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A Dark Sicilian Secret

She can run…

Lethally attractive Vittorio d'Severano was everything Jillian Smith wanted—until she discovered his secret life, and her dreams of a happy–ever–after crumbled into dust… Brokenhearted and terrified, Jill disappeared.

But she can't hide!

Now Vitt has returned—to claim the tiny son Jill has sworn to keep from him! But to stay with her child, she must put Vitt's ring on her finger. Yet what kind of relationship can they have when it's based on secrets and a heat impossible to resist?

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A Dark Sicilian Secret
North American Edition
August 2011 - Harlequin
isbn: 0373130074

A Dark Sicilian Secret
UK Edition
May 2011 - Mills&Boon
isbn: 0263886530

» "It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a Harlequin Romance Novel. Jane Porter’s A Dark Sicilian Secret reminded me why I loved them so much. … The book has awesome love scenes (I won’t be staying away so long this time) and just enough suspense to keep you intrigue. For all of you Harlequin fans, you will definitely want to pick this one up."

~ Donna McBroom-Theriot,
My Life, One Story at a Time

Read the entire review.
(posted August 2011)

» "Looking for an adrenaline rush? Jane Porter's A Dark Sicilian Secret is an exciting, fast-paced romance that will keep a reader on the edge of his or her seat while tugging at the heart… The reader is treated to beautiful scenery. The theme of family is important in this book. The love is steamy… This is a page-turner, enjoyable, and recommended for a fast read."

~ Long and Short Reviews
Read the entire review.
(posted August 2011)

» "Jane Porter has written one intense and glorious romance with A Dark Sicilian Secret.. You'll just have to hold on to your seat while reading the final chapters because it's full of action..."

~ Marilyn's Romance Reviews
Read the entire review.
(posted August 2011)


Jane's newsletter announces all new releases. It's spam-free! Find out about Jane's privacy promise. And read one of Jane's newsletters online to see what you'll get. Stay informed!

» Winner! - A Dark Sicilian Secret was an Award of Merit recipient in the 2012 HOLT Medallion Contest in the Short Contemporary category! (posted May 2012)

» BESTSELLER! A Dark Sicilian Secret shot up from 61 to 30 on Bookscan this week! (posted August 2011)


» Travel to Sicily with Jane where A Dark Sicilian Secret takes place. Also check out Jane's photos from Mt. Etna, Sicily's volcano!

Taormina, SicilyMt. Etna in Sicily

So Much About Sicily:

For every book I research extensively, and I usually start an idea file on a new story and setting one to two years before I even start writing it.

I've been collecting articles from newspapers and magazines on Sicily for even longer than that. By the time I was ready to write A Dark Sicilian Secret my idea file was crammed with dozens of clippings.

During my research I came across some silly--and sordid--facts. I thought I'd share a few of the things I learned while writing this book.

Did you know? Sicily ( Sicilia in Italian ) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,700 sq. km and 5 million inhabitants.Sicilia

Did you know? Ice Cream has been enjoyed by Sicilians for over five hundred years?

It's said that one of the best gifts from the Arab conquests was the delicacy, sarbat which became sorbetto to the Italians and sherbet to the English. It took several hundred years of conquering and recipe sharing, but by the 18th century, Sicilian ices and sorbets were everywhere, leading to the Italian ice cream gelato ( which is not really ice cream since it wasn't made with cream but a mix of sugar, cornstarch and milk). Read more about sarbat and gelato and lots more wonderful Sicilian food stories.

Did you know? Frank Sinatra, born Francis Albert Sinatra, (1915-1998) refused to change his last name to something more "American" and went on to record over 1,000 songs and 200 albums. The quintessential entertainer of our time and one of the most influential male singers of all time performed nearly 200 concerts in 17 different countries . Did you know? Laura Lanza, Baroness of Carini, was murdered by her father, Cesare, on 4 December 1563 ?

pizzaLaura Lanza, married at fourteen, appears to have cheated on her husband for considerable time before being caught in the act at thirty-four. Her father and husband together killed Laura and her lover. It's a darkly medieval story but one that stayed in the back of my mind as I wrote The Sicilian's Defiant Mistress. Get the rest of Laura's tragic story here.

