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by Pepper Espinoza
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: What starts as a friendly gesture can lead two men to their destinies...with each other...
Patrick Curtis has been living in Rome for several months, but due to the stress at work and his own shyness, he's never been able to connect with anybody. One rainy morning, however, a stranger interrupts Patrick's loneliness by graciously offering to share his umbrella at the bus stop.
Lealdo Fanucci is charming and gorgeous, and a smitten Patrick is left to wonder if there could be anything more between them than an innocent flirtation...
Genres: Gay / Contemporary
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [67 KB]
Reading time: 38-53 min.
"4 Stars!...A sweet, uncomplicated, gentle short read. Well-written with good pacing that moved the simple plot along, it focuses on the two men to the exclusion of anyone else, which worked for me. They meet, share attraction, have a date, spend a lot of time kissing (sexy!), smexx it up over a weekend...I liked Patrick as the shy, reserved American with low confidence and Lealdo as the more outgoing Italian who draws him out of his shell. Though the length of the book really doesn't allow for deep characterizations, I thought Espinoza did really well with what she had to work with, and I felt like I got to know both men."--Aunt Lynn, Reviews By Jessewave
Patrick Curtis had never been a religious man, but since his arrival in Rome, he'd spent at least half of every day muttering short prayers under his breath. Please don't let the bus driver kill us all was a popular one. More than once, he considered undergoing a full conversion just to be sure he was right with Jesus before they all died in a fireball of death. He prayed the hardest when the Romans around him seemed the most sanguine, taking absolutely no comfort from their calm--sometimes sleeping--faces. That morning, the prayer was slightly different but no less urgent or sincere. Please don't let it rain. Please don't let it rain. The fact that he had survived every single bus trip buoyed his confidence and faith in the power of prayer, but even his most heartfelt pleas couldn't stop the downpour.
Within a minute, he was drenched. The Romans barely seemed to notice the change in weather. None of the people around him broke stride, though a few of the ladies did walk with a little extra pep in their step. Somebody must have warned the two carabinieri on the corner of the approaching storm because their hats were covered in plastic and they wore rain slickers. Patrick wished he'd had a similar warning. He could have at least bought an umbrella. He ran his fingers through his soaked hair, pushing the longer strands away from his face. They were cold against his skin, and he was already shivering miserably.
Cold drops of water splashed off the stone sidewalk, and with nowhere to drain, the road immediately began filling with water. Traffic continued as though it was still a perfectly nice day with clear visibility and dry roads. Watching the cars race by made his heart sink. When the bus arrived, he'd at least be out of the rain, but he would still be packed in as tight as a sardine while the driver treated the narrow, ancient roads like modern highways. On the other hand, the Romans' collective need for speed might actually work in his favor, for once. Maybe he'd have time to dry his hair and collect himself before his interview.
"Please share my umbrella."
The words came from right behind his shoulder, but Patrick didn't look around. One thing he'd quickly grown accustomed to was the constant press of people around him. He learned not to carry his wallet in his pants pockets, and he learned that the boisterous Italian voices were never addressing him, even if the owners of those voices seemed to be shouting directly in his ear.
"Sir? Scusami." This time the words were accompanied with a light tap on his shoulder.
Patrick turned around, his ability to speak coming to an abrupt halt at the sight of the man standing only inches from him. The Italians were, in general, a beautiful people. The Italian men in particular. They all knew that Americans had a sort of romantic attachment to the idea of tall, dark-eyed, swarthy men with charming accents, and all of the Roman men Patrick had met were happy to take advantage of that. But this one was different. His eyes were a dark blue--darker than they had any right to be--and he had sandy brown hair. His jaw was square and his lips were full, but his nose--slightly too large and angular for his face--made him more interesting than handsome.
"I'm sorry. I didn't hear you."
The man smiled, and Patrick almost sighed with disappointment. The smile itself was quite nice--he had good teeth--but it was also familiar. Patrick had seen it a thousand times since his arrival in Rome. It meant I can't really understand you, but I'm going to be friendly about it so you don't feel too awkward. It was a smile Patrick had never once encountered in America.
"Share my umbrella?"