A Stormy Spanish Summer

By: Penny Jordan


‘Why have you come here, Felicity?’

The coldness in Vidal’s voice stirred Fliss’s pride.

‘You know perfectly well why I am here. I’m here because of my father’s will.’

As she spoke the words my father, Fliss felt her emotions pushing up under the control she always tried to impose on them. There had been so much pain, so much confusion, so much shame within her over the years, born of the rejection of her and her mother by her father’s family. And for her it was Vidal who personified that rejection. Vidal who’d denied and hurt her—in many ways far more than her father himself.

The truth was that she wasn’t here at all because of any material benefit that accrued to her from her father’s will, but because of the emotional benefit—the emotional healing she longed for so much. But there was no power on this earth that would ever be able to force her to reveal that truth to Vidal.

About the Author

PENNY JORDAN has been writing for more than twenty-five years and has an outstanding record: over 185 novels published, including the phenomenally successful A PERFECT FAMILY, TO LOVE, HONOUR AND BETRAY, THE PERFECT SINNER AND POWER PLAY, which hit the Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller lists. She says she hopes to go on writing until she has passed the 200 mark, and maybe even the 250 mark.

Although Penny was born in Preston, Lancashire, UK, and spent her childhood there, she moved to Cheshire as a teenager, and has continued to live there. Following the death of her husband she moved to the small traditional Cheshire market town on which she based her Crighton books.

She lives with her Birman cat—Posh, who tries to assist her with her writing by sitting on the newspapers and magazines that Penny reads to provide her with ideas she can adapt for her fictional books.

Penny is a member and supporter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Romance Writers of America—two organisations dedicated to providing support for both published and yet-to-be published authors.



CHAPTER ONE

‘FELICITY.’

There was no emotion in the voice of the tall, dark-haired, aristocratic Spaniard looking down at her from his six-feet-plus height. No welcome of any kind for her. But even without the disapproval and the almost rigid distaste she could see in his expression, Felicity knew that Vidal y Salvadores, Duque de Fuentualba, would never welcome her presence here on his home soil—her home soil in one sense, given that her late father was Spanish.

Spanish, and Vidal’s adopted uncle.

It had taken every bit of courage she’d had and nights of sleeplessness for her to come here, but there was no way she was going to let Vidal know that. No quarter would be asked from him by her, because she knew that none would be given. She had had proof of that.

Panic fluttered in her stomach, rising swiftly inside her to set her heart thudding and her pulse racing. She must not think about that. Not now, when she needed all her strength. When she knew that that strength would dissolve like a mirage in the heat of the Andalusian sun if she allowed those dreadful, shameful memories to surface and those sickening images to form inside her head.

Fliss felt she had never longed more for the comforting and supportive love of her mother—or even the courage-inducing presence of her trio of girlfriends. But they, like her mother, were now absent from her life. They might be alive, not dead like her mother, but their careers had taken them to distant parts of the world. Only she had remained in their home town, and was now its Deputy Tourism Director—a responsible, demanding job.

A job that meant she could tell herself she was far too busy to have the time to build up a meaningful relationship with a man?

Thinking such thoughts was like biting down on a raw nerve in a tooth, the pain immediate and sharp. Better to think about why she had decided to use some of the leave entitlement she had built up through the long hours she worked in order to come here, when the reality was that her father’s will could have been dealt with quite easily in her absence. That was certainly what Vidal would have wanted to happen.

Vidal.

If only she had the courage to fly free of her own past. If only she wasn’t shackled to the past by a shame so bone deep that she could never escape from it. If only … There were so many if onlys in her life—most of them caused by Vidal.

In the heat of the concourse outside the busy Spanish airport into which she had just flown, filled with other people milling around them, he took a step towards her. Immediately she reacted, her body tensing in angry rejecting panic, her brain freezing so that she couldn’t either speak or move.

It might have been seven years since she had last seen him, but she had recognised him immediately. Impossible for her not to do so when his features were cut so deep into her emotions. So deep and so poison-ously that even now the wounds caused by those cuts had still not healed. That was nonsense, Fliss told herself. He had no power over her now—no power of any kind. And she was here to prove that to him.

‘There was no need for you to meet me,’ she told him, forcing herself to raise her head and look him in the eyes. Those eyes that had once looked at her in a way that had flayed the skin from her pride and her self-respect and left them raw and bleeding.

Top Books