The Alchemist (MF)

Etopia Press

Heat Rating: Sensual
Word Count: 94,219
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Is it alchemy that transforms fear into love?

Italy, 1565—Niccolo is a philosopher, a nobleman, and an honorable man. He’s also an alchemist—considered a heretic and an enemy of the church. When his beloved fiancée dies of a mysterious ailment on the eve of their wedding day, Niccolo loses all direction. Maddened by grief, he attempts a desperate, unthinkable act, one from which there is no turning back: transformation of the dead into the living…

Italy, 2015—While excavating a Renaissance-era burial site, Julia discovers a beautiful but mysterious carving. Wreathed in classic period symbols—a cross, a family crest, an open book—the piece contains another symbol she can’t quite place—an alembic—a type of distillation apparatus used in alchemy. Then she finds something else—a burial plaque commemorating the deaths of two people, a man and a woman. Curious, Julia continues to excavate the site, but before she can complete her work, something gives way beneath her and she falls…or is pulled…through the darkness and emptiness of time…

But when Julia turns up in the body of Niccolo’s fiancée, confusion battles with danger. Inextricably drawn to one another, Julia and Niccolo find solace in each other’s arms. But to love again, they’ll have to defy the deadly prejudice of others and the terrifying power of the Spanish Inquisition. Between love, loss, and murderous betrayal, can the alchemy of love create enough magic to save them?

The Alchemist (MF)
0 Ratings (0.0)

The Alchemist (MF)

Etopia Press

Heat Rating: Sensual
Word Count: 94,219
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Niccolo - 1565, ItalyThe muscles across Niccolo’s naked back flexed as he labored to stir the boiling contents of the mammoth cauldron. Carefully averting his face and holding his breath to avoid inhaling the noxious vapors, he peered at the contents. Satisfied with the cobalt-blue hue of the roiling liquid, he stepped away from the stone hearth and wiped the perspiration from his face with the back of his hand.Next, Niccolo walked to a row of small glass vials and examined their contents, pausing now and then to gently agitate the multicolored substances within. He dumped a few grains of rust-colored powder into his palm for closer examination just as a knock sounded at the massive oak door.“Come in,” he called without raising his eyes from his work.“Sir, if you please, it is time to dress.” The servant approached the young alchemist with an air of ease that conveyed his familiarity. Standing next to Niccolo, he waited patiently, gasping in the superheated room.Niccolo smiled at the old man’s labored breathing. “Not yet used to the climate Jacopo? What will it take, another thirty years?”Jacopo smiled mildly and nodded. “Not even then. It’s an inferno in here. The devil himself would be proud to have you as his firekeep.”Niccolo laid a hand on the servant’s shoulder. “Well then, you must tell him of my skill when you meet him.”Accustomed to Niccolo’s teasing, Jacopo accepted the friendly barb with no hint of a smile and reminded Niccolo the banquet was drawing perilously near, and he was yet in need of a bath and a change of clothes.Reluctantly, Niccolo brushed the powder from his hands and returned the vial to its place among the others. He stabbed at the fire beneath the smoke-grimed cauldron with a poker.When Jacopo began to extinguish the huge candelabra illuminating the room, Niccolo stopped him.“Don’t bother, I’ll be returning after the banquet, and I’ll only have to relight them.”Jacopo turned a speculative eye on his master. “You’re coming back to the laboratory tonight? You plan to work on the eve of your wedding?”A wicked smiled spread across Niccolo’s face. “Of course,” he answered, “I shall be far too busy to do so for the next few nights.” He clapped the old servant on the back, and they left the dungeon laboratory and ascended the stone steps to the chambers above.

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