‘An epic love story that is beautifully told.’ The Sun
‘An epic love story that is beautifully told.’ The Sun
The epic love story reaches its dramatic conclusion in Legacy, Book 3 of the Andalucían Nights trilogy. Love, intrigue and redemption under the scorching Spanish sun… A troubled young journalist goes undercover in Spain, and finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth secrets she hadn’t bargained for. Can love survive family legacies of feuding and tragedy, and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of the past? Legacy is a story of truth, dreams and desire. But in a world of secrets you need to be careful what you wish for…
A troubled young journalist finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth dark secrets from the past.
Spring, 2010. When Luna Ward, a science journalist from New York, travels halfway across the world to work undercover at an alternative health clinic in Cadiz, her ordered life is thrown into turmoil.
The doctor she is to investigate, the controversial Rodrigo Rueda de Calderon, is not what she expected. With his wild gypsy looks and devilish sense of humour, he is intent upon drawing her to him. But how can she surrender to a passion that threatens all reason; and how could he ever learn to trust her when he discovers her true identity? Then Luna finds that Ruy is carrying a corrosive secret of his own…
Luna’s native Spanish blood begins to fire in this land of exotic legends, flamboyant gypsies and seductive flamenco guitars, as dazzling Cadiz weaves its own magic on her heart. Can Luna and Ruy’s love survive their families’ legacy of feuding and tragedy, and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of the past?
Legacy is a story of truth, dreams and desire. But in a world of secrets you need to be careful what you wish for…
Luna made her way deeper into the room, looking for a table nearer the patio where she would be less affected by the fog of smoke. The tavern was packed. The audience was mostly men and what women there were, were all accompanied. Luna was the only single woman in the place, and it made her feel uncomfortable. She began to regret her rash decision. Back in New York she had never been to a bar alone, so why had she suddenly decided it was a good idea to do so on her first night in Barcelona? Her pale blonde hair and pearly complexion caused her to stand out starkly against the darker colouring of the Spaniards who filled the club.
There was a drop in the level of noise as she became an object of interest. Men’s eyes were drawn to her like a magnet. Some of them whispered to each other, casting sidelong glances. Women also stared, their eyes narrowing, reflecting quite a different sentiment altogether. The cuadro had stopped playing while the musicians sipped their wine and a new dancer emerged from the background to take over the lead. Luna stood at the side of the seated audience and glanced around.
Maybe I should go back, she thought, feeling distinctly out of place.
And then it happened … their eyes met across the room and held for a long moment. The effect was electric and hit Luna like a bolt of lightning. His gaze, fringed by long black lashes, burned with a fire that scorched her as it moved slowly and deliberately over her face, then her body, with frank admiration, as if drinking in her every feature. Though she could not see the exact colour of his eyes at this distance, she knew they were paler than his tanned complexion – brilliant and alive with passion.
The man before her was mesmerizing in his perfect male beauty. His bold, open stare should have made her want to turn and run but something more powerful than she had ever experienced, a shot of pure adrenaline in her blood, had her rooted to the spot. In that split second of silent meeting, Luna’s heart seemed to turn over in her breast and her pulse accelerated to a wild beat.
‘Puedo llevar a la señorita un vaso de sangria y unas tapas?
Can I bring the señorita a glass of sangria and some tapas?’ The solicitous voice of the waiter brought Luna back down to earth with a bump. As she hesitated, still a little confused, he smiled at her. ‘I’ve got a free table, down at the front. It’s a hot night and you’ll have a perfect view of the band.’
’Yes, thank you.’ In a daze she followed the waiter and took her place outside, under the starry sky, as the fiery music started up again.
Luna’s gaze was drawn back to the stage, to that sculpted face. He was one of the musicians, and a gypsy, she had no doubt. Now he took up a mandolin and began to accompany the two other guitarists and a drummer who was beating a tabla, a type of drum she remembered having seen in Egypt, with an opening at one end. A couple of girls from the audience had joined the cuadro and the dancer on stage. The atmosphere was spontaneous and wild.
From her vantage point, Luna had a full view of her gypsy and she could survey him without it being too obvious. His hair was black, thick and shining, swept back from a broad forehead. The hair was rather long, she noted, but perhaps not that long for a gitano. A few tendrils fell across his brow from time to time as he moved his head to the music. His chiselled features were strong, with high cheekbones and an aquiline nose that seemed more aristocratic than gypsy, though this was belied by the crackling aura of raw danger that seemed to emanate from him.
