Title: To Rome with Love
Author: Mandi Benet
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When Gaby Conte’s Italian husband, Danieli, abandons her for a young Peruvian waitress at a restaurant they co-own in San Francisco, Gaby seeks refuge in Rome with her best friend Maria. There, she swears off romance for a long while and Italian men forever. That’s until she meets Silvio, who belongs to an old, aristocratic Roman family and lives in a palace alongside the best private art collection in Rome. Silvio, who is the cousin of Maria’s husband, is going through his own divorce. He’s gorgeous, of course, which Gaby doesn’t tell him. And arrogant and condescending, which she does. The last thing Gaby needs is more Italian trouble, but the attraction is instant and powerful, and against the backdrop of one of the world’s most romantic cities, both try—and fail—to resist the chemistry between them. But both Gaby and Silvio have made a rule never to make the mistake of trusting in love again. Will they realize some rules are made just to be broken?
Silvio lifted Gaby’s face to his with his finger. “So, you try to make me jealous?”
“Did it work?”
“No.” Silvio’s eyes glittered in the dark.
Gaby grinned. “You mean yes.”
“No. I mean no. Well, okay, maybe a little.”
Gaby grinned again and lowered her head to his shoulder.
“What did Massimo want with you all this time, dancing? What was all that whispering between you?”
“He wanted a date.”
Silvio went very still. “Excuse me?”
Gaby lifted her head up and looked at him. “He wants to take me out on a date when we get back to Rome.”
Silvio’s arms fell away and his eyes grew cool. “The kid’s barely out of college. You could be his mother.”
Gaby’s head snapped to the side. “I beg your pardon? He’s twenty-eight. I would have to have given birth to him when I was twelve.”
“Well, he looks like he’s twelve.” Silvio yanked Gaby toward him and they began to move to the music again. “You said no, right?” he murmured against her face.
“As a matter of fact, I said yes. He asked me if I was dating anyone and I said no.” Gaby added this last part for fun.
And boy was it fun when Silvio’s eyes immediately went from cool to frosty. “So,” he said, stepping back. “You’re not dating anyone?”
Gaby cocked her head to one side and suppressed a smile. “No. Who would I be dating?”
A tic started up in Silvio’s jaw and he pulled her to him, pressing his body against hers. He seemed so agitated over her admission, but why did he think he could stake any claim to her? “I thought maybe . . .” His voice trailed off weakly.
“You thought what?”
Silvio shook his head. “Nothing.” He buried his face in her neck lighting charges all through her body. “It’s just that it looked like you felt a bit awkward dancing with Massimo.”
“Awkward? How do you mean?”
Silvio’s tongue laved the nape of her neck. “Well, for one, you didn’t have your arms around his neck like you have them around mine, nor were your legs entwined with his as they are with mine.”
Gaby immediately sprang back. The image he was drawing was highly sexual. But he caught her.
“Come back here,” he commanded.
Mandi Benet grew up in England and published her first piece of fiction when she was twelve. She has been scribbling away ever since as an award-winning journalist— covering everything from the Democratic Convention to the Oscars for major American national newspapers and magazines— and as an author, writing women’s fiction and contemporary romance with rich, original characters. Mandi is a member of RWA National and the San Francisco branch of RWA.