When I first conceived of this–conceived. Ha!–I knew I wanted a pair of heroes who were brothers, but rivals. They shared a father, but had had some kind of falling out with him. Somehow, that father had found out both of these men had impregnated women. He secretly brought the heroines to live with him and made their babies his heirs. I knew the heroes would discover this after their father’s death. I thought maybe the heroins would be his housekeeper and his nurse or something.
When Kiara hit the page, however, she came with paint brushes and canvases and dreams. After a brief affair with Val (who up and got married shortly after their night together) she was staring at giving up her artistic aspirations because she was pregnant. Enter Niko. He gave this orphan the security she longed for, a limitless future for her child, and a studio to call her own. All she had to do was wait until he died before telling Val he was a father.
It was an offer she couldn’t resist!
Val, however, has good reasons to hold a grudge against his father and when Niko dies, and he learns that Kiara kept his child secret for three years, he isn’t prepared to forgive easily. Did I mention he’s the illegitimate brother and and determined to live down to his label of ‘bastard’?
Kiara has a challenge on her hands, but fortunately, she’s adept at making a masterpiece out of raw materials.