Luca Dell’Oro has developed an unusual but successful event planning business. His specialty is Italian Weddings and Funerals, which is also the name of his highly sought-after Mendocino, California, business. He accepts an unusual assignment to fly to Rome, Italy, to cater a funeral for an Italian opera singer. Nothing goes right from the minute he accepts the assignment. Cookware goes missing, and his most trusted employees mysteriously can’t go with him, leaving him with a motley crew for a staff.
Luca is stunned to find the grieving widower happens to be a man Luca met and lost to the deceased woman—in sixteenth-century Italy. Luca has good reasons for still being around. He’s a vampire, and all his recipes and magical ingredients have been carefully cultivated over the years. But just who the hell…or what the hell…is Francesco Savelli and does he want Luca—or does he want to kill him?
“We’ll stay in touch…I’ll come back.”
I had no doubt he probably would…unless I didn’t want him to. Right now, I didn’t want him to leave. I came so close to turning him, but I wasn’t my uncle. I wasn’t Carlo. I wouldn’t turn any man for selfish reasons. As soon as he was gone, I Googled Francesco Savelli. It was him all right. I stared at the online images of the grief-stricken man who’d just lost his wife, the celebrated mezzo-soprano, Annetta Savelli. I scrutinized concert images of her. I was certain this was the woman who’d stolen Francesco’s heart. Her name had been different then. Elettra. Maybe it wasn’t her. After all, it had been five hundred years since I’d seen her. She’d been a singer then, too.
Francesco looked exactly the same. That was worrisome. How was it possible? I was a vampire. That was my excuse. If they had lived as long as I had, then they must have had immortal powers. If so, what had killed her?
I was stunned to read that she had fallen during a horseback ride out in the country with their friends and family. Her startled horse had thrown her, and she had landed on a border fence. A post had gone right through her breastbone.
The only way to kill a vampire. A stake through the heart.
I became more and more convinced they had survived all these years, but why had Francesco chosen me now? And how had he been turned?
Night after night, no matter how close we became, I’d resisted the urge to turn him. I’d loved him so much I couldn’t bear to see him cursed. I sat back in my chair.
And now, she was dead. The thief of hearts was gone.