April 5, 2017
The biggest gifts often require the greatest sacrifices.Italian winemaker, Antonio Giovanni is tall, dark, and handsome with an accent sexy enough to leave a trail of women’s panties in his wake.
Master Sommelier, Hope Tidwell travels the globe seeking out the finest wines. She refuses to let relationships get in the way of her career and abides by a strict set of rules:
Lucky for her, those rules work just fine for Antonio.
Until they don’t.
When Hope’s sister asks her to do the one thing she’s sworn never to do, she can’t say no.
She never intended to travel down this road.
When unanticipated and devastating events throw the trajectory of her life so far off course, she can’t even recognize her world anymore. Suddenly, the rules no longer apply.
Will Hope be able to do the one thing that terrifies her the most?
*Please note Holding onto Hope was previously released as The Italian
“Stay,” he suggested in a tone so sinfully rich it made her head swim.“Can’t.” Hope bobbled on one foot, slipping the other into her leather crisscross Louboutin black pump. A smile tipped the curve of her mouth, catching Antonio’s reflection in the full-length mirror. He lay naked, sprawled out across the bed looking rumpled and warm, watching with wide-eyed interest as she bent to fasten the tiny buckle at her ankle.
“Rimani Qui?” Antonio repeated the request in Italian, the pull of his accent intoxicating and powerful. His light-grey eyes, full of playful offerings, gleamed in the early morning sunshine pushing through the window.
An involuntary laugh escaped her parted lips, attempting to conceal the hint of regret riddling her voice. “I’ve already extended my trip. My boss might think I’m taking a vacation on her dime if I stay any longer.”
It took every ounce of composure to keep her wits about her. Out of all the lovers Hope encountered during her travels, Antonio was always the hardest to leave.
Antonio Giovanni was the epitome of all men that women dreamed of. Tall, dark, and handsome with an accent sexy enough to leave a trail of women swooning in his wake. The man wore charisma like a fine silk suit…flawless and molded to perfection in all the right places, leaving just enough concealed to make you wonder what lay hidden beneath the faultless exterior.
“Si, I think you need some rest and relaxing. Come back to bed, bella.”
Drawing a long breath through her nose, she envisioned a week-long Tuscan rendezvous curled up beside him, under him, on top of him. Hope’s lashes dusted shut at the delicious image. Tempting.
“I really have to go or I’ll be late for my meeting with Tracy. I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of your sister-in-law.”
Taking hold of the extended handle of her suitcase, she started for the door. Antonio rolled to his back. Reaching an arm above his head, he caught her around the hip, halting her rush. A low laugh simmered in her chest at his tenacity.
“You have plenty of time. Tracy said she’d be in her office between nine and ten.” Antonio slipped a strong hand beneath the hem of her indigo wrap dress. His thumb played mindlessly along her bare thigh, coaxing a shiver up her spine. “And it’s only eight thirty. Let me take care of you before you go.”
“I have to be there at nine, otherwise I’ll be cutting it close to make my departure on time, and I can’t miss my flight again.” Her voice diminished, feeling his long, strong fingers curl around the back of her leg, pulling her close, until her knees rested against the silk bedding. The subtle aches in her inner thighs, sweet and electrifying, brought reminders of the night before.
Digging a heel into the mattress, Antonio inched his body further across the king-sized bed until his head dropped over the edge. The stark white sheet purposely arranged low on his hips, exposing the dark, trimmed hair at his groin. Heaven lay just beneath the silky sheets.
A small, wistful sigh of appreciation floated from her lips, taking in his lean body and sculpted abs. He looked nothing short of breathtakingly exquisite.
“Si’. I’d hate to make you miss your flight again.”
He didn’t sound one bit remorseful.
“Liar,” she teased, barely able to hear her own voice over the pulse hammering in her ears. “I think you’re trying to torture me.”
“Si, I could torture you all day. Stay,” he murmured, taking a gentle bite of her outer thigh.
