Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Ardent is here!

Releasing February 1, 2017 from Manifold Press!

Hot Italian Renaissance painters. Do I really need to say more?

 

Barnes and Noble

Manifold Press

Kobo

 

What it’s about:

In the village of Torrenta, master painter Morello has created a color that mimics the most expensive pigment of all, the crimson red. Master Zeno, from strife-ridden Medici Florence, tells him the color gives him a competitive advantage – but Morello must be careful. Fraud is ever-present in the dye and pigment markets.
 
As they work together in Torrenta, Morello falls hard for Zeno’s assistant, Benedetto Tagliaferro, a young man of uncommon beauty and intelligence. Benedetto is still fixed on his old lover, the master painter Leo Guisculo, and cannot return Morello’s affections.
 
But when Leo dies in a terrible accident, it’s to Morello that Zeno and Benedetto turn for help. And Morello soon finds that in Florence, every surface hides layers of intrigue.

75,600 words of Historical Romantic Suspense in passionate Renaissance Italy

A Sneak Peek:

The village of Torrenta, Tuscany, June 1475

Morello

The sun thrust warm fingers into the ancient Tuscan earth. The gray-green leaves of the olive trees shimmered, and the woods beyond beckoned Morello to abandon the painters’ workshop for their cool refuge.

In the growing heat the apprentices inside settled into an afternoon nap, curled on benches in dark corners behind him. The harsh fumes of linseed oil and varnish had irritated Morello all morning, and he was unable to sleep in the miasma. Perhaps before their visitors from Florence arrived, he might escape the heat. A long tramp in the woods pulled at his bones.

He reached for the walking stick behind the door, but a horse’s whinny stopped him, and a man’s voice called out. When no one stirred within to answer, he cursed the sleepers and stomped back through the shop, thwarted. In the lane in front of the workshop, two men removed packs from their horses.

“Good day, Master Zeno!” From the doorway, Morello called to the older of the two. “You made good time!”

At the sound of Morello’s voice, the apprentices roused themselves from sleep and peered around him.

The gray-haired master raised his hand and smiled. “Good day, Master Morello.”

Master Zeno’s companion, a tall young man with flowing golden hair, took the older man’s pack for him and shouldered the straps of both.

“Take their horses to the stable and fetch Master Franco,” Morello ordered the apprentices, and they hurried to obey.

Master Zeno’s journeyman brushed dust from the sleeve of his sweat-stained linen shirt, slapped more dust from his long thighs, and ran a forearm across his brow. His smile was uncertain as his glance met Morello’s.

Donato stood at the window yawning and scratching his stomach. He shaded his eyes for a better look into the misty glare of the afternoon. “Who’s the beauty with the master?”

Donato’s fellow journeyman Primo jumped to his feet and crowded against Morello in the doorway. “Can it be? He’s brought Tagliaferro?”

Donato groaned. “The man you’ve been mooning about since you last went to Florence, Primo? You’ve only just finally shut up about him.”

Morello ignored them. His irritation over his interrupted walk had vanished. Primo’s garlic- and onion-laden breath on his neck registered only remotely. He gazed out at the man from Florence, who, in Morello’s memory, had once been a long-legged boy with a head of yellow fluff too big for his skinny body. Morello stepped out into the sunlight that appeared to pour itself over the grown man, and stretched out his hand in greeting. Maintaining frank eye contact, Benedetto Tagliaferro adjusted the packs and took his hand.

When flesh met flesh, Morello stumbled – at least, his heart did. As if the wind from the beating wings of the love-inspiring putti he had painted just that morning pushed them toward each other.

“Do you remember me?” Benedetto asked with the shadow of that boy’s grin.

About Heloise West:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of thirteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Where to find Heloise:

Blog

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Email

Tumblr

GoodReads

And Another Review!

The Blogger Girls!

ca28c8241cd6a13bc877be7d2179441e

Tuesday Tickle: Flesh Market

Whoops! It’s Wednesday, isn’t it? I really have no excuse. Writing was going well yesterday–that point in the story where you’re at the end of the downhill part of the ride, flying fast with your arms out to the wind. Only a few scenes left now, then I can start combing through the story for nits to pick. The Editor in Question has the synopsis to look at, so I’m chewing my fingernails over it.

I’m really mean to Julian throughout this, except I keep giving him opportunities to say no, and he keeps turning them down. Silly man.

Leo grunted and stepped away to give Julian room to stand up. “You’re sure you’ll be all right in there by yourself?”

“I’ll be fine. They’re not going to do anything but pictures and the video. Find that database, Leo. I’m feeling pretty sick about this afternoon.”

Leo grabbed his arm hard. “Do you want to call it off? I can have HRT here in an hour.”

“An hour’s too late. And I’m damn well not wasting the time you’ve spent here or the beatings I’ve taken over a half hour’s discomfort.” Discomfort. Ha, funny man. He wished he’d figured out how this operation was going to play out before he said yes. Or maybe not. He could see how an older agent would have trouble passing here. And Julian had always been an ends-justify-the-means kind of guy. He wanted this ring broken. No, not broken. Pulverized. Nuked from orbit, and then danced on by ninety-nine hookers in fuck me pumps. Vulnerability made Julian uncomfortable and angry, and this role was nothing but. He’d do just about anything to end it, and fast.