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The Real Rio D'Aquila
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The Real Rio D'Aquila [Mass Market Paperback]

Sandra Marton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 15, 2011
From the the penthouse Italian by birth, this street urchin lived a life of extreme poverty until he escaped to Brazil - where he cast off his roots, took a new name, and pulled himself up from the streets. Now Rio D'Aquila is beyond wealthy, with a reputation for being uncompromising in business...and incomparable in bed! But on meeting vulnerable Isabella Orsini he feels something deep within him stir, and he finds himself pretending to be that long-forgotten man. Passion flares and their affair spirals, but Isabella still doesn't know that her lover has lied to her. Who is the real Rio D'Aquila? The Orsini Brides Two Sicilian sisters, two powerful princes - two passionate, tempestuous marriages!
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sandra Marton is a best-selling author for Harlequin Presents. Her stories all feature the sexy, gorgeous, complex, tough on the outside but tender on the inside Alpha heroes she loves to create. A four-time RITA finalist, Sandra has  won eight Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards for Best Harlequin Presents of the Year and she’s been honored with Romantic Times’ Career Achievement Award for Series Romance. Sandra lives in Connecticut with her husband.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Rio D'Aquila was known for many things.

He was wealthy beyond most people's measure, feared by those who had reason to fear him and as ruggedly good-looking as any man could hope to be.

Not that Rio gave a damn about his looks.

Who he was or, rather, who he had become, was what mattered.

He had been born to poverty, not in Brazil, despite his name, but on the meanest possible streets of Naples, Italy.

At seventeen, he'd stowed away on a rusting Brazilian freighter. The crew had dubbed him "Rio" because that was the ship's destination; they'd tagged on the "Aquila" because he'd responded with the fierceness of an eagle to their taunting.

The name had suited him much more than Matteo Rossi, which was what the sisters at the orphanage where he'd been raised had called him. "Rossi" was pretty much the Italian equivalent of "Smith." "Matteo," they'd said with gentle piety, meant a gift from God.

Rio had always known he was hardly that, so he took the name Rio D'Aquila and made it his own.

He was thirty-two now, and the boy he'd been was a distant memory.

Rio inhabited a world in which money and power were the lingua franca, and often as not handed down as an absolute right from father to son.

Rio's father, or maybe his mother, had given him nothing but midnight-black hair, dark blue eyes, a handsome if rugged face and a leanly muscled, six-foot-three-inch body.

Everything else he owned—the homes, the cars, the planes, the corporate giant known as Eagle Enterprises—he had acquired for himself.

There was nothing wrong with that. Starting life without any baggage, getting to the top on your own, was all the sweeter. If there was one drawback, it was that his kind of success attracted attention.

At first, he'd enjoyed it. Picking up the Times in the morning, seeing his name or his photo in the financial section had made him feel, well, successful.

Inevitably, he'd not only wearied of it, he'd realized how meaningless it was.

The simple truth was that a man who ranked in the top ten on the Forbes list made news just by existing. And when that man was a bachelor inevitably described as "eligible," meaning he had not yet been snared by some calculating female who wanted his name, his status and his money…

When that happened, a man lost all privacy.

Rio valued his privacy as much as he despised being a topic of conversation.

Not that Rio cared much what people said, whether it was that he was brilliant and tough. Or brilliant and heartless. He was who he was, and all that mattered was his adherence to his own code of ethics.

He believed in honesty, determination, intensity of focus, logic—and emotional control. Emotional control was everything.

Still, on this hot August afternoon, cicadas droning in the fields behind him, the hiss of the surf beating against the shore, he was ready to admit that logic and control were fast slipping from his grasp.

He was, to put it bluntly, angry as hell.

In Manhattan, when a business deal drove him to the point of rage, he headed for his gym and the ring in its center for a couple of rounds with a sparring partner, but he wasn't in New York. He was as far east of the city as a man could get without putting his feet in the Atlantic.

He was in the town of Southampton, on Long Island's exclusive South Shore. He was here in search of that increasingly elusive thing called privacy and, goddamnit, he was not going to let some fool named Izzy Orsini spoil the day for him.

For the past hour, Rio had taken his temper out on a shovel.

If any of his business associates could have seen him now, they'd have been stunned. Rio D'Aquila, dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and work boots? Rio D'Aquila, standing in a trench and shoveling dirt?


But Rio had dug ditches before, not that anyone in his world knew it. And though he sure as hell hadn't expected to be doing any digging today, it was better than standing around and getting more ticked off by the minute.

Especially when, until a couple of hours ago, he'd had a damned good day.

He'd flown in early, piloting his own plane to the small airport at Easthampton where he'd picked up the black Chevy Silverado his property manager had left for him. Then he'd driven the short distance to Southampton.

