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Spark Of Love - Return With His Secret Child

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At twenty-two, Danielle Hartford struggled to manage the matrimonial firm she inherited from her mother. A surprise email from Vincent Cromwell requesting her agency for their services seemed like the blessing she needed. However, when the seventy-two-year-old Cromwell demanded a bride for himself, Danielle was disappointed. She had expected it to be for his drooling hot grandson, Knox Zachary Cromwell, the one she nurtured a crush on. Knox tried everything in his power to stop his grandfather from getting married to produce an heir. When nothing worked, he proposed a deal to Danielle to give him a male heir in return for a huge amount of money. Her love for him, her need to save her business, made her give in. However, she gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Soon, Vincent Cromwell married against his grandson's wishes. Thinking it was an underhanded ploy, Knox destroyed Danielle’s business. Danielle left the city forever with her daughter, handing him his male heir. Would Knox ever realize what he had done?

Chapter 1 Prologue - The Email

Danielle Hartford stared at the email she just received in disbelief. Why would the famous billionaire Vincent Cromwell, proprietor and retired CEO of the Cromwell Reckitt Group of Companies send her an email? What could he need from a next-to-nothing matrimonial agency like hers? Surely, at seventy-two, he wouldn’t need their services to find him a bride! Maybe he wanted a bride for his grandson, the hottest man on earth, Knox Zachary Cromwell. 

How could she forget her first and only crush? 

Excitement coursed through her veins. Well, there was only one way to find out!

Still, in a daze, she clicked on the email to go through its contents. Just then, her business partner and friend, Loretta Knightley, rushed in through the door of their one-roomed office. 

“Did you check the mail? Vincent Cromwell wants a bride! Oh, my gosh! I don’t believe this! We’ll be famous! We’ll finally be rich!” she gushed, clasping her hands together and going into her dreamland. Danielle’s jaws dropped with horror. Did Vincent Cromwell really need a bride? Where would they get a bride for him?

“We don’t have anyone in our database whom we could match with him!” pointed out Danielle, with wide eyes. 

“Umm, I can ask my granny if she knows anyone who would be interested in Vincent Cromwell and his riches,” said Loretta with a wicked grin. Danielle rolled her eyes at her friend. Knowing her granny, Isabella Knightley’s loud group of friends, she wouldn’t be surprised if all of them lined up to marry Vincent Cromwell. Well, that problem was solved and they would finally earn something out of this deal. 

She went through the email.

Dear Happy Matchmakers,

I would like to avail your personalized matchmaking services at the earliest. Kindly visit me at my residence tomorrow at 12 noon for a detailed discussion. 

Thanks and regards,

Vincent Cromwell.

Cromwell Mansion.

1200 Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, USA.

Phone: 1 (213) 508-6449.

“Will you meet him please, Dani? I’m sure you will charm him more than I can.” Hope fluttered in Danielle’s heart. After all, Vincent Cromwell hadn’t clearly mentioned he wanted their services for himself. Did he? So, all wasn’t lost. 

“How will I charm him? I don’t have a portfolio of prospective brides for him to choose from. Heck, I don’t even know if we can arrange a bride for him!” said Danielle, massaging her temples. “Why did he have to choose us out of millions of matchmaking agencies all over LA?” 

“Can’t you be glad he chose us? At least we have two clients now!” scolded Loretta. Danielle groaned, remembering their other client, Robert Franklin. He was a thirty-eight-year-old civil engineer who didn’t like any woman they matched him with! For the last two months, they had been hunting for a bride for him, but he rejected them all! 

“I have a better idea! Why don’t you talk to granny’s friends and then meet Vincent Cromwell yourself? You can show him the pictures of those interested in him!” Loretta shook her head vigorously, appalled at the idea. 

“No way! You know I get cold feet when I go to meet these billionaire clients! I wouldn’t be able to say a word! Please, Dani, you’ve got to do this.” Danielle frowned, completely in a dilemma now. Should she politely decline or should she go to Cromwell Mansion and face the man bravely? What if she made a fool of herself in front of Knox’s grandfather?

Seeing the hesitation on her face, Loretta picked up her mobile phone. She couldn’t let this opportunity go at all. She peered over her friend’s shoulder at her laptop screen and punched Vincent Cromwell’s number on her mobile phone. Next, she called him and waited impatiently for the old man to accept her call. 

“Hello, Can I talk to Mr. Cromwell, please?” she said professionally, just like receptionists at multinational offices did. 

“Speaking,” said a jovial voice from the other end. Danielle held onto her head with dismay, wondering what her friend was up to. 

“Good morning, sir. I am Loretta Knightley from Happy Matchmakers. We just received your email. Thank you for your faith in us. I wish to confirm that my business partner, Danielle Hartford, will visit you tomorrow at 12 to discuss your criteria and conditions.” 

“Thank you for confirming, Ms. Knightley. I’ll wait for your partner.” The old man disconnected the call, although Loretta was dying to know more.

