It’s Sneak Peek Sunday!
The love story that began in Loving Leonardo continues in Loving Leonardo -The Quest
Art Historian Nicolas Halstead never could have imagined a book Leonardo da Vinci created for his lover Salai existed, let alone lead to subtle declarations of love worked into da Vinci masterpieces. Nor did he ever picture himself a married man in a polyamorous relationship.
Happy and content, lovers Nicolas, Ellie, and Luca embark on a quest to learn all they can about the greatest mind of the Renaissance. But their world takes a devastating and deadly turn that sends Nicolas into the seedy deviant underworld of Victorian London. It soon becomes clear that Conte Acario Bruno lives, and the madman wants far more than Leonardo’s book. He wants Nicolas dead and Luca for himself.
Here’s my Sneak Peek from Loving Leonardo – The Quest
Setting the Stage: Separated by tragedy, the lovers reunite. Following the book and finding the hidden messages in Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpieces must wait. There are pressing issues to discuss.
I shook my head.
Ellie echoed the sentiment. “Don’t, Luca. How could either of you have suspected he’d survive such a fall?”
It wasn’t the reunion any of us wanted. Matters were far too dire. By necessity we spent the next hour or so discussing Bruno in London. Our conversation lingered on the need for caution. My fatigue weighing heavily, there came a point where I simply couldn’t absorb any more. I rose from the settee and held my hands to them. “I’ve experienced such heartache this week, I can’t think anymore. I’m so very tired. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since before our storm at sea, and my soul needs respite. Come to bed. I want nothing more than to hold you both and escape these anxious thoughts.”
It didn’t take long to bare ourselves and slide between the linens. I laid between them wishing like hell my mind had a valve or a key with which to shut down the specters looming within. I wished I could simply lose myself in loving. But I didn’t have a means to close my mind to the ticker tape thoughts that ran endlessly. Thomas had always been my connection to the world that lay beyond titles and privilege — an enviable salt of the earth who might go where he wished and do as he pleased. Through his connections to other servants, he knew the rough side of London. Anything I’d learned about the city’s seedier side I’d learned from him. If he didn’t know, he’d know someone who knew someone who did. But Thom was gone. I had no such connections and I felt as helpless and vulnerable as a quail chick without a wing to hide under.
A madman was out there in a dark corner, an insidious spider weaving his web and waiting for the day I’d innocently stumble into it. Bruno wished to hurt me and how I saw it, he had several ways in which to do this. Scandal, of course. But I found it hard to believe my social ruin would be enough for the man. I loved four people alive in this world, Ellie, Mrs. Fletcher, Grannie, and Luca. Coming at me through any of these precious souls would cause me pain.
Bruno had already been responsible for my best friend’s death and it chilled me to think he might have known what Thom meant to me. A small shiver ran up my spine as I had a sudden perception. A passage from the Book of Matthew flashed before my mind and I knew: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Whatever the man proposed to do to me through any channel he found, the end would see me mutilated. I knew it as surely as I knew my own name.
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