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Island Quest

Island Quest

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Island Quest

Length:
143 pages
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 6, 2012
ISBN:
9781465918468
Format:
Book

Description

Ros Farleigh needs to find her half-brother. Tim Preston, nineteen and on his own for the first time as he works his way round the Mediterranean, playing the drums in hotel bands, vanished three months earlier leaving his precious drums behind. Always a regular correspondent, his last letter was full of mysterious hints of danger, surprises, and secrets. His last few postcards from Majorca had been marked, indicating isolated coves and unidentified buildings.
Ros is staying at the Castilla hotel from which Tim vanished, where she encounters Lorenzo y Carreira, dark, arrogantly Spanish, talented guitarist, and too handsome for his own good. Sparks fly. Tim had mentioned going sailing with Lorenzo, and he might be able to help.
Ros begins to learn some puzzling facts. At around the same time Tim vanished Lorenzo was involved in a sailing accident, and spent a couple of days in hospital. But no one wants to talk about it, and the event wasn't reported in the local press.

Previously published under the pseudonym Bridget Thorn.

Publisher:
Released:
Feb 6, 2012
ISBN:
9781465918468
Format:
Book

About the author

Most writers can't help themselves! It's a compulsion. Getting published, though, is something really special, and having been so fortunate myself I now try to help aspiring writers by handing on tips it took me years to work out. I've published over 60 titles, including four in the How To Books' Successful Writing Series, and Writing Historical Fiction for Studymates. I have judged short story competitions, been a final judge for the Harry Bowling Prize and was an adviser to the 3rd edition of Twentieth Century Romance and Historical Writers 1994. If you want to find out more about your favourite authors, consult this book. I once wrote an article on writing romantic fiction for the BBC's web page, for Valentine's day. I have given talks and workshops for the Arts Council and at most of the major Writing Conferences, and helped establish the Romantic Novelists' Association's annual conference. I was Chairman of the RNA 1991-3, ran their New Writers' Scheme and edited their newsletter. I am now a Vice-President. As well as writing I have edited books for Transita, featuring women 'of a certain age', and for Choc Lit where gorgeous heros are the norm. I was asked to write A Century of Achievement, a 290 page history of my old school, Queen Mary's High School, Walsall, and commissioned to write a book on Castles and Corvedale to accompany a new circular walk in the area. Most of my Regencies written under the pseudonym Sally James are now published in ebook format as well as many others of my out of print novels which my husband is putting into ebook format. Our daughter Debbie is helping with designing the covers. For details of all my books and my many pseudonyms see my website.


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Island Quest - Marina Oliver

ISLAND QUEST

BY

MARINA OLIVER

Ros Farleigh needs to find her half-brother. Tim Preston, nineteen and on his own for the first time as he works his way round the Mediterranean, playing the drums in hotel bands, vanished three months earlier leaving his precious drums behind.

Always a regular correspondent, his last letter was full of mysterious hints of danger, surprises, and secrets. His last few postcards from Majorca had been marked, indicating isolated coves and unidentified buildings.

Ros is staying at the Castilla hotel from which Tim vanished, where she encounters Lorenzo y Carreira, dark, arrogantly Spanish, talented guitarist, and too handsome for his own good.

Sparks fly. Tim had mentioned going sailing with Lorenzo, and he might be able to help.

Ros begins to learn some puzzling facts.

Island Quest

By Marina Oliver

Copyright © 2016 Marina Oliver

Smashwords Edition

The moral right of the author has been asserted

Cover Design by Debbie Oliver

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

First print edition published under the pseudonym Bridget Thorn 2002 by Ulverscroft.

See details of other books by Marina Oliver at

http:/www.marina-oliver.net

AUTHOR NOTE

Majorca is very different from the sister island, Minorca. I have enjoyed holidays in both. I hope you will enjoy both the novels set in these enchanting islands.

ISLAND QUEST

BY MARINA OLIVER

Chapter 1

Ros wondered, as the threaded her way through Palma's traffic, whether she'd have been wiser to hire a taxi. Then at last she was free of the town, driving along a narrow, winding road, the sea on her left and orchards full of fluffy pink almond blossom on her right. There were orange, lemon and grapefruit trees, but apart from the almonds the most intriguing sight was the olive groves. Ancient gnarled and twisted trunks of an almost opaque grey-green promised mystery and age-old wisdom, and she had a wild urge to lose herself in their misty depths.

Her reverie was broken as she saw the sign for the Castilla. She turned off the main road and began a steep descent towards the sea. A belt of trees, mainly pines, hid the hotel from view. Then she reached the end of the trees and Ros gasped at the magnificent view before her. To the left several small chalets were scattered on the side of the hill, partly concealed by the trees but all with a view of the bay. To the right, above a series of terraced gardens set with small arbours, overlooking a circular swimming pool right on the edge of the cliffs, was the main part of the hotel, a long, low, white-painted and green-shuttered building. In front of it was a wide terrace, double doors opening onto it from the whole length of the building. A few people sat at small tables drinking apertifs, others were sitting on the balconies.

She brought the car to a halt under a large portico at the side of the hotel and already a uniformed porter was opening her door. She'd arrived, and was eager to start, to get on with what had brought her to Majorca. When a problem needed solving she preferred to do it as soon as possible, and this was the biggest problem she had ever been presented with in her five and twenty years. She had only three weeks, and ached to get on with the task of finding her kid brother.

The porter lifted her cases out of the car, but before he could place them on the trolley a low, sleek sports car swept down the drive, and the wing caught one case and sent it flying. The locks burst, and Ros watched in fury as her clothes spilled out all over the paved drive.

