Set in sun-drenched Lake Garda where churchmouse Tamsin Heriot, an English rose, pairs off with sexy, privileged Luca Leopoldo who’s half Italian half Somali. But Luca isn’t what he seems…
Orphaned, aged seven, when his childhood in Mogadishu is brutally destroyed, Luca is left emotionally broken. Ragged and starving he seeks refuge in Italy where kindly aristocrats adopt him.
Ever since she was fifteen, Tamsin has had a crush on Luca and the summer before she goes to university, she’s determined to lose her virginity to him.
It’s eight years before their trajectories re-converge. Tamsin, still lusting after Luca, receives devastating news that triggers her return to the dilapidated family casa when an unexpected bond develops between her and Luca’s widowed, adoptive mother.
A will alters what starts as a dalliance and there’s no shortcut to love, everything to lose, as the relationship between two wounded people, Luca and Tamsin, is pushed to breaking point.
Tasmin Heriot has been in love with Luca Leopoldo for as long as she can remember, but Luca is way out of her league. He’s not only the heir to an Italian fortune; he’s also devastatingly handsome and can have any woman he wants. But Luca is keeping secrets that if revealed could change everything.
“Once she’d have slapped his face and walked away, like she’d done with many a jerk who’d just wanted casual sex. But she’d wanted Luca for too long, loved him for too long, been scorched by him for too long.”
Luca didn’t always live in such luxury. He was an orphan fleeing Somalia after the death of his birth parents. His dreams are filled with fire and with death. But now he has taken the international business world by storm and nothing can stand in his way - Nothing except a stipulation in the will of his adopted mother. He must marry to inherit but can it also be for love?
“Opening that door led her to another and then… her heartbeat tripped, and she felt as though seized with sudden cramp. With trembling hands, she absorbed the narrative of Luca’s inheritance. She read it again and again… wondering if she’d misunderstood but reckoned her command of Italian couldn’t be faulted. She felt a lurch of nausea and the document fell from her hands as it came to her in a single red flash. Oh God, don’t do this to me, Luca. He’d bamboozled her, married her not for love but to get his hands on the money. He’d used her. Cheated on her. Ensnared her into a honeyed trap. She felt as if she’d been ripped open with a razor blade.”
Alchemy is no ordinary romance! With exotic locations and diverse characters, it’s much bolder and evocative. It’s also heartbreaking at the same time. Serena touches on love, loss and even the horrors of the plight of women in the third world with both authenticity and tenderness – and that’s an incredible journey in only 150 pages…
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