Research for Donna, which is book 3 in my Levante sister series, took me to some very interesting places around London, namely parliament square, Westminster Cathedral, Buckingham Palace gardens, St. James Park and of course, the Southbank Centre where I watched – mesmerised – while the brilliant London Philharmonic played.
The violinist I chose to watch, was the magnificent Ray Chen who performed Brahms’s Violin Concerto. At one point he burnt out all the strings on his violin, and had to borrow the first violinists bow for the encore. It was a frenzied, mesmerising performance and it highlighted the phenomenal talent that musicians possess, as well as their onstage charisma and complete unflappability under pressure.
My heroine, Donna Brunner, is an Austrian violinist who manages to secure an audition to play with the LPO. What a prestigious orchestra that is! I realised that my heroine would have to be very talented indeed to secure a position there. But with Dame Serena Levante, the famous opera diva and national treasure, as her mother, why wouldn’t she be that talented?
So the story begins…
Donna arrives in London for her mother’s funeral, where she meets her three half-sisters as well as the handsome family solicitor, Greg. Greg is kind to her when she needs a friend, and helps her recover from the bitter betrayal of her last relationship which left her self-esteem in tatters.
As with any good romance, you can guess what happens next. Friendship leads to love and before long Donna runs out of reasons for not being with Greg. The only problem is a man almost ruined her career once before, can she take the chance it will happen again?
Set in London and Surrey, this romance glitters with glamorous details of Chelsea and Mayfair, Surrey country villages and local flavour. It also highlights events on the classical music scene and gives a sneak peek into the lives of the musically gifted and the shenanigans that go on in the professional music industry.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing Donna, even though her personality is more subdued and introverted than the rest of the Levante sisters. At first, it was a challenge to make her as interesting, but then her personality exerted itself and before long she was burning up the pages with her own exciting story and road to fame. The fact that she was coming from a position of insecurity and anxiety (something many of us can relate to) only made her journey more interesting.
Donna will be released on August 1st but is available for preorder now.
Donna’s problem is she’s too naive. She knows that. Her ex-fiancé strung her along for years, when all the time he was married with no intention of leaving his rich wife. Then, when her birth mother dies, leaving her a legacy and a life-line, she packs up and moves to England. Here, she meets her three sisters and is welcomed into a life more glamorous than she ever imagined.
A talented violinist, Donna plays at her late mother’s funeral, wowing the congregation with her skill and mesmerising beauty. She also grabs the attention of her late mother’s solicitor, Greg, who being tall, charming and successful, is used to getting any woman he desires – and he’s out to get Donna.
Fresh from her breakup and determined to focus on her musical career, Donna is not interested in being anything more than friends, but as their friendship develops, she realises she’s more than a little infatuated with Greg. The only problem is Donna is not prepared to put her heart on the line again. Not for anyone.