Sherri Chianti, my guest blogger, will tell us about Unveiled, her debut romance novel, and explain the allure of Italian men.
Thank you for having me, Cerise.
Why are Italian men so enticing?
Let’s see how Perini, the hero of Unveiled, measures up:
1) They’re stylish. -- Italian shoes, custom-made shirts, expensive jackets…unless they’re artists.
2) They look historical. -- Whether it’s a Roman nose or exquisitely carved muscles, one look cam transport us to ancient Rome. History, for many of us, means escape and romance. Perini lives in Renaissance Rome and rubs elbows with the Medicis.
3) They’re passionate. -- Whether they’re feeling jovial, angry, or anything in between, you know it…times ten. Perini has so much passion he doesn’t know how to contain it all.
4) They’re intense. -- Italian men don’t just look at you. They sear you with their gaze, split you open, and bare your secrets. Even if 90% of their body language broadcasts bored nonchalance, that 10% of intensity more than makes up for it. Michelangelo’s intense passion for art inspired the character and the book.
5) They’re bad and good at the same time. -- Because they may not follow all the rules and even hint of danger, they make great bad boys. Because they have all the above going for them, they can often get away with it. In other ways, they’re amazingly idealistic and good, valuing family and the like. Perini quest for perfection makes him both endearing and maddening.
Unveiled by Sherri Chianti
unveil the magic…
Genre: time-travel romance (Renaissance Italy)
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007XKRNBY
Watch the video trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGMako90Rcw
Leah Miller is tired of being the ugly duckling in a family of beauty queens. When the opportunity to graduate with honors from her art school comes along, she takes it, agreeing to go back in time 500 years to Renaissance Rome to earn a certificate of study from the moody but attractive artist Bertoldo Perini. Unfortunately, the tall girl who had to play boys in school plays must disguise herself as a man.
Perini has devoted his life to rebuilding his art career after a past romantic liaison nearly destroyed it. Alessandra Paloverde, the beautiful and powerful woman he rejected, will stop at nothing to be back in his arms. If she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll destroy every obstacle in her path—including him.
Earning the elusive certificate proves much harder than Leah imagined, but she discovers her true calling and makes plans for a promising future in her own time. While she fights her attraction to Perini, he sacrifices passion to his recovering career. When Leah’s secret is unveiled at last, will their love be strong enough to keep her in the Renaissance?
UNVEILED - Copyright 2012 Sherri Chianti, All Rights Reserved
“Can I help?” Leah asked.
“Yes, come support my arm. It is so weary.”
Although not the kind of help she had in mind, she did as he asked. His bare arm was heavy and warm, his scent a mixture of exertion and plaster. What was left of his sleeve hung in tatters. He’d probably ripped or bitten it off years ago in one of his fits of terribilità. His bent leg caused the skirt of his tunic to ride up high on one side.
Her mouth went dry. When had he removed his hose? Dark hair lightly furred his legs, and a slash of dried white paint led straight to his— No, she wouldn’t go there—mentally and definitely not physically.
But supporting his arm didn’t seem to help either. The muscles were so fatigued they quivered. He could barely hold his brush, much less paint with it. He cursed again, loud enough to curl off the plaster he’d already applied. Then his fingers shook, as if seized by a large cramp, and he dropped his brush.
“Confound it,” he bellowed as he rolled over and reached for it.
“No,” Leah said, more forcefully than she’d intended. “Your arm is exhausted, and you won’t get another ounce of work out of it right now. Let me rub it for you.”
He closed his eyes and made a keening sound that echoed back to them as soon as she dug her fingers into his spastic muscles.
“That feels divine, but we haven’t time for this.” He frowned as he pulled his arm away then pointed. “Look. The fresco is drying as we speak. I suppose you must paint, Leo.”
The ceiling arched so low in that spot she would have to lie down too. She waited for him to move out of the way, but he didn’t. She cleared her throat, but Painter Boy didn’t seem to catch the hint.
“Um, scusi. Are you going to move?” she asked.
“I changed my mind.” He bathed her with a look that felt like a broad brush stroke on her face. “We must do this together.”
She glanced at his reclining body. He had to be kidding. “You want me to lie on… I mean, can’t you—”
“Confound it, Leo. Climb up before I drag you over here myself.”
So she did it. Climbed on top of her master and lay on him face up as if he were a bed. It was the first time she’d ever gotten horizontal with a guy. Somehow she’d always pictured a bedroom or at least the backseat of a car. Definitely not under the roof of a church.
She was glad her back was against him so he wouldn’t discover her breast flattener. Nothing prepared her for the flood of warmth that raced through her body. He felt wonderful, so warm and strong and alive beneath her.
Blood pounded through her head so hard she could barely think as she noticed every muscle in his body, each strung as taut as a bowstring. The rest of her concentration blew to bits when he grabbed her hips to align her body better with his. His legs opened out, cradling her.
Leah grabbed the brush and continued the tree he worked on while she could still function. She wished this long-awaited moment of artistry had come in an area with more headroom. Painting was the last thing on her mind right now.
His breath was steady and warm as the heat from the nearby candle. The cathedral was so silent and sealed off from the outside world she only heard the paint, wet and sticky, as she rubbed it into the ceiling.
“No, that isn’t right,” he said.
“Are you going to let me do this or not?” she asked, frowning.
“Use lighter strokes. Yes. Yes. Blend gently. Ever so gently.”
“Yes. There. Do not stop, Leo. You must feel the tree. Become it. Remember what I taught you. The passione. You must feel it.”
He tensed up even more under her and panted with such intensity as he spoke it was hard to understand him. He clapped his left arm around her waist, as if that would help her concentrate. It didn’t. She stifled a sigh of pleasure when his strong fingers twitched against her belly in impatience. They were too warm and heavy through her thin tunic, as if his next gesture might pull away the fabric, baring her flesh and all her secrets.
“Do you feel it?” he asked.
She felt it all right. More than he could possibly know.
A change of place