written by Kendall Talbot
published by Escape Publishing, 2015
About the book – from Goodreads: From Romantic Book of the Year winner Kendall Talbot comes an adrenaline-fuelled new series introducing sassy sexy characters, exotic locations, and action-packed adventure.
Some secrets should remain hidden forever…
The last place Rosalina expected the clue to a 700-year-old mystery to lead her was back into the arms of Archer, the man who broke her heart. When neither can solve the puzzle without the other, they set off on a new adventure. They’re forced to ignore the sparks that still fly unhindered between them as their search for the golden riches weaves from Tuscany’s underbelly to Archer’s luxurious yacht in the Greek Islands.
Archer desperately wants to salvage his shattered relationship with Rosalina but fighting for her love soon takes a back seat to fighting for their lives. Ruthless competition is hot on their heels and will do anything to get his hands on the treasure. With evil close on their trail, and Archer wrestling with the remnants of a childhood tragedy, Rosalina begins to wonder if some secrets were never meant to be revealed.
Rosalina dusted her flour-caked hands onto her apron and then turned to check on the Murazzano cheese rolls already baking in the oven. The scents of aromatic spices, melting cheese and fresh-baked pastry wafted from the open door. She lifted the tray from the oven and placed it onto the cork placemat.
‘Smells magnifica.’ Alessandro ran his tongue over his lips and she had this sudden desire to kiss him. The urge came from nowhere. Maybe she’d had too much wine. Maybe she was falling for him, despite all her determination not to. Maybe, just maybe, she was finally over Archer.
She smiled as Alessandro practically drooled over her cooking. He’d always been a dependable part of her life, and that was something she needed right now. And he was the perfect willing guinea pig for her culinary experiments. He reached for a still steaming pastry and she snapped his hand away. ‘Wait,’ she said. ‘You want the whole experience don’t you?’
His eyes lit up. ‘Sì, mio dolce.’
Rosalina liked the way he called her ‘my sweet’, especially given her love of cooking all things sugary. He was patient with her and seemed to understand her need to take everything slow.
Rosalina sliced the now cooled poached pear and placed a sliver upon the savoury cheese pastry. ‘Open up.’
Alessandro obliged and she popped the nibble into his mouth. His eyes did that heavenly eye roll before he closed them and savoured the treat. A low moan of approval teased from his throat and she knew she had him. He was a delight to watch.
First he would taste the sweetness of the pear, delicately poached with cinnamon and Chinese five spice. Next would come the multifaceted Murazzano cheese, smooth and rich in flavour. Finally, the buttery pastry would round it off. She liked to think of it as a smorgasbord in a bite.
After he swallowed, he sighed his approval.
‘Now, keep your eyes closed.’
He simply nodded as a smile of pure bliss curled at his lips.
‘This second sample is the same cheese pastry, but this one I’ve topped with a touch of my homemade fig jam and a sprinkling of crispy prosciutto.’
A fresh moan tumbled from his lips and he hadn’t even tasted it yet. His eyelids fluttered as she placed the second sample into his mouth.
‘Take your time. I need to know which one is better.’
His eyes opened but it was as if he’d slipped into another world. He began to shake his head slowly.
‘You don’t like that one.’
He shook his head faster as he continued to chew. ‘You can’t make me choose one.’
Rosalina put her hands on her hips. ‘Come on, Alessandro, you know the game.’
‘But I can’t decide. They’re both delizioso.’ He kissed the tips of his fingers.
‘This is serious.’ She giggled. ‘There can only be one clear winner. So which is it, pear or prosciutto?’
‘Rosa, you torture me.’
She giggled. ‘I tantalise you.’
He flashed a devious smile and fluttered his long lashes. ‘Yes you do, il mio dolce.’
About the author: Kendall Talbot is an award winning author, thrill seeker and a hopeless romantic. She has travelled extensively, some 36 countries, and counting and she’s addicted to experiences that make her scream…white water rafting, scuba diving with sharks and hang gliding are just a few. Her stories reflect her sense of adventure and her long running love affair with her very own hero.
Kendall collects junky jewellery and expensive perfume, her favourite night out is with great friends and a fabulous bottle of wine or two, and she rarely watches TV. She lives in Brisbane with her hubby, her two grown boys and her little dog, Josie McLuvin.
Her debut novel Lost in Kakadu (Escape Publishing, 2013) has received a clutch of award nominations and most notably won the exclusive Romantic Book of the Year.