By Elizabeth A. Adler - Delacorte Press (1998) - Hardback - 358 pages - ISBN 0385315953
When Dan Cassidy walked into her Santa Monica bistro, romance was the last thing on Ellie Parrish Duveen's mind.Alone in the world except for her beloved grandmother, Lottie, Ellie grew up as the sole heir to her family's once formidable fortune. Over time, however, that fortune dwindled, making it increasingly difficult for her grandmother to live in the family's old Italianate mansion in the Montecito hills. Between running her small restaurant and trying to take care of her grandmother, Ellie doesn't exactly have time for men.Dan, once a New York City cop, owner of a rundown winery, is also too busy for love. Still, his attraction to Ellie is undeniable. But their brief glimpse of a future together is quickly interrupted, for a dark secret lurking in her family's infamous history is about to resurface. And what Ellie doesn't know about her own past could kill them all.Unknown to Ellie, another man has also returned to California--her half-brother Buck Duveen, ostracized from the family 20 years ago and left forgotten in a sanitarium in New York. Suddenly released, Buck sets out to reclaim what once could have been his, and insinuates himself into Ellie's life. He wants the family's mansion. The fortune and privileged life he was denied. Most of all, he wants to strike back at the woman who sent him a away--Lottie Parrish--and everything surrounding her...including her granddaughter Ellie.