When Rome’s loveliest rose and Venice’s fiercest lion team up to win back the love of their respective spouses-to-be, the Serene Republic may expect a hilarious romp – and perhaps the most torrid love story to have ever bedazzled its gilded canals…
Survived a pirate attack on the Isle of Lina, Venice’s sturdiest outpost, Roman Princess Isabella Pamphili and Venetian war hero Brando Loredan escape from the island and arrive in Venice.
Isabella discovers her fiancé is a cheat, her bride dream a lie. Her future husband, the man she loves with all her heart is flirting in… Brando’s fiancée’s arms!
Shock. Disappointment. Anguish. Fear for her future. The rascal deserves a lesson he will not forget, because a princess of Rome doesn’t bow out so easily. Brando Loredan will not be that hard to convince for he is jealous, angry and vindictive enough to get some brilliant idea. So she joins forces with him to get back her fiancé and put together the little dream back on track. But while trying and insisting on regaining the dream, she discovers a new path of light and love. It is not a lie, like the first dream, but it may be even harder to win.
Unmask My Heart is a story of love and sweet revenge set in sparkling, sumptuous Casanova’s Venice where everything is possible and sins are concealed behind a mask.
An excerpt from Unmask My Heart
The gondola capsized and Isabella fell in as well. She gasped trying to keep afloat but her heavy dress dragged her down. She floundered about in order to reach the surface. There was no way to get out of her dress and her lungs burned from a lack of air. She looked up at the surface where indefinite, dark shapes moved against the light. She could no longer hold her breath. This was it. She closed her eyes and gave up her will to fight death.
Isabella felt herself being grabbed by the waist and hauled to the surface. A violent coughing fit shook her and her lungs burned with the sudden influx of air.
Hands. On her arms, chest, neck, face. Isabella opened her eyes and met Brando’s anxious gaze. His drenched locks dripped water onto her breast. He smiled at her. She was safe and sound.
“You scared me, lady. Are you alright?” Brando caressed her face and wiped away wet tendrils from her cheeks.
Brando helped her to sit. It was in that moment that she saw her husband-to-be sitting on the dock on the opposite side of the canal. He was next to Giulia. Both were wet. Leonardo had rushed to the alley cat’s side and left Isabella to die.
Isabella suddenly felt old and tired. She took Brando’s hand in hers. “Thank you… Lion.”
He kissed her hand and hugged her. “No need to thank me.”
“I’m really sorry you had to witness such a scene,” Isabella said in a whisper.
Brando looked at her open-mouthed. “I am the one who hoped to spare you this humiliation.”
How long have you been writing romance, and what inspired you to get into this genre?
I’ve been writing romance for about seven years, inspired by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’s books.
What gave you the idea for your latest book?
I wanted a love story taking place in Venice for that’s the most romantic place ever to me. As for the story, well, I wrote down the plot during a road-trip around Tuscany, in Italy. Among beautiful hills, vineyards, medieval towns and fantastic food, Unmask My Heart took life in my mind.
Who are some of your favorite romance writers or other literary inspirations?
I love historical romance. I appreciate many authors, but my favorite romance authors by far are Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Paullina Simmons, Suzanne Enoch and Italian writer Elisabetta Bricca.
Other literary inspirations? Well, Jane Austen and… William Shakespeare. ;)
Describe your typical writing routine. Where do you usually write? How many words/pages per day? Do you keep set hours? What does your workspace look like?
I don’t have a typical writing routine since I have a full-time job and a family to take care of. I write whenever I can, mostly during the weekend. When I write, I can write down 1–2 chapters. My work space is a studio with light blue walls, white shabby chic furniture, a little sofa, a bookcase, white and blue curtains. Put food and beverages on my desk, and music. I need classical or new age music to work.
Do you have any favorite foods or beverages that help keep your creativity flowing?
Yes! I usually have a cup of tea and a glass of Coke Zero on my desk, and cookies. Beverages, food and music is what I need to get in touch with my characters and my story.
Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals when starting (or ending) a new book?
I’m not a superstitious one. As for a ritual, I lock myself in my studio with my tea and Coke Zero and food, I always start listening to classical music. When I create my characters, I always always always do it on paper, never on my PC for this makes them more real to me.
What do you think makes for a good romantic story?
The characters and the plot. The characters must be strong and credible, as well as their behavior and their dialogues. They must also be imperfect, for we can’t love a perfect person, who never makes a mistake or never says the wrong thing. The plot is essential, at least for me. The story has to be strong and beautiful. What would Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler have been without as wonderful story as Gone With The Wind?
What else have you written, and where can people learn more about you and your work?
I’ve written a couple of erotica short stories and a horror short story for the Italian market.
It was amazing to be with you and I would be delighted to get in touch with you through Facebook. On my author page you’ll also find reportage about the places mentioned in Unmask My Heart. For news, giveaways and contests, please sign up to my newsletter by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Arianna Giorgi is a historical romance author and a journalist, a college graduate and an avid reader. She makes her home halfway between the Vatican City and the picturesque old quarter of Trastevere at the heart of the city of Rome in Italy, where Julius Caesar kept an apartment as a young man about town and from where a long list of artists gave the world some of its greatest masterpieces.
She has an intrinsic appreciation of beauty and everything eccentrically romantic, including a strong affiliation to the city of Venice which she visits at least twice a year.
Independent and curious, Arianna has travelled extensively around the globe, from America to Africa and back to Europe. Frankly, she never misses a chance to pack her bags and jump on a plane. Driven by a passion for European history and art, she wanders and investigates every hidden corner of the Old Continent, armed with a camera and a notebook, and looking for intriguing stories and settings for her books.
She loves history, astrology, gourmet cooking, and cats. She lives with her husband, her beautiful daughters and her red cat, surrounded by her own cultivated flowers and the magical grandeur of the Eternal City.
Arianna will be awarding an original handmade Venetian mask from Venice to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour here and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!