The town was small, picturesque and quiet early on a Friday morning. Rio had parked, gone into a small cafe where he'd had breakfast with the guy who was putting in the infinity pool at the house he'd recently had built. The pool would extend over the dunes from the second floor terrace, and they'd talked about its size and the view he'd have. The conversation had been pleasant, almost as pleasant as being able to sit in a restaurant without being the unwilling center of attention.

That was part of the reason he'd decided to build a weekend home here, on six outrageously expensive acres of land that overlooked the ocean.

For the most part—and there were always exceptions to the rule, of course—nobody bothered celebrities in these small eastern Long Island villages. And Rio, God help him, was a celebrity, according to the crazy media.

Here, he could be himself. Have a meal. Take a walk. It was like an unwritten code. Build here, become, for the most part, invisible.

For a man who sometimes had to travel with a phalanx of bodyguards or with a limo crawling along at the curb so he could duck into it, fast, and be whisked away, it was a minor miracle.

So Rio had enjoyed his bacon and eggs, strolled the streets for a while, even checked the hardware store as if he really were going to need to buy hammers and saws.

In fact, there'd been a time he'd owned such tools and used them to earn his daily bread. A little wistfully, he thought about maybe putting in some shelves in his new house, if he could find a place in it that needed them. He wasn't foolish enough to believe that working with your hands gave you special moral status but there was something to be said about leading a simpler life.

At midmorning, he met with the security specialist who'd installed an ultrasophisticated system in and around the house. They sat at a table on the flagstone patio of a little ice cream shop, the sun blocked by a big blue umbrella.

Rio tried to remember the last time he'd had a strawberry ice cream sundae and couldn't.

He felt…what? Lazy. Content. He almost had to force himself to pay attention to the conversation.

There was a malfunction of the security system at the gate. The intercom wasn't working right. His caretaker had told him voices coming over the intercom were almost inde-cipherably drowned in static, and the gate's locking mechanism didn't always work.

The area was pleasant, there was nothing but a discreet plaque on the gate that said Eagle's Nest, but Rio wasn't a fool. A man like him needed security.

"Not to worry," the security guy assured him. "I'll come out Monday morning and deal with it, first thing."

At noon, Rio had driven to his house. The long driveway had not yet been finished and the tires bounced along over small stones and deep ruts but nothing could dim the pleasure he already took in the place.

The house was just as he'd wanted it. Light wood. Lots of glass. It would be his retreat from the dog-eat-dog world he inhabited 24/7.

The guy he'd hired as his contractor was waiting. They had some things to discuss, nothing major, and then, together, they'd interview three applicants for the job of landscaping the rear terrace and two decks.

No. Not three applicants. Four. Damned if he didn't keep forgetting that. Rio had some definite ideas about what he wanted. Whomever he hired would have to understand that he'd be an active participant in the plans he drew up, just as he'd been an active participant in the design of the house.

The caretaker was there, too, but just leaving. He told Rio he'd taken the liberty of filling the freezer and fridge with a few things.

"Breakfast stuff. You know, eggs, bacon, bread. And steaks, some local corn and tomatoes, even a couple of bottles of wine. Just in case you decide to spend the night."

Rio thanked him, though he had no plans to spend the night. As it was, he'd canceled a couple of meetings so he could get here but it had turned out to be the only chance for all three landscaping candidates to show up for interviews on the same day.

Four. Four candidates. How come he couldn't keep that in his head?

Probably because he wasn't hot on interviewing that fourth one, he thought, and gave a mental sigh. It was never a good idea to mix friendship and business, but when one of your pals asked you to at least talk to his cousin or uncle, or whatever in hell somebody named Izzy Orsini was to Dante Orsini, well, you bent the rules and did it.

After a few minutes, Rio took a picnic hamper from the Silverado's cab. His housekeeper in Manhattan had packed lunch at his request. It turned out to be an elegant one. Thinly sliced cold roast beef on French baguettes, a chunk of properly aged Vermont cheddar, a bottle of chilled prosecco, fresh strawberries and tiny butter pastries.

Plus, of course, linen napkins, stemware and china mugs.

Rio and the contractor grinned at each other. They were both wearing jeans, sitting on a pair of overturned buckets on the unfinished terrace, their meal arranged on a plank laid over a sawhorse.

Cold beer and a couple of ham and cheese on rye might have been more in keeping with things, but the lunch was good and they finished every mouthful.

The landscapers started arriving not long after that. They showed up one at a time, exactly as scheduled, Rio buzzing them in through the gate, which seemed to be working perfectly. They were local men, each efficient and businesslike and politely eager to win what would be a substantial contract.

All of them came equipped with glossy folders filled wi...

