Harlequin Presents Author, Rachael Thomas!

Help me welcome Rachael Thomas back to the blog with her latest release:

Di Marcello's Secret Son
The challenge: To leave your billionaire lifestyle behind for two weeks…
Italian tycoon Antonio Di Marcello relishes a challenge – but running into Sadie Parker while undercover as a mechanic rocks him to the core. Four years after their fevered fling stripped away his iron guard, he’s confronted with the shocking consequences…

Sadie gave up hope on her desperate attempts to contact Antonio. Now she has to face the day she’s both dreaded and longed for! Yet Antonio’s claim over her and her son is hard to resist – especially because he’ll use a sensual onslaught to get what he wants!


She glanced in the mirror again as a man’s figure filled her doorway. She stared at the reflection, unable to believe the image of the man behind her. Antonio Di Marcello stood there, confident, powerful and on the threshold of the life she’d created for herself after he’d abandoned her. A life he had wanted no part in.

He was the man she’d given her heart and soul to, only to be treated with cold disregard for the last four years, and now he was here. Every unsettling suspicion she’d had over the last two weeks must have been right. Toni Adessi had been sent to work in the garage by this man to find out all about her. And she knew exactly why. Leo. The moment she’d dreaded, yet had wanted, had arrived.

‘We need to talk, Sadie.’ His deep voice sent a shiver of awareness rippling all over her and she bit down hard, drawing in a deep breath. She couldn’t be affected by him still. She just couldn’t.

She put back her shoulders and turned round to face him, her chin held high as she tried to fill herself with the kind of confidence needed to deal with this situation—this man. It took all her willpower not to drink in the image he created as he stood there in his expensive dark suit, exuding the kind of dominance best suited to a boardroom.

‘We didn’t have anything to say four years ago, Antonio, and we certainly don’t now.’ She didn’t move—couldn’t move. The hallway suddenly seemed dark and narrow as he moved towards her, into her home, into her new life. The one she’d built without him for herself and Leo—his son.

‘I don’t recall being given the opportunity to say anything four years ago or being told that I was to be a father.’ The unconcealed menace in his voice as he came to stand so very close to her should have intimidated her, but, to her complete horror, the spark of attraction ignited and her heartbeat raced as she inhaled the intoxicating freshness of his aftershave, stirring up the past.
‘If my memory serves me right, you were more concerned about the marriage you were due to make only a few weeks later. You used me, Antonio, in the cruellest way possible. You showed me things I could never have, made me want something that could never exist, not with you anyway. After that, you were lucky I even tried to contact you.’
The fire of indignation rushed through her and she glared angrily at him, all the words she’d rehearsed over the years completely forgotten in the passion of the moment. The cool, level-headed woman she’d so desperately wanted to portray when she finally came face to face with the father of her child was nowhere in sight. One look at the man she’d lost her heart to and that woman had evaporated.
‘I didn’t promise you anything, Sadie.’ His cool and insanely calm exterior began to chip away at her confidence, but she couldn’t let him know. She had a job to do and that was to protect Leo from the man who could upset his life, the man who could inflict the worst kind of pain on him when he walked away again, putting his own needs before those of his son.

He’d walked out on her, left her all but destitute in a country she’d lived in for only a short time. Then, if that wasn’t enough, he hadn’t done anything for Leo—he hadn’t even bothered to find out if his child was a boy or a girl. Despite asking—no, pleading—in a letter she’d written after that horrible visit to his family home, he hadn’t contacted her at all. He’d completely turned his back on her—and Leo. If he’d done it once, he could do it again.

‘Neither did you own up to your responsibility. All you were concerned about was your duty to your family, duty to the woman they’d always wanted you to marry.’

The hurt of hearing those words still speared through her, even four years later. As did the shame that she’d foolishly believed what they’d had was different, that somehow the love she’d instantly felt for him would change things. Change him.

‘We could never have been anything, Sadie. I made that clear.’ The harshness of his words and the severe set of his jaw intensified the hurt, serving only to inflame her anger. This wasn’t just about her and the way he’d let her down. This was about Leo and she’d fight to the bitter end for her son. But was it right to deny Leo his father? The question pushed forward in her mind. She ignored it.

‘Yes, you certainly did. After you’d taken me to your bed, taken from me the one thing you didn’t deserve.’ She fired the blame back at him, even though deep down she knew it was her own foolish dreams which had set all this in motion. If she hadn’t been so taken in by his charm, by the fact that a man so undeniably sexy and handsome had sought her out at the party she’d been coerced into going to by friends, then they wouldn’t be standing here having this discussion.

Neither would she have Leo. That was unthinkable.


Jan Schliesman: Do you ever get lost in your own stories?
Rachael Thomas: Absolutely! The characters quickly become very real and I get so absorbed in their story.

Jan: Do you struggle to find fresh ideas or do they come naturally?
Rachael: Thankfully not. New characters and their stories are always lurking in my mind!

Jan: Name three things on your desk right now.

Rachael: To be honest, there are far too many things, but here’s three – bullet journal, a selection of pencils and my daily hunk calendar. What do you think of today’s hunk? 

Jan: What do you love most about your latest release?
Rachael: The fun time I had with Dani Collins and Jennifer Hayward creating our Secret Billionaires series.

Jan: What are you currently reading?
Rachael: The series Big Little Lies is coming to an end here in the UK and I’ll be reading that just as soon as I have finished writing my current book.

Jan: Do you believe in love at first sight?
Rachael: The first time I saw my husband I just knew he was the one, so I guess that’s a yes!

Jan: If you had the skills to be in any other profession, what would it be?
Rachael: I am a farmer as well as an author, but I do like the idea of being a professional photographer.

Rachael in Central Park
Jan: Best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Rachael: My vacation to New York in 2015 still tops them all!

Jan’s GOTTA ASK: My hubby works for Tombstone/DiGiorno. What do you like on your pizza?
Rachael’s GOTTA ANSWER: For me that would have to be mozzarella, tomato and basil.


UP NEXT: Valdez’s Bartered Bride in November 2017 is the first of two of my own stories which are linked.
PREVIOUS RELEASES: A Child Claimed by Gold – January 2016, Married for the Italian’s Heir – November 2016, To Blackmail a Di Sione – September 2016

THANKS SO MUCH, RACHAEL, for sharing a bit of your writing world with us! Rachael is giving away an autographed copy of Di Marcello's Secret Son to an international reader. Answer the following question in the comments section:

Di Marcello’s Secret Son is partly set in Italy, a country I have always been fascinated with and have been lucky enough to visit several times. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

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  1. Welcome back, Rachael! If I could go anywhere today, it would be Barbados. We were there on a cruise 16 years ago and I've always wanted to go back!

  2. Thanks for having me back Jan! A cruise in Barbados sounds incredible.

  3. Sicily... my great grandfather came from there... also hope to see Ireland on day!

    1. I'd love to go to Sicily too Colleen!

  4. Brazil- haven't been

    1. Brazil would be an amazing place to visit!

  5. I would love to go to England and see the old pub (the building is still there according to google!) my great-grandmother's family ran.

    1. That is such a lovely reason to visit England. I do hope you get to see it for yourself. xx

  6. Congrats on the new release! I live in the North of Italy and I have been to Sicily quite a few times (my in-laws live there). One place I wouldn't mind to visit is Czech Republic.

    1. I envy you living in Italy - a country that has always fascinated me!