Authors: C. C. MacKenzie
Though the name of her celebration and
wedding cake business is up in lights, Bronte Ludlow doesn't care
for the trappings of success. All that matters to her is her
company, her independence and her heritage,The Dower House. Home to
her ancestors since the seventeenth century, no way will she part
with it to ‘a man with too much money and no soul’.
Nico Ferranti’s only
passions are money and power... He's a man who stopped
believing in romance long ago and Bronte's a romantic, yet the
attraction sparking between them like fireworks over the Piazza del
Popolo stuns Nico.
When Bronte's brother
is badly hurt in a car accident in Rome, Nico whisks Bronte to the
Eternal City. He wants her and he wants The Dower House and Nico
Ferranti always gets what he wants.
But Bronte’s heart has
already been broken by one ruthless charmer and although tempted
she isn’t about to give up either her heart or her home to the
charismatic Italian without a fight!
By C C MacKenzie
Copyright © C C
The right of C C
MacKenzie to be
identified as the
author of this
work has been asserted
under the Copyright
(Morals Rights) Act
Published by More Press
This work is
Apart from any use as
the Copyright Act 1968,
stored in a retrieval
in any form or by any
without the prior
of the publisher.
This book is a work of
incidents are either a
imagination or are
resemblance to actual
living or dead, events
or locales is
Cover design by: K
C C MacKenzie is a
wife, and mother of three, based in South Cheshire, U.K.
Since childhood, she
dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but
put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her careers in
banking, fitness, interior design and construction. Reckless Nights
in Rome is her first novel, followed by 'A Stormy Spanish Spring'
in August 2012 and 'Capturing Coco’s Heart' in December 2012.
C C MacKenzie is
currently finishing three more Contemporary Romances due for
release in 2013. She is also working on a vampire paranormal saga
set in a cataclysmic urban future since she loves those
Om my Web /
And my Facebook
Author Page is:
Who’s given me
plenty of Reckless Nights over the years. Love you.
I am deeply, deeply
indebted to the following for their help and support:
My husband, Hugo – for
tolerating the crazy woman and for cooking, shopping, being a
domestic God and stepping up to the plate (no pun intended) with
the technical stuff.
Cynthia M Bristow, Cathy Lennon and Joanna Terrero – your talent
and unconditional support has been awesome. You guys seriously
To my beta readers,
Lynne, Sue and Mags.
Last but definitely not
least to Jane Wenham-Jones who was the first published writer and
‘how to’ guru to tell me I was a writer.
Nico Ferranti played to
Winning was in
his blood. Along with a certain raw intelligence that had served
him well in the backstreets of Rome.
The scent he
inhaled now might be the heady aroma of Bentley leather, but he
never forgot the stink of human garbage or the unique burn of an
He was a
bastard. His maternal grandfather might have rescued him from one
hell, but his hatred of his late daughter’s illegitimate son had
thrust the young Nico into another type of hell. One of cold
disdain, a lack of affection and a certain controlled bullying that
should have destroyed him. It had only made him harder and
ten, with both hands he’d grabbed the opportunity of a Jesuit
education. By the time he was sixteen he’d gained straight A’s in
every subject and was fluent in four languages.
hadn’t exactly danced on his grandfather’s grave when he turned
twenty-two, he’d shed no tears. And even found it in his heart to
be grateful when the old bastard left him the legacy of four
years later, he was seriously wealthy. Not that he saw wealth as an
achievement, but with real money went responsibilities and many
pitfalls for the unwary.
Bentley growled to a halt in the car park of Ludlow Hall. A gust of
wind slapped the car, splattering sleet onto the windscreen.
Switching off the headlights, Nico relaxed for the first time in
three days as he sat back and studied the building.
England did nothing to dull the pleasure of his latest love and she
was a beauty. Built in the seventeenth century for a trade Baron,
Ludlow Hall with its one hundred and forty rooms, was built along
the graceful lines of a bygone era and looked magnificent. The
contractors had done an outstanding job bringing the renovations in
early and more importantly, on budget.
Nico wanted his
guests relaxed and happy. The watchwords in his business were
quality and class and Ludlow Hall oozed both along with an old
world charm. But what underpinned the whole was sheer luxury. The
food and service were outstanding in a Ferranti hotel. The rooms
ran from luxurious to sumptuous. The hotel was set in fifteen
hundred acres of fabulous countryside and he catered for everyone
including intimate romantic breaks, clay pigeon shooting and
But the spa was
at the heart of it.
The great and
the good loved to escape from the City to indulge themselves and
their latest passions. They could come for a day to be pampered,
oiled and treated. Or spend a week detoxing from indulgence or
experience mind and body balance for burnout. A Ferranti Hotel
& Spa catered for all.
gritty eyes. He’d been travelling for thirty hours straight. His
brain needed to crash and his stomach craved sustenance. With a
yawn, he decided to do both, after he bid a quick hello to
brain segued to one of the main reasons for his visit.
parents, Lord and Lady Ludlow had been killed in a head-on
collision with a drunk driver. Two years later, the tragedy still
shook the neighbourhood and the family.
was suffering. He’d thrown himself into work to cope with his loss.
Nico could understand it even if he’d never had a family himself.
The Ludlow family had been a close-knit unit comprised of their
late parents, Alexander and his sister Bronte. But recently,
something had happened to blow the sibling’s relationship
bereavement or the sale of Ludlow Hall that caused the rift, Nico
was sure of it. Although he knew the sale had stirred up a goddamn
hornet’s nest, Bronte in particular had taken it hard and refused
to have anything to do with the renovations. She’d de-camped to The
None of it was
Nico’s business, but he was worried, his friend appeared too close
It had taken
time, but he’d managed to cajole Alexander to do a spot inspection
of three hotels, saying he had concerns about the management, which
wasn’t quite true. All of his hotels ran like clockwork. But Nico
wasn’t above using underhand methods to get his own way and to
ensure Alexander took a break. The deal was that Nico would run
Ludlow Hall in his absence and he was looking forward to it, as he
rarely got the chance to get his hands dirty these days.
He’d arrived a
day earlier than expected to attend the first society wedding to be
held at the Hall tomorrow. Due to the high public profile of the
couple, the press were out in force.
mind segued to his next challenge, The Dower House and the elusive
Bronte Ludlow who occupied far too much of his mind these days.
His offer for
The Dower House and its eighteen acres of land had been more than
generous. The purchase would complete the estate. However, things
were not going according to plan.
having any of it.
rejection of his offer was a one word reply. No. Three subsequent
offers, she’d returned to sender.
He’d managed to
speak to her by phone, once. The conversation, her part of it
anyway, had been short, sharp and to the point. And, he gripped the
steering wheel, she’d been obnoxious.
interested in selling her home to a man who had far too much money
for his own good and no soul. She was, she said, perfectly content
with living in a house built on land her family had lived on for
generations. The Dower House was her home, was it not? Why didn’t
he bugger off and find something else to do with his time and money
instead of harassing her?
witch. The unfairness of it still stung since Alexander had
approached Nico in the first instance to buy the Hall.
He was offering
to help her start again. Nico knew she needed the money since her
parents left their children nothing but debts. He should leave her
to stew in her own juice. But he wanted The Dower House and since
Nico Ferranti always got what he wanted, that was the end of the
the steering wheel, he frowned. Maybe Alexander could help him?
No, he decided,
the man had enough on his plate and he didn’t want to cause more
trouble between brother and sister.
sell. Once he’d found the right button to push. In his experience
that button with women, usually, was money. By her behaviour, Nico
decided Ms Bronte Ludlow was a piece of work.