SECRET SHADES OF FADING BLOOD
Helena, twenty-two years old, is a Greek Cypriot endowed with the beauty to launch at least a thousand punches. A successful marketing executive at the Limassol Palace Hotel, her career is on the rise. Until she meets two cousins, Enrique and Ramón, thirty-three and twenty-nine respectively, from an old Catalonian Spanish family from Costa Brava. It seems to be love at first sight. But in a triangle.
However, Helena has a secret buried deep inside her that she wants to keep away even from herself: When she was five years old, she discovered that her parents, an aristocratic British mother and Greek architectural engineer father, are actually her adoptive parents. They have no idea who her biological parents are because they adopted her from a convent in Nairobi in 1982 when she was only three days old. This “secret” has dogged her all her life, hindering her from entering into any relationships of the slightest sexual or romantic shade.
Now her unfulfilled sexuality craves for Enrique. Her heart is stolen by Ramón and this frightens her so much that she is determined to discourage the relationship with Ramón. Believing she would not be obliged to reveal her parentage to a mere lover, she opts for sex with Enrique. The steadfast Ramón’s interest in her seems to trickle down to friendship after her affair with Enrique.
To Helena’s disbelief, Enrique, the rakish bounder whose sexual prowess and string of female conquests dominate the gossip media, proposes to her. She’s convinced Enrique loves her enough to accept her dubious parentage. Helena and Enrique get engaged. On the night before he presents her to his family in Costa Brava, she feels confident enough to reveal her secret to him . Enrique’s reaction is to reject her, confirming her lifelong nightmare that she is cursed for life by her bloodline. And Enrique – to score the point – rewards her with an experience that is every woman’s nightmare.
Ramón who still genuinely loves Helena had only stopped chasing her when he was convinced that she has chosen his cousin over him. For her happiness he would sacrifice his life. When Enrique leaves Helena a broken young woman, and pregnant, Ramón is there for her and pieces together her broken shards. He convinces Helena that the only way to forever come to terms with her psychological torment is to confront the source of it. To end a lifelong of emotional turmoil, she succumbs to Ramón’s suggestion. The two of them embark on the search for her biological parentage which takes them from Cyprus to the adoptive family’s home in the dales of Yorkshire, and from there to another family home in the Highlands of Scotland. In Scotland they discover the final lead which takes them to a Benedictine Convent in Kenya…
…where assassins are waiting to kill Helena. Because the revelation of Helena’s secret threatens the career of a high profile political and religious leader in the African country, who conspires with others to have Helena murdered before she gets to the root of her true descent. Through various mishaps and discord between those who conspire to murder Helena and Ramón, the conspirators give up after three attempts by the assassins fail and Helena and Ramón take refuge in the Spanish Embassy in Nairobi.
Helena and Ramón finally find her biological mother who is now a nun at the Benedictine Convent. It’s a tricky reunion between mother and daughter, especially because the nun does not even know the true name of her lover – Helena’s biological father. This aggravates the situation for Helena but finally she has to accept the facts. Both her biological parents had once met as teenagers and were together only for a few days before they lost all contact. Her father, whoever he was and wherever he is, has no idea that he has a 22-year-old daughter. The nun’s father, a reverend-cum-politician, discovering that his underage teenaged daughter was expecting a child out of wedlock, had made arrangements for the girl to have her baby at the Benedictine Home For Unwed Mothers, and then give the baby up for adoption. With her baby taken away from her, the young girl had decided to remain at the Home and become a Benedictine nun. It was her way of remaining near her lost flesh and blood.
Helena and Ramón become engaged in the nun’s cubicle at the convent and the two finally convince her to come to Cyprus with them in order to attend Helena and Ramón’s wedding.
In Cyprus, there is a great twist in the story to the surprise and joy of all concerned. Because, all the while since her adoption when she was three days old, Helena had in fact been raised by her own flesh and blood without anybody being the wiser.
Everybody is delighted but Enrique, who is not at all amused. Enrique, temporarily exiled in Florida, is ensnared in the human stratification trap as he watches his angelic son growing up as Helena and Ramón’s son, calling him, Enrique, Tío Ricky. Together with the fact that he had never quite stopped having feelings for Helena, he slowly takes to drugs and in the end barely escapes death after a “drugged” motorboat accident in the Gulf of Mexico…