After Antonella Andretti's father tries to destroy the Lucchesis, she persuades him that an alliance--achieved by her marriage to Enrico, the "golden boy" she's loved from afar--would be in everyone's best interests. As her wedding day approaches, people close to her father start dying, and her fiancé's behavior is suspect. When she learns Enrico's true feelings about her--and what her father's actual plans are--will Antonella damn their families to eternal war, or will she broker a peace that might destroy her heart?
He leaned over her and gripped the lacy metalwork that supported her back, caging her in while he caught his breath. "You were distracting me."
"I couldn't take my eyes off you," he murmured. Leaning closer, he made his request. "Let down your hair," he whispered in her ear, letting his breath wash over her skin, making her shiver.
She hesitated, then reached up to the base of her neck and loosened the tie holding everything in place, lightly shaking her head to let the thick waves fall free. When it tumbled around her shoulders, he smiled. This close, he could see every lash that fringed her large liquid eyes, eyes that looked away from his with sudden shyness. He gently took hold of her chin and made her look at him.
He studied her face, every inch of it--the flawless olive skin, the high cheekbones, the lush tremble of her lips, the long slope of her nose, the slight bump in it--and he realized something. Antonella Andretti was beautiful. Not in some fairytale princess way. But in a real way. Although her cheeks grew pink under his scrutiny, she didn't break eye contact this time.
The molecules of air between them seemed to thicken, time slowed down, his heart ceased to beat. All he wanted in that moment was to kiss her. He started to close the distance, mere centimeters between them--
She slid out from under his left arm and dashed out of reach. "Catch me if you can, Enrico Lucchesi!"
This time she took off across the grass, heading uphill toward the house and a loggia with three vine-covered arches.
Had she known what he'd been about to do? Did she not want to kiss him? Or was she just making him work for it?
Sensuality level: Hot (RT Book Reviews scale)
WARNING: This book contains graphic language, sexual situations, and violence.