The Big Question!
by Chantelle Shaw, author of A Bride Worth Millions
A Bride Worth Millions is the second book of a duet featuring the Howard sisters. Strong-willed helicopter pilot Lexi met her match when she was swept off to the exotic desert kingdom of Zenhab by Sultan Kadir Al Sulaimar in Sheik’s Forbidden Conquest.
In that book I had introduced Lexi’s younger sister Athena and written a scene where Athena and her fiancé Charles Fairfax hold a party to celebrate their engagement. All I really knew about Athena at that point was that she would not end up marrying Charles, because waiting in the wings of my imagination was Sultan Kadir’s old school friend Luca De Rossi–and the two men had also been at school with Charlie Fairfax.
Fast forward a few months to about the time that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge–William and Catherine–announced they were expecting their second child. Amid all the media interest a photo of William’s mother Princess Diana on her wedding day caught my attention. I remember Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles very clearly, and I also remember the media speculation in later years that Diana had had serious doubts about marrying Charles but could not call off the royal wedding, which had worldwide interest.
So now I had an image in my mind of Athena Howard wearing a huge meringue of a wedding dress. Her wedding to Charles Fairfax has been dubbed ‘The Wedding of the Year.’ For the first time in her life Athena feels that her parents are proud of her –she might not be the brilliant academic they hoped for, but she is about to become Lady Fairfax.
But an hour before the wedding is to take place, Athena realizes she does not love Charles and she has had shocking proof that he is not in love with her. She is faced with an impossible choice–call off the wedding and send away the hundreds of guests, cancel the magazine photo shoot and worst of all disappoint her parents and Charles’s family–or resign herself to a loveless sham of a marriage.
There is a third option, a crazy option–but sometimes extreme situations call for extreme measures and all Athena can think of is to escape from The Wedding from Hell! Climbing out of an upper floor window in an enormous dress was always going to have dramatic consequences and falling into the arms of gorgeous Italian hunk Luca De Rossi was just the beginning of a breath-taking chain of events that led Athena to say ‘I do’ to Luca. Their marriage is meant to be in name only, a business deal which will give them both what they want. But as Athena learns more about her handsome, enigmatic husband and discovers his tragic secret, she is faced with the biggest decision of her life.
Deciding whether or not to go ahead with her wedding to Charles Fairfax was a pivotal moment for Athena. She was torn between wanting to please other people, especially her parents, and the realisation that she needed to put her happiness first.
I think many of us find it hard to put ourselves first. As wives, mothers, daughters, sisters it is so often the case that we feel a sense of duty to try to please those we care about.
Have you ever been torn between doing something that would make you happy – or choosing to please other people at the expense of your own happiness? We don’t want to hurt others, but what would you do if you knew that a choice you made might upset other people? One big example I can think of is the TV show Wanted Down Under where people have to decide whether to emigrate to a new and exciting life on the other side of the world, but that means leaving behind family and friends.
Luckily I love my windy little corner of Kent so I don’t have to face a big decision such as emigrating! Here is a picture of where I go for inspiration with my writing.
Love from Chantelle xxx
About A Bride Worth Millions:
Athena Howard can’t believe she did it. In an outrageously large wedding dress, she climbed out the window and escaped The Wedding of the Year and the fiancé who lied to her. And she fell…
…straight into Luca De Rossi’s arms! It must be fate. Luca has just two weeks to marry and meet the terms of his grandmother’s will. The cutthroat businessman offers Athena one million pounds to become Mrs. De Rossi in name only, unless the allure of his new wife’s purity proves too much for this cynical playboy to resist claiming their wedding night…