by Sharon Kendrick, author
of A Scandal, a Secret, a Baby (Harlequin Presents, March 2013)
Celebrities have the lives we think we want. That’s why we pore over pictures of them. Look at them – frolicking on a Caribbean beach when we’re stuck in the middle of grim winter and tedious routine! There they are again – wearing slinky designer gowns which make our fingers creep to our fleshy midriffs and wish we had a little more willpower. We drool over diamonds big as dimes when two of the world’s biggest stars confirm the rumours and tell us they’re getting wed.
And isn’t there a little bit of Schadenfreude in us all – when the “perfect” celebrity marriage hits the skids as it so often does? Don’t we feel just a little bit smug? We may not have the Hollywood home, the entourage or the wealth, we console ourselves – but at least we’ve got contentment.
Yet the human heart is the same, whether it’s covered in silk or polyester. Celebrities have the same emotions and feelings as you and me – they just have to play them out in front of a big and hungry arena.
That fascinates me.
Does it fascinate you?
Think of all the agonies of going through a break-up and then multiply them. Imagine hordes of predatory women and their delight in discovering that one of the world’s most eligible bachelors is free again….
She’s one of the most famous women in the world – a member of The Lollipops – the biggest girl-band of all time. She’s hungry and ambitious – mostly because she’s known real poverty and hardship. She’s seen women regarded as disposable assets – shoved aside once their beauty fades – and she’s determined never to let that happen to her.
Dante is a drop-dead gorgeous Tuscan aristocrat. Whatever it is that women want – Dante has it. And then some. He’s proud, arrogant and fiercely traditional – and he falls in love with a woman who doesn’t match his idea of what a woman should be.
But love conquers all.
Or does it?
When Dante asks Justina to marry him, she’s ecstatic. She loves him just as much as he loves her. She wants to spend the rest of her life with him.
But Dante sees himself as number one. He can’t tolerate the demands of her successful career. He wants Justina all to himself – and so he delivers an ultimatum.
Your career or me.
This is the story of what happened when Justina made her choice. About the repercussions of that choice, which would haunt them both for years…..
Would you have done what Justina did?