Here we are almost 5 years into my writing and 3 since my debut novel HIDDEN HEART saw the daylight. 4 novels later I’m still arguing with my heroes, finding new ideas in as much as a photo and continuing on this journey of writing romance.
I absolutely love it when I connect with readers from all over the globe. This site here is where anyone can find me. Recently I thought about adding a little spice to our relationship, you know, just to make it fresh again 😉
In doing so I decided to use Mondays for excerpts. Today’s excerpt is from HIDDEN HEART:
Tessa bent over the balcony’s banister and looked into the darkness below. Her feet hurt. Dancing for an entire hour on high-heels no longer seemed like a good idea.
“Nice evening. Would you care for some champagne?” asked a thickly accented Italian voice.
Tessa straightened and turned. To her surprise, a handsome stranger stopped close to her, a bottle of champagne in one hand and two glasses in the other. The same stranger from the sky gondola, the same man she’d clung to for dear life only hours ago.
“You speak English!” Her voice sounded jittery and she hated it. Oh, God, I’m in trouble, so much trouble! Telling him earlier what she’d do with him, to him was one thing; him understanding was different, totally different. Butterflies filled her stomach and her heart drummed like the staccato bass of the music. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment as she covered her face with both hands, then peeked through her fingers.
A playful spark ignited his dark eyes while he tried to conceal a grin, failing miserably. He poured champagne in one glass and offered it to her. She accepted it with shaky hands, and took a sip. Sweet, bubbly, expensive—her taste exactly.
“Yes, as a matter of fact I do.” His voice had a buttery tone sounding like a lover’s whisper. He poured champagne for himself and placed the bottle on the nearby banister. He inclined his head while sensual lips curved in a smile that revealed perfect teeth. Clinking his glass to hers, he said, “Happy birthday!”
Words had never failed Tessa.
Would she ever regain her voice?
“I met Carlo, your friend at the bar.” He shrugged one shoulder with a sheepish grin. “We Italians tend to make friends fast. He told me about your birthday. I’m glad the scare earlier did not stop you from celebrating.”
Coming out of his mouth, English never sounded more alluring spoken with the sensual Italian accent.
“My name is Alessandro, Alessandro Santinelli.”
“Anastassia, Tessa Cosma. I’m from Romania, but here with my friends on vacation.”
He tilted his head, took her extended hand, lifted it to his lips and kissed it with infinite gentleness. His lips felt warm and smooth on her hand, a touch that made her stomach tighten. Under any other circumstance, Tessa would’ve thought the gesture old fashioned, and perhaps would’ve burst out laughing, but coming from this man, it seemed smooth, gracious and right.
“How is your shoulder?”
“Oh, much better, thank you. I kept a pack of ice on it.” Tessa rubbed her sore shoulder. The memory of her body pressed against his rushed through her mind. “So, you . . . where did you learn English so well?”
He raised one eyebrow and smiled. “As a child, my parents let me watch cartoons in English, but I didn’t understand a word. Since Batman was my favorite, I had no choice but master the language.” Alessandro looked like a child that just discovered ice cream. “How about you?”
Tessa smiled. “I had a crush on my English teacher. He looked like Alain Delon, you know, the French actor. I figured if I did all my homework and studied hard, he’d notice me.”
She laughed, throwing her head back. “I doubt it.”
Alessandro chuckled. “So, you’re from Romania, one of the oldest country in Europe. It’s on my to-visit list. How is it there?”
“It’s nice, I guess. Depends on what you’re expecting from such a trip, what you’re looking for.”
“I always wanted to see the ruins of Sarmisegetuza and hike the Carpathians.” Alessandro brushed a hand through his hair then sampled his champagne. His eyes never left her face.
Is he hitting on me? Alessandro seemed a remarkable, intelligent man. Too bad she didn’t believe in long-distance relationships. Grateful he tried to make her comfortable and forget about her blunt outburst hours ago, Tessa knew she needed to clear her name.
“Alessandro, listen. About earlier today . . .” She drummed her nails on the champagne glass and looked inside as if a jinni would jump to her rescue. Attempting to win back her dignity she continued, “I had no idea you understood what I was saying, otherwise I would’ve never said what I did, but I . . . you have to forgive me for being so silly. I’m really sorry.”
A half-crooked, irresistible smile spread over his lips. “And I am not. Fulfilling the first part of your wish wasn’t that hard, was it?” He lifted his glass and pointed toward it. “Shall we dance?”
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