Holiday in Bologna (MF)
[BookStrand Contemporary Romance]
Heidi Manelli, a bright, lively Anglo-Italian, arrives in Italy on a mission. A letter given to her on her 21st birthday revealed that her real name is Soleari and she has family living in Bologna. Orphaned, she is unsure how her estranged relatives will receive her.
Standing outside the Soleari villa, she encounters the quietly charismatic yet aloof Stefano. He's suspicious of her sudden appearance and disinclined to believe who she is. After pleading from her aunt, Heidi reluctantly agrees to stay at the villa, where she swiftly discovers more mysteries, and danger.
She turns to Stefano for help, but will he come through? Is their developing relationship a holiday romance, or something deeper? Is her holiday in Bologna going to change her life forever?
"I spent time with my husband in Northern Italy and we both fell in love with the region. Writing 'Holiday in Bologna' is my homage to the city. The incident of hearing someone playing bagpipes in one of the gardens as we climbed to the sanctuary of San Luca really happened, too!" ~ Lindsay ~
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
5 STARS: "This book is full of twists and turns as the reader tries to figure out just who is telling the truth and who is the real villain. This is a delightful short afternoon read. The romance is sweet and very tasteful. The plot of the story is very well laid out creating a delightful romantic mystery." -- ReadersFavorite.com
4.5 WINGS: "Holiday in Bologna is a delightful and fairly short read from an outstanding author. Lindsay Townsend, as is to be expected, captures the essence of Italy--its smells, atmosphere, the small details that bring the setting to life--in vivid word-color. The art of breads and pastries is woven into the story, adding a wonderful dimension. It is very easy to identify with the hero and heroine, and the book moves at an easy pace which makes for entertaining reading. The support cast contains some well-created characters, who fill out the book well. It is refreshing to discover characters brought to life so vividly, and to visit a destination through the vivid description to the point that you actually walk the streets and "own the place." Lindsay Townsend is an outstanding writer, and Holiday in Bologna didn't disappoint. It's well worth a spot on your bookshelf." --Frankie, Classic Romance Revival
4.5 STARS: "The intrigue gives a good mystery to enhance the sweet romance and jealousies that cause problems for Heidi and Stefano. The characters, main and supporting, are well defined and believable, as is the plot. This is charming bit of Italian holiday!! Great for a holiday read or anytime you want a nice quick, sweet romance with good characters and a bit of intrigue. Will Heidi stay in Bologna or return to England? Will she fall for the charmer or the serious brother? Take a holiday visit and find out – you won’t be sorry you did!" -- MarthaE, Single Titles
4 STARS: "There is a lot packed into this 90-page book. The passion is understated and tasteful. The plot is well laid out. Holiday in Bologna is a smart, romantic mystery. It is a delight to read. Enjoy!" -- Stephanie Rollins, BookreviewsRus.com
He was standing right in front of her, so close that she could see the definition of his lean, muscular frame through his crisp cotton shirt. ‘Yes, I can see that,’ Heidi said, exasperated at herself. She would never agree to massage a fully naked man but she dealt with male clients in her aromatherapy practice, treated their hands and feet, their necks and shoulders. Why should she be so flustered by Stefano? ‘How’s your sprain?’ she asked, seizing gratefully on the change of subject.
‘Better for this gentle walk,’ Stefano said, in a voice of amused indulgence. ‘But if you are offering to treat my aching shoulder and back...’
His smile deepened as Heidi was silent, torn between her professional life and this strange new shyness she seemed to have acquired while dealing with him.. Perhaps it was because he had opened up to her a little and now, standing by this fountain, he was as close as her own shadow. Closer, because he was lowering that bright blond head and his clever, sensitive hands were encircling her narrow waist...
He kissed her lightly on the mouth and brushed a bead of fountain spray from her cheek. ‘I’ve wanted to do that for a long time,’ he said, kissing her again. He smelled of fresh bread and sun and his hands on her back held her tenderly, as if she was made of spun sugar.
‘Don’t you know how very pretty you are?’ he said softly, laughing as she stiffened at the compliment. ‘You are, you know. Like the little bride doll on top of a wedding cake.” Stefano blushed, clearly embarrassed at hearing himself say anything, so absurdly sentimental. ‘Thank you for your help,’ he said gruffly, taking a step back and releasing her.
It was only a thank you kiss, Heidi told herself. She’d known Stefano for only two weeks. What does that matter? an inner voice whispered, but Heidi ignored the voice and tried to control her rapidly beating heart, taking several slow deep breaths. ‘Shall we continue our walk?’ she said, grateful that her question was not a squeak.
Stefano stood back and pointed down the gravelled path. ‘There you go.’
Moving first, Heidi set off along the path, scarcely conscious of the wafting spray from the fountain or the opulent red peonies and roses lining the terrace walkway. Stefano had kissed her. She touched her lips with her hand, feeling truly sensual for the first time in her life, registering that she was wearing a blue cotton button-through sundress and sandals, items that had just become her favorite outfit.
‘Hey, wait!’ Stefano overtook her in a few strides. ‘It’s usually you trotting after me,’ he teased.
‘Pardon me, but I don’t trot.’ Feeling more composed, Heidi took Stefano’s hand in hers. ‘Got you!’ she teased in return. ‘Where to now?’