The Art of Deception (A Dangerous Heart)


All is not as it seems, beneath the Italian sun …

Jenny O’Connor can hardly believe her luck when she’s hired to teach summer art classes in Italy. While the prospect of sun, sightseeing and Italian food is hard to resist, Jenny is far more interested in her soon-to-be boss, Max Castanien. She’s blamed him for a family tragedy for as long as she can remember and she wants some answers.

But as the summer draws on and she spends more time with Max, she discovers that all is not necessarily what it seems, and she starts to learn first-hand that there’s a fine line between love and hate.


* * * * *


Umbria in Italy

Umbria in Italy. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I go to Italy every year, to Umbria, to the area in which I’ve set The Art of Deception, and I always visit Bevagna and Montefalco when I’m there, so when I decided to write a pocket novel, I instantly thought of that beautiful part of the world.

I then thought about my heroine, Jennifer, and I decided to make her a teacher as that was a profession I knew about. In an area as beautiful as Umbria, it was inevitable that there would be Art courses, so Jennifer became an Art teacher.

A successful businessman with a great appreciation for aesthetics would be the perfect match for Jennifer, I decided, and Max Castanien was born. He was a man who purchased a house in Italy on the spur of the moment, and who realised that, with the help of the right person, he could realise his dream.

And then came the story…

My research was the most pleasant kind – wandering through the streets of two places I love, seeing again the glorious views, revisiting their art galleries, museums and places of interest, and capturing some of them with my camera. To lift the words of someone else, it doesn’t get much better than that!


One of the antique bridges leading into Bevagna. The old wash house can be seen beneath the arch

Looking across the river to Bevagna

Looking across the river to Bevagna










Looking across the piazza to the fountain in Bevagna

The ancient wash house can be glimpsed beneath the arch of the bridge









NB. THE ART OF DECEPTION was published by Choc Lit in October 2013. It was originally published as A DANGEROUS HEART, a People’s Friend Pocket Novel, March, 2012.


As A DANGEROUS HEART, it’s available in large print in UK libraries.