, Peyton moves back home to raise her twin daughters on her own. An illness brings her back to Italy to her ex-husband, Marco, in hopes he will take care of his daughters while she goes through cancer treatments. But, just being back with him again brings back all kinds of feelings she tried to put behind her. Marco is engaged to be married to someone else now. This book goes through a lot of emotions from Peyton and Marco as they try to figure out what they will do next. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good romance.