Notorious. Emma Darcy
Two intense, passionate stories from bestselling authors Emma Darcy and Melanie Milburne!
“Emma Darcy’s Ruthlessly Bedded by the Italian Billionaire is a charming take on the Cinderella love story …” —RT Book Reviews
“Bound by the Marcolini Diamonds by Melanie Milburne: When when the romance burns hot, it melts …” —RT Book Reviews
Hand in Hand Collection
Ruthlessly Bedded by the Italian Billionaire
Bound by the Marcolini Diamonds
MILLS & BOON
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by the Italian
About the Author
Initially a French/English teacher, EMMA DARCY changed careers to computer programming before the happy demands of marriage and motherhood. Very much a people person, and always interested in relationships, she finds the world of romance fiction a thrilling one and the challenge of creating her own cast of characters very addictive.
‘MISS Rossini …’
Another voice calling to her, using Bella’s name.
Jenny struggled to understand. Her mind felt weirdly disconnected, taking in only snatches of what was said. She couldn’t make sense of what she heard. It was as if she was locked inside a fog that almost cleared sometimes but then swallowed her up into a blank nothingness. Was this a nightmare that kept coming and receding? She needed to wake up, get a grip on what was real, but her eyelids were so heavy.
‘Miss Rossini …’
There it was again. Where was Bella? Why did the voices use her friend’s name as though it belonged to her? It was wrong. Her head ached with trying to figure it out. The fog swirled. So much easier to slide back into oblivion where there was no painful confusion. Yet she wanted answers, wanted the torment of this nightmare to end. Which meant focusing all the energy she could summon on opening her eyes.
‘Oh, dear God! She woke up! She’s awake!’
The screech hurt her ears. The sudden glare of light made her want to close her eyes, but she fought the impulse, frightened of losing the strength to open them again. Her blurred vision picked up a flurry of movement.
‘I’ll get the doctor!’
Doctor … white bed … white screens … tubes stuck in her arm. This had to be a hospital. Some kind of sling was on her other arm. She couldn’t see her legs. The blanket on the bed was covering them. She tried to move them but couldn’t manage it. Dead weight. Her mind filled with a galloping fear. Was she paralysed?
A nurse appeared at the foot of her bed, a pretty blond woman with anxious blue eyes. ‘Hi! My name is Alison. I’ve paged Dr Farrell. He’ll be here in a minute, Miss Rossini.’
Jenny tried to say that wasn’t her name but her mouth wouldn’t co-operate. Her lips, her throat were so dry they felt cracked.
‘I’ll get you a cup of ice,’ Alison said, darting away.
When she returned she was accompanied by a man who introduced himself as Dr Farrell. Alison fed her a piece of ice which she rolled around her tongue, working moisture from it, grateful for the lubrication trickling down her throat.
‘Glad to have you with us at last, Miss Rossini,’ the doctor was saying, looking cheerful about it. He was a short stocky man, probably mid-thirties, dark hair given a buzz cut that seemed to defy the receding hairline, certainly no vanity about hiding it. His bright brown eyes twinkled approval of her wakeful state. ‘You’ve been in a coma for the past two weeks.’
Why? What’s wrong with me? Panic churned through her as she tried to telegraph the questions with her eyes.
‘You were in a car accident,’ he said, understanding her need to know. ‘For some reason you were not wearing a seat belt and you were thrown clear of the wreck. However, you suffered a severe concussion, and the bruising of the brain undoubtedly contributed to the coma. You also had three broken ribs, a broken arm, deep lacerations on one leg and you have a cast on the other, fixing up a broken ankle. However, you are mending nicely and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be on your feet again.’
Relief whooshed through her. She wasn’t paralysed. However, her bruised brain wasn’t working so well. It couldn’t recollect any memory of a car accident. Besides, it didn’t make sense that she hadn’t been wearing a seat belt. She always did. It was an automatic action whenever she got into a car.
‘I see you frowning, Miss Rossini. Are you up to speaking yet?’ the doctor asked kindly.
I’m not Bella. Why didn’t they know that?
She licked her lips and managed to croak, ‘My name …’
‘Good! You know your name.’
She tried again. ‘My friend …’
The doctor sighed, grimaced. His eyes softened with sympathy. ‘I’m sorry to tell you that your friend