Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Monday, 28 May 2007

meet belvedere

Belvedere would have to be the third main character in my next Harlequin Romance BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP. For much of the book takes place within her delapidated but beloved walls.

Belvedere is a huge, ramshackle, dilapidated house on the Portsea cliffs in which my heroine Maggie lives. She is the reason Maggie and Tom, a local handyman, meet. She is as close to my heart as any of the living walking talking characters in the book.

I don't have a picture of her. Nothing even close. But she is sooo clear in my mind from her brushwood fence to her brambled garden I never needed one. Though I can tell you that she is situated on the bluff silhouetted in this sunset view from the Sorrento Pier.

I do picture her at one with the colours of Sorrento. Big beautiful and white. Shot through with the greys of the old wooden piers, the beiges of the beach sand, with views of the beautiful blue skies and ocean, and tinged in the mossy greens of the fabulous surrounding foliage.

Here's how she looks in my mind:

From the top of the dipping dirt driveway he caught glimpses of white wood and a slate grey tiled roof which was not an unusual combination for a house by the beach. What was unusual was that unlike other properties in Portsea, Belvedere wasn’t manicured to within an inch of its life. In fact it wasn’t manicured at all.

As the foliage cleared he saw a house that looked like it had been built over fifty years by half a dozen architects with incompatible visions. At least five levels ambled down the sloping hill towards the cliff’s edge. Most of the original pale green shutters were closed to the morning light, and by the deep orange rust on their hinges he guessed many hadn’t been opened in months. The rest was hidden behind what looked to be years of neglected foliage. If the local council had any idea that this place was in such disrepair they’d be up here in a Sorrento second waving their ordinances on beautification and escalating land value.

Many of the homes in Portsea were empty most of the year and needed nothing more than basic upkeep by overpaid full-time gardeners. As a hire-a-handyman he only did odd jobs. But this place... Already he could see it could do with a lick of paint. And the garden could do with some tender love and care, or a backhoe. It was a renovator’s dream. And Tom would be sure to tell Lady Bryce all of that once he had a damn clue what he was doing there in the first place.

BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP is available now at Harlequin online, or wait until it hits bookshelves in the UK and North America come mid-June.