The Diamond Cross is a sweeping historical romance/saga that exemplifies love, hope, fortitude and personal triumph in a spectacular, hedonistic era. Siblings János and Eva Imre emigrate from Budapest to New York in 1873 in pursuit of elusive Bart Karolyi, a wolf in sheep’s clothing who has stolen Eva’s heart, her virginity and the entire Imre family’s savings. János and pregnant Eva face incredible odds after being processed through Castle Garden–the gateway to America. Will the family heirloom, a fabulously stunning diamond cross, help sustain them and guarantee a future for Eva’s bastard child? Or will it prove to be their undoing? Can Janós rise above adversity to gain revenge on the man who destroyed the simplicity and sanity of their lives?
Even in the midst of personal chaos, hope shines through as Janós and his son Brenton discover the presence of a striking thirteen year old girl in the lobby of their hotel in Saratoga Springs. Who is this young beauty and why was she abandoned upon their doorstep? Does she have the power to rearrange their lives, to forever imprint herself upon them? Heather Hatfield captures the hearts of the Imre men folk, maturing into a breathtaking young woman with a keen business sense. Neither János nor Brenton can get enough of her. But whose heart does she hold dear? Can she love both father and son equally? Is her presence in their lives a good thing, or will it destroy them?
Heather sang while bathing later that morning. She was still singing when she appeared in the lobby dressed in lilac and smelling of it, too. János spent the night in his office and looked weary, but she didn’t notice as she danced around the lobby, greeting the guests with a cheerful, “Good morning. Nice day, isn’t it?”
She was on her way to see Artemus when she heard Brenton’s voice coming from a room next to János’ office. It was a smaller office and Brenton was using it as his own until a larger one could be outfitted for his needs. Heather knocked once. Without waiting, she opened the door. What she saw curdled her blood. Veronica Farmingdale and Brenton sat face to face across a wide table and there were what looked like wedding invitations strewn upon it. Veronica had just addressed a white parchment envelope when Heather barged in.
“Well, look what the cat dragged in,” Veronica said.
Brenton looked like Veronica’s cat had gotten the best of him as he said, “Hello, Heather.”
“Hello?” Heather mouthed in astonishment. “What’s going on here, Brenton?”
“We’re writing wedding invites,” Veronica said snottily. “I don’t believe I saw your name on our list.”
Heather grimaced. “Brenton, may I see you alone for a moment?”
Brenton’s brows furrowed, but he stood and followed her into the hallway. She led him inside the now empty dining room and stood looking at him for a long moment. When he said nothing, she tapped the toe of her shoe on the floor and said, “I believe an explanation’s in order.”
“Veronica picked our wedding date. It’ll be just before Christmas. We were just…”
“Addressing the invitations. I know. Brenton, after last night…”
“Last night was special, but it doesn’t change anything,” he said softly. “I’m still marrying Veronica.”
Heather’s heart went limp and she fought back tears of hurt and outrage. “How can you say that? How can you do that? You told me you loved me, Brenton.”
“I do,” he said sadly. “But Veronica’s good marriage material. I need to marry into money the way my father did. A match between Veronica and myself would cement our families and be a good investment for the Meredith Arms. With my education and her money, we could build this hotel into a palace and her father could help us secure even more properties.”
“That’s it?” she said incredulously. “A business investment? She’s marriage material and I’m not?” Heather felt herself fill with rage.
“We can still be friends,” he said. “We’ll see each other every day and…”
Heather slapped him, a swift palm slap to the side of his mouth which resounded in the otherwise quiet room and bounced off the walls. “You’re a bastard,” she shouted. “Go to hell.” She turned on her heels and stormed out of the room.