by Trish Morey, author of Tycoon’s Temptation
If you had to pick your most public scandalous moment, what would it be?
Franco: The day the tabloids learned I’d dropped out of Eton. That one would be hard to beat. I remember the front page of the paper the next day – the paparazzi got a photo of my father practically frothing at the mouth, threatening to disown me if I didn’t go back to school.
But you didn’t, did you?
Franco: [grim-faced] No. I left for Italy the same day.
Holly: [shaking her head] Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever had a public scandalous moment. My one public moment was totally humiliating – I don’t want to say any more than that here, though Franco knows – but at least it wasn’t plastered all over the papers.
Was there an even more scandalous event that didn’t make it into the press?
Franco: [looking uncomfortable, his features tight] Yes. And it’s ironic really, because there was me thinking I was escaping my scandalous family history by running away to Italy, only to discover that the apple didn’t fall that far from the tree.
Holly: [taking his hand] You don’t have to do this, Franco.
Franco: No. It’s okay. It’s a long time ago and I can talk about this now. [Pauses for a breath] About five years after I moved to Italy, an old girlfriend came looking for me. Apparently I’d fathered a child before I left for Italy, and I would never have known except the child needed a kidney donor. I was the last hope for a match and it turned out that I was one. [Shakes head on a sigh] Not that it helped. Anyway, the tabloids would have been all over it if they’d found out. Thank goodness they didn’t. It was tough enough without those scavengers sniffing out the story.
What do you love most about Holly, Franco? And vice versa?
Franco: Just one thing? Maybe that smart tongue that was doing its best to slice me apart from our first meeting.
Holly: Well, you were asking for trouble turning up in that helicopter of yours.
Franco: What could I do? They were all out of Maseratis!
On that, what were your first thoughts when you saw each other?
Holly: My very first thoughts? I thought he was drop-dead gorgeous and it was all the more reason not to like him.
Franco: [laughing] I remember that scowl. I also remember thinking you were going to be trouble. Seems I was right [earns him a dig in the ribs].
If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be?
Franco: So long as I had Holly, I wouldn’t care about anything else.
Holly: He’s just trying to make up for that last answer.
What is the naughtiest thing you did at school?
Franco: I used to sneak away from rugby to visit my girlfriend.
Holly: [blinking] I once borrowed a book from library without checking it out. My life is so boring by comparison.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Franco: [looks knowingly across at Holly] Holly knows.
Holly: [blushes but holds his gaze] Franco! I’m not telling anyone that!
What is your worst habit?
Franco: I never hang the towels up in the bathroom after I’ve used them.
Holly: And I leave them there. [Smiles] One day he’ll learn.
What is your favourite film?
Franco: High Noon.
Holly: Love Actually.
What present would you put beneath the Christmas tree for each other?
Franco: Something turquoise, to match Holly’s eyes.
Holly: Ooh, how long is it till Christmas?
How will you spend your first anniversary as a couple?
Franco: [slips his arm around his wife’s shoulders] A beach somewhere, footsteps in the sand and a low slung pearl of a moon. Good food, good wine, and 365 days’ worth of memories.
Holly: [smiling] Not to mention 365 nights…
What is your biggest secret?
Franco: I’m crazy in love with this woman.
Holly: That’s hardly a secret. You married me, remember?
Franco: Okay, so you answer the question. What’s your biggest secret?
Holly: [smiling widely] I was waiting for the right moment to tell you. Are you sure you want me to tell while everyone’s listening?
Franco: [bustles interviewer from room] Interview’s over!
About Tycoon’s Temptation:
When the black sheep doesn’t get his way!
Franco Chatsfield never lived by his family’s rules, and he isn’t going to start now. But The Chatsfield’s new CEO needs Franco to secure a partnership, and he can’t say no. He’ll seal the deal and leave. But one woman stands in his way….
Holly Purman has devoted her life to her family’s vineyard, and she won’t risk it all for a Chatsfield, so she’ll give Franco six weeks to prove himself. But working together sends their senses reeling, and when one taste isn’t enough, they quickly discover the price of temptation!
Welcome to The Chatsfield, Sydney!