Thursday, April 25, 2019

Awesome Excerpt Thursday ~ Tuscan Enchantment by Kate Zarrelli



This was no cold marble—this was a man! Antonia goes to Tuscany to rebuild her life. The last thing she wants to do is fall in love, least of all with rich, arrogant, aristocratic Lorenzo.

Librarian Antonia Gray has fled England for northern Tuscany after an unhappy love affair to work on the archive of a 17th century Italian explorer, a member of a centuries-old aristocratic family. There she meets his descendent, Lorenzo Quattromani, rich, arrogant, handsome—and engaged to the beautiful and ruthless Giselle. The last thing Antonia wants is to fall in love, least of all with someone so dangerous. His engagement, though, is not what it seems, and Lorenzo breaks down Antonia’s resistance. But Giselle has other ideas.

…she caught sight of him, lithe as an eel, gliding along under the surface of the water and she felt herself flame with longing for him. From what she could see as he sped through the water he was wearing just a pair of white trunks, which offset his bronzed flesh. Then he flipped over onto his back and she saw with surprise and shock not unmixed with pleasure that he was wearing nothing at all. Instinct made her look away just as he realised she was there. He turned over again and swam with an easy stroke towards her.

"Antonia! I didn't mean to startle you. It's just a habit I've got into up here on my own."

He stood in the water at the side of the pool, the lower half of his body concealed, the water dripping from his raven black hair and running in rivulets down his chest.

"I thought you'd be ages yet - women so often are," he said.

"Not this one!" she retorted, wishing he had not reminded her of his experience of other women, bust she did not have it in her heart to be angry for long. He did seem sincere in his explanation, and after all, she was a guest here.

"Please avert your eyes, and I'll make myself decent," he instructed her.

Antonia half wanted to say it's too late now and throw caution to the winds, but instead she did as she was told. She heard the slap of his wet feet along the side of the pool as he went to get his trunks from over a chair, and then his voice calling, "All right, it's safe to look now. The lion is muzzled!"

He approached her, smiling, and once more Antonia felt as overwhelmed by his beauty as she had been when they had first met. Now she could observe him more closely than ever, the broadness of his muscular shoulders, the taut hardness of his stomach, the strong sinews of his muscled, hairy legs. His hard work under Alessio's guidance had honed his body until it was even more desirable than she had remembered it in the moonlight. Yet there was something naturally proportioned about his muscles--he looked that good because he worked hard, not because he worked out.

"Antonia," he exclaimed, shattering her thoughts, "you're looking at me as if you've never seen a man before!"

"Well, that is, I haven't...well not exactly... I don't mean..." she stuttered in embarrassment, aware she had gone very red.

Lorenzo looked at her with a serious expression now, as understanding slowly dawned on him. Then to her surprise it was his turn to flush gently, and when he spoke it was with a voice low and trembling with emotion and desire.

"Ah, Antonia, what a rare prize you are!" Then he turned abruptly away from her and slid back into the water.

"Well, aren't you coming in, then?" he asked, his head bobbing up again, sleek and gleaming as an otter's.


About the Author:

Kate Zarrelli is the Devine Destinies pen name of Katherine Mezzacappa. Kate is Irish but now lives in Carrara in Northern Tuscany, between the Apuan Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea, with her Italian husband and two teenage sons. She writes historical, erotic, feel-good and paranormal fiction, set all over Europe, and in her spare time volunteers with a used book charity of which she is a founder member. As Katherine Mezzacappa, you can find her short fiction on-line published by Erotic Review Magazine, Copperfield Review, and Henshaw Press.

Kate was inspired to write Tuscan Enchantment, her d├ębut novel with Devine Destinies, by the landscape of the Lunigiana area of northern Tuscany, between the Apuan Alps and the Tyrhennian Sea. It’s not as well-known to tourists as the Chianti area, but in World War II apparently suffered proportionately the highest civilian casualties of anywhere in Europe. That history seeps into the book, as do the castles and villas of a local noble dynasty, the Malaspina family, who inspired the Quattromani family of the story.

You can follow Kate on Facebook at Kate Zarrelli books or on Twitter @katmezzacappa.

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