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Blurb:

A European man, billionaire, BWWM romance novel.

Wine shop owner Alyssa Benjamin is deeply committed to her profession.

Her enthusiasm skyrockets when she’s set to attend a renowned Napa event, hosted by non-other than Matteo Colombo, Italian billionaire and esteem figure in the wine industry.

Matteo’s success is deeply rooted in his father’s legacy—a legacy now hanging in the balance, as his father demands an heir by the age of thirty-five or Matteo will have to forfeit his inheritance!

Upon meeting Alyssa, Matteo is instantly smitten and swiftly begins his courtship.

Alyssa, however, harbors doubts about instant romance, her skepticism creating a rift between the intense attraction they share and her cautious heart.

Will they find a way to reconcile Alyssa’s heart with Matteo’s urgent need for an heir?

Or will Alyssa’s reluctance only drive Matteo further away, jeopardizing both their futures?

Get answers in this interracial, French man romance book by Ellie Etienne.

The Italian Billionaires Nubian Queen cover small

Chapter 1

“Make up your mind, Bree!”

Alyssa Benjamin waited, knowing that Brianna would not make up her mind. Choosing the right wine for dinner with mom was a big deal.

“Mom did say she was going to the docks to get fish, didn’t she?”

Alyssa nodded.

“That’s what she said this morning when she called me.”

“Can’t you pick, Aly? You’re so much better at this than I am!” Brianna wrung her hands a little helplessly.

Alyssa shook her head at her sister, Brianna was a year older than she was, but it often felt like Alyssa was the big sister.

“You know that’s not true. You know as much about wine and what mom likes as I do. What’s wrong, Bree? You always have trouble making up your mind but… tell me what’s wrong.”

Brianna smiled, but now that Alyssa knew what to look for, she could see the worry and the distress.

“It’s nothing, of course. There’s nothing wrong.”

“Bree, I can see…”

“Nothing’s wrong, Aly! I just want to get this right!”

Alyssa knew better than to push her sister.

“All right. Well, then, if mom got fish, and it’s a nice spring evening, why don’t we get a Friulano? Let me see, right here, we have a nice Sauvignon Vert. This will do, I think. Let me just make a note and we’re good to go.”

“Okay. Okay, that sounds good. Thanks, Aly.”

“Sure, not a problem. Is there anything mom said she wanted?”

Brianna shook her head, and she looked so sad that Alyssa wondered how she could possibly have missed it before. Of course something was bothering her sister. But Brianna got to things in her own time. Alyssa might appreciate every subtle note in a good Italian wine, but subtlety wasn’t something she had much use for in her life. She’d try to be patient. Except patience wasn’t exactly her strong suit, either.

“Great, so let’s go and see what drama mom has for us today.”

“Come on, mom isn’t that bad.”

“Mom isn’t bad at all. I love her. But you have to admit that she always has church drama. You know, I think she should date more often. When’s the last time she got involved with a guy?”

“Don’t go there, Aly.”

“Why not? She’s always on my case about getting a man. I think it’s only fair that we get on her case to get a man, too. You have a better chance of getting away with it, you have a man.”

Brianna’s smile became fixed and her cheek muscles twitched a bit. Alyssa bit her tongue. There was no point asking, not even if it was obvious, even if she really wanted to.

“I hope mom isn’t trying a new recipe.”

All right, if that’s what her sister needed, Alyssa would make inane conversation.

“Should we get another bottle in case she does? Maybe we should. Why not? Two bottles! Let’s have fun tonight, just the girls. Remember how mom used to insist on girl’s night every week and we had to juggle our calendars for it? We weren’t allowed to go out after dinner and we had to stay home and watch a movie. Or read a book, or play games.”

“We whined about it, but mom knew what she was talking about,” commented Brianna. Alyssa nodded, glad to let the conversation steer towards old memories for a while as she closed up and they got ready to leave.

Alyssa didn’t mind admitting to a moment of sheer pride as she closed up. Her shop was her pride and joy. It was everything she’d worked for, and she had her mother to thank for a lot of it.

Chantelle Benjamin had had a rough start in life, and she’d had more rough patches than seemed fair, but she lived with her head held high and believed in making no compromises in what she expected from life. Alyssa couldn’t think of anybody she admired more than their mother, even if a little of Chantelle could go a long way when they disagreed.

Their mother had given them the education and the opportunities to appreciate the finer things in life, and that included fine wines. Specifically, Italian wines, for every occasion–table wines that were meant for every meal, special wines for special occasions, Superiore or Riserva for the most special of occasions. They’d opened a Chianti Classico when Brianna had announced that she was engaged, and they’d had a girl’s night, watching movies, talking about the old days, and new days.

“Bree,” began Alyssa as she drove, “nothing’s wrong, is it?”

“Of course nothing’s wrong, Aly. Why would you ask that?”

“Because you look like sh*t, Bree.”

“Gee, thanks. That’s exactly what I need to hear.”

“You can’t stop looking like sh*t unless you fix whatever’s wrong, and you know we sort sh*t out together. So why don’t you just tell me?”

Brianna’s obstinate silence filled the Volvo Alyssa drove—because it was practical and she could use it to cart cases of wine around if she had to. Which she had to, very often, because she’d made the passion her mother had instilled in her into a career. She was now a professional.

Alyssa tried to wait Brianna out. That was what worked best on her. But then that needed patience, and Alyssa had always been a little short on that. Still, she tried, glancing at her sister and wondering how much longer it would take.

They looked alike enough to be mistaken for twins occasionally. Brianna’s thick black hair was cut and styled perfectly in a bob that skimmed her cheeks, ruthlessly straightened into submission. Alyssa had always preferred to be a little easier on her hair, so she had curls that tumbled down to her shoulder. Brianna had tried telling her sister that it was just a bit too unprofessional to go to meetings with her hair looking like that, but Alyssa didn’t care. She was who she was. She was done making any apologies for it.

Brianna showed no signs of talking. Alyssa gave up on the whole waiting thing and decided to be true to herself.

“All right, you can tell me now what’s wrong or I can ask you about it when we get to mom’s. Your choice, Bree.”

 “You wouldn’t!”

“Why not? There’s nothing wrong, and you can just make me look like an idiot in front of mom.”

“Damn it, Aly. You always have to get your way, don’t you? You don’t respect my personal space or my decisions or my choices.”

“Cut the crap and tell me what’s going on, Bree. If you’re in trouble, I’ll help. That’s what we do. We’re always on the same side, unless we’re playing Monopoly. Whoever put that look in your eyes is going to be destroyed. Now, just tell me who.”

Brianna looked away, but only for a second.

“Adam and I have been having a little trouble,” she admitted, finally.

Alyssa nearly missed a turn.