Swept Away by the Venetian Millionaire

By: Nina Singh


The trip of a lifetime...

...leads to the man of her dreams!

In this Destination Brides story, Maya Talbot’s taking a romantic vacation—alone! Betrayed by her ex, she’s indulging her love for art and travel...but finds a new passion—in the arms of mysterious millionaire sculptor Vito Rameri! This gorgeous Venetian has closed himself off, but as Maya becomes his new muse, she gets to know the man behind the masterpieces and becomes even more captivated...






Dear Reader,

Ciao! I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful city of Venice, Italy, several years ago. I still daydream about the magical time I spent there. The architecture, the beauty of the canals and the wealth of history all took my breath away. And the people were just lovely, so friendly and warm.

So the setting for Maya and Vito’s romance brought back some wonderful memories for me. The two meet by accident, one that involves a tipping gondola! And they quickly find themselves falling for each other. But each has an internal wound from their past they need to contend with before they can move forward. Maya is in Europe to seek solace after a crushing betrayal. Vito refuses to forgive himself for his many past mistakes. Neither is looking for any kind of emotional involvement. But fate intervenes.

I hope you enjoy reading their story, as they fall in love in one of the most stunning cities in the world.

Nina






CHAPTER ONE


IF ONLY SHE hadn’t left her packing until the last minute.

Though the chore did give her something to do, didn’t it? A task to take her mind off the catastrophic events of the past forty-eight hours. The time period in which she’d gone from being a happily engaged fiancée with a set, determined future to a woman betrayed.

Maya Talbot tossed the sandal she was about to pack across the room in utter disgust. It hit the wall with an unsatisfactory thud and left a dark smudge on matte beige paint. Ha! As if packing was her most pressing concern at the moment. No, there was a much more tragic issue she was dealing with right now: the fact that she’d suddenly found herself single, heartbroken and sorely disappointed. All as she was about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. A trip her hardworking grandmother had been generous and kind enough to gift her. A journey that had originally been meant for two. And now she’d be making that journey solo.

It was all too much. Maya plopped down on the bed and sobbed into her hands. How could you, Matt? How could you do this to me?

But perhaps the better question was, how long had he been deceiving her? Exactly how many women had he betrayed her with?

A nagging voice in her head teased that, deep down inside, she had known. She had always suspected that things between herself and her fiancé were not quite right. She had to admit the trepidation she’d felt whenever the two of them began discussing wedding preparations. The utter lack of focus from Matt when she’d asked him to go over all the details. She’d put it all down to pre-wedding nervousness on her part and obtuse male disinterest on his. Clearly, she should have listened to her instincts.

This trip was one she’d often dreamed of being able to take. The fantastical trip she’d always referred to as her “bucket list” getaway.

All she’d ever wanted since taking that art history class as a university freshman was to be able to tour through Europe to witness the grand art in world-famous museums and to marvel at the majestic architecture within the most romantic cities in the world. It was all to begin with a stop in Venice. Followed by a trip by rail to Florence and Rome. Then on to Paris, with a final stop in the glorious metropolis of London.

Maya had talked about it so often with her grandmother. Through some miracle, Grandmama Fran had come across a charity auction being held in Martha’s Vineyard where she lived. Bless her soul, the woman had dipped into her modest savings to bid on it for Maya as an early wedding gift. For a wedding that now would never take place.

Maya sucked in a deep breath. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t go through with this trip; she had to have been kidding herself to even consider it. And there was not one other person she could think of to ask to accompany her. Working for her uncle’s plumbing company as a contractor had left her with a severe shortage of female colleagues. And all her closest friends had gradually moved out of the Boston area over the years. Her cousins were quite busy with their own lives, as well—Lexie blessed recently with a newborn and Zelda immersed in a major project at work.

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