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373130325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373130320
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,858,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romance Junkie December 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the story of Isabella Orsini the last of the single Orsini children. I thought it was great. Rio is the rich, Italian, drop dead gorgeous alpha male who waited for Izzy's interview for three hours. This poor man didn't have a chance. From the moment they met sparks were flying and since he didn't want her to know he was Rio the man she kept waiting for an interview he said his name was Matteo. This technically was not a lie since that was the name given to him at the orphanage. Anyway, I don't want to tell you the story, I just want to say this book grabs you from the start and doesn't let you go. I recommend this book highly. The only fault I found is that it was too short but as short as it was I gave it five stars and I don't give five stars lightly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable & Unique January 4, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Real Rio D'Aquila (Harlequin Presents)

THE REAL RIO D'AQUILA by Sandra Marton is a December 2011 release by Harlequin Presents.

Isabella Orsini is looking forward to a job at tycoon Rio D A'Quila's new country estate as a landscaper. But she was late to the interview due to unforeseen circumstances. Reaching there at last she meets a hunky shirtless man who introduces himself as Matteo Rossi, the caretaker of the estate. And sparks flew!

Rio had waited for Isabella to turn up for the interview and when at last she did come and took him to be a servant; he pretended to be the caretaker. They get closer still when Isabella spends the night at the estate. The chemistry between them just sizzled and they end up in bed. But what will happen when Isabella will learn that Matteo Rossi is Rio? Will she accept the lies he told and forgive him? But Isabella does know that Rio didn't lie about his background and he was Matteo Rossi before he became Rio.

Isabella's family lands in on their romantic getaway and takes her away after letting her know that Matteo is Rio. Can Rio now live without Isabella? How will he confront the family and ask them about Isabella?

THE REAL RIO D'AQUILA is a sensational and exquisite romance. The premise is exciting and the story keeps you involved from the first page.

Sandra Marton has brought with her master story telling this remarkable tale, THE REAL RIO D'AQUILA that sparkles with plenty of sizzle, sensuality and romance. Her characters are amazing in their complexities, their interactions and their growing love for each another. A very unique and enjoyable read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate! December 4, 2011
By Dee
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Really enjoyed this Sandra Marton book. The last in the Orsini series was the best one yet. I love it when you get the male point of view which we get plenty of in this book.

There are a few implausible bits but overall a really great book that I couldn't put down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Whirlwind romance January 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Will the real unforgettable Lover please stand up? Seriously, you're driving Iz crazy. . . Great thing, though, Rio didn't lie in the things that really matter. I love how helpless Rio felt when it came to falling in love with Iz. Made me realize that in love, there is no such thing as arrogance, ruthlessness & formidable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sizzling! December 5, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So sad to see Sandra Marton's Orsini Brothers and Brides come to an end and oh what an ending as only Ms. Marton can pen. Fabulous!

Rio De'Aquila had not always had this name. Yes it was his legal name now but when he was a child, the nuns at the orphanage had named him Matteo Rossi. He was sexy as sin, had homes all over the world, was filthy rich and not too hard on the eyes. He had a home in the Hamptons which needed to be landscaped and thanks to spending an evening with Dante Orsini and his wife, because he was looking for a landscaper, Dante's wife suggested Izzy, Dante's sister for the job, at least an interview and he agreed.

What a day for Izzy Orsini. Everyone wanted her to help with their plants, she had an interview, borrowed her sister's Anna's clothes, shoes and car. And she was late. More than two hours late, had an accident with the car, her clothes, hair, everything was a wreck and she looked horrible. Now when she came upon the estate she met an arrogant man who claimed to be the caretaker, but really it was Rio D'Aquila and he made her furious. Earlier in the day, Rio had been digging ditches and working in the garden. He was furious that this Izzy was well over two hours late and when she finally arrived, dirty and disheveled, he decided to introduce himself as Mateo Rossi because life as he had once know it and since she actually thought he was the caretaker, he thought it would be fun to act the part. was. In business and the women he dated liked him for what he could give them. However, after some hours with Izzy, and the sparks flying between them he decided not to tell her who he was and because the train station was closed and her car out of commission, he offered her a bedroom in his home.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend December 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a story that was unique from others. The chemistry between the heroine and the hero felt truthful. I couldn't but this book down, I read in a day. Fabulous story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love, loved this book! Super passionate!! December 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This ebook was fabulous!! I bought this ebook 1st not knowing it was the last one of a series but believe me I will go back and purchase the rest of the "Orsinis family" books. Very hard to put this one down. The bedroom scenes were enough to make you lick your lips and say umm umm umm!!! Great work Sandra Marton!
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More About the Author

Sandra Marton, a USA Today Bestselling author, writes sexy, emotional romances about Alpha heroes and the smart, independent women who tame them. Her Alphas range from Special Forces military operatives to captains of industry, but they're always guys who steal the hearts of readers all around the world.

PRIDE, book one of her new series, In Wilde Country, delivers all the heat, heart, emotion and humor Sandra is known for. You won't want to miss meeting Luca Bellini and Cheyenne McKenna, but be careful---this one is HOT!


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