“Why the hell did you have to call him and announce my name?” demanded a frustrated Danielle. Loretta gave her a Cheshire grin. 

“Now you cannot back out. He would be impatiently waiting for you. Anyway, I have other work to take care of. I’ve found a prospective bride for Robert. She’s a civil engineer as well, and they both can discuss buildings all their lives,” said Loretta with a giggle. 

“Hope this works out and we get our payment. The bills are mounting and soon we would have to close if we don’t find a breakthrough!” said Danielle with a sigh. Their situation was bleak, yet the two girls fought valiantly with their fate ever since they took over the reins of the company. 

Happy Matchmakers was Danielle’s mom, Meg Hartford’s business, which she handled efficiently for thirty years. She single-handedly brought up Danielle, giving her an excellent education, and providing for the two of them. Danielle’s father, Shaun Hartford, abandoned her mom when she was just five. Ever since her mom brought her up single-handedly until the last day when she met with a car accident. Danielle was at college when she received the shocking news of her mom’s death. It was so sudden and devastating that she hadn’t been able to come to terms with it for nearly a month. 

It took her nearly two months to pick up where her mom had left. After her death, the company database received a major setback, as most of the clients backed out. 

With the rent accumulating and the bills pending, she had to drop out of her college and take an interest in the business. After six months of struggle, Loretta, who was a college friend, dropped by to ask after her. In six months, Loretta graduated from her college and joined Danielle full-time. It was because of her outgoing nature that Danielle could run the business. She was too shy to approach people, let alone set them up with one another. She wondered how her mom did it! 

“Vincent Cromwell is our jackpot, Dani. Don’t screw this up,” said Loretta. 

The whole day, Danielle fretted and worried about her meeting the next day. Robert thankfully liked the new woman, just as Loretta had predicted, and agreed to go on a second date with her. Loretta agreed only on the condition that he paid them twenty percent of their service charge.

Loretta waved the cheque at her friend like a prized possession when she entered the office. “Payment at last,” announced Loretta with relief. The money took care of their pending rent and the two friends could concentrate more on work now.

“Lori, can you drop me home? My car broke down in the morning,” said Danielle, who used her mom’s ancient car that stopped most of the time. 

“Why don’t you dump that in the junkyard and buy a nice second-hand car instead?” asked Loretta. 

“I will once we earn well!” she answered with a sigh. They really needed a breakthrough, it seemed. So was Vincent Cromwell really a solution to all their financial problems? Maybe yes! She knew she couldn’t screw this. It was the only opportunity they had. Climbing into Loretta’s red Nissan Versa, they went towards Danielle’s one-bedroom studio apartment, the only place she could call her own.

“All the best for tomorrow. I’ll take Granny for her therapy in the morning. I’ll wait for your update. Call me when done,” said Loretta. 

The next day, Danielle took a cab to the address Vincent Cromwell mentioned. Her eyes widened seeing the five-storeyed palatial mansion in front of her spread over acres of verdant grounds of the estate. 

She got out of the car and walked up to the gigantic black gates. After confirming with Vincent Cromwell, the guards allowed her inside the property. Dazed by the grandeur of the place, Danielle walked down the paved path towards the main entrance of the house. The moment she rang the doorbell, a uniformed male servant ushered her inside the house, guiding her through the foyer to the grand reception room. As she sat on the plush sofa soaking up the exceptional vistas, the aroma of the flora and pear plants in the garden outside overwhelmed her. She hardly heard the angry footsteps approaching her. 

“Who are you? Where is Daniel Hartford?” said a deep voice, causing her to jump up with surprise. She instantly recognized that voice even before she turned to look at the man. 

“I’m Danielle Hartford,” she mumbled somehow as she turned to fix her gaze on the most handsome, arrogant, and reckless man she ever knew. Her eyes drank in his dark hair, whiskey eyes, and exquisitely chiseled face with longing.  

It was still the same even after so many years! Knox Zachary Cromwell, the one she could never forget!


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of my imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. 

Copyright © Rituparna Darolia. 

All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author. 

This is the first book of the Reckless Hearts Series.

Chapter 2 The Cold Encounter

Danielle blinked with disbelief, not having expected to see Knox here. The last time she had checked his social media account, he was well-settled in Denmark. When did he return from Denmark? Her life had changed drastically in the last eight years, and now Knox wasn’t her priority any longer. Life has been tough on her and her tinted visions of love have taken a backseat. Anyway, Knox was way beyond her league and she had realized it the hard way at a very tender age! 

“Are you kidding me, woman? How the f*ck can you be Daniel Hartford?” he barked, his face flushed with fury. Danielle’s heart shattered, realizing he hadn’t recognized her at all. 

His harsh words brought her out of her reverie, and she focused on the hard, ruthless man in front of her. 

“I am Danielle from Happy Matchmakers. I’m here to meet Vincent Cromwell.” Although her instincts prompted her to run, she squared her shoulders to face him bravely. However, her announcement had the opposite effect


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