Never Underestimate a Caffarelli!

by Melanie Milburne, author of Never Underestimate A Caffarelli

‘But I never work with male clients.’

That was the first line that came to me a couple of months before I started writing the second book in my trilogy Those Scandalous Caffarellis –Never Underestimate A Caffarelli.  I love first lines. I literally can’t start a book until I have that line firmly printed in my mind.

Raoul Caffarelli, a dare devil thrill seeking play1013-9780373131860-bigwboy has been seriously injured in a freak accident and is now confined to a wheelchair. His older brother Rafe (you might have met him and Poppy last month in Never Say No To A Caffarelli) employs – after much financial persuasion – physical therapist Lily Archer to come to Raoul’s Normandy estate to work with him for a month’s rehabilitation.

Raoul is furious that his private retreat has been invaded and refuses to cooperate… until he meets the intriguing young woman who dresses in drab clothing and downplays her beautiful features.

Lily dislikes Raoul on the spot for his arrogant rudeness but she has too many scruples than to walk off the job before she has started.

Raoul nailed her with his gaze. ‘Why did you ask for your payment up-front with a no refund clause?’

She looked momentarily discomfited. ‘I-I had an urgent financial matter to see to.’

‘Are you a big spender, Miss Archer?’ He gave her outfit a cursory glance. ‘You don’t appear to be, on current appearances.’

Her mouth tightened a fraction and her creamy cheeks developed two spreading circles of colour. ‘I’m sorry if my lowly apparel offends your sensibilities, but I’m not a slave to fashion. I have far more important priorities.’

‘I thought all women like to make the most of their assets.’

She gave him an icy look. ‘Are you really so shallow that you judge a woman on what she is wearing rather than who she is on the inside?’

The issue behind Lily’s pain is a sensitive one. I have already had a lot of feedback from readers who found the story of her recovery very moving.

Raoul’s final acceptance of his physical limits is also something I wanted to handle Normandy France- St Mont Michelsensitively and realistically. No one suddenly leaps out of a wheelchair so poor Raoul had to stay there a little longer than he wanted to. But if you read next month’s Never Gamble With A Caffarelli you can see how he’s going!

The images are from a trip I made to the beautiful countryside of Normandy a couple of years ago. It’s was a perfect place to put Raoul and Lily, locked together in a chateau!

Best wishes,

Melanie Milburne


About Never Underestimate A Caffarelli:

Has this Caffarelli finally met his match?

Millionaire playboy Raoul Caffarelli has always lived life in the fast lane. But when an accident confines him to a wheelchair—and to the care of a woman whose beauty taunts him—he’s consumed with rage and frustration.

Used to difficult patients, physical therapist Lily Archer won’t be cowed by Raoul’s arrogance or distracted by his Adonis-like physique. Carrying her own scars from the past, Lily has vowed never to relinquish her power to a man again.

Both underestimate the power of the shared passion between them. Their physical scars may heal, but some wounds run much deeper….


Giveaway!  I have a signed copy of Never Underestimate a Caffarelli for a reader. What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them for the first time? Answer below in the comments to win!

Contest will close at 11:59pm on October 24, and we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments on October 25. Open to residents of US and Canada. For full giveaway rules, click here.

Update: This contest is now closed.

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Comments ( 27 )
  1. Melanie J
    October 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

    The Physical part is usually his smile and eyes.

  2. Lori
    October 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I agree with Melanie, his smile, his eyes, and I would like to add hair.

  3. bn100
    October 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    How they look

  4. Melanie Milburne
    October 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Melanie J,
    Oh the eyes and the smile! Yes!
    Thanks for posting.

  5. Melanie Milburne
    October 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Lori,
    I think hair colour is a big one for me too. But I never was interested in blonde men. My hubby has dark hair… well, what is left of it is now a little grey but I adore him anyway.
    Thanks for posting!

  6. Melanie Milburne
    October 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Hi bn100,
    You can tell a lot about a person by how they look, can’t you?
    Apparently women are much for forgiving on looks that men are on women. I also read that couples often look alike, that is, they share the same level of attractiveness.
    Thanks for your comment!

  7. Kaelee
    October 18, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I don’t really notice a lot. My husband can tell me everything about a person’s appearance and I can’t recall what they looked like. However I will recognize them if I meet them again. I do notice what I would call not normal things like tattoos, eye brow or tongue piercings and scars. I guess I’m shallow.

  8. Melanie Milburne
    October 18, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Hi Kaelee,
    Some people have trouble recognising faces in any detail and others ( like your husband) have a photographic memory. I would notice piercings and tattoos and so on too. I saw a guy the other day who had his whole head tattooed. He was completely bald so it was a bit more interesting than a bare scalp!

  9. Susan Stephens
    October 18, 2013 at 2:45 am

    I’m a first line gal too! And yours is a brilliant first line, Melanie, because I immediately want to know why this woman won’t work with mail clients…

    The possibilities are endless – could be funny – could be tragic – could be for very practical reasons to do with weight and size. But one thing’s for sure: I WANT TO KNOW!

