One Night in the Orient. Robyn Donald

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Название One Night in the Orient
Автор произведения Robyn Donald
Жанр Контркультура
Серия Mills & Boon Modern
Издательство Контркультура
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781408926031

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       Siena wished fervently Nick hadn’t come in.

      Five years had gone by since she’d seen him last—she’d grown up from the naïve nineteen-year-old she’d been then, abandoning her adolescent fantasies of the perfect hero.

      It was stupid to be so affected by his arrival.

      Not that she’d been the only woman in the room to notice him. His arrogantly handsome features and leanly muscled height gave him a potent charisma that had caught the eye of most of the women in the restaurant.

      A very dangerous charisma.

       Don’t go there …

      About the Author

      ROBYN DONALD can’t remember not being able to read, and will be eternally grateful to the local farmers who carefully avoided her on a dusty country road as she read her way to and from school, transported to places and times far away from her small village in Northland, New Zealand. Growing up fed her habit. As well as training as a teacher, marrying, and raising two children, she discovered the delights of romances and read them voraciously—especially enjoying the ones written by New Zealand writers. So much so that one day she decided to write one herself. Writing soon grew to be as much of a delight as reading—although infinitely more challenging—and when eventually her first book was accepted by Mills & Boon she felt she’d arrived home. She still lives in a small town in Northland, with her family close by, using the landscape as a setting for much of her work. Her life is enriched by the friends she’s made among writers and readers, and complicated by a determined Corgi called Buster, who is convinced that blackbirds are evil entities. Her greatest hobby is still reading, with travelling a very close second.

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       One Night in the Orient

       Robyn Donald

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      LIFTING a glass of excellent French champagne, Siena Blake said, “Mum and Dad—here’s to your next thirty years together! May they be even happier than the ones you’ve already had.”

      Diane Blake smiled, serenely elegant in the unfamiliar surroundings of an extremely upmarket London hotel. “Darling, if they’re only half as good as the past thirty years they’ll be wonderful.”

      Siena’s father gave his wife a look that combined pride and love.

      “They’ll be better,” he said confidently, “and one reason for that is our great good luck with our children. So I’ll return the toast—here’s to our twins, Siena and Gemma, for making our lives much fuller and more interesting.”

      He raised his glass, adding slyly, “Although at our advanced ages I suppose we’re now expected to be eagerly waiting for grandchildren.”

      Sparks flashed from the diamond in Siena’s engagement ring as candlelight danced across her taut fingers.

      Her voice rang a little false in her ears when she said, “Well, I shouldn’t think Gemma has any maternal ambitions. She hasn’t yet found a man she’d like to marry, and you’d better give Adrian and me a few years yet.” Ignoring a nagging, unwelcome doubt, she took a sip of champagne and set her glass down. “Anyway, the important occasion right now is your anniversary.”

      A little wistfully her mother said, “The only thing that would be more perfect is if Gemma could have been here too.” She smiled. “But she can’t, and your arrival yesterday was such a wonderful surprise. I’m only sorry Adrian couldn’t make it with you.”

      Siena thrust aside her strange ambivalence. “He sends his love and best wishes, but he just couldn’t take time off work.”

      Her parents understood. Together they’d built a business from nothing to a modest prosperity, and with their daughters had lived through times of hard work and sacrifices.

      Swiftly Siena added, “Anyway, in a few weeks you’ll be home again in New Zealand, and we can celebrate again with Gemma and Adrian and all your friends.” She lifted her glass again. “So here’s to safe journeys. And a truly fantastic cruise for you both.”

      As long as she could remember her parents had dreamed of cruising—of taking a leisurely trip through the Caribbean Sea and central America. After years of saving they’d finally set out on a round-the-world odyssey, first touring the United Kingdom before flying out early the next morning to join their ship.

      A subdued flurry at the entrance caught her attention. Looking past her mother, she noted with hidden amusement the stately maître d’hotel increase pace perceptibly as he made his way across the room to greet some newcomers.

      Clearly important newcomers. He’d barely acknowledged Siena when she’d arrived to join her parents.

      At the unexpected sight of the man who’d just walked in, Siena’s heart performed a swift jig in her chest. Setting down her glass with a sharp little movement, she asked abruptly, “Is Nick here to celebrate with us?”

      Her parents’ surprised looks told her he wasn’t. Diane said, “Our Nick?”

      “Nicholas Grenville,” Siena said, the sound of his name on her tongue tinged with bitterness and shame.

      Flinching at her mother’s surprised look, she composed her face and disciplined her voice into a steadiness she was far from feeling. “He’s just walked in with a stunning woman.”

      Without turning, Diane asked, “An ash-blonde? Tall, coolly exquisite, superbly dressed?”

      “That certainly sounds like the same person.” Although all Nick’s lovers had been blonde, coolly exquisite, sophisticated, et cetera.

      All except one …

      Banishing that extremely unwanted thought, she said hastily, “You know, it seems so unfair I should be barely five foot four inches high when everyone else in our immediate family is tall and elegant.”

      Even Nick. Unconsciously her gaze flicked across the room as Nick and his partner were shown into an area hidden from most of the diners by a screen of greenery.

      Of all the unwelcome coincidences! At least he hadn’t seen them.

      Smiling, her voice teasing, she said, “Are you sure the nurses in the maternity