Ice At Heart

By: Sophie Weston

“You wanted me as much as I wanted you.”

Gaby opened her mouth to deny it, met the gray eyes and shut it again.

“I’m not excusing myself. God knows, I shouldn’t have let things get out of control like that,” Sven said levelly. “But it wasn’t just me. And you know it.”

Gaby stared at him. He was right. She thought of the fire in her blood, the wild moments when she had stopped thinking altogether.

“Gabrielle, if you hadn’t remembered something nasty, you and I would be making love right now,” Sven Hedberg told her. He stood and looked down at her consideringly.

“I’m going to find out what it is. We’re going to deal with it. And then—” he gave her a slow smile “—we’ll make love properly.”

Born in London, Sophie Weston is by nature a traveler, who started writing when she was five. She wrote her first romance while recovering from illness, thinking her traveling days were over. She was wrong, but she enjoyed writing so much that she has carried on. These days she lives in the heart of the city with two demanding cats and a cherry tree—and travels the world looking for settings for her stories. On her inspiration for Ice at Heart, Sophie Weston says, “As a schoolgirl I had a Swedish penfriend who taught me that Swedish children quite expected to speak other languages fluently and to travel and work abroad when they grew up. It was my first introduction to a true internationalist!”


‘I’M SORRY, Miss Hyssop. Your father won’t keep you a moment,’ said the polite personal assistant.

Gaby Hyssop chuckled. She had never visited her father when he had not kept her waiting. His assistants were usually instructed to ply her with magazines in which he was admiringly interviewed. They would also bring her coffee, the quality of which was designed to make his only daughter regret her decision to live in London when she left music college, rather than join her father in Los Angeles as he had asked her to do.

‘Something to read?’ the girl offered.

Gaby bit back a grin. Its cover displayed a photograph of Michael Hyssop, alternative practitioner to the stars, with his arm round an adoring beauty. The fact that the woman was on her third come-back and was a self-proclaimed ex-alcoholic only made it the more interesting from Michael’s point of view, Gaby thought. Presumably he’d had a hand in her recovery.

‘Thank you,’ she said gravely.

The girl gave her a relieved smile and went back to her computer screen. Gaby pulled the long rope of her shining chestnut hair over her shoulder and sank down on to a sumptuous couch to read about her father’s triumphs.

There was nothing particularly gripping in it, she found as she flicked through the pages. Both her parents were alternative therapists and she knew a lot of the theory from her mother. But while Anne was interested in deep healing and experiment, Michael ran a more successful and highly publicised practice in Hollywood. Anne, an intense and unworldly creature, was frankly scathing about it.

Gaby was rueful, remembering. Her mother had run out of patience with Michael and his love-affair with the media some years ago. In the last furious row, which Gaby still could not remember without wincing, Anne had called him a shallow showman. That was just before she walked out, leaving him in LA and bringing their only child home to London.

Gaby considered his photograph now, her head on one side. He was still a fine-looking man, she thought.

The telephone on the girl’s desk buzzed. She answered it. By the way her voice instantly warmed, Gaby knew who it was on the other end of the telephone. Could you dazzle someone over the telephone? she mused, as the girl put down the instrument with a far-away look in her eyes and turned to her.

‘Mr Hyssop says would you like some real American coffee?’ she said.

Gaby laughed aloud.

‘Doesn’t change, does he?’ she said with affection. ‘No, thank you. I’ll carry on reading his Press notices.’

The girl gave her an uneasy smile and went back to her work. Gaby selected another magazine. Michael or someone had marked one of the glossy gossip column snippets in a red biro. She ran her eye over it without much interest.