  10. Susan Stephens
    October 18, 2013 at 2:49 am

    I do know how to spell!!! More coffee required!!!

    That should of course read ‘male’ clients.

    But we could have fun trying to squeeze one into our mail box…

  11. Melanie Milburne
    October 18, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Hi Susan!
    You made me laugh. I didn’t even see the mistake until you pointed it out. Ha ha.
    I have a collection of great first lines. There should be a board game about guessing whose line it is and which book.

  12. Jan Vanengen
    October 18, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Hi, Mel 🙂 just dropping in to say hello :)love their hair, okay now you know a hair fetish lol usually black, rich and silky then velvet dark smouldering eyes, and sexy smile with to die for hot hard rock bod to go with…. Jan xxx

  13. Alexia Evans
    October 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

    The first thing I notice about a guy is the way they look. They don’t have to be muscular but if they’re smiling that’s a plus. Also, the person’s eyes give you a little access to their character. You can tell what a person is like by looking into their eyes. They can have hair or be bald. The smile and the eyes always did it for me. I even dated a guy who was shorter than I was, I’m 5’11 and he was 5’8, but he was such a nice guy. My first “real” BF in college and we dated for 3 weeks. He told me that he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship and he had too much respect for me to screw around with me and then leave. We’re friends to this day. 😀

  14. Jennifer Hayward
    October 18, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Ooh brilliant first line Melanie! Now I have to know why….

    Oh and the eyes, definitely the eyes!

  15. Deborah
    October 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    The eyes! always the eyes. There is a reason they are called the ‘window to the soul’.

  16. Laney4
    October 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    If a woman has gobs of makeup on, then I’ll notice that. I notice “attitude” more than anything, and I shy away from anyone who has “gobs” of that. When I’m playing in a badminton tournament and sitting on the bench in-between games, I DO notice something. Ahem. Guys’ butts. Ooo-la-lah.

  17. Melanie Milburne
    October 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Jan!
    Lovely to see you here. You might have noticed I haven’t got any light haired heroes in any of my novels so I’m totally with you on the hair colour. And the hot bod and the gorgeous eyes!

  18. Melanie Milburne
    October 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    The eyes have it!
    Thanks for posting. x

  19. Melanie Milburne
    October 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Alexia,
    I am going to sound really shallow but I would hate it to be taller than my partner. I find it really weird when men have to look up at their taller partners. I think I’ve got height bias or something. Mind you, I’ve grown a centimetre since I had a new disc put in my back, but luckily hubby is still a few centimetres taller…if I don’t wear big heels!

  20. Melanie Milburne
    October 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Deborah,
    Eyes give you so much information, don’t they? Not just the colour and shape but the intensity of the gaze or where it’s directed etc.
    Thanks for posting!

  21. Melanie Milburne
    October 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Laney4,
    The right amount of makeup is lovely but there’s a line where it becomes like a mask, which in a way it is. I use it to hide my freckles and to keep from getting more!
    Thanks for posting.

  22. Laney4
    October 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I hear you, Melanie, re being taller than your partner. I did not shack up with my DH before marriage, so I wasn’t used to him walking around without his boots on. Little did I realize that he wasn’t 6’1″ tall like I thought. He was 5’11” because he wore cowboy boots!
    I am pretty close to 5’10” tall and my previous BF was 5’6″ tall, and I swore I’d never be in a relationship with someone shorter, as I hated walking into cobwebs (he was the tallest in his family), slouching (a no-no for my back, of course), and basically looking like I was an Amazon.
    Now, 32 years after my marriage, my husband is 5’9″ tall and I am still 5’10”, as he is 10 years my senior and shrinking. I hate being taller. Mind you, he DOES still wear the cowboy boots when we go dancing and I can usually go barefoot (depending on my plantar fasciitis).
    I don’t get why guys like Tom Cruise like taller women. I enjoy looking up to a man.

  23. Melanie Milburne
    October 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Hi Laney4,
    LOL! You’ve been short changed!
    I enjoy looking up too. No one tells you when you’re young that we shrink as we get older. The space between our discs compresses as we age.
    I’m going to get my husband some cowboy boots. Ye hah!

  24. Sarah Morgan
    October 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I notice a smile!

    And I am loving your Caffarellis so much Melanie!

  25. Ivy
    October 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    The first think I notice about a guy is whether he’s noticing me. I tend not to be very observant, but if a guy looks up as I enter a room, or pass by, I’ll notice that. And I’ve got to say that I notice his lips, especially if they’re smiling or he’s laughing. If a guy has a friendly face and smiling lips, I want to know more.

  26. Ivy
    October 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    sorry…I meant “thing”.

  27. Elissa
    October 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

    The giveaway is now closed and congratulations to the winner by random draw, Alexia Evans! Please check your email for a message from me. -Elissa from Harlequin