Cinderella's Lucky Ticket

Cinderella's Lucky Ticket
О книге

TWO WINNING TICKETSLucy Miles was outraged when a sexy playboy claimed her precious jackpot–a beautiful vacation home. It was a sweepstakes slipup. The company had accidentally issued two winning tickets. Now she'd have to share her beach bungalow–until the real winner was announced–with a hunk that made her heart beat faster…ONE EXTRAORDINARYPRIZE!Ben Capriati had intended to outlast his competition, but then his challenger, Lucy-the-Librarian, changed out of her charity-bin duds and got under his skin. The former little mouse was drop-dead gorgeous and Ben could feel himself falling. Suddenly, the tables were turned and now Ben had just one week to convince his winsome housemate to make their temporary living arrangement permanent…

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No! It can’t be!

Not the Capriati Curse!

All Ben’s life he’d seen the effect of this ridiculous curse on the men in his family. In 150 years none had escaped their fate—to fall in love with their exact opposite, and remain hopelessly in love for the rest of their lives.

Capriati men lost their heads and any semblance of control when they lost their heart. And Ben vowed that his would stay intact, thank you very much. If this instant attraction was the Curse acting on him, he’d fight destiny with a smile, defy fate with a laugh.

He grinned devilishly at Lucy Miles as she stood angrily on the doorstep, eager to claim his—her—their?—sweepstakes prizes. “Then I guess it’s showdown or standoff, Miss Miles. We’ll just have to find out if this house is big enough for the both of us.”

Cinderella’s Lucky Ticket

Melissa James

This book is for Katie, who suggested the plot; and long overdue thanks to Barbara and Peter Clendon, without whose knowledge (and magnificent contest) I wouldn’t have been able to write this dedication. Thanks, as always to All of Us—you know why; and to Maryanne and Diane, for being there…again.

Books by Melissa James

Silhouette Romance

Cinderella’s Lucky Ticket #1741

Silhouette Intimate Moments

Her Galahad #1182

Who Do You Trust? #1206

Can You Forget? #1272

Dangerous Illusion #1288


is a mother of three living in a beach suburb in county New South Wales. A former nurse, waitress, store assistant, perfume and chocolate (yum!) demonstrator among other things, she believes in taking on new jobs for the fun experience. She’ll try almost anything at least once to see what it feels like—a fact that scares her family on regular occasions. She fell into writing by accident when her husband brought home an article stating how much a famous romance author earned, and she thought, “I can do that!” Years later, she found her niche at Silhouette Intimate Moments. Currently writing a pilot/spy series set in the South Pacific, she can be found most mornings walking and swimming at her local beach with her husband, or every afternoon running around to her kids’ sporting hobbies, while dreaming of flying, scuba diving, belaying down a cave or over a cliff—anywhere her characters are at the time!


Trapani, Sicily, 1853

“Look at him, Patrizia,” one woman commented to her neighbor over coffee, pointing at the object of her disgust: a young man sauntering down the cobbled road with a group of his friends. “He walks—no, he swaggers. Like one who knows he will have all the girls clamoring for his attention tonight. He thinks he is the most handsome, charming young man in all of Sicily.”

“Well, perhaps he has reason, Anna.” Patrizia smiled with indulgent patience, watching the man-child strutting down the road as if he were a conquering emperor. “He looks like a statue of Apollo I saw once in Rome, when I was a girl. Those Capriati boys are too handsome and charming for their own good! I remember his father at that age…ah, for Vincenzo, my heart would flutter…”

“Yes,” Anna muttered, her voice dark, “Enzo was a handsome devil, and just as bigheaded. They are all alike, these Capriatis. But one day, their arrogance and their careless ways with the local girls will come back to haunt them, mark my words.”

A shadow crossed the sun at that moment, though no clouds littered the afternoon sky. “Alleluia,” both women muttered with a shudder, crossing themselves.

“Giovanni Capriati!” The strident cry rang across the street clear to the public square at one end, which was filled with flowers and bright-colored banners for tonight’s May Day dance for the young people. “Giovanni Capriati!”

The women gasped. That fiery voice could not be mistaken—it was Sophia Morelli, the local witch. Her heart’s treasure, her silly, pretty teenage daughter Giulia stood half-crouched behind her, sobbing.

So Anna’s prophecy was having an immediate fulfillment…and this time, not only Anna and Patrizia crossed themselves.

Yet the Capriati boy did not so much as turn his head, but he continued strutting down the road, laughing with his friends.

“Giovanni Capriati, you will stop! You will listen to me!”

With the little, careless shrug that only a Capriati could accomplish the boy turned, his dark, so-handsome-it-was-almost-pretty face bored. “Yes, Signorina Morelli? May I assist you?”

“You broke my daughter’s heart!” the famed wisewoman cried, her face scorched with the heat of livid fury. “Do you deny you met her in secret, kissed her, promised her your love and then moved on to the next girl?”

“I only kissed her! What’s the harm in that? I promised Giulia nothing, woman,” Giovanni retorted, his head high, eyes bland. “I have never done so with any girl. I am not an idiot, to make promises to a witch’s get,” he muttered to his friends. The boys laughed, nudging each other.

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