Di Marcello’s Secret Son by Rachael Thomas

The challenge: to leave your billionaire lifestyle behind for two weeks…

Italian tycoon Antonio Di Marcello relishes the challenge—but running into Sadie Parker while working undercover as a mechanic rocks him to the core. Four years after their fevered fling stripped away his iron guard, he’s confronted with the shocking consequences…

Sadie has given up hope in her desperate attempts to contact Antonio. Now she has to face the day she’s both dreaded and longed for! And Antonio’s claim over her and her son is hard to resist—especially as he’ll use a sensual onslaught to get what he wants!

 

Rachael Thomas does it again! Sunshine, sizzling passion, and simmering sexual tension abound in this latest novel. Antonio Di Marcello is a real alpha male – the epitome of a rich playboy, with the billionaire lifestyle, gorgeous Italian looks, and a reputation as a real womaniser.

His first marriage to Eloisa has failed catastrophically, and as far as the press are concerned, that’s entirely down to him. His cheating ways are well documented. It seems Antonio has no heart, and no ability to love or be faithful.

Sadie is all too aware of that fact. A tempestuous weekend with Antonio took her to the heights of happiness, but she quickly crashed down to earth when Antonio abandoned her, informing her that he was to be married and telling her coldly that he can offer her nothing more. Finding herself pregnant, Sadie went to his family home to tell him of his unborn child, but was cruelly turned away by Antonio’s mother. Antonio ignored her pleading letter, and clearly wanted nothing to do with her or the baby. For three years now, Sadie has been a single parent, caring for her beloved little boy, Leo, and trying desperately to put the memory of Antonio’s cruel betrayal behind her.

When he crashes back into her life in the most unexpected way, Sadie is in turmoil. No matter what he did to her, how can she resist those dark eyes – eyes which are so like their son’s? How can she hide the passion he still ignites in her? Yet, when it becomes clear that Antonio has deceived her yet again, and that he has a very clear motive for wanting her back in his life, she knows she must hide her true feelings at all costs.

For how could a man like Antonio ever bring her happiness, when he is incapable of love?

Taking the reader on a whirlwind journey through Rome, a Caribbean island, London, and an English country estate, Rachael Thomas creates a page-turning story of a cat-and-mouse game where the stakes are high for everyone involved. Can Antonio be the father he always wanted to be? Can he be the husband Sadie deserves? Or will his cold upbringing bring nothing but disaster for his new wife and child? Read it and find out! You won’t be disappointed. 5/5

You can buy Di Marcello’s Secret Son here.

From One Night to Wife by Rachael Thomas

Gosh, I really loved this book! I confess, right here and now, that I haven’t read a Mills and Boon novel since I was a teenager, but I’ve heard so much about how they’ve changed and moved on since those days (which were, I have to admit, an awfully long time ago!) that I decided I would give one a try, and From One Night to Wife was the lucky winner.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy it at first, as I quickly realised that the heroine, Serena, was stunningly beautiful, yet still a virgin at twenty-three, until she was seduced by a drop-dead gorgeous Greek fisherman, who turned out to be a shipping billionaire. Hmm, I thought. This might not be for me, after all.
Well, I’m sorry, Rachael Thomas. I vastly underrated your storytelling abilities. Yes, Serena is beautiful, but we only see her through Nikos’ eyes. She herself states that she’s ordinary, so maybe she is, to everyone but him. Who knows? The point is, Serena holds the key, as Nikos’ grandmother gleefully tells her. The question is, the key to what? It can’t be his heart, surely, because Nikos doesn’t do love. He has been so badly damaged by his parents that he is unable to trust anyone, and refuses to allow himself to feel anything, for any woman, that is deeper than lust.
He has plenty of lust, though! Luckily for Serena, she more than matches him in that department. In fact, when the two of them get together, sparks positively fly, which is rather inconvenient, given that Serena loves Nikos but daren’t reveal that to him, and Nikos is trying desperately to deny to himself that he has any emotional attachment to Serena.
Serena has returned to Santorini to inform the fisherman that she had a fling with that their night of passion has had “consequences”. Unfortunately, she quickly discovers that Nikos lied to her about who he really is, and, faced with his evident fury as she imparts her news to him, she realises that any hopes she had of making a future with him are completely unrealistic.
But Nikos wants his heir to be legitimate. He doesn’t trust Serena, but he is willing to strike a bargain with her. They will marry, and he will be part of his child’s life. In return, he will make sure she has everything she needs and, more importantly, he will help make her sister’s dreams come true. Serena loves her sister, but Sally is going through a terrible time. If she can help her, surely marrying Nikos is the right thing to do? But, given her own childhood, spent being made to feel like a mistake by her own bitter parents, can she really inflict the same on her own baby? Is lust enough to keep Nikos and Serena together? Can Serena hide her true feelings for Nikos? And can Nikos ever open his heart to love, or will his inability to trust anyone poison not only his relationship with Serena, but with his own child?
I read this book in one evening, as I was engrossed in it. I desperately wanted Serena to find a way through to Nikos, and I wanted Nikos to stop unwittingly hurting Serena, who had her own battles to fight. In spite of the fact that I’ve always thought I could never fall for a hero who was a gorgeous Greek shipping billionaire, I did. Rachael Thomas made him irresistible! I just wanted to make everything all right for him. I also, luckily, liked Serena. She wasn’t the pushover I’d expected, and she had guts and integrity.
Their entire relationship was delightful to follow, and at times, reading the sizzling scenes between them, I realised I was turning purple. I’d forgotten to breathe! Those “love scenes” were very well written. I was positively blushing at times! All the same, I got a lump in my throat as the two of them edged tentatively towards each other, and towards a happy ending at last.
I will definitely read more of Rachael Thomas’s books. I may even try other Mills and Boon books. There’s certainly more to them than I’d realised, and I hold my hands up and admit, I was wrong. Fabulous. 5/5

