Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Heloise West for stopping by today.
Title: If I Were Fire
Author: Heloise West
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Genre: Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance
In 18th century Siena, Count Salvesto Masello has returned home to find the family villa and his father’s estate steeped deeply in debt. In order to save it, he has been selling off valuable family heirlooms, but he is running out of silverware. Somewhere in the villa his deceased father had hidden the art treasures that will pay the debt, but Salvesto can’t find them anywhere.
Amadeo Neruccio has been on the run from the vicious pimp, thief, and pawnbroker Guelfetto, but his toughs finally catch him and bring him to the cellar where Count Masello is selling off his silver. When the count learns what fate Guelfetto has in store for Amadeo, he intervenes and trades the last of his mother’s dowry for the young man’s freedom.
Salvesto had left home over ten years ago to live the life of adventure he craved. He had also hoped to leave his broken heart behind. When he rescues young Amadeo, he did not expect to find love again, or that his adventures had yet to end.
Ten places I would like to visit and why
- I would go back to Siena, Italy, in a heartbeat. We stayed in the Wolf contrada, in the Hotel Minerva, with a fantastic room, dream balcony and view. This is also why Amadeo ended up a member of the Wolf contrada. Siena is charming, small, and it takes someone who knows the streets about 15 minutes to cross it. They are very proud people with dyed-in-the-wool traditions they will not let go of.
- I am deep into research for the sequel to my first novel, Hitting Black Ice, with Loose Id. It takes place on a tiny island called Saba (Sayba) in the Dutch Antilles, the only island that is still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Consequently, ten years after the Netherlands had marriage equality made the law of the land, so did Saba. I’ve been to a number of Caribbean islands, all tragically beautiful, but Saba caught my attention. I would love to visit and hike in the rain forest, go to Sabaoke at Scout’s, and climb Mt. Scenery, the highest point in the Netherlands. 😉
- At this moment, my SO and I are debating destinations for next year’s vacation. For the last two we’ve gone somewhere in the States, but we have a craving for a foreign destination. I’m campaigning for Rome, and he’s campaigning for Portugal, in country, wine country. We went to Lisbon a few years ago and loved it. I’ve been to Rome, but on one of those “andiamo!” bus trips a long time ago. I’d be happy with either (Rome). No, really (Rome).
- I want to go back to London, because there was just so much to see, and we didn’t see it all. I’d love to see the countryside at some point, too.
- Southern France; Marseilles and Cather Country. Bloody and Beautiful.
- Morocco. I mean, why not? Romantically exotic sounding.
- New Orleans. It sounds fantastic.
- I will always want to go to Florence, Italy, though next trip, I want to go off-season.
- Sicily for two reasons: my maternal grandmother’s family is from there and for the wine and blood oranges.
- Pompeii. I’d like to see that one more time before I die. ☺
Everyone knew everyone’s business in the small hilly honeycomb town of Siena. The house the Masello had once occupied for short periods during the year belonged to a rich merchant now. The eldest Masello had died in a hunting accident in the countryside, and his father, it was said, died of grief a year later. This event had brought the new conte home to the villa with the leaky roof, the broken-backed barn, and massive debt. Yet perhaps Conte Masello was not as bad off as they said, for he had paid Amadeo’s debt to Guelfetto.
Likely Amadeo was wrong about that, too, as the conte had traded for his freedom with silver dishes and spoons. Amadeo swallowed hard but could not dislodge the lump in his throat, a combination of gratitude and resentment. Life in a Florentine bathhouse and sexual slavery to the traditional enemies of Siena was no life at all. He shuddered. He had meant it about throwing himself on the tender mercy of the river.
What kind of master was the new Conte Masello? He glanced at the man beside him and found warm hazel eyes gazing down at him. His new master’s hair was as brown as chestnuts and touched with gray strands. Whatever he’d been doing while the family fortunes dwindled—soldiering, sailing, perhaps even tramping about in the New World—had made him a man with a face weathered by the sun and muscles that strained the seams of his fine clothes. He was broad-shouldered and a forearm’s length taller than Amadeo, who felt like a willow tree beside such an oak.
“We have another stop to make,” the conte whispered. “Finish your prayers.”
The hard press of the conte’s velvet-clad shoulder and the intimacy of his warm breath on Amadeo’s neck sent a small shock through him, and his cock stirred restlessly in response.
Oh no, you don’t. You are not to ruin this chance for me either. Pardon me, dear Saint Catherine. I pledge to you I will stay away from the gaming tables and this man’s bed.
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About the Author
About the author:
Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mahem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.
Where to find the author:
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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