Did you know? Pizza, like so many other foods, did not originate in the country for which it is now famous. Unless you have researched the subject, you, like so many people, probably always thought Pizza was strictly an Italian creation.

The foundations for Pizza were originally laid by the early Greeks who first baked large, round and flat breads which they topped with various items such as olive oils, spices, potatoes and other things. Tomatoes were not discovered at that time or, very likely, they would have used them as we do today.

Eventually the idea of flat bread found its way to Italy where, in the 18th century, the flat breads called "Pizzas", were sold on the streets and in the markets. They were not topped with anything but were enjoyed au naturel.

Since they were relatively cheap to make, were tasty and filling, they were sold to the poor all over Naples by street vendors. For more on the history of pizza visit here.

Joe DimaggioDid you know? To a certain extent Hollywood has glamorized the Mafia through movies like The Godfather trilogy and Goodfellas , but the Mafia is real and still very much a threat in Sicily and the US. For more on the Mafia visit here.

Did you know? American actor, Sonny Bono of the Sonny and Cher fame, was Sicilian? Sonny Bono was born in Detroit and named Salvatore Phillip Bono by his Sicilian immigrant father and American-Italian mother.

Did you know? One of America's all-time baseball greats was Sicilian. Joseph Paul Dimaggio's (born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio, 1914-1999) family members were fishermen who came to California in 1902 from Isola delle Femmine, about ten miles outside Palermo, Sicily. Papa DiMaggio would have preferred his son become a bookkeeper. Jolting Joe went on to become one of the greatest players ever to play the game of baseball. The number five centerfielder is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Did you know? Sicilian pizza is famous for being square, as well as its thicker crust. After reading dozens of pizza recipes online I found one that sounded really good. I haven't made it yet, but it makes my mouth water just reading it over.

Other books set in Sicily:
The Sicilian's Defiant Mistress


A Dark Sicilian Secret

"E gran pazzia lu cuntrastari cu du nun po vinciri ne appattari," he quoted, then translated the Sicilian proverb for her benefit, "It's insane to oppose when you can neither win nor compromise." The corner of his mouth quirked. "You're either shockingly brave or stupid, Jill, considering you have so much at stake."

"A great deal is at stake. We're talking about the life of a little boy. What we do now will impact him forever."

"Exactly so."

"Which is why I can't just roll over, Vittorio, and pretend that who you are, and what you do is good. Your values and morals aren't mine—"

He'd heard enough, more than enough, actually, and tuning out the rest of her speech, he gestured to one of his men, who then tapped the glass partition, getting the chauffeur's attention. The driver immediately slowed and pulled off the highway onto the rain lashed shoulder.

"It's a shame that we couldn't come to an understanding, but I suppose it's better now than later," he said calmly, knowing he was just about to destroy what was left of her world. "I did want this to work out. I think we could have made it work. Unfortunately, I can see it's not going to happen. So let's make the break now and be done with it. No point in dragging the pain out." He leaned to the side, opened the back door. "Good bye, Jill."

Her lips parted with surprise. "What?"

"Your car is just a half mile back. Not far, but certainly not comfortable in the rain. Do be careful. The pavement is undoubtedly slippery."

She crumpled into the seat, her expression one of horror. "Vittorio," she protested, her voice strangled.

She looked hurt and bewildered. Shattered. But of course she'd be dramatic. Everything she said and did was extreme. But he'd had enough of her dishonesty and distortions. All he wanted was to move forward—peacefully.

"Jillian, come. Let's be honest. How can we possibly hope to raise our son together when you dislike me so very much? I want him to be safe and loved, not torn between us. But you would hurt him. You've turned me into a monster and you'd try to turn him against me—"

"I wouldn't."

