Bella Italia by Camille Taylor
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Small-town wallflower, Adelaide Montgomery has lived an uneventful life—until she witnesses the murder of her best friend…
Adelaide clings to the simple security of a home and a wish for family—desires that sent her former fiancé into another woman’s arms.
Happy to remain in Heavenly, Australia for the rest of her life, she reluctantly gives in to her best friend, Rachel’s pleading to join her on a trip to Italy. A decision which will alter her life forever.
Gorgeous men can be deadly killers in disguise…
When her best friend returns to their hotel suite with two male companions the night doesn’t go as planned and Rachel is murdered in cold blood.
Able to identify the killer, Adelaide finds herself a target, barely escaping with her life.
In order to protect his witness, Rome Inspector Antonio Cardellini hides Adelaide at his family’s winery. Though Antonio is a professional and Adelaide is under his charge, his feelings quickly surpass the limits of his job. Knowing one day she will return home, he struggles to distance himself, but the trial and his family continue to throw him and Adelaide back together.
Will Antonio put his badge above his heart? Or will he risk it all—his career, Adelaide’s life, and the possibility of a future together—all for a chance at love?
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Excerpt from Bella Italia:
“I need to talk to you.” He took her arm and pulled her gently alongside of him until they were around the corner of the house and hidden from view. It wasn’t necessary to speak in private but he wanted this time with her. Just the two of them where he could indulge his fantasies.
The scent of lavender was strongest here, the tall stalks only a few feet away. A buzz grew louder as a swarm of bees pollinated the plants nearby. He focused on the woman before him that had begun to mean more to him than anyone in the past. It was more than just physical attraction, although he admitted that was a big part of it but it was also the woman beneath the surface. She constantly surprised him.
Letting out a deep breath, she leaned against the house and she looked up at him. “Let me guess, the trial?”
He nodded. Now that he knew what the cost was to her to wait, it annoyed him that the lawyers continued to push back the date. She’d given up so much in her pursuit of justice—more than anyone should have to. She would be going home to nothing. He had no idea what that was like—to start over. He’d always had his family to fall back on but Adelaide had no one. Was she scared? Terrified of the uncertainty? If so she hid it well. He couldn’t imagine what her life had been like bouncing around so many different homes but never belonging to one. Having no one to hold you in the dead of night and say that everything will be all right even if it wasn’t. It made him realise he took his family for granted and admire the woman before him even more.
She might’ve thought herself boring, predictable and weak but it took a certain type of person to continue on and push past the barriers that life threw at you. She’d not only adapted, she had embraced the change. Adelaide Montgomery was stronger than he’d originally thought.
She rested her hands over her stomach. “How much longer now?”
“They’re still deliberating. Lawyers you know fighting over what admissible and all that shit.”
“Well that’s good news then.” Her upbeat tone surprised him especially after everything he’d just learned.
He stepped forward. “It is?”
“Yes. I still have several portraits in my calendar to honour plus your father hasn’t decided on the final few pictures for the website.”
Antonio smiled and before he knew it his forehead was resting against hers. “You’re a special kind of girl, you know that.”
Her breath hitched and her gaze dropped to his lips and as if realising what she was doing jerked back up. She blushed. What was going through her mind? Could she see he was attracted to her? Was she just as attracted? A man could go out of his mind without answers. It didn’t matter. He couldn’t act on his desire no matter how much he wanted her. Or she him. She was his witness—a woman he’d promised he’d keep safe. Which included from himself. Not that he’d hurt her—at least not intentionally.
Nothing good could come of succumbing. They lived in different countries—on different continents. Hell, even different hemispheres.
“It’s nice to know.” Her voice wasn’t quite right. Was it his imagination or was it slightly husky?
Her pulse raced, visible to the eye. She wet her lips. His fingers tightened, the supple feel of her hips beneath his palms a surprise.
When did they get there? He had no memory of moving them. Adelaide’s eyes changed in reply, darkening. She trembled and sucked in a breath. His temperature spiked as once again her gaze flicked to his lips. Heat rose. Desire washed over him in waves, clouding his mind—his better judgement. He slid a hand over her rounded cheek, the denim a tease, hiding her from his touch. Adelaide’s lips parted. He tugged her against him, ready to devour her and she came willingly, or rather eagerly. He lowered his head, anticipation licking at his skin as he imagined her taste, of taking possession of those delectable lips and transporting them to another place.
A flirty giggle followed by heavy footsteps approaching broke the spell he’d been caught under. Antonio swallowed back a curse. He stepped back, his hands dropping to his hang by his side. His heart thumped in his chest as he realised what he’d been about to do and took another step away from her.
He tried to ignore Adelaide, so close, so—he didn’t know. She just seemed to be always on his mind. He had to focus. Had to regain his equilibrium because when she was around, he felt so protective of her.
Keep telling yourself that. You weren’t feeling so protective of her a moment ago. In fact, you were pretty much the predator in the situation. Antonio rubbed a hand over his face and turned towards the blessed distraction.
Camille Taylor is an Australian sexy romantic suspense author who lives in the Nation’s Capital with her fluffy sidekick. She spends her time reading, writing, blogging and procrastinating on Pinterest looking at nail art, books, home improvement tips and cake decorating. A bookworm, she enjoys most genres, particularly romance and mysteries and is HEA chaser so you’ll always find one in her books. She started writing at sixteen and is currently working on her Harbour Bay and Heavenly Series, both set in Australia. Camille is also an incurable genealogist and has traced her heritage to England, Scotland, Ireland and Russia. She loves scrapbooking, hockey, tae kwon do and travelling.
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