Ever since I saw The Godfather I wanted to marry an Italian.
I loved the romance, the clothes, the accents, the danger, the strong sense of family. The language, the music, the history, the scene at the very end of the movie where Kay is watching Michael as his henchmen kiss his hands, and then one of them slowly, slowly closes the door. Wow! I mean have you ever seen anything more dramatic? Well, for a born and bred drama queen that was it for me.
A dozen years later I married my very own Italian Australian. Wishes do come true! Then two years ago my husband and I took a two week trip to
b) it would make the trip a write off – boy do I love this job!
c) it would give me a perfect excuse to ogle handsome strangers while still in my husband’s company! (Seriously, the partners of romance writers really should be given awards, back rubs and condolences for what they have to put up with on that front;))
Luca Siracusa was an enigma to me. I had a fuzzy image in my head. Okay, so the fuzzy image looked a fair bit like the heavenly Raoul Bova from Under the Tuscan Sun. (And to keep Anne McAllister and many more happy here are some lovely pictures of him...not in a towel exactly but near enough!) But that was all I had. So as we traversed the length and breadth of that beeeeautiful country, I was on the look out for real, flesh and blood, Italian hunks to fill out my two-dimensional hero.
Would I find him chatting up girls on the Spanish Steps in
I thought I’d found him in Verona, a city full of beautiful people, in which the locals promenade the twining cobbled streets in fur coats, and designer clothes and elegant suits just because they can. The crowd parted to reveal a little girl in a navy velvet dress with white lace cuffs, white stocking, patent shoes and a blue bow in her ringlets. And on the other end of her hand was a man. Tall, dark, and handsome, even from the back ;). He wore a coat that floated behind him like a cape as he carefully led his daughter through the busy street. I kept a close eye on him, taking heed of his movement, his walk, the tilt of his head before I lost him in the crowd.
I used all of that in my book in the end. But it still wasn’t enough. I knew what he looked like, I knew how he walked, I knew how moving it would be to see such a gorgeous man taking such care of a delightful little girl. But I didn’t know him.
As I sat on the steps of the magnificent Trevi Fountain when we returned to Rome for the last days of our trip, alone, with my notebook and pen in hand, while my husband went off in search of cappuccinos, there were people everywhere; tourists throwing coins, local men selling bottle openers emblazoned with the Pope’s face, pairs of nuns sifting through the bottle openers, gypsies “giving away” one Euro roses.
I closed my eyes and let the sounds and scents and feel of
Of all my heroes Luca has the most of my husband in him; his kindness, selflessness, his innate style, and natural smarts, and of course his irresistible gorgeousness ;).
But I have no complaints about travelling the world over to find what I had under my very nose. I mean come on, I got to see the statue of David up close and personal! But that’s a whole other book...
Ally's latest Silhouette Romance,A MOTHER FOR HIS DAUGHTER is her first book set outside of
For excerpts and the behind the scenes inspiration for this book, check out her website!
This post was inspired by a piece Ally wrote for Nalini Singh's Xmas blog party...