I know humans have evolved, that technology is constantly upgrading, and styles and mores change, but I also believe that the emotions, reactions and conflicts that drive change and cause tensions aren’t much different than they were when we lived in caves. Curiosity, envy, love, happiness, sadness, etc. are all a part of the human condition, as are their uglier alter-egos nosiness, jealousy, obsession, mania and depression. All that has changed are the surroundings and the tools we have to deal with them. That’s what makes writing historicals so interesting to me. I can imagine a situation that could happen today, but then I have to try to figure out how characters who live in another time would handle them, what resources they would have to bring into play. What impediments may have existed then that no longer are germane.
In my latest release, Bellissima, a Victorian-set erotic romance novella, Jane Rollins had a difficult start to life. On the other hand, Sergio Fontini comes from a comfortable background and would seem to have a future readymade for him. Both are products of their time, but neither is willing to settle for the life others may expect them to live. Jane is willing to do whatever it takes, even deception, to rise above her station. Sergio—like many young men—is determined to chart his own course, even if it means going against his father’s wishes.
What neither expects is the passion they find in each other’s arms, or the new hopes and dreams that come into being as they explore their desire for each other. One believes in the love they’ve found, the other doesn’t, and that is a situation I think all of us, now, in our age, can still understand and appreciate. The need to better our lives is strong in most of us. The willingness to do whatever necessary to get where we want to be isn’t a new driving force in humans. Nor is scepticism, lack of faith, or the need to do the right thing by someone we love. The only difference are the roads we take, and the final destination…
Please enjoy the excerpt below, and thank you for stopping by!
Jane shook her head, eyes wide, frightened. Her lips parted as though she were about to speak, then closed again without a sound passing through them. Sergio surveyed her carefully, hearing the rush of her breath, feeling the way she shook beneath his hand. It wrung his heart, and he instinctively clasped her other arm, let his fingers rub in gentle circles.
“Cara, don’t be afraid. Nothing you say will be repeated. No one will know, but I must.”
As though the caress awoke her from a stupor, Jane trembled. A wave of pink travelled up from her throat to stain her soft cheeks pink, and the tip of her tongue flicked out to moisten one corner of her mouth.
“You are mistaken, signor.” The words were bold, the look in her light gray eyes bolder yet, and Sergio caught his breath. How arousing was her expression, that hint of dismissal in her tone. “Very, very mistaken.”
“Am I?” He ran his hands down her arms until they covered hers where they lay in her lap. There was no mistaking the shift of her thighs, the heightening of the color in her face. “I am not, cara, as we both are aware. Your arms are those of a slender woman. Should I put my hands up your skirt, no doubt I would find legs as fine and trim as any.”
That brought a response he could no more ignore than she could deny. Beneath his hands her fingers clenched into fists, her hips shifted, and a low sound of need broke from between her slightly parted lips.
For an instant, time ceased to exist. Sergio allowed the rainwater-clear eyes to draw him in, to seduce him as effectively as any flirtation ever had. Those eyes, usually so cool, so contained, sparkled and yearned, as he yearned. They told him secrets he doubted she knew they reflected, whispered her need as clearly as words spoken into his ear.
“Should I check to see if I am right, cara?” His throat felt rough, dry, his desire to touch this woman, to make her share her most hidden self with him, driving him beyond the bounds of decency. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to care. “I am going to find out your every secret, one way or another. I shall start with seeing if I am right about this one matter.”
All she had to do was say no—even cry out—and he would stop, but she remained silent, pursing her mouth into a pale pink rosette, signally her determination not to speak. It made him desperate to kiss her, to coax those lips open, ravish them until they were swollen and damp from his attentions.
This was a dance he knew well and loved above all others. She wanted him not just to lead but to take command of the situation, of her, and in so doing carry them both through to the ultimate pleasure. If he were skilled enough, demanding enough, along the way she would give up her secrets. If he lacked the finesse to give her what she truly needed, the information he wanted would be withheld and, along with it, her surrender.
He would not allow that to happen.