Saturday, February 4, 2017

Valentine #4 - The one... the only... Vanni

What is the name of today's Valentine?

Giovanni Carnevale - otherwise known as Vanni.

How old is he when we meet him?

Pushing 30, which is kinda old for an emerging rock star but he had quite a few reasons to put off his dream. You can learn about those reasons in his prequel, "Vanni."

What stands out most about him?

He's walking sex and he knows it. Voice. Presence. He was born to be a star.

Nice guy or douche?


Favorite moment with him?

How can I pick just one? I guess we'll just have to start at the beginning...

I was still smiling when the bartender slid a beer my way. Before I could dig any money out of my wallet, a strong hand cut across my chest to lay a few bills on the bar. “It’s on me.”

I turned right into the glistening, naked chest of Giovanni. My eyes shot up to his, and he hovered over my 5’5 frame with lanky grace.

“Thanks,” I offered as I hid behind the long neck bottle.

“Thank you,” he said.

“For what?”

He leaned down toward me and whispered in my ear, “Great scenery during the show.”

I caught his lopsided grin as he glanced down at my expanse of cleavage. From the heat in my face, I knew I must have blushed at least two shades of red. “I didn’t think you noticed,” I replied as I looked away.

“I notice everything,” he assured me. “Especially when it’s put there for me to notice.”

I wanted to deny it but I couldn’t. “You know what they say,” I quipped. “Play the hand you’re dealt.”

He just laughed. “That wasn’t a complaint. I quite enjoyed the view. I wanted to see more but it was a bit like looking into the sun during an eclipse.” He leaned on the bar. “Be careful how you wield that weapon.”

I tipped my beer toward his chest, which was now dangerously close to my own. “Ditto.”

This made him laugh even more. “I guess we’re even then.”

“Not really,” I answered.

His eyebrow rose. “No?”

I took another sip of liquid courage. “To be even I’d have to take my shirt off.”

It was a brazen thing for someone like me to say. Not that I didn’t know how to flirt, or even be sexy, it was just never something I’d say to a half-naked man I didn’t even know.

But if he could play havoc with my senses by being on sex overload, I could return at least some of the favor.

His eyes deepened as he leaned toward me. “You have a point. Maybe we should go somewhere and rectify this grievous injustice.”

This was where I should have handed him my hotel key, but I wasn’t that far out of Tennessee. I cocked my own eyebrow. “Or you could just put your shirt on.”

He tipped me a mock salute. “Well played.” He made no move to put a shirt on, mind you. If I wasn’t imagining things, he actually scooted a little closer to me. I could barely see past those incredible eyes that were doing wonderfully sexy things to me without having to leave the room at all.

I cleared my throat. “Shouldn’t you hang around to see what Jasper Carrington has to say?”

He bestowed a sexy smirk. “Iris tells me I should always leave them wanting more. What’s more attractive than a star you can’t quite catch?”


He motioned to the gyrating crowd in the center of the bar. “Care to dance?”

“I don’t really…,” I started, my standard protest cocked and ready to fire. But he wasn’t listening. He grabbed my hand in his and was already leading me through the crowd onto the tiny dance floor. It was so crowded and so tiny that we ended up plastered together, as if the glistening sweat from his earlier performance bound us together like some sort of sensual adhesive.

I didn’t even really know how to dance, so I let him lead the motions from the moment his arms locked around my waist. My breath caught when his fingertips pressed into the soft, generous curves of my backside. He ground against me in time to the music, a primal thundering beat that pulsated between the sexually charged lyrics. When he started to sing directly into my ear, I nearly melted right to the floor. His breath was warm against my neck and I felt his open mouth against my skin. In that moment the world disappeared. I was faced with one inescapable truth.

I had just been hit by lightning—and his name was Giovanni Carnevale.

What do you love about him?

Those eyes. That hair. That *voice.* He oozes sex and you can't help indulging just a little taste. He's charming. Romantic. Talented. Wounded. Lost. Fearless. You could easily lose yourself in him forever just trying to figure him out, yet he'll always surprise you.

What do you hate about him?

That ego, man. He needs more attention and more love than you could ever give him, though you will want to try until you can't try anymore. He'll pull you in with surprising vulnerability, which will make you want to save him almost as much as you want to strangle him when he self-destructs and breaks your heart all over again.

Or so I'm told, anyway. ;)

If you went on a date, where would you go?

Knowing Vanni, he'd want to make it memorable. New York City is his town, so he'd probably encourage I enjoy every bite of the Big Apple, but I'm not sure we'd get too far away from his Brooklyn apartment...

Who inspired him?

That is the question, isn't it?

Who might play him in a movie?

I actually cast this character when I sat down to write, selecting a guy who sits securely and uncontested atop of my own personal laminated list. If you're going to indulge a life-long fantasy, you might as well, right? However, Vanni morphed into his own guy so I have NO idea who might play him. Still waiting on lightning to strike. Open to suggestions...

Do you have a special song that reminds you of him?

What song DON'T I have for Vanni?

But as far as a love theme... there was really only one.

Any "Easter Eggs" planted with this book boyfriend?

So many. So, so many. The places they traveled. The things they did. The people they met. The whole story itself was deeply rooted in my own personal fantasies, while working through my own personal experiences. I'll just say this, Andy's circle of friends was based on real people - Iris in particular.

Where can we find him?

You first meet Vanni in GROUPIE, which is free today only. The story continues in ROCK STAR, which we will talk more about tomorrow, and concludes with MOGUL. There's the prequel, VANNI, but if you would rather move forward than backward, pick up the following books:


Do yourself a favor and indulge yourself in a little Vanni today. Unless, of course, you need your bad boys to be mostly good... in which case you might want to skip this Valentine and wait instead for who's coming tomorrow.