Chiara shot to her feet. “You’re disgusting!”
“You know, it took me a while, but I finally figured it out. This getup. The clothes, the hair, the
don’t-touch-me all but painted on your forehead—it was all for me, wasn’t it?”
She swung away. His hands fell hard on her shoulders and he spun her to him. He wasn’t smiling
anymore; his face was hard, his eyes cold.
“The real Chiara Cordiano is the one I kissed in that car.”
“You are pazzo! Crazy! Let go of me. Let go of—”
Rafe bent his head and kissed her. It was a stamp of masculine power and intent, and when she
tried to twist away he caught her face between his hands, taking, demanding, furious with her for
the lies, furious with himself for falling for them….
The patriarch of a powerful Sicilian dynasty, Cesare Orsini, has fallen ill, and he wants
atonement before he dies.
One by one he sends for his sons—he has a mission for each to help him clear his conscience.
His sons are proud and determined, but they will do their duty—the tasks they undertake will
change their lives forever! They are…
Darkly handsome—proud and arrogant
The perfect Sicilian husbands!
Taming His Tempestuous Virgin
Claiming His Secret Love-Child
RAFFAELE: TAMING HIS TEMPESTUOUS VIRGIN
All about the author…
SANDRA MARTON wrote her first novel while she was still in elementary school. Her doting
parents told her she’d be a writer someday and Sandra believed them. In high school and college,
she wrote dark poetry nobody but her boyfriend understood, though looking back, she suspects
he was just being kind. As a wife and mother, she wrote murky short stories in what little spare
time she could manage, but not even her boyfriend-turned-husband could pretend to understand
those. Sandra tried her hand at other things, among them teaching and serving on the board of
education in her hometown, but the dream of becoming a writer was always in her heart.
At last Sandra realized she wanted to write books about what all women hope to find: love with
that one special man, love that’s rich with fire and passion, love that lasts forever. She wrote a
novel, her very first, and sold it to the Harlequin® Presents line. Since then, she’s written more
than seventy books, all of them featuring sexy, gorgeous, larger-than-life heroes. A four-time
RITA® Award finalist, she has also received eight Romantic Times BOOKreviews awards for
Best Harlequin Presents of the Year and has been honored with a Romantic Times
BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romance.
Sandra lives with her very own sexy, gorgeous, larger-than-life hero in a sun-filled house on a
quiet country lane in the northeastern United States. Sandra loves to hear from her readers. You
can contact her through her Web site, www.sandramarton.com, or at P.O. Box 295, Storrs CT
RAFFAELE ORSINI prided himself on being a man who was always in control. There was no
doubt that his ability to separate emotion from logic was one reason he’d come this far in life.
Rafe could look at a relatively nondescript investment bank or financial corporation and see not
what it was but what it could be, given time and money and, of course, the expert guidance he
and his brothers could provide. They had created Orsini Brothers only five years ago but they
were already an incredible success in the high-stakes world of international finance.
They’d always been incredibly successful with beautiful women.
The brothers shared the dark good looks of their mother and the rapier-sharp intellect of their
father, who’d both immigrated to the States from Sicily decades before. Unlike their old man,
they’d put their talents into lawful pursuits, but there was a dangerous edge to them that worked
to their advantage in bedrooms as well as boardrooms.
It had done so today, when Rafe had outbid a Saudi prince for the purchase of a venerable
French bank the Orsinis had wanted for a very long time. He, Dante, Falco and Nicolo had
celebrated with drinks a couple of hours ago.
A perfect day, on its way to becoming a perfect evening…
Rafe stepped from the lobby of his mistress’s apartment building—his former mistress’s
apartment building, he thought coldly—declined the doorman’s offer of a taxi and dragged in a
deep breath of cool autumn air. He needed to calm down. Maybe the walk from Sutton Place to
his Fifth Avenue penthouse would do it.
What was it with women? How could they say something at the start of an affair even when they
damned well didn’t mean it?
“I am completely dedicated to my career,” Ingrid had said in that sexy Germanic purr of hers
after the first time they’d gone to bed. “You need to know that, Rafe. I am not at all interested in
settling down, so if you are—”
Him? Settle down? He still remembered how he’d laughed and rolled her beneath him. The
perfect woman, he’d thought as he began making love to her again. Gorgeous. Sexy.
His cell phone rang. He yanked it from his pocket, glared at the number on the screen and
dumped the thing back into his jacket. It was Dante. The last thing he wanted was to talk to one
of his brothers. The image in his head was still too fresh. Ingrid, opening the door. Ingrid, not
wearing something slinky and sophisticated for their dinner reservations at Per Se but wearing,
instead…What? An apron? Not the serviceable kind his mother wore but a thing that was all
ruffles and lace and ribbons.
Ingrid, smelling not of Chanel but of roast chicken.
“Surprise,” she’d trilled. “I’m making dinner tonight!”
She was? But she had no domestic skills. She’d told him that. Laughed about it.
Not tonight. Tonight she’d walked her fingers up his chest and whispered, “I’ll bet you didn’t
know I could cook, liebling.”
Except for the liebling, it was a line he’d heard before. It made his blood run cold.