She bent down to retrieve them, angrily thrusting them back into the case while she silently cursed the clumsy oaf who'd caused the damage. If any of her dresses were ruined he'd pay for them!

'Madam, we will see to that. Oh dear, I do apologise,' the porter gabbled. Then Ros found her elbow gripped firmly, and she was pulled to her feet. She turned sharply and found herself staring up into dark, almost black eyes, deep set in a bronzed, handsome and aquiline face that was undoubtedly Spanish. Too handsome, and doesn't he know it, was her first thought, and she tried to shake off his hand.

'Let me go! Who the devil do you think you are?' she asked curtly.

He was standing close beside her and she had to tilt her head back to look up at him, for she came only to his shoulder. Narrow-hipped but broad shouldered, he was casually but expensively dressed in tight narrow black jeans which emphasised his lean but muscular limbs. His hair, black, thick and long, covered his ears and curled crisply into the nape of his neck.

'Just Satan's little brother,' he replied calmly, and Ros gave an involuntary choke of laughter. 'I am Lorenzo y Carreira, at your service. I must apologise, and if anything is damaged I will replace it. Welcome to Majorca.'

He grinned, revealing brilliantly white even teeth between well shaped, elegantly curved lips. Lips which could no doubt subdue any woman foolish enough to be taken in by his charm. Ros snatched at her errant thoughts. His eyes were glinting at her in amusement and she felt confused, then suddenly resentful. He seemed to have read her wayward mind. He was dangerous. This was a man who would be unscrupulous in using his undoubted sexual attractiveness to gain his own way. But apart from his superior male attitude, the name was one she recognised. Tim had mentioned him briefly in that last disturbing letter.

She shivered but forced herself to reply coolly. It would be foolish to quarrel with someone who might be able to help her. He might know what had happened to Tim.

'I'm Ros Farleigh. I'll send you the bills. Thank you, Senor Carreira.'

Ros picked up her small carry-on bag and took a step away from him, but he swiftly detained her by again putting a hand on her arm.

'The porter will see to them, Miss Farleigh. Number six, Juan,' he told the man. 'Come,' he ordered, 'allow me to buy you a drink. To settle your nerves,' he added before she could refuse.

*

Ros, struggling to fight down her renewed antagonism at his assumption that she would meekly do as he ordered, nonetheless went with him, observing him through narrowed eyes. Just what was it about this man that so inevitably drew sparks from her? Was it his masculine assertiveness, the air of complete self possession, and what she knew with an inner conviction was his complacent knowledge of his own sexual allure? His crisp white shirt was open-necked, and it permitted a glimpse of curled black hair on his chest, and the gleam of a gold chain and small gold cross just caressing the top few hairs. The typical Latin lover, she thought contemptuously. Well, she was proof against his practised charms.

He led her to a table on the terrace and a waiter hovered for their order. 'I apologise again,' he said as they sat down. 'I was in too much of a hurry, though the porter should not have left your cases on the ground.'

She tried to be civil. 'Are you staying here?' Tim hadn't said.

He glanced at her, but she could not interpret his expression. Was it scornful, calculating, or – and the thought startled her – simply wary?

'I work here. I play the guitar,' he answered briefly.

She noticed his long fingers, slender and sensitive, and nodded. An entertainer. That accounted for his air of superiority. All those silly little girls hanging about the stage while he performed, sighing, casting admiring, languishing glances at him, feeding their dreams of holiday romance with the handsome Spanish guitarist.

It might also account for Tim's mention of him, for her brother had been an aspiring musician. Had been? She chastised herself furiously. Was! Tim was still alive. There was no reason to believe otherwise. Nothing apart from that last letter, and the complete silence for more than three months. He must still be alive somewhere. If she ceased to believe that she might just as well give up this otherwise foolish exploit and go back home.

'Is there entertainment in the hotel every night?' she asked, determinedly disciplining her unruly thoughts. She must discover more about the place where Tim had last worked, where she herself was going to start her attempt to trace him.

'We play four days now at the Castilla, but the dancers, Maria and Pedro, go to other hotels on their free nights. They need the extra money, they are saving to get married. They are young and foolish,' he added, and Ros glanced at him, intrigued by his tone.

Had it been bitter or disapproving? Was it to do with the dancers, or was there a personal reason for it? It was hard to tell and he was looking straight ahead. Was marriage always a risk, something most people deplored or were wary of?

She grinned wryly. Most people, but not her own mother, who at that very moment was preparing to marry for the fifth time, despite four spectacular failures.

Hastily she dismissed thoughts of her frivolous parent and found herself curious to know if her companion had been hurt in some way to cause that tone. But if he had it would have been a fitting and just retribution for such a sexually arrogant man, she told herself waspishly.

'Have you been to Majorca before?' he asked into the silence.

'I came here once years ago with my mother. There are many more hotels now,' she added, recalling the coastline, hotels strung all along the western arm of the bay.

'I'm surprised you come alone,' he said brusquely.

'I have my own reasons,' she said repressively. Ros swallowed her annoyance. She needed to discover a little more before she told this man her real objective. For all she knew he might be involved in Tim's disappearance.

'Can you speak Spanish?' he asked. 'Not many tourists bother.'

'It is not so excellent as your English, Senor, but I've spoken it all my life, as my maternal grandmother was Spanish, from Andalucia, and I lived in California where we always had Mexican maids,' Ros replied in rapid and faultless Spanish. She had the satisfaction of seeing Lorenzo's eyebrows raised slightly, and then felt absurdly piqued when instead of congratulating her he merely nodded. Angrily she chastised herself. Why should he be complimentary? His own English

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