Where Lemons Bloom by Blair McDowell

(about this author)

  • When Eve Anderson meets Adamo de Leone on a ship bound for Europe, she has no idea of the dark secret that will endanger both their lives. She accompanies him to his home on Italy’s Amalfi Coast to open an inn left to him by his grandfather. But then she learns he spent five years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. Could the man she loves be responsible for embezzling eighty million dollars from the investment firm he once owned?

    Adamo wants to hold Eve at arm’s length until he can clear his proud family name. But when there is an attempt on his life and Eve is terrorized by a gun-bearing thug, he realizes how much he wants her, and he must accept whatever help he can get to uncover the well-hidden trail of a six-year-old crime.

    Excerpt:

    It was six-thirty on a bright sunny morning. Ruffio was placing still warm rolls and cornetti into bags for the albergo. Adamo took a deep breath, inhaling the mouth-watering aroma of fresh baked bread. He munched on a sweet roll right out of the oven as the baker put together his order. It was a side benefit to being the one who picked up the breads. It made being up at six o’clock every morning almost worthwhile.

    “Two dozen of each,” Ruffio said handing the bags to Adamo. “That will be twenty-four euros.”

    Adamo counted out the bills. “Thanks, Ruff. See you tomorrow morning. Ciao.”

    He placed the bags in the box on the back of the Vespa, climbed on, and headed back up the hill, not hurrying. The sun was still low in the sky, but it bathed the houses and shops in a warm amber light. It promised to be a hot day.

    He had a sudden vision of Eve as she looked when he got up, her hair sleep tousled, her face buried in her pillow. A surge of sheer happiness shot through him. A year ago he would not have believed how drastically his life could change. He was content. More than content.

    He was approaching the top of the hill when a car coming from the other direction roared around a steep curve at high speed and, tires squealing, headed straight for him. “What the hell?”

    Adrenaline pumped into his veins. No place to go. A drop-off to the sea on his left, the steep mountainside on his right. He slewed his bike sharply to the right. It skidded on gravel and hit a concrete abutment. He flew airborne over the handlebars onto a bed of rocks, and heard, as from a great distance, the crumple of steel against rock as the car smashed into his Vespa. Heart pounding, he brushed blood away from his left eye with a shaking hand. His head was throbbing, his shoulder hurt and blood seemed to be running down his left leg and into his shoe, but he was alive.

    He tried to push himself up. His vision clouded for a moment as a sharp pain shot through his head. What was the car doing? Backing up to try again? Adamo stared in disbelief. He shook his head. He must move quickly. The only escape from the murderous car was by climbing the cliff face. Safety lay in climbing up. He knew how to do that. He stood, weaving, uncertain on his feet. No time to lose. Hands in the crevices. Good. Now get a foothold. Climb!

    His toes slipped and lost their grip. He collapsed once again on the side of the road. He raised his head to watch the car that would be the instrument of his death.

    With a squealing of tires, a second car rounded the bend. Black and white. The police. Thank God.

    His world went black.

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Where Lemons Bloom

Where Lemons Bloom

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