Wedding Vow of Revenge

By: Lucy Monroe

With her understated black heels and sheer stockings, she had a distinctly Jackie-O appearance without the feminine softening of lipstick and accent jewelry.


No way could her boss misinterpret her outfit as any sort of attempt to entice him on a personal level.

She didn’t care if Angelo Gordon affected her in ways she’d thought deadened by Baron’s betrayal. Wanting him scared her far more than it enticed her and she wasn’t giving into it.

Desire was an emotion that encouraged smart women to make dumb decisions.

Hadn’t she seen that enough growing up with her mom bouncing from one destructive relationship to the next? Her mom had never understood why none of the men stayed. She hadn’t comprehended that the type of powerful, charismatic male she was attracted to traded on those very traits to get what he wanted—sex with a beautiful woman.

However, they’d all been incapable of giving her mom what she needed…love.

Tara’s mom had only broken the cycle by default when miracle of miracles, a strong, sexy man also turned out to have a heart.

It was Darren Colby’s influence in Tara’s life that had led her to believe that kind of man wasn’t always bad news. She was no longer so naïve. Darren was an anomaly in the male species, an alpha male with a heart…but she didn’t figure anomalies like that came along more than maybe once a millennium.

She would stay focused on her job and not the way Angelo Gordon’s dark good looks affected her libido.

Tara walked into the posh downtown hotel, projecting an unshakable confidence that was only skin deep. Inside, she was as nervous as she’d been her first day on the job. More even, because then all she’d been fighting was a fear of the unknown. Tonight, she fought her fear of being weak.

Angelo waited for her at a table in a small private alcove of the hotel restaurant. A historic landmark, the hotel’s rich décor of carved wood paneling leading to cavernously high ceilings was original to its nineteenth century construction. Despite the distance to the ceilings, the rich detail of the da Vinci-like scenes painted there caught her attention.

But even the artwork’s beauty could not keep her focus when she could feel Angelo’s regard across the restaurant. He watched her with unreadable blue eyes as she made her way toward him between linen topped tables graced by well dressed diners. Even from this far away, he exerted an aura of masculine power that sent her heart tripping.

Just like Baron.

Only unlike Baron, she would not allow herself to be fooled into believing Angelo was more than what he appeared on the surface, a ruthless corporate shark.

He stood when she reached the table, his height startling at close quarters. At five foot nine, she was no shrimp, but the top of her head barely reached his shoulder.

She had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye. It was a very odd feeling. “Good evening, Mr. Gordon.”

He waited for the maître d’ to seat her before sitting down again. “Angelo, please. I prefer a more relaxed environment in my companies.”

“Your approach appears to be quite effective. You’ve never lost a company yet.”

Something swirled in his indigo gaze as he poured her a glass of wine from the bottle already sitting on the table. “Actually, I have lost one, but that was a long time ago.”

Sensing he had no desire to discuss it further, she took a sip of the fruity wine and then asked, “Angelo is an Italian name?”

Other than the blue eyes, which were not entirely uncommon in Italian men—with his dark hair and tanned good looks, he had a very Mediterranean appearance.

“My mother was Sicilian.”

That explained a lot, but remembering a fashion shoot she’d done outside of Palermo one summer, she said, “Most Sicilian men are a lot shorter than you.”

“My father was American.”

“And tall,” she guessed.

He smiled, making her breath catch. This man was beautiful.

“Yes. According to my mother, that was one of the first things she noticed about him. There was more than a foot disparity in their sizes, but I can never remember them seeming like they did not fit.”

“I’ve heard love can be a great equalizer,” she said with a tinge of mockery she wished she didn’t feel.

But after her childhood and one disastrous personal affair, she had little belief in the emotion so many touted as the panacea for all ills.

“So they say.” His tone was no less cynical than her own.

The waiter came to take their order and she made a point of selecting her own meal. This was not a date and even if it was, she didn’t go in for the old world custom of the male ordering for the female. She’d spent too many years taking care of herself.

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