Sunday, October 25, 2015

Six of the Best! #6BestHop

I'm trying something new this Sunday and I'm participating with both pen names!

Today for Six of the Best, it's a bit from
Loving Leonardo ~  an award-winning, Victorian polyamorous, love story with a grand adventure and a touch of reader-interactive art history.
(part 1 in an ongoing series)
Click Here for Other Participants


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.

Setting the Stage~
Nicolas and Ellie meet Luca for the first time aboard ship
and discover they share an interest in Leonardo da Vinci, among other things.

My Six~

Ellie and I weren’t the only passengers to arrive as the last bell struck. People filed through the dining room’s double doors to take their seats. This congestion would lessen as people became accustomed to how long it took them to ready themselves between the ring of the first and last bell.
More so than the other meals aboard, dinners were often a mingling affair. We sat with the Ormonts and the Brookses again while the Dutch brother and sister took their seats at the table next to us, the sister involved in a rather animated conversation with a new friend. Jerone did smile when I looked his way. His eye jerked toward the door in open invitation. Despite the twinge that silent proposal sent to my loins, my smile widened as my eye jerked to my wife. He gave me a pretty moue, his brief pout good-natured. It was a long voyage after all.

I sat Ellie and pulled a chair for Mrs. Ormont as she waited for her husband. A moment later, Colonel Ormont brought the historian to our table and made introductions. Luca Franco, late of Florence, was a Professor of Antiquities returning from London. I found the Italian quite the attractive fellow, impeccably dressed as he was. When in the presence of true beauty, my mind often imagines the person unclothed as the artists of the ages might have seen him. Sitting at my table was a statue carved in marble by Gian Lorenzo Bernini; an artist known for his remarkable ability to capture the essence of a narrative moment. And I found Luca Franco to be exactly that — a moment indelibly captured in time — a moment of meeting the mind could revisit in its entirety.

From every angle, he was beautifully made: black-haired, of medium build, and physically fit. He possessed a warm hue to his skin, his lineage no doubt stamped centuries past by the darker Moors or Turks. In startling contrast, and quite handsomely framed by black lashes, he had striking eyes the color one might see in a shadow falling across snow — not quite sky blue nor exactly steel gray, but a blending of the two in gradated rings.

I rose to shake his hand and felt the unmistakable current of compatibility. If this man weren’t forward in his mutual attraction, it was there nonetheless. I watched him bow over the ladies’ hands and found it curious that he lingered over Ellie’s fingers a tad longer. It made me smile. I had the distinct impression I was in the presence of a fellow dual-nature like myself.

The regular chit-chat occurring over the courses was quite enjoyable. There was a part of me, however, that would have been content to take my wife back to our stateroom and lose myself in the wonder of my newfound truth. Like the great navigators in ages past, the thought of uncharted lands titillated my imagination. I was anxious to explore her body, anxious to immerse in her heated places and scent, and smell and taste every part of her. I wanted to lose myself in the hedonistic feast of the senses I knew I’d find.

Ellie’s question pulled me from my imaginative foray. “Professor Franco, it’s my understanding that you are an authority on Leonardo da Vinci.”

"...a very sexy, smart, and scintillating read."
~Coffee Time Romance

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Just 99¢ by the authors from Romance Books '4' Us, including Heart of Stone by Madeline Archer (that's me!)


In honor of the first anthology by the Authors of Romance Books '4' Us, we're running an additional October contest. Prizes include a $100 Amazon Gift Card and a terrific "super power" Romance Reader or Romance Author t-shirt. If you're into romances, the t-shirt will make you smile. 
Three ways to enter!

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