EXCERPT: Oceans Between Us by Helen Scott TaylorThursday, June 14, 2012 13:00
Who wouldn’t fall in love with a handsome, world-renowned opera singer with a sexy Italian accent? Well, our heroine does fall in love with Dino, but it’s because he walks into her life after some devastating news. Maria looks after him in between fixing up the family inn on the coast of Cornwall, a beautiful place where Dino is able to heal as much as possible from no stress and Maria’s wonderful food. And along with her calming spirit and eager lovemaking, of course.
You also get some sweeping vistas of English countryside and Italian villages, two very different families, a greedy manipulator, and a hero and heroine who don’t give up on each other when that would be the easiest thing to do. So be sure to sit down with this sweet love story soon.
He’s a wealthy Italian celebrity used to dating beautiful women. She’s a guesthouse cook without a penny to her name. When tragedy brings them together for a few weeks, an unlikely romance blossoms. But he has commitments that take him back to his jet-setting life, while her future lies in a remote English village. Is it possible for two people from such different walks of life to find a way to be together?
Here’s a bit of a teaser for you…
“I demand to see my son.” Dino struggled to moderate his voice when he really wanted to shout into the phone.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Rossellini. That’s just not possible. The baby belongs to the couple who adopted him.”
Frustration made Dino pace across the office to stare out the dirty window at the busy London street below. “But I’m his father. How is it possible that you can give him to someone without my consent?”
The woman from the adoption agency released a long-suffering sigh that hissed down the phone line. “I’ve already told you, sir, there was no father listed on the birth certificate. If we’d had your name, you’d have been contacted before the adoption went ahead.”
Dino cast a dark glance at his manager who returned his gaze with a sheepish smirk. Freddy had kept Rachel’s pregnancy a secret from him on purpose.
He turned his attention back to the unhelpful woman on the phone. “Had I known about my child, I would never have allowed this to happen. You will please get him back from these people.” Even as the words came from Dino’s mouth, he knew in his heart his son was lost to him. How could the British authorities allow a child to be adopted without the father’s permission? This would never happen in Italy.
“That’s just not possible, Mr. Rossellini. According to the law, you no longer have any rights to the boy. I wish I could help you, but I can’t.”
“I’ll appeal to the court,” he said, trying to think of a way to make her take him seriously.
“That won’t do any good. If you consult a solicitor, he’ll explain the relevant law. The child now legally belongs to the couple who adopted him.”
Dino turned away from Freddy and lowered his voice, hating that the architect of his heartache would hear him beg. “Just let me see my son once, please.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Rossellini. I can’t.”
“A photo, then.”
“No, sir.” The woman’s voice softened. “I really am sorry, but you can’t have any contact with the baby or the adoptive parents. There’s nothing more I can say.”
Pain stabbed through Dino’s chest. He pressed a hand over his heart, struggling to draw breath. For a moment he feared he might cry right here in front of Freddy. How could Rachel have done this to him? They were no longer a couple but he’d thought they were still friends. Surely she’d known he would love his child and want to give him a home. But Rachel was vulnerable, easily manipulated by Freddy.
Dino put down the phone and leaned his hands on top of Freddy’s smoked glass desk, staring him down. “Why did you hide Rachel’s pregnancy from me?”
“Dino, mate, I had your best interests at heart. Think of your career. How could you tour if you had to look after a baby?”
“I would have married Rachel. We’d have found a way to manage.”
“It’s selfish to expect Rachel to tie herself down with a baby. She didn’t want a kid holding her back when she has the world at her feet.” Freddy laughed. “Believe me, you had a lucky escape. Not every woman would have agreed to adoption.”
Cold seeped into Dino’s muscles as if every scrap of warmth had been sucked out of his world. He’d let Freddy dazzle him with promises of wealth and fame. He’d lost sight of what was really important in life, family, loyalty, and love. He’d even let Freddy talk him into performing over Christmas so he’d missed his usual visit home to see his parents for the holiday season.
“Where is Rachel?”
Unease flitted across Freddy’s face. “She’s recovering. You shouldn’t see her right now. Not until you’ve cooled off.”
Dino had no intention of seeing his ex at the moment. But he wanted to be sure she was all right. She was emotionally fragile at the best of times. Freddy wouldn’t care how she felt as long as she fulfilled her contractual obligations, and the money kept rolling in. Bloody Freddy didn’t care about anything except his percentage.
“You’ve got a month before you’re due in New York. Why not get started on the new recordings. It’ll take your mind off things.”
Dino stared at the mottled pink carpet, his mind fading to gray. A shiver ran through him and curled icy talons around his heart. He hadn’t known it was possible to hurt this much without physical injury.
“Dino, mate. You all right?”
Dino grabbed his bag and headed for the office door. He couldn’t face a soulless London hotel room. He had to get out of the city, had to outrun this pain, this guilt that swamped him like a choking smog. His baby boy had come into this world and been passed on like an unwanted package. He wasn’t sure he could ever forgive himself for letting this happen.