You can buy From One Night to Wife here

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

sister-hood-awardMy thanks to lovely Linda Huber for nominating me for this award. I love the idea of a sisterhood. Women should support and nourish each other, and I think we mostly do. I think the popular idea is that women are natural rivals, keen to outdo each other and put each other down, but, speaking from personal experience, I find most women are all too keen to help their ‘sisters’ along the way. I, for one, am very grateful for that, and keen to repay the favour. Linda was one of the lovely authors who contributed a short story to the Write Romantics’ charity anthology, Winter Tales, so I already knew that she was one of those helpful and supportive women. She has also taken an interest in the forthcoming release of my debut novel, There Must Be An Angel, so she really is part of the sisterhood! I’m, therefore, very happy and honoured to take part in this blogging award tour, and answer her questions. Thanks, Linda.

Do you have a ‘sister’? I have a real sister, Tracey, who is two and a half years younger than me and loves to remind me of the fact. I don’t see her as often as I’d like, but I love her to bits and she is one person guaranteed to make me laugh, as well as being the person who really ‘gets’ me. She has known me all her life, after all, and still speaks to me! I think, sometimes, she thinks I’m a bit weird, but she seems willing to put up with that. I’m very proud of her for all she’s achieved and for the person she is, and there’s a bond there that no one else can share, because we grew up together and have so many shared memories and experiences. She is very special to me and I’m so glad I have her. I also have nine honorary ‘sisters’ – the Write Romantics, who listen to my woes and worries and insecurities, laugh at my odd sense of humour and boost my flagging confidence just when I need it. They are a fabulous bunch of ladies and I’m very blessed to be part of their sisterhood.

What’s your favourite memory of primary school? I have loads! I loved primary school. It was a really fabulous school with lovely staff, and I have nothing but happy memories of it. I remember the big old boiler, with the massive fireguard around it, in the centre of the prefab classroom. We used to drape wet coats etc on it in really bad weather, and huddle round it to get warm when we were reading. I remember the school plays which were always such fun. I remember the library and the thrill of discovering a stack of pony books to read. I remember assemblies every morning, singing hymns, bowing our heads to recite the Lord’s Prayer. I remember the last hour of the day when the teacher would read to us – books such as The Cat That Walked a Week by Meindert Dejong, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, and Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner. I remember the sweet shop by the school where we’d all crowd in and buy two ounces of sour apples or kop kops, or the bakery which sold off yesterday’s cream buns for a penny. I remember collecting conkers and fallen leaves for the autumn classroom display, having orange armbands sewn onto my coat sleeves, and walking to school in fog so thick that it was impossible to see a thing in front of you. I remember my friends, and Christmas, and the class postbox where we’d put our cards and presents to be handed out on the last day of term, and singing carols, and the Christmas party, and skipping in the playground, and glueing shiny coloured paper onto card, and playing with plasticine, and having my own peg in the cloakroom, and spelling tests, and sports day, and school reports. Impossible to choose a favourite!

download (4) Who would you invite to dinner, and why? Ooh, good question. Just one person? Really? Well, if it was any person in history I would probably choose Henry VIII because I want to know if he really was as mad as a box of frogs or just a horrible, cruel tyrant, or if there was a lot more to him than we know. I want to know what was going on in what appears to be an incredibly twisted mind. Why did he make those choices? Did he really believe in the decisions he made? Has he any redeeming qualities at all? On the other hand, if it was just one person alive today, I’d choose Jilly Cooper, because I love her books, and I think she’d be fun and I’d love to know what she’s writing next and what we can expect from Rupert Campbell Black.

And what would you cook for them? I wouldn’t. If it was Henry VIII I’d plonk a plate of salad in front of him, followed by fruit, because I think he had a meat overload and could do with a break. And, if it was Jilly Cooper, I like her far too much to inflict my cooking on her. Definitely time to call in outside catering!