She was grasping at straws and they both knew it.

"You already have. You've lied to me. You've run from me. You've promised to meet me and then you never showed. But then, you never meant to show. It was just a ruse to allow you to escape. With my son." He drew a slow breath, suppressing the anger and shame he'd felt when she'd tricked him, played him, manipulating him for months. No one did that and got away with it. No one. Why should she? "Joseph will be one next month and today is the first time I've ever held him. And you call me the monster?"

She flinched, visibly shaken, and her eyes looked enormous in her now ashen face. For a moment he almost felt sorry for her. Almost, but not quite, because she'd hurt him, humiliated him, and made his life a living hell.

A Dark Sicilian SecretHis child. His. Kept from him.

Who did that? What kind of woman did that?

He gestured carelessly, his tone one of boredom. "Do us both a favor, Jill, and step out of the car—"


"I'm going straight to the airport," he continued as if she hadn't spoken. "We have a flight plan in place. I don't have time to waste."

She sat very tall on the seat, her slim shoulders square. "I won't get out."


She shook her head. "I won't leave him. I would never leave him."

"And I won't play these games."

"There are no games. I promise."

"You made promises in the past—"

"I was scared."

"And you're not now?" he retorted, mocking her.

Jill's teeth were chattering again and she bundled her arms over her stomach, holding herself tightly as if afraid she'd disintegrate any moment. "Not scared," she said from between her teeth. "Terrified. Please. Please. No games. No trouble. I will cooperate. I will make this work. I will do everything you ask. I swear."

His dark gaze pinned her, held her captive. "I am out of patience, Jill."


His voice dropped even lower. "There will be no second chances. One misstep, one mistake, one small fib, and you're gone. Forever."

She was nodding, frantically nodding, and tears slid from the corners of her eye.

He refused to care. Refused to feel anything for her. She had it coming. Every little bit of hurt, heartbreak and misery. He'd trusted her. Had cared for her. More than he'd cared for any woman in years.

Twenty-one months ago he'd actually thought she was the one. The only one. The one he'd marry and cherish for the rest of his life. Which was absurd as he wasn't the impulsive kind. He'd never met any woman he could imagine as his wife, but somehow he'd wanted her.

He'd wanted to love her, protect her, forever.

And then she ran, and lied, and cut his heart to pieces.

"Whatever you want," she choked, "whatever you say."

She was practically begging now, and he'd thought perhaps it would make him feel better. It didn't.

He'd never treated a woman harshly in his life.

He'd never reduced a woman to this. Nor should he have had to.

Vittorio could hardly look at her. Her lower lip trembled and tears shimmered on her cheeks. She made him feel like a savage, like the monster she'd portrayed him to be, but he was no monster. He'd spent his entire life trying to prove the d'Severanos could be good people. "I won't take you out of the country by force."

"You're not taking me by force. I'm choosing to go. I'm begging to go. Please, Vitt. Let me travel with my son."

Something snapped inside of him and he reached for her, one hand wrapping around his wrist, while the other slid behind her neck, his palm against her nape, his fingers and thumb shaping her beautiful jaw. "Our son," he ground out. "He's not yours. He's ours. We both made him. We made him together in an act of love, not violence, and he is to be raised with love, not violence. Do you understand?"


Brown or blue, her eyes were mesmerizing, brilliant with raw emotion. He'd thought she was everything he'd ever wanted. He'd thought they'd be able to grow old together. "From now on there is no yours or mine," he continued roughly. "There is only ours. There is only one family. And that is the d'Severanos."

She nodded her head jerkily. "Yes."

And then because there was so much sadness in her eyes, he did the only thing he could think of—he kissed her. But it wasn't a tender kiss and it wasn't to comfort. He kissed her fiercely, taking her lips the way he'd now taken control of her life. She'd had her chance. They'd tried it her way. Now it was his.

End of Excerpt.

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