It’s Sneak Peek Sunday!
Another Sneak Peek from a Victorian, polyamorous love story — Loving Leonardo – The Quest
Setting the stage: Nicolas, Ellie and Luca discuss the artist’s methods as they pore over Leonardo da Vinci’s book looking for clues to love messages the artist left for his lover Salai. They realize some of Leonardo’s techniques work well outside the realm of art.
Knowing technique like I did, I explained how this process of layering wasn’t generally used among his contemporaries because it was time consuming, taking days to dry between applications. His system allowed him to create the illusion of depth and distance. As an artist in the truest sense of the gift, Leonardo approached painting and sculpture from the mathematical perspective of sacred geometry. This perfect symmetry was what drew the eye all these centuries later.
Though my gaze was drawn time and again to the sfumato on each page, we’d agreed, for the time being, to wait and unravel the mystery one page and one message at a time. My imagination devoured the explicit illustrations on each slowly-turned sheet. Luca’s eyes met mine over a particularly arousing scene. Returning to the script, he translated for us a most beautiful expression of love.
Were I blind, my ears would hear your breath and heartbeat.
Were I deaf as well, my nose would find you by the warm scent of your skin.
Were I deprived of sight and sound and scent, I’d seek your taste.
Were I unable to see and hear and smell and taste, my hands would reach for you.
Were I a husk of a man, my heart would know you.
Ever the minx, Ellie closed the book and set it, and our theories, aside. She went to her trunk and withdrew three silk scarves. These we tied around our heads like blindfolds. Feeling our way to the canopied bed, she drew the velvet curtains closed and we immersed ourselves in total darkness. Deprived of sight, we gave over to our other senses.
I could see why Leonardo blindfolded himself. Submerged in touch and sound, scent and taste, I understood why he sought this heightened sensitivity. Deprived of sight, it was as if I’d been handed a key to unlock my other senses. The dichotomy of experiencing Luca’s firm well-muscled body and Ellie’s soft slender curves in complete sightlessness thrilled me beyond comprehension. Their breathy sighs and gasps filled my ears. Even the small hairs on my skin were as whiskers on a cat with which to feel their bodies in the stygian night.
I maneuvered on and around my lovers. The lavender ghost of their soap mingled with their heady musk of desire, and I tasted the salt and clean sweat of exertion upon their skin. All of it: sound, taste, touch, and scent painted a picture in my imagination. They were two exquisite dreams made flesh, and I swear I saw the glow of their souls through my blind eyes. We praised one another’s perfection with an eye for detail that da Vinci himself would have surely applauded.
“I was simply blown away. What a smart, intelligent read. In MHO, this book is definitely a keeper.”
What about this “Reader- interactive” business?
The main observer in this romantic tale is Nicolas Halstead, a man of means who has only recently come to discover profound truths about himself. It is through his perspective that we see and feel his Victorian world. An art historian by profession, Nicolas regularly compares life to art. Because of this, he leaves many references to artists and artworks scattered throughout the pages. These weren’t artworks randomly chosen off a list when I wrote the tale. They were carefully-considered art references placed to convey Nicolas’ thoughts, feelings, and impressions in a given moment. All art is emotion, and Nicolas wears his heart upon his sleeve. It isn’t necessary for the reader to look up each artist or artwork, though to see what Nicolas sees will certainly add color to the tale. I hope you enjoy.
Nicolas, Ellie, and Luca may return for other adventures. If you have thoughts or ideas where they might journey next, do drop me a line in comments (top left of the page). Where might an Art Historian, a Suffragette, and a Historian go? The Victorian world is wide open, and the sun never sets on the British Empire.
Want more? Read the Look Inside on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CMHMK02
For author Mary Balogh. She’s written more than sixty novels and thirty novellas set predominantly in the Regency and Georgian era. Wow, just wow. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com
And over on the RB4U website http://romancebooks4us.com we’re having a June Contest and you can still play! It runs from June 2nd – midnight ETJune 26th .
To enter: Find the 20 pages that have a bride and groom couple. Make a list of the names of those pages (ex: Marianne Stephens, Liz Crowe, etc.) and send your list to: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are prizes listed there.
NOTE: Snail mail prizes only shipped to US or Canadian addresses.
Today over on my Ancillary Muse blog,
I’m taking part in the last day of the Colors of the Rainbow Blog Hop.
I’m also taking part in Sexy Snippets on
7 provocative sentences from Dreamscape
I have no idea!
We’ll see what a cup of coffee can do to pull a magic rabbit out of my hat come Monday morning.
Remember, The Romance Reviews’ Sizzling Summer Reads is a month-long event.
My part is over, but there are still prizes to be had. Click on this banner.
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