Ardent by Heloise West
Historical M/M Romantic Suspense
In the village of Torrenta, master painter Morello has created a color that mimics the most expensive pigment of all, the crimson red. Master Zeno, from strife-ridden Medici Florence, tells him the color gives him a competitive advantage – but Morello must be careful. Fraud is ever-present in the dye and pigment markets.
As they work together in Torrenta, Morello falls hard for Zeno’s assistant, Benedetto Tagliaferro, a young man of uncommon beauty and intelligence. Benedetto is still fixed on his old lover, the master painter Leo Guisculo, and cannot return Morello’s affections.
But when Leo dies in a terrible accident, it’s to Morello that Zeno and Benedetto turn for help. And Morello soon finds that in Florence, every surface hides layers of intrigue.
Publication February 1, 2017
But it at Amazon
Master painter Morello has created a color that is very close to the very expensive crimson red, but at the advice of Master painter Zeno, he knows he has to be really careful with it since he could be accused of fraud.
Morello is enamored of Master Zeno’s apprentice, Benedetto, who is attracted to Morello, but still in love with his other Master, Leo Giusculo, even if they’d broke up their affair, so he can’t return Morello’s feelings.
When they cross paths again, Morello discovers that Benedetto violated his trust and set in motion a tangled web of intrigue that resulted in Master Leo’s death.
I loved Morello, who was sweet and reliable. He was so obviously infatuated with Benedetto and was willing to do just about anything for him. I liked Benedetto, but there were times when I wanted to strangle him. Still, he was young and hung-up on his old lover and because of that, he made mistakes that had disastrous results. Morello and Benedetto had good chemistry, though, and I loved them together.
The suspense part of the book was well-developed and kept my interest throughout the story, trying to figure out how it would all play out.
I love historical romance books, it’s one of my favorite genres and this one was really good! Heloise West obviously did a lot of research and it showed in the story. Her writing transported me to Italy during the Renaissance period and it had a good balance between the mystery/intrigue portion and the romance. Very recommendable!
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***