Belinda Afriyie is only in the Neapolitan Riviera for the wedding of her best friend’s daughter, never mind the fact that she bullied her way into it, mostly out of guilt for not being the mother figure that she should have been. At the very least, she had to make sure that Gina Robinson did her Ghanaian duty in marrying Nick Da Canaveze, even if Belinda had to get on a plane, pay excess baggage and suffer the heat for it. There would be no time for sightseeing, lounging around infinity pools and definitely no time for flirting with anyone. Especially not The Big Man, who was as troublesome as his son. The twinkle in Massimo Da Canaveze’s eyes told her that he was more than just trouble. He was a huge, fat God-like sign of what was missing from her life. Of just how glorious life could be with someone like him in it… But a man like him would never give her a side glance. It was fine. The wedding celebrations would last all of four days and she’d be off home. No looking. No touching. No flirting. None of that was good for her or her ego.
Massimo Da Canaveze is not enjoying his status as widower. He’s lonely. Feeling that way had become a way of life and he could only hope that his son’s wedding at his 800 year old villa where he’d be amongst everyone he loved, would bring the terrible emotion to a stop. What he didn’t expect was the shrill voiced, authoritative, all commanding, arresting personality that was Belinda Afriyie to blaze through Italy in figure hugging, traditional African dresses and floaty kaftans that left little to the imagination. There hadn’t been an ample bosomed challenge like her to cross his path since his late wife. With a little music, a little sunshine, more than a bit of whiskey, he and Belinda were going to become very good friends.
Four Italian named puppet masters sit on the sideline of this play, throwing pizza pies to hit two half-centenarians in the eye. The Da Canaveze family is about to add to their growing number and no one is more shocked about it, than the puppets…
***Additional extras: interviews with the characters and playlist***
He sent her an assessing look. “Why are you afraid of having things in common with me?”
Belinda turned to him, fury in her eyes. “Pardon?”
“The idea of having similarities with my life worries you. I can tell. We are all simply human. If not always with the same set of sensibilities.” Hmm.“You and I both know that is not always the case.” Those crystal blue eyes twinkled. “That sounded nice.”
“What?” “You and I. Please do continue, we may even eventually agree with one another.” Ridiculously attractive man, she thought, a reluctant grin tugging at her mouth. “Eh heh. All right, I’m going to go and sort myself out.”
“Belinda,” he said with a mild warning, as she heaved herself from the pool and padded to the lounger, “I am the last sensible adult in this villa. You should stay friends with me, even if we disagree, or you will have no one else to talk to.”
He has a realistic and very valid point, she thought, snapping off her swimming cap. God knows she wished there was a palm tree within reach where she could remove a few swatches and swat the idiocy from the mouths of those children. “I’ll let you know,” she replied smartly, pulling the kaftan over her head and wrapping the towel around her hair. He was still watching her. Naughty man, she knew that look. That same sort of look had got her into trouble before she had married and a good many times after.“You behave yourself. I told your son and I’ll tell you too. I am not afraid to beat you if you give me nonsense.”
Massimo glanced down at his arms before looking up, a light in his eyes that should have sent her running for her passport and on the first plane back to London. “What makes you think I would not enjoy that?”
“Because you’ve never had a proper beating from me,” she retorted, collecting her things and making her way back to the villa. There would be something to occupy herself with and take the goosebumps from her flesh that had nothing to do with being cold and everything to do with the husky laugh of the man still in the pool.