The moment Brando Piero Fausti appeared in the snow-filled night, he made the blood hum in my veins, tethering my life to his with an irrevocable bond.
I became the light to his darkness, illuminating the face of an avenging angel. His intense dark eyes should’ve warned me away, but they only drew me closer. With a body worthy of a statue in Italy, he was the most beautiful man that I had ever seen, and the most dangerous man I had ever felt. A savage beast lurked just beneath his surface, ready to battle for what he loved the most—me.
He claimed me as his, per sempre. But he wanted something from me. For me. He wanted me to dance. To fulfill what the world insisted was my destiny.
Little did I know that he would lure me into a gilded cage with his beautiful words and searing touch, a twirling ballerina locked safe in a music box, rose petals strewn at my feet. And then set me free, his touch a brand on my skin.
Little did he know, I’d always fight to follow the true alignment of my stars.
The Beautiful Years, Book I is the beginning of a seven-part Mafia Romance saga. Start the journey today!
Enjoy a sneak peek from The Beautiful Years
by Annie Rose Welch
“I’ve never been kissed,” I blurted. We had almost kissed under the stars, in the back of whoever’s truck that was out by the train tracks, but it was more of a tease, or a sample, not a true kiss.
I thought he would laugh, or at the least try to hide his amusement. None of those things happened. “I know,” he whispered. “You’re mine, Scarlett.”
His words made me shiver, as though they had passed over me in a soft caress, but the conviction was strong, so strong it clashed with the softness. Fire against ice. Surrender was the only option.
If I were going to keep up with him, I had to learn how to slow my roll, allow him to lead this dance, give our moments together the power to linger. The delicate thing between us deserved the chance to grow, to strengthen, without force.
He stood, keeping the connection strong, and when he was close enough to look down at me, he offered me his hands. Without hesitation, I put both of mine in his and he helped me stand.
He used his fingertip to push the loose pieces of my hair back, and then he caressed my face—along my forehead, the shape of my eyebrows, over my eyes, down my nose, all the way to my lips. He traced the outline of them, even softer than he had traced the lines of my face.
His eyes became even more intense, lowering, almost studying the shape of my lips as though he were memorizing each minute detail that came together to form the whole.
Closing my eyes, I wobbled, a bit off balance. One hand snaked around my waist, his arm pulling me even closer. My entire being melted into his, and our lines blurred to form a figure eight. I began where he ended.
We are never ending.
I’m not sure if the words came from him or me, or from someplace deeper, the connection that spoke to me through blood. Flesh and bone, heart and soul, seemed to accept this at once, and the truth rushed me.
My body went slack and a small breath escaped my parted lips. He seized this moment, putting his mouth to mine, taking my wasted breath for his own. As though I were the oxygen to his lungs, he breathed me in.
The kiss started slow but was no less powerful for it. His mouth taught mine, and without hesitation, I became his to teach. The rush of it soared through my veins, through my stomach, all the way to the tips of my toes, and back up again. It surged like a high.
Now our mouths moved together in slow motion, tender, almost fleetingly so. That was, until a throaty moan came from somewhere deep inside of me and I sunk my nails into his shoulders.
When did my hands move? Where did I find the strength? The need to touch him was instinctual.
His tongue was chilled from the beer, sweet from the chocolate cake. The kiss became more urgent, more…just more.
Where was I again? Oh, at a loss for words.
My mind refused to believe a world existed outside of ours; existed outside of this. This, whatever this was, held the power to make life cease to exist outside of the two of us.
Free. I was free to touch him, to run my hands along his smooth neck, the wide width of his shoulders, the hardness of his chest, the slope of his waist, and back up again. Discovering. He felt so solid under my hands, so safe, but he was soft too. His lips…
Oh, this is what it’s all about, I thought dimly. It takes two to possess. Without his surrender, without mine, there would be no magician and no spell.
He broke the kiss, and in an instant an intense, chilled void filled the warm space we had created.
I wasn’t alone in this. Stronger, yes, I could feel him even stronger now.
Closer, he needed to be closer too.
He entwined our fingers together, rested his forehead against mine, and kissed my lips. Once, twice, in gentle, short tastes. “The beat of my heart is yours,” he whispered. “You breathe, I breathe.” Then he placed a kiss on my chin, my lips again, each of my cheeks, the edge of my nose, my temples, over my eyes, and then on my forehead.
A loud thud came at the door, then another, and another, an irritating, harassing sound that made me flinch.
At the sound of the real world, the interruption, the spell rushed back to us, and by no means had it been broken.
End of Excerpt
Copyright © by Annie Rose Welch
Learn more by visiting the author's website. THE BEAUTIFUL YEARS released October 2018.
Meet the Author
Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her passion for writing began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightning bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street.
A dream come true for her, she hasn't stopped writing since. She loves a good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm. When she's not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. Deciding on a whim to hitch up those same wagons, Annie currently resides in Texas (where everything is bigger) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).
The Beautiful Years: Part 1 by Annie Rose Welch
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Mafia Romance
Heat Level: 4
Language Level: 4
Violence Level: 2
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