By the Break of Dawn

By the Break of DawnEli King has been in love with Isabella Rossi since they were children. Every year, he has given Isabella a valentine on Valentine’s Day. But this year, Isabella is old enough for Eli to court.

Since Isabella was a young child in Italy, her grandmother, Countess Rossi, has told her of the old wives' tale that a maiden must look out her window on Valentine’s Day morning, just before sunrise. The man she sees is the man she will marry within the year. Isabella hopes to see Eli, but the man she sees is one she's never met--Chace Monette.

Chace puts a villainous plan into action, determined to have Isabella for himself or ruin her family name. How can Isabella ever be happy with him? Can there be a happy ending for Eli and Isabella, or will the old wives' tale prove true?




Isabella rose from her bed just before dawn broke across the sky. She slipped quietly from her bed and took her place at the window. When she was a little girl her grandmother, Countess Carmen Rossi told her of an old tradition passed down from generation to generation.

“On the morning of Valentine’s Day a young maiden must go to her window and look out just before the dawn breaks. If she sees a man walking below her window, he is the man she will marry before the year is out,” Carmen said smiling down at her granddaughter.

Isabella looked up at her grandmother her brown eyes full of questions. “But  nonna, how can this be?”

“It is how I knew I would marry your grandfather, angelo. I looked out my window and there he was. So very handsome.” She’d put her hand over her heart and acted like she would swoon.

A smile had broken over ten-year-old Isabella’s lips.

Now, since she was of age to marry she took her grandmother’s saying to heart, that and she was a great fan of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In the play the character Ophelia sings of the tradition:

“Good morrow! “

“Tis St. Valentine’s Day. “

“All in the morning bedtime.”

“And I a maid at your window. “

“To be your valentine.”

Isabella stood quietly in the darkness of her bedroom. She slid the window open and peered out, praying it would be Eli’s form she would see.

A man approached and she held her breath, afraid to even breathe.

The street lamp gave a clear view of the likeness of the man below….it was none other than Chace Monette, an associate of her fathers.











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