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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A Tuscan Legacy book 5. La Fiamma Sacra by Clare Revell


Forged in love's sacred flame, can a firefighter and a widow find the path God set for them?
Ric Rossi left the family farm in Tuscany and never looked back. Working as a firefighter in Reading, England, he has everything a man could ask for—a secure job, a firm faith, and a neighbour who cares for his cat Noci when he goes away. The only thing missing is a woman he can share his life with.

Widowed when her son Deforest was a week old, Bracken Hughes isn’t prepared to open herself to the heartache a relationship can bring. Especially with her handsome neighbour who risks his life each time he leaves for work. No matter how good the man is with her son.

Ric finds Deforest to be an appealing child who captures his interest. And the mother has that certain something that pricks his heart. But the unhealed wound in Ric's soul might just spoil any chance he has at love.


THE JET PLANE ROARED DOWN the runway, wheels humming. Within seconds Riccardo Rossi was airborne. Despite the fact he was leaving the heat of Tuscany behind, and heading back to the cool English spring weather that May usually afforded, he didn’t mind. English summers were barely warm on a good day, just as well since he got enough heat in his day job. Fighting fires in thick kit, with 70lbs of equipment on your back, were not for the faint of heart.
And he loved the fact they were firefighters and not firemen. He worked with several women, in fact half his watch were women, and they were every bit as good at the job as the men.
He closed his eyes, settling back into the seat. Italy had been…interesting. His brother Rafaele had teased him about his job, as always. He’d discovered another cousin he didn’t know he had—a pretty one at that—and then there was the strange painting Nonna had received. Or ordered. Or something.
He sucked in a deep breath and accepted the cup of juice the flight attendant handed him. Tuscany wasn’t the same without Papà there. That in its own way was a good thing. The relationship between him and his father had been strained at best, and Ric had left Villa Rossi and moved to the UK as soon as he’d turned twenty-one just to get away from him. He’d only gone back for the funeral because his brother asked him to attend. Honestly, that was the last place he wanted to be. To say goodbye to a man he’d spent his whole lifetime hating, a man that he’d—
He stretched out his legs as far as they’d go—which wasn’t anywhere near far enough for his six-foot-two frame. This time he’d returned, again because he was asked to, for Nonna’s birthday. Twice in three months. More than enough to last a lifetime.
The ice in his cup rattled as he set the cold orange down. His stomach churned with guilt. The burden he carried as always lying heavy upon him. He missed his brother and sisters. Of course he did. With them so scattered—him in the UK, Rafaele in Tuscany, Sienna in Australia and Alessa in Rome—being together all at the same time was almost impossible.
Video phone calls between him and his siblings just weren’t the same. Not that you could have all of them in the same window. He chuckled to himself, remembering dumping a jug of ice water over Rafaele’s head. One sure-fire way to put out the flames of love, at least temporarily.
It had been fun but not enough to make him stay.
His sense of duty, not to mention his faith and burden of guilt wouldn’t allow it. And he couldn’t deny the relief that he was flying home. Tuscany ceased to be home a long time ago.
He checked his watch. The direct two hour flight from Roma to London City Airport should be landing in just fifty minutes. Landing at Heathrow would have meant a flight time of six hours, plus a five hour lay-over.
Hopefully his downstairs neighbour Bracken had remembered to feed Schiaccianoci, his tabby cat. Named after the Italian for nutcracker, Noci for short, had a micro-chipped cat flap so he could come and go at will; all he needed was feeding twice a day. He’d been a stray that Ric adopted from Battersea cats and dogs home shortly before Christmas, hence the name. The cat and he were now best buddies.
Of course, Noci might not like the fact he’d gone away again. Last time he’d sulked for days.
Ric opened his eyes and glanced out of the window. He preferred a window seat, but this time he’d been stuck on the aisle—he wasn’t paying and as a result hadn’t chosen the seat. The plus side to that was the stewardess would reach him first.
The bloke sitting next to him shifted and gasped.
“Are you all—” Ric broke off. The man was grasping his chest, his colour grey and lips blue.
No. Ric reached up for the call button to alert the air crew and stood. He had to get the gentleman to the floor and begin CPR immediately. As a firefighter he was trauma trained and knew what to do in most situations. Before he had chance to do anything, the man collapsed. Struggling with the man’s seatbelt, Ric finally managed to unclasp it as a stewardess reached his side.
 “He’s having a cardiac arrest,” Ric explained. He, along with the stewardess, managed to lay the man on the floor. Ric quickly checked for a pulse, and groaned when he didn’t find one. He began CPR. As he worked he prayed the man would respond and stay alive long enough to get to where the medics could take over. “Need to get this plane on the ground ASAP. And have an ambulance on standby.”
A second flight attendant nodded and ran briskly towards the cockpit.
A minute or so later, the tannoy beeped. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Foster speaking. Due to an on board medical emergency we are diverting to Zurich. If there is a doctor on the plane, please make yourself known to the air crew immediately.”
No one came forward.
Okay, Lord. I guess this is down to You and me and the flight attendant. If it’s not too much to ask, please grant us clearance to land with an ambulance waiting on the runway for us.

1. Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself? My name is Riccardo Giovanni Rossi, but if you call me that I’m going to have to punch your lights out as no one calls me that unless they want trouble. Nonna being the exception. My friends call me Ric. I’m 29 and I’m a firefighter.
2. Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there? I live in Reading, England. Because it was the first place I stuck a pin in the map when I needed to leave Italy. But it’s a great town and I love it here.
3. What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn't know? I have a really bad temper, but I hide it pretty well.
4. Name two things would you hate people to know about you? I cry, a lot, especially after a fatal fire. I prefer English food to Italian.
5. Tell us about your special lady. What makes her special? Bracken, my sacred flame, because of her hair. She’s wonderful. She lives downstairs with her son Deforest. Yeah, they have this weird thing about naming kids after trees and plants in her family. Oh and she Noci sits whenever I have to go away. She works in a coffee shop
6. The first time you saw her, what did you think? Did you like her immediately, or did she have to grow on you? What is there not to like? She goes to church, shares my faith. Noci loves her, seems to spend as much time in her part of the house as he does in mine. Noci is my cat by the way.
7. What would she hate people to know about her? She hates coffee. Yeah, I know. Ironic right?
8. What is your favourite thing to eat and drink? Coffee. Oh, eat, yeah coffee. And Bracken’s toad in the hole.
9. If you had to fight, what would be your weapon of choice and why? The fire hose. Trust me, you don’t want to get in front of one of them.
10. Pepsi or coke Coke
11. Tea or coffee coffee
12. Elephant or tiger tiger
13. Roast dinner / burger and chips (fries for our US readers) or pizza roast beef, Yorkshire puds and roast spuds.
14. Classical music or pop classical
15. Sunrise or sunset sunrise
16. Walk or run walk, preferably with Bracken’s hand in mine
17. Chocolate or crisps (chips for our US readers) chocolate
18. What would you like on your epitaph? Same name, just a different address.

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