by Rose Anderson
Genre: Erotic Historical Romantic Suspense (MMF)
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009LS3H6Q/
Bound by limits dictated by society, Art Historian Nicolas Halstead lived a guarded life until a tempest in the form of Elenora Schwaab blew into his world. At first Nicolas can’t decide if the audacious American is simply mad or plotting blackmail for not only does she declare knowledge of his homosexuality, she offers him a marriage proposal.
After Ellie tells him of a previously unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci, a book of erotic love poems and sketches dedicated to the artist’s long-time lover Salai, Nicolas joins her in a race to save the book from destruction. Along the way they encounter Historian Luca Franco and discover a comfortable compatibility that comes to redefine their long-held notions of love. The trio embarks on an adventure of sensual discovery, intrigue, and danger. Little do they know Leonardo da Vinci’s book is far more than meets the eye.
R Excerpt Ahead…
Pausing with her grape in mid-air, Ellie said, “I find this topic utterly fascinating.” Then, in her bold-as-brass fashion, she turned to our guest and asked, “You’re not put off by the topic of Leonardo’s homosexuality, are you Luca?”
In Great Britain the topic on the table was not usually discussed in a lady’s presence. Not that my nymph of a wife minded, indeed, she voiced it plain enough. Luca didn’t answer right away, instead he sipped his wine. I wished in that moment I could read his thoughts for he appeared nervous. I wished for a lot in that moment.
Luca met her eye. “Did you know the ancient Greeks didn’t consider sexual proclivity to be a social characteristic? They didn’t distinguish a person’s sexual desire by biological sex, only by the role that he or she played in the act.”
Ellie took on her lovely blush, and for the first time I realized both desire and discomfiture lie within the hue. She asked plainly, “Do you mean to say all that mattered in ancient society was whether someone played the active penetrator or the passively penetrated?”
Bold-as-brass. I chuckled.
Luca’s smile widened and his shadow-blue eyes sparkled. “Yes.”
I believe we were all aware of a sexual tension growing in the intellectual-rich loam. There were little things at play now: the way Ellie moistened her lips and looked at us with eyes that lingered from one to the other. The way Luca’s irises had darkened from snow shadow to moon shadow as he looked upon her. The way I’d catch myself with a reminder to breathe as my eye was drawn to these small distinctions. Like da Vinci’s sfumato, our mutual attraction hung in the air, and I was struck by the notion that the smoky quality depicted in his art was desire. Desire like this.
“Ah.” Ellie nodded in understanding and circled the rim of her wine glass with her fingertip. I could feel the gears turning in the perfect machine of her mind. She proved my estimation right when she laughed suddenly, “Why Signore Franco, I do believe you’ve evaded my original question.”
He touched his heart with mock surprise. “Would I do that?”
That made Ellie laugh just as she was about to sip her red wine, causing her to slosh it on her white silk blouse. “Fiddlesticks! Please excuse me gentlemen, I must see to this before it sets.” Giving us an adorable self-deprecating smile, she quickly excused herself. We watched her go and shortly after the tap ran in the bathroom.
To a man such as I who’d lived on the same side of the fence for so many years, Luca’s answer had been plain enough. There was a silent language men like us used in public that only those of the same persuasion might guess what lie below the surface. Society might speculate all it wished, but unless the intent was blatant, no one knew of it for certain. In a world of unfounded prejudice, discretion might save one’s life. Our eyes met. We knew.
He told me sincerely, “She’s a treasure. Your Ellie is unlike any woman of my acquaintance.”
I smiled. “Indeed. My good fortune is beyond measure because she’s my match in all ways that matter.”
He set his glass aside to rest his hand beside mine on the settee. “She seems an open-minded woman. I confess other than with my sisters, I’ve never found myself so comfortable in the presence of the fairer sex. She makes this easy.”
My little finger stretched slightly, I swear by its own accord. “She does, at that. She declares herself a progressive in her world view. Ellie is extremely open-minded, and this is a truer fact than many know.”
He raised his hand to the side of my face, and there his thumb traced along my bottom lip. My heart started to pound and my cock swelled. The hand slid around to the back of my skull and pulled me close for a kiss. A kiss I very much wanted.
I could taste him under the sweet tang of grapes and wine. I fed my tongue into his mouth and found his. The small whiskers trimmed so close to his upper lip and chin were sharp exclamation points along my heady exploration. I’ve no clear image of how exactly it happened, so absorbed was I in the sensorial bliss of the moment, but shirts and flies opened as magically as if Ali Baba himself called “open sesame” to the cave.
Lean-ribbed and fit, he had a raven thatching over his chest that was slightly thicker than my own, and I petted him as though he were a sleek jungle cat. We freed each other’s cocks as we kissed and caressed and I soon learned that chest hair wasn’t all that was thick on Luca. Da Vinci himself couldn’t have sketched a finer image than this bold firm cock. His kiss deepened and he stroked me slowly with an expert hand while I closed my fingers around a shaft a few inches shy of the length of my forearm. Driven to make free with all he offered, I broke from our kiss. It was then I saw her.
Assessing her attitude quickly, I detected no condemnation. However, my years of secrecy and constant vigilance made me pause. Luca followed my gaze. Appraising the scene she’d walked in on, Ellie stood quietly, her breathing erratic and her cheeks quite pink. This time I knew why. Naturally, Luca was unable to discern what passed between my wife and I. Wary, no doubt from a lifetime of similar conditioning and secrecy, his eyes went to us from one to the other. And he very much looked like the cat that ate the canary.
The sensually-charged static in the air was palpable. No one said a word.
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009LS3H6Q/
Thanks for having me today Renee! If anyone has questions, ask away. I'll stop back to answer several times throughout the day. 🙂
I can't wait to read this book! I love Rose Anderson's writing. She can write a highly sensual scene but she does it with class.
Nice cliffhanger. Rose definitely knows how to ramp up the tension.