The Change in Di Navarra's Plan

By: Lynn Raye Harris

“What is this, cara?” he’d asked, his beautiful brows drawn down in confusion as he’d studied the case in his hands.

“Those are my samples,” she’d said, her heart beginning to trip in excitement.


“Yes, my fragrances. I make perfume.”

She’d missed the dangerous gleam in his eye as he’d set the case down and opened it. He’d drawn out a bottle of Colette and held it up, his gray eyes narrowed as he’d studied the golden fragrance.

“Explain,” he’d said, his voice tight.

She’d been somewhat confused, but she had done so. Because they’d spent a beautiful night together and she knew he wasn’t really an ogre. He was a passionate, sensual, good man who felt things deeply and who didn’t open up easily.

Holly resisted the urge to clutch her hand over her heart, to try to contain the sharp slice of pain she still felt every time she thought of what had happened next. Of how stupid she’d been not to see it coming. She could still see his handsome face drawn up in rage, his eyes flashing hot as his jaw worked. She’d been alarmed and confused all at once.

Then he’d dropped the bottle back into the case with a clink and shoved it toward her.

“Get out,” he’d said, his voice low and hard and utterly frightening.

“But, Drago—”

“Get the hell out of my home and don’t come back.” And then, before she could say another word, he’d stalked from the room, doors slamming behind him until she knew he was gone. A few minutes later, a uniformed maid had come in, her brow pleated in mute apology. She’d had Holly’s suit—the suit she’d worn to see Drago in the first place—on a hanger, which she’d hung on a nearby hook.

It had seemed even shabbier and sadder than it had the day before.

“When you are ready, miss, Barnes will take you back to your lodgings.”

Holly closed her eyes as she remembered that moment of utter shame. That moment when she’d realized he wasn’t coming back, and that she’d failed spectacularly in her task to convince him of her worth as a perfumer.

Because she’d let herself get distracted. Because she’d been a mouse and a pushover and a foolish, foolish idiot.

She’d let Drago di Navarra make love to her, the first man ever to do so, and she’d gotten caught up in the fantasy of it. She’d believed that their chemistry was special, that the things she’d felt with him were unique, and that he’d felt them, too.


But he’d kicked her out of his house as though she’d been a common prostitute.

And hadn’t you?

A little voice always asked her that question. She wasn’t blameless, after all. She’d spent close to twenty-four hours pretending to be something she wasn’t in the single hope of convincing the high and mighty CEO of Navarra Cosmetics that she had what it took to design a signature perfume for his company.

She’d had opportunity enough to tell him why she was really there, and she’d kept silent each and every time. She’d treated it all like an adventure. The country mouse goes to the city and gets caught up in a comedy of errors. Except, she wasn’t a mouse and she had a voice.

Worse, she’d complicated everything when she’d fallen for his seduction. She knew very well how it must have looked to him, a powerful man who held the key to her dream in his hand.

He’d thought her the worst kind of liar and gold digger—and the evidence had been stacked against her.

She gazed at her son and her heart felt so full with all the love swelling inside it. Yes, she should have told Drago who she was and what she wanted. But if she’d opened her mouth sooner, she wouldn’t have Nicky. What a thought that was. Life might have been easier, but it certainly wouldn’t have been sweeter.

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