Dante’s Gift by Aubrey Wynne

AubreyWynn_DantesGift_ARe_small copy 2
Dante’s  Gift
By Aubrey Wynne
Released: Nov. 9, 2015
Publisher: Plato Publishing
Contemporary Vintage Romance
Kathleen James is far too practical for her own good. But on the most important night of her life, she gives way to romance and prepares for an intimate dinner with the man of her dreams—and an engagement ring. Unfortunately, the evening doesn’t end the way she envisioned.
Dominic Lawrence has planned this marriage proposal for six months. Nothing can go wrong—until his Nonna calls from Italy. Now he must interrupt the tenderest night of Katie’s life with the news that another woman will be under their roof.
Nonna, a wartime bride from the ‘40s, knows how precious love can be. Can her own love story of an American soldier and a very special collie once again bring two hearts together at Christmas?
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Excerpt from WWII
The pilot with wheat-colored hair put his
elbows on the counter and leaned toward her. “I could buy thirty loaves of
bread at home for that much lettuce.”
“But you are not home, soldier. You are
here, in Benevento, and a sticky bun is 100 lire.” She meant to be rude but his
soft brown gaze made her heart race as if she’d just chased Dante across the
field. His smile went to his eyes, adding crinkles to the corners, and turned
her own lips up. “The cost of supplies is very expensive these days, as you
“So I’ve heard. Give me five,” he said with
a wink. “Maybe I can sweet talk the captain into putting me back into a plane.”
“Save your money, Ken. Your ears obviously
ain’t got any better in the last ten minutes,” he answered, rubber-necking over
the counter. “Get a load of that landing gear.”
Dante growled again but this time showed
sharp, white teeth. “I don’t think he likes you much, Bob.”
“Well I don’t care for him, neither. Give me
two of those, and we’ll get out of your hair.”
The men paid for the rolls and walked
outside. She headed into the kitchen when that quiet, deep voice stopped her.
“I’d like to apologize for my friend. He’s not a bad Joe once you get to know
“I don’t think I care to,” she said without
turning around.
“It looks like I may be making regular trips
through your town. Do you work here often?” His tone dripped like honey from a
ladle and poured over her; she felt her body turn toward him even as her brain
told her “no.”
“My family owns it. I am here every day.”
“So your father is Guido?” He had resumed
his place at the counter, balanced on his elbows again, inviting her back
without a word.
She found herself leaning on the counter
from the other side. “How do you know my father?”
“The sign says Guido’s Café.”
She laughed. “Yes, it does. So you are no
private eye, eh?”
He whistled then. “You’d make Betty Grable
green with envy when you smile. It makes those blue eyes sparkle like a
fresh-cut diamond. You should do that more often.”
Her eyes lowered, embarrassed at the
compliment and the image of the American pinup girl in a bathing suit. “You
should go catch up with your friends.”
“My name is Ken Lawrence,” he said and held
out his hand.
“Antonia Capriotti,” she replied and took
his hand. A tingle shot down her center and curled her toes. “It is nice to
meet you.”
“You’re blushing. Mmm, beautiful and modest.
That’s a rare find, you know.” He held firmly onto her hand. “And who is this?”
She looked down at the silent collie. He
hadn’t made a noise when this man reached across the counter and touched her.
Odd. “Dante, our protector.”
“You need one, with mugs like Bob I
suppose.” He made a kissing noise in the dog’s direction and slapped the
counter. Dante jumped up, feet on the edge and barked. Ken reached over and
scratched the dog behind his ears. “Good boy, you look like my old Schotzie.”
“You have a dog?”
“I did. Old man hit fourteen just before I
left. Mom sent me his collar when he passed.”
“I’m sorry, they are just like one of the
family, si?”
“Yes they are,” he agreed, giving Dante one
more pat before he tipped his hat. “I hope to see you again soon, Antonia.”
She hugged the collie as the Yank left, a
swagger to his walk. “What do you know that I don’t, hmm? I trust your
instincts better than mine. Perhaps we’ll consider more conversation with this
Americano if he returns.” 
About the Author


Award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.
Her debut story, Merry Christmas, Henry, received Best Short Romance in the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice of 2013 and her humorous shorts include Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies, also Best Short in P &E 2014 and Top 100 Laugh Out Loud List on Goodreads.
Aubrey’s first love is historical romance and the medieval fantasy Rolf’s Quest, will be released in 2016. Dante’s Gift is also included in the holiday boxset Christmas Pets and Kisses.

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