Wednesday, April 2, 2008
A dear friend of mine's new book is burning up the pages! Take a look! And the yummy Italian on the FABULOUS cover is just the beginning!
Available from: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Sweet/Sensual
Publisher/BUY: The Wild Rose Press
Based in part on the music of Patrizio Buanne
In one of Rome’s trendiest caffè’s, Bianca Marino comes to dance, and escape the loneliness that haunts her world. For many weeks she's been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone. Bianca is not anxious to fall in love, and yet… Something about the enigmatic Stefano Esposito has captivated her heart, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change…
Read a new excerpt:
Stefano kept a close eye on the pretty dancer, looking over his shoulder often while he walked to the small caffè. She was lovely, and he’d seen her many times, always enchanted by her presence, but never inclined to find out if the outward beauty was all there was. If she was another vain and brainless girl, he didn’t want his illusion shattered. The romanticism of the thought made him smile. He wasn’t as jaded as he pretended if he was still protecting his heart with illusions.
Less than fifteen minutes after he’d left, he rejoined her and handed her a steaming cup of espresso.
“This place feels so different at night,” Bianca murmured, her gaze scanning the area. In a matter of hours, thousands of people would begin their daily movements, passing over the steps, not noticing anything but the need to be wherever they were headed. “There’s peace here now.”
“Is that why you dance, to find peace?”
She sipped her coffee and considered an answer. “The music is freedom, and the motion is passion. Sometimes the only passion that matters.”
The answer surprised him, simple words with complex meaning. Her voice, soft and introspective, was layered with subtle emotion. “All passion matters, mia bella,” he commented. “It’s what gives us life.”
“Or burns it out of us.”
He turned on the steps and faced her. Then he touched her chin and gently turned her head until their gazes met. “Who abused your love so fully that you can believe that?”
“People destroy each other for love,” she replied after a lengthy pause.
Stefano shook his head. “Love is the only gift worth having, signorina. Men live and die for love.” He had searched long enough in his own lifetime to find the passion he’d seen between his parents to know how true that was, and he had refused to accept anything less for himself. When he gave his heart to love, it would be without reserve or doubt.
“Who are you, signore?”
He was startled again, twice in less than five minutes. “Would you like to walk?”
She laughed in the growing darkness.
Stefano felt the sound ripple the length of his spine, as though cool, flawless satin had glided over him.
“Where are we to go, Stefano?”
“I think you’ll like the place,” he observed, a hint of irony texturing the subtle undertone of his voice.
She eyed him for a few timeless moments, then nodded and rose.
He smiled when she offered her hand, and he curled his fingers around hers in a loose, but firm, grip, aware of the soft strength in her grasp, as well as the satiny feel of her skin.
“So, is there a wife hidden somewhere?”
He laughed. “No. What about you? A husband who will come looking for me before dawn?”
“Before dawn?” She laughed. “You seem to assume I’ll still be here by then?”
He grinned. “I think you might be,” he admitted. “But, you haven’t answered my question.”
“The only thing greater than your charm is your arrogance, Stefano.”
“Maybe,” he conceded with an unconcerned shrug.
She shook her head, amused, and sipped her coffee. “How does a man with so much passion not have the woman of his dreams in his arms every night?”
“I could ask you the same question,” he pointed out. “Why are you alone?” Her laughter washed over him again.
She stopped walking to look up at him. “No one I’ve met has inspired the things I need to feel.”
“What do you need?”
“To be respected for who I am, what makes me unique.” She tilted her head to one side and held his level gaze. “I need to be given all the things I’m expected to provide, and that seems to be quite beyond many men.” She paused, before adding in a quiet, earnest tone, “Real men, those who understand the value of a smart woman, also see her beauty is in her wisdom, and her spirit.”
“And her ability to be all things without effort, because she is all things naturally,” he concluded, genuinely pleased at the startled flicker of surprise his words lit in her eyes. “We’re here,” he announced, indicating the building they’d reached.
She looked up, and her smile was radiant in the soft glow of the nearby streetlight. “La Galleria d'arte di Idillio,” she murmured. “I love this place.”
“It’s mine.” His voice expressed his pleasure and pride at her appreciation, and he dug out the key that would unlock the doors to the small gallery.
There was enough real shock in her voice to make him stop as he held the door open. “Why does that surprise you so much?” When she’d entered the gallery, he locked the doors and turned on the lights.
“I’ve come here a number of times, and I’ve never seen you,” she replied.
“I’ve never seen you,” he noted. “Except at the caffè.”
With a turn of her head, she gazed around the entry. “I’ve always felt this place was a tribute to love, and romance.”
“It is. My father began the collection for my mother.”
“Your father was a romantic?”
“My father was a gentleman, in the truest sense of that word,” Stefano said, his heart filled with the familiar sense of loneliness and pride combined. “He lived la dolce vita,” he smiled, “with the passion of a man who loved all life had to offer, good and bad.”
To find out more about Denyse, go to http://www.denysebridger.com
Posted by Unknown at 12:00 AM