Only until 14 January 2019, THE RELUCTANT WIFE is on sale for 99cUS. Read my first contemporary romance and Winner of the 2013 RomCon Readers Crown – category/series romance. Set in Italy, it’s a second chances story about Abby and her Conte, Dante Lombardi.
You’ll find the buy links on my website page.
For a young girl from New Zealand, I don’t know when my love of all things Italian started. Maybe I do, on my visit trip to Italy, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
We kiwi’s have a right of passage, what we call our BIG O.E. (overseas experience). Being located at the bottom of the world sees most of us finish university and take off to explore the world.
I have to admit that while growing up in New Zealand, I’d never really thought much about Italy. I knew I wanted to go to England where my grandparents came from. I also knew I wanted to visit the Greek Islands (after watching the movie Shirley Valentine), and of course France with the south of France and Monte Carlo, and the romantic vineyards etc. but Italy?
You see I was definitely not a ‘fashionista’ (we’ll come back to that later) growing up. I was a typical tomboy. I loved riding and playing sports. I don’t think I owned a lipstick until I had finished school.
I was also not a classics student. I went down the math, accounting, and chemistry route. So I hadn’t studied art history or Greek or Roman history and stories etc. I wish I had now.
However, the minute I stepped onto Italian soil my world changed. It is still my favorite country in the world to visit, and I have traveled to every corner of the globe from Africa to Russia to Europe/UK to North America etc.
I fell in love with the history, the architecture, the weather, the scenery, the food, the wine, the clothes and their love of beauty, and of course the men. New Zealand men are ‘she’ll be right’ blokes who never show an emotion (okay a generalization) but Italian men are full of passion and to them words of love roll easily off the tongue. The Latin flare…
I was twenty-five years old when I first visited Italy. On my first night in Rome, I had the most gorgeous Italian man, who looked like a model out of GQ magazine (there are a lot of gorgeous men in Italy if you like tall, dark, and handsome), get down on bended knee by the Trevi Fountain to hand me a red rose. He spouted Italian at me asking me to marry him. Did men really do this? I was in a world I had never experienced before, and I have to say I liked it!
After my first visit (and I have been back many, many times), I could not get enough of anything Italian. I fell in love with Prada, Armani, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana etc. Brands that weren’t available in New Zealand when I was young. I’m also car mad, and if I won lotto a Porsche Carrera would be top of my list. I took to pasta and gelato like it was a drug (my hips did not thank me), and I became fascinated with the classics.
Over several visits I explored the Amalfi Coast (and Pompeii), Rome, the Coliseum, the Vatican and Hadrian’s Villa. Venice and the canals. Verona and the miniature Coliseum. Lake Como and its tunnels. Sienna for the cuteness. Milan and it’s fashion houses, and of course Florence and the leaning Tower of Pisa. But there is so much more in-between.
So, is it any wonder that I chose to set the very first contemporary romance I chose to write in my favorite place—Tuscany. My first contemporary hero is a gorgeous Italian, Conte Dante Lombardi and he is based on the man I met at the Trevi Fountain. His heroine is Abby, an English girl who was also swept off her feet by the romance of the man and his country, and then had to face the fallout.
I let my imagination run free, calling on my memories of my favorite places and Italian experiences. So when you read THE RELUCTANT WIFE you’ll see the places and experiences that made me fall in love with the country.
Don’t they say Italian is the language of love? Well Italy oozes romance. If you get the chance to visit do so, and expect to fall in love with the country. If you can’t get there, perhaps THE RELUCTANT WIFE can give you a taste and set your imagination soaring.
What is the one place you’d love to visit in Italy, or have visited, and why? I must admit to loving Lake Como and that was before George Clooney bought a Villa there! Leave a comment and enter the draw to win a copy of Love Me, Coopers Creek #1 my second contemporary.