Which fictional character would you like to be? Jill Crewe from Jill’s Gymkhana and the other Jill books by Ruby Ferguson. Or any girl in any pony book from that golden era really. They had such jolly, horsy lives, and the only thing they had to worry about was if they would win a rosette at the next gymkhana, or how to do a decent half pass, or if they would get new jodhpurs for Christmas. Happy days.download (5)

Can you remember your first glass of wine? Yes. It was at my aunt and uncle’s wedding. I was a bridesmaid so was allowed a glass for the toast, and I hated it. I still hate it. I just don’t like wine. I don’t like any alcohol really, unless it doesn’t taste much of alcohol.

What’s your favourite colour? Blue. Reminds me of the sea and a clear sky on a  hot summer’s day.

Tell us about your first teenage crush. Oh, this is embarrassing. Okay, it was on my English teacher at school. He was absolutely lovely and I adored him. He was really encouraging about my writing, and I idolised him. The whole school seemed to know I was mad about him. I even sent him a soppy poem. He was incredibly patient and kind, but I bet he breathed a sigh of relief when I left school!

Why do you blog? Initially, it was because I was told it was “the thing to do”, and that writers simply had to blog. I’m not so sure that’s true, actually, but I do enjoy having the blog now. It’s a great place to practice writing, share my news, connect with other bloggers and, hopefully, it will be a place where I can one day connect with readers of my novels.

What do you hope to achieve in 2015? Well, There Must Be An Angel is released in less than two weeks, and I’m hoping at least one person will read it and love it! I also have the second novel, A Kiss From a Rose coming out in September, and I want to have completed book three in the series by the end of the year, ready for publishing in 2016. Quite a lot to do, as you can imagine!

It now falls to me to nominate seven other female bloggers, so I choose Rachael Thomas, Jessica Redland, Alys West, Helen Phifer, Laura James, Julie Stock and Liz Berry. If you’ve already done it, my apologies, and you don’t have to take up the banner. It’s entirely up to you. 

My questions, should you accept the challenge, are as follows:

What is your earliest memory?

What was your favourite Christmas present?

Who would you like to go on a date with? (Excluding current partners/spouses)

Which film would you choose if you could only ever watch one again?

What are you most proud of?

Which woman in history do you most admire?

Which book do you wish you’d written?

What one thing do you think would surprise other people about you?

You’ve had an unexpected windfall of one thousand pounds. What would you spend it on?

Who is your secret crush?

Over to you! Have a great week xx

A Story to Warm Your Heart

Yes, I can finally say it. I’m a published author! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Winter Tales ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart went live on Kindle today (Saturday 8th November) and I, along with the other Write Romantics, couldn’t be more proud. The paperback edition of the book will be available very soon and it will be so utterly gorgeous that it will be worth waiting for. In fact, why not buy both editions? Why not buy extra copies as Christmas presents? good copy

I expect you’re thinking, ‘She’s totally shameless! What a cheek, plugging the book like that!’ Well, when it comes to this particular book I’m happy to promote it endlessly because all proceeds go to two such worthy causes that it would be wrong not to. All the money that’s made from Winter Tales will go to two charities that are close to the Write Romantics’ hearts – The Teenage Cancer Trust and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust. If you want to know why these charities matter so much to us, please click here.

At just £2.56, the anthology provides fabulous value for money – just over 10p a story. Now you can’t deny that’s a bargain, can you? 😉 We’ve had so much help with this anthology, not least from our lovely guests who contributed such great stories. The full list of authors is: Jessica Redland, Rhoda Baxter, Zanna Mackenzie, Jo Bartlett, Harriet James, Alison May, Holly Martin, Kerry Fisher, Sharon Booth, Sarah Painter, Jackie Ladbury, Helen Phifer, Jennifer Bohnet, Helen J Rolfe, Alys West, Terri Nixon, Annie Lyons, Linda Huber, Sarah Lewis, Rachael Thomas, Lynne Pardoe and Samantha Tonge. We really can’t thank our guests enough for sparing the time to write such fabulous stories, and for helping us to spread the word about the anthology and the causes we’re raising money for.

 

To celebrate the launch we’re having a party over on Facebook right here between 1pm and 3pm today (Saturday) and we’re giving away some great prizes including signed copies of books from some of our contributors: Kerry Fisher, Jo Bartlett, Rachael Thomas, Helen Phifer and Linda Huber. There will also, of course, be a copy of the anthology to be won and our star prize which will be awarded to the person who has tweeted the most about the launch. There’ll be food, drink, laughter and friendly chatter, and you can bring a guest. (I’m bringing two!) We’ll no doubt have cake and lots of other delicious nibbly things and since it’s all virtual there are no calories involved. Win win!

We hope you can join us, but if you’re reading this after the event then don’t despair. You can still grab yourself a copy of Winter Tales, snuggle in front of the fire, sip your hot chocolate and shut out the wintry weather with twenty-four feelgood stories to warm your heart.  We do hope you’ll enjoy reading them!

Buy Winter Tales here.

Have a great week xx