Tahitian Wedding

Tahitian Wedding
О книге

Old attractions… Claire had managed to avoid the wrath of Alain Charpentier for six long years. But now she had broken her exile from Tahiti to be bridesmaid at her sister's wedding. Only to find that the very man who had caused her to leave the island was to be the bridegroom's best man!Claire was just going to have to hope that the barricades she'd built around her heart would hold this time… .

Читать Tahitian Wedding онлайн беплатно



Tahitian Wedding

Angela Devine


To my mother, the world’s champion baby-sitter.

ANGELA DEVINE grew up in Tasmania surrounded by forests, mountains and wild seas, so she dislikes big cities. Before taking up writing, she worked as a teacher, librarian and university lecturer. As a young mother and Ph.D. student, she read romantic fiction for fun and later decided it would be even more fun to write it. She is married with four children, loves chocolate and Twinings teas and hates ironing. Her current hobbies are gardening, bushwalking, traveling and classical music.

“I don’t intend to marry.”

“Just as well,” muttered Alain under his breath.

Suddenly, amid the laughing, milling crowd, it was as if they were alone.

“Why do you say that?” Claire challenged, hating herself for rising to the bait, but unable to resist.

“Because I can’t imagine you ever being content with one man,” was the cruel reply.

THE plane bucked friskily. Bells chimed a warning and down the long cavern of the interior the ‘fasten seatbelts’ signs lit up. With the ease of long practice Claire came out of her doze, flung back the lightweight blue blanket and sat up straight. As she cinched the seatbelt firmly round her waist, she gazed out of the window with a troubled frown. It was not the motion of the plane that worried her. Minor air turbulence was something she could deal with, but the turbulence in her feelings was another matter entirely.

Going home to Tahiti for the first time in years thrilled her to the core and she was genuinely excited at the prospect of her sister Marie Rose’s wedding. Yet she could not shake off the feeling of dread that weighed on her more heavily with each passing minute. And there could be no doubt about the cause of her uneasiness. What disturbed her was the fear that she would meet the man who had driven her away from home in the first place. The one man in the world capable of turning elegant, sophisticated Claire Beaumont to a quivering mass of jelly. A man who seemed perfectly charming on the surface, but was capable of being ruthless, forceful and terrifyingly stern. Alain Charpentier. Alain, whom she had idolised for a few brief months. Until something happened which had ruined his good opinion of her forever.

Restlessly Claire pushed up the sliding shutter which covered the window and pressed her face to the glass. Outside it was dark except for the light of a single star which winked out like the flash of a solitaire diamond. Far ahead the blackness was still impenetrable with no sign of the South Pacific Islands which were her destination. Yet Claire’s watch showed almost four-fifteen a.m. It could not be long before the Air New Zealand plane touched down in Papeete and she had to face the ordeal ahead. Her stomach churned with nerves at the thought, but she gritted her teeth, picked up her toiletries bag and made her way down the aisle to freshen up. Five minutes later she was back in her seat with her long, dark brown hair combed into a smooth bun, discreet eyeshadow accentuating her lustrous brown eyes and a touch of blusher on her high cheekbones. And, as always, her clothes were impeccable. A lightweight jade-green dress with white trim around the neckline and short sleeves, which she had bought in Marseilles the previous summer. And white basket-weave sandals and matching shoulder-bag from Florence. There were some advantages to constant international travel, thought Claire wryly, although not as many as most people thought.

‘Say, don’t I know you from somewhere, honey?’ exclaimed a startled American voice.

The woman paused in the aisle, clutching the back of a seat to steady herself as another flurry of air turbulence hit the plane.

‘You’re the spitting image of the girl reporter in that TV show Towards the Future. What’s her name now? Claire Bowman?’

Claire grinned and held out her hand.

‘Claire Beaumont,’ she agreed.

‘Oh, wow, that’s really something,’ said the woman. ‘I’ve never met anybody famous before. My name’s Sarah Howard and that’s my husband Norman. Norm, come on over here. Just wait until you hear who this is.’

Claire smiled until her cheeks ached, while Sarah and Norman questioned her excitedly about life as an international reporter. She was touched by their warmth but it was a relief when the captain announced the plane’s impending descent. As she sank back into her seat, a deep pang of longing flooded through Claire. All the fame in the world could never compensate her for the things which were still missing from her life. Love. A real home. A family.

The lights of Papeete began to show white and sulphur-yellow beneath the plane’s wing, and Claire leaned forward eagerly. It was six years since she had been home and a fever of impatience gripped her now as the plane’s engines screamed and the tarmac came hurtling towards her. There was a faint bump, then the plane taxied to a halt about fifty metres from the terminal. Stepping out on to the ramp, she took a deep breath of the warm, moist tropical air. High on the bank surrounding the airport, coconut palms waved their feathery tops and the cloying scent of frangipani drifted from unseen gardens. Ahead of her lay the terminal building, constructed in the Polynesian style with swooping gables and thatched roofs. And, somewhere inside, her sister Marie Rose should be waiting to meet her. Marie Rose, who would no doubt be bubbling with news about her forthcoming wedding and Claire’s role as bridesmaid at it. The thought of seeing her sister again filled Claire with excitement but also a faint, uneasy misgiving. She couldn’t help dreading that Marie Rose would probe into her secret reason for staying away so long.

Вам будет интересно