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Length: 221 pages3 hours


Set in Australia and South East Asia, “Vortex” is the story of a woman running away from her heritage and the man who helps her see this as an impossibility. Priscilla Brione is the daughter of an Australian billionaire mining magnate. Estranged from her father, due to disagreements over his business dealings and her disgust at being labelled a “society princess”, Cilla now lives anonymously in Melbourne, as far away from her father as possible.

Into her life comes a figure from her past, Mitch Benoir, sent by her father to take her home to the family Estate in Queensland. There have been kidnapping threats and fears for Cilla's safety so her father wants her to return to the Estate for security reasons. Cilla distrusts her father’s intentions and Mitch has to force her to return. Having had a breakup with Mitch when they were teenagers, Cilla's antagonism is immediate and forceful. She makes a snap character judgement of the now older Mitch and decides to oppose him at every opportunity. Because of her continued attempts to escape, the threat of kidnapping follows them on their journey until Mitch is injured in a botched attempt to snatch Cilla and she must face how her self-centeredness has an effect on others – and also face how she really feels about Mitch.

Mitch returns Cilla to the Estate but refuses to stay and complicate the healing of the relationship between her and her father, who wants Mitch to take up a senior position in the organisation. Instead he returns to South East Asia, where he grew up and learned several languages, in order to get medical attention. He is also on his own mission to find his father who has gone missing. While he is away Cilla and her father repair their relationship and Cilla begins to accept who she is and how her father operates his empire. When Mitch has not returned after many weeks, she decides to go to South East Asia looking for him. Believing the immediate threat of kidnapping to be over, Mitch spirits her away from her security detail and takes her on a tour of the countries and people he has come to love.

But fate has other plans for them both and the threat of kidnapping continues to follow them on their journey towards each other, until it catches up with them in Bali where Mitch loses Cilla to kidnappers and must now face his own demons. In shame he returns to the Estate where he must put aside his feelings and help return Cilla to her father unharmed. When Cilla is rescued, it falls to him to try to repair the damage the kidnapping has done, not only to Cilla's mental state, but to their relationship.

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