The scene that played out next had been all too predictable, especially her shrill accusations that
it was time to take their relationship to a new level and his blurting out, “What relationship?”
Rafe could still hear the sound of whatever it was she’d thrown at him hitting the door as he
His cell phone rang again. And again, until finally he cursed, hauled the damned thing from his
pocket and flipped it open.
“What?” he barked.
“And good evening to you, too, bro.”
Rafe scowled. A woman walking toward him veered away.
“I am not in the mood for games, Dante. You got that?”
“Got it,” his brother said cheerfully. Silence. Then Dante cleared his throat. “Problems with the
“Not a one.”
“Good. Because I’d hate to lay this on you if you and she are—”
“Lay what on me?”
His brother’s sigh came through the phone. “Command performance, eight o’clock tomorrow
morning. The old man wants to see us.”
“I hope you told him what he can do with that request.”
“Hey, I’m just the messenger. Besides, Mama called, not him.”
“Hell. Is he supposed to be at death’s door again? Did you tell her he’s too mean to die?”
“No,” Dante said reasonably. “Would you?”
It was Rafe’s turn to sigh. They all adored their mother and sisters even though they seemed able
to forgive Cesare Orsini anything. His sons could not. They’d figured out what their father was
“Damn it,” Rafe said, “he’s sixty-five, not ninety-five. He’s got years ahead of him.”
“Look, I don’t want to listen to more endless speeches about where his banks are and what the
combination is to his safe and the names of his lawyers and his accountants any more than you
do. But could I tell that to Mama?”
Rafe’s scowl deepened. “All right. Eight o’clock. I’ll meet you guys there.”
“It’s just you and me, man. Nick’s leaving for London tonight, remember? Falco heads for
Athens in the morning.”
There was a brief silence. Then Dante said, “So, it’s over with you and the Valkyrie?”
Rafe thought of saying everything from “No” to “What makes you think that?” Instead, he
“She said it was time to reassess our relationship.”
Dante offered a succinct, one-word comment. It made Rafe laugh; he could almost feel his black
mood slipping away.
“I’ve got a cure for Relationship Reassessment,” Dante said.
“I’ve got a date with that redhead in half an hour. Want me to call, see if she’s got a friend?”
“I’m off women for a while.”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before. Well, if you’re certain…”
“On the other hand, what is it they say about getting right back on a horse after you fall off?”
Dante laughed. “I’ll call you back in ten.”
Wrong. He called back in five. The redhead had a friend. And she’d be delighted to meet Rafe
Well, hell, Rafe thought smugly as he hailed a cab, what woman wouldn’t?
He overslept the next morning, showered quickly, skipped shaving, pulled on a black cotton
sweater, faded jeans and sneakers and got to his parents’ place before Dante.
Cesare and Sofia lived in a town house in Greenwich Village. Half a century ago, when Cesare
had bought the house, the area had actually been part of Little Italy. Times had changed. The
narrow streets had turned upscale and chic.
Cesare had changed, too. He’d gone from being a low-ranking mobster to being first a capo—the
head of the syndicate—and then the boss. A don, though in Sicilian vernacular, the old Italian
title of respect had a meaning all its own. Cesare owned a private sanitation company and half a
dozen other legitimate businesses, but his true profession was one he would never confirm to his
wife, his sons, his daughters.
Rafe went up the steps of the town house and rang the bell. He had a key but never used it. This
place had not been his home for many years; he had not even thought of it as home long before
he’d left it.
The house was enormous, especially by Manhattan standards. Cesare had used the increasingly
large amounts of money brought in by his various enterprises to buy the houses on either side
and convert the three buildings into one. Sofia presided over it all with no domestic help. A
proper Sicilian housewife, she had always cooked and cleaned for her family. Rafe suspected it
helped her cling to the fiction that her husband was just an everyday businessman.
Sofia greeted him as she always did, with a kiss on each cheek and a hug, as if she had not seen
him in months instead of a couple of weeks. The she stepped back and gave him a critical look.
“You have not shaved this morning.”
To his chagrin, Rafe felt himself blush. “Sorry, Mama. I wanted to be sure I got here on time.”
“Sit,” she commanded, as she led him into the vast kitchen. “Have breakfast.”
The oak table was covered with bowls and platters. Telling her he’d already had the half
grapefruit and black coffee that was his usual morning meal would have invited a lecture on
nutrition, Orsini-style, so Rafe took a little of this, a little of that and put them on a plate. Dante sauntered in a couple of minutes later. Sofia kissed him, told him he needed a haircut and pointed
him at the table.
“Mangia,” she commanded, and Dante, who took orders from no one, sheepishly complied.
The brothers were on their second espresso when Cesare’s capo, a man who had served him for
“Your father will see you now.”
The brothers put down their forks, patted their lips with their napkins and stood. Felipe shook his
“No, not together. One at a time. Raffaele, you are first.”
Rafe and Dante looked at each other. “It’s the prerogative of popes and kings,” Rafe said with a
tight smile, his words soft enough so they wouldn’t reach the ears of Sofia, who was stirring a
pot of sauce at the stove.
Dante grinned. “Have fun.”