She smiled down at him, running her fingers through his thick, dark hair. If she didn’t leave in the next sixty seconds, she’d be straddling his face in sixty-one. A tousled mass of golden brown curls fell over her shoulder as she hinged at the waist, placing a long kiss goodbye to the edge of his scruffy jaw.
“So beautiful,” he murmured. Pushing the loose tresses from her face, he twisted, brushing his lips to hers. Taking her mouth, he deepened the kiss, their tongues dancing in a smooth, masterful art of seduction. The provocative pressure, demanding yet playful, drew a low groan from her throat.
“Ciao,” she whispered contritely in his ear.
“Email me the next time you’ll be in Italy. Ciao, bella.”
I’m a big fan of Beverly Preston. Her writing is fresh, witty and emotional. Her characters are real, smart and funny. I fall in love with all of her characters! Holding onto Hope is no exception. I love reading about hot, sexy, Italian men, since I’m 100% Italian and there are never enough books about them! Antonio stole my heart from the very first page. He only sees Hope when she’s traveling and available and they have a sexy arrangement. They make time for each other but nothing more. No promises of more. Hope loves her job. She travels the world tasting wine. Sounds like the perfect job to me! She’s convinced she’ll never marry or have children. She’s just not built that way. But when life intervenes, Hope finds herself moving to Italy. Near Antonio. Antonio is surprised to see Hope, but he’s ecstatic! He’s always had a thing for her that went deeper than their no strings attachment and now’s his chance to show Hope how great they can be together. Hope’s reluctant at first, but she realizes Antonio’s the real deal. He’s her friend, her lover and someone who’s stable in her life. She’s attracted to him, but also genuinely likes him. Can Hope get over her insecurities and let Antonio into her hearts? Will Antonio be waiting for Hope if and when she decides? I loved this story! It’s heartwarming and heart breaking, but just beautiful. It’s more than a lovers to more romance. It’s about Hope realizing she’s worth giving and receiving love. She’s not meant to live life alone and Antonio is the perfect man for her. Sexy, sweet, patient and passionate.
“Are you calling me a thief?”
“Si’. You’ve stolen my heart.”
“That’s because I just experienced some new phenomenon called…orgasm-ala-mode.”
**I read it when it was The Italian.
Holding onto Hope is the first book I have read by Beverly Preston. I know…I can’t believe it myself. I could have sworn I read one before but nope. Moving on…The Italian is part of the Beyond the Mathews Family series but can be read as a standalone. After reading it, I do want to read about the family. Back to the swoon-worthy Italian and his Bella.
Hope is Foreign Wine Buyer that travels the world tasting the finest wine. She loves what she does and is one of the best in the business. She is independent, strong, smart, and doesn’t ever plan on settling down. That is why Antonio is the perfect man to have a Tuscan mini-affair whenever she is Italy, he understands that she can’t give him anymore than a weekend at a time. But, it doesn’t make it any easier when she has to leave. His friendship actually means something to her which is more than she could say about any of the other men she has been with during her travels. But it could never be more…unless fate steps in and takes the wheel.
I don’t really want to get into more of the story because I wouldn’t want to spoil anything. I will however say that I it’s a unique story that had me swooning, crying, and it made me want to make some pasta. This is a love story but it’s more about a journey. A journey that Hope never would have planned. I liked her from the beginning and with each step, I liked her even more. By the end, I loved her. Then of course there is Antonio, the sexy, charming, and supportive Italian. He was made for her. They were made for each other but can they see themselves as an actual couple? They make each other feel alive but is that enough?
Overall…It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking, swoon-worthy read that I didn’t want to end. I loved every minute of it. It had the perfect mix of story and sexy times. The characters are well-developed and lovable. I totally fell in love with Antonio and his Bella.
Dear, God. I need an Italian intervention.
“You definitely have skills . . . I just didn’t know they were in the kitchen.”
“You’re glowing.” His voice was rich and drugging like the perfect fine wine.
“That’s because I just experienced some new phenomenon called . . . orgasm-ala-mode.”
**I read it when it was The Italian.