“Il sono molto pericoloso,” he said softly, “I am very dangerous—for you, caro—don’t you think?”
Kate Pollock is an average art student from London who, by sheer fluke, ends up in Venice on a scholarship. On her first day she spots sex-on-legs in the corridor, the illustrious Martinez Di Ser Piero, and is shocked to learn he’s her Practicals tutor. The last thing she expects is for him to be attracted to her, but after one kiss, she’s lost to this mysterious man.
Following a dry spell in his career, Kate inspires Martinez to paint again. When his latest work goes missing, she has to solve the crime as well as the enigma that is him. Kate thinks she’s falling in love with Martinez—could he be ‘the one’, or will his secret past break her heart?
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“Shut up,” Ana said good-naturedly, “and get inside.”
I don’t usually like people all that much. I stay away from them, since given half a chance they do crazy things like pour cheap Italian wine down your throat. But Ana had this appealingly upfront way about her. And not just because she wore these black and white signature T-shirts all the time. Earlier today, her T-shirt had said Change the world. She had started by changing her shirt. Now, Share happiness or go home was emblazoned across her magnificent breasts. She gestured at the message, as though it was relevant to me. I nodded and smiled, getting her point, and we stepped into the building. I tried not to notice that she took my hand as we did so.
My eyes needed a moment to adjust. The Istituto was a restored convent, ironically enough, considering my unchaste thoughts. It was dim and cold in there, like so much else that is old and supposedly valuable. Like my now-dead relationship, which had lasted a whole two years and was riddled with all sorts of spectres, and not just because of my boyfriend being a History Major. I put up my free hand and pulled my old cardigan closed at the neckline, realising it was probably his. Peter. We had ended up sharing sweaters and now we would never talk again. Not properly.
And then I saw him. I’ve seen plenty of good-looking men and plenty of awe-inspiring
things because I grew up with an artist for a father and appreciation of the aesthetic was always lauded ad nauseum. But this guy was something else.
It was a pretty brief sighting, just a glimpse really, but it changed my life. Sometimes I think you can see everything about a person in a few seconds.
“Who on earth is that?” I exhaled.
He was standing in the corridor in a shaft of sunlight, talking to a young female student. He wore corduroys and a tan jacket, and had leonine hair. A worn leather satchel on a thick strap hung across his chest. He listened to her, then laughed at something she said. She touched his arm. He bent forward and kissed her quickly on both cheeks. In a moment, he had turned and gone.
Ana was watching me. “Da Vinci, you mean? Our Vitruvian Man? Take a ticket, get in line.”
The woman he had kissed spotted a friend in the corridor and fell into her arms like she’d just touched Elvis. I was getting the picture.
The image of him was branded on my brain. The way that jacket sat on his shoulders. His hips. The thick black hair. His lips. Strong hands. Strong thighs. He was all sex. Wet heat rushed between my legs, and I blushed. Ana laughed. She was still holding my hand. Now she pulled on it.
“C’mon, I’ll introduce you.”
“No!” I cried. “That’s not necessary. What is he, a student?”
“Teacher,” she said. “Heard of Di Ser Piero?”
Eden Walker (nicknamed Aziza, or Beloved) worked as an actress and a psychologist before committing to writing full-time. She began writing love stories on a little blackboard as a young teen, the advantage being that she could rub the risque bits out before anyone saw them! But nowadays she is having great fun going public with her hot, humorous and heartfelt romance novels. She has published The Seeing Place and This Crazy Paradise with Ankara Press. One Night in Venice is her first book with Tirgearr.