His mouth was wide and inviting, with smooth, slightly bowed lips that prompted illicit thoughts in Luna, thoughts that raced uninvited through her head and made her shiver despite the warmth of the night. Now she could see that the eyes that had met hers with such intensity were blue, a deep, unfathomable blue, like the skies and the seas of his country. Luna wondered at his age: mid-thirties, maybe a little younger.
As the dancer finished her set and retreated, the gypsy stood up, came forward and murmured an announcement of the next song, making a fresh thrill ripple up Luna’s spine at the husky, masculine sound of his voice. He started the rhythmic clapping of a toca de mano, and the waiter went round refilling glasses while the audience joined in, working up to a crescendo of hand-claps until the whole tavern shook with cries of ‘olé’ and ‘anda’.
The gypsy was much taller than Luna had guessed – over six feet, with a perfectly proportioned, lithe body. Wide shoulders and a broad chest, narrow hips and muscled thighs clad in a pair of jeans that hugged his form so well it left little to the imagination. She was aware of his intense magnetism, which was just as powerful as his steely physique. At this distance, she could detect the dark, curling hair lightly covering his chest just visible at the neck of the faded T-shirt he wore with surprising panache. The muscles of his arms flexed as this time he picked up a guitar and strummed a rapid cascade of chords. He gazed down into her eyes. The dazzling white smile he gave her almost stopped her heart and she lowered her head to hide her confusion.
As the rhythmic clapping subsided, he began to sing. His voice was rich and mellow, warm with vibrant tones and tingling with emotion, beguiling and beckoning like a filtre d’amour that scrambled her thoughts and stirred primitive and alarming desires within her. The music was plaintive and feverish, and as Luna watched his long fingers alternately strum and flick across the strings of his guitar, first lightly and then harder at lightning speed, she found herself wondering how those hands would feel on her skin. His songs were in Caló so she could not understand the words, but she could sense the intensity of feeling that went into the full, vigorous notes and although he sang to the audience, she knew from the sensuous intimacy in his eyes that he was singing for her alone.
Luna sat breathless, her gaze fixed on his expressive face. Luna sat breathless, her gaze fixed on his expressive face, stirred to the depths of her soul.
He was applauded madly as the last notes of his passionate melody faded and his fingers lay still on the guitar. Luna clapped as long and loudly as everyone else. New customers were now piling into the tavern, and she shook herself out of her trance and tried to wrestle back her grip on reality. She glanced at her watch: it was past one o’clock in the morning. The gypsy guitarist was surrounded by fans, young and old, and was obviously enjoying the attention. She must be thinking of getting back, she told herself, her eyes lingering on the broad, muscular back of the guitarist as he headed for the bar. She wondered if she would find a taxi at this hour. After signalling to the waiter she paid her bill, leaving a generous tip. Then, on impulse, she took out of her purse a fifty-euro note.
‘Por favor dar a este al guitarrista que acaba de cantar, please give this to the guitarist who just sang,’ she told him.
The waiter grinned broadly. ‘Gracias, muchas gracias, señorita,’ he said, giving a curt bow. ‘But things are only warming up. Are you sure you won’t stay and enjoy the dancing?’
As if on cue, the musicians still on stage took up a fast, syncopated thrumming on their guitars and the whole crowd whooped and broke into wild stamping again.
‘You see, señorita, the night is still young, as they say.’
Luna stood up and smiled, calling on all her self-discipline.
‘Not for me, I’m afraid. But thank you, the music has been wonderful,’ she said, and started to make her way back through the room as the waiter hurried off to deliver her tip.
People jostled past Luna in their eagerness to join the dancing, which by now had spilled out on to the patio. The relentless rhythm of the music seemed to grow louder as if calling her back. And then she looked up at the bar.
He was there with the waiter, who was saying something in his ear and pointing in Luna’s direction. The guitarist ran a hand through his hair and looked at her. He nodded his thanks for the tip, and held up two glasses filled with what looked like fino. A quizzical expression danced in his bright eyes.
Luna’s mouth went dry: he was inviting her to stay. Conflicting emotions flashed through her, none that she could quite grasp but every one of them making her heart pulse faster as the music continued to vibrate through the tavern.
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