THE SUMMER OF '71
A Romance of Youth in Timeless Rome
Nearly raped at her photo shoot in Milan, English actress/model Molly Moncrieff flees south only to lose her luggage, her clothes, and her remaining money upon her arrival in Rome. Desperate and alone, emotionally drained and at her wits end, knowing no one but a young, long-haired American she’d just met by a fountain late at night, she has no choice but to accept his kind offer of a place to sleep. Certain that she will have to perform to his advantage, remarkably, no advantage is taken, and she rests in the comfort of clean sheets and safety in the young man’s apartment…the rich and ancient villa of his mother, an Italian Contessa. Waking, she is swept away into his world of antiquity, art, literature, music, food and culture with a loving, sweet and innocent younger man.
Somewhat frightened and intimidated by her at first; thinking her way out of his league, Maximillian DuPont's attraction to her grows as he tours her through the ancient city. Son of an American archaeologist, cultured, polite, elegant, smart and free-spirited, his youthful outlook and positive take on life brings new hope and reclamation to his stunning guest.
Desperate for salvation and in need of care and understanding, she uses her every physical attribute and sensual talent to attract and capture his attention, all the while unaware that it is he, with his intellect, and in his innocence, who is capturing her heart, mind and spirit.
Set against a background of the ancient city, its art and monuments, piazzas and fountains…and the café society of the early 70’s, this summer romance comes to define who these two people are, and will be, as their lives are forever changed by the encounter.
This book, the first in a series, takes the reader through a world of ancient architecture, art and history, all delivered through the eyes of an art historian. The romance is the story of her reclamation and his sexual awakening, taking place in Rome, Capri, Positano, Pompeii, Santa Marinella, the aircraft carrier USS America, and New York in the turbulent times of the cultural revolution of the early seventies. Famous people and many minor characters populate the book.
There is a sub-story which takes place in the First Century BC in the city of Rome, capital of a new burgeoning empire, embroiled in civil war, and ruled by Julius Caesar. The characters here are Marcellus, Tribune of the Tenth Legion, and Alessandra, hostage princess of the Kingdom of Bithynia. Another story of love, personal growth and sexual awakening, this one guides the reader through the daily life of ancient Rome, breathing life into the ruins examined earlier in the narrative.
The book is at all times romantic, often erotic, but also assumes an interest on the part of the reader in Rome today and in the ancient world. Travel the mysteries of the imperial city, the medieval streets, renaissance piazzas, and the minds of the two protagonists as they find comfort, companionship, love and lust in a world of wonder and social consciousness. You will walk away from this book with a detailed guide to the ancient city and museums, and stories you will not often find elsewhere.
Rebecca Branch brings a breath of fresh air to the genre of erotic-romance with her well-researched novel. Written with care and meticulous attention to detail, she takes the reader on a wonderful journey of enlightenment, showing us the diverse cultural beauty of Italy. Meanwhile, her life-affirming tale of kindred spirits, sexual awakening and the bond formed between two souls makes for a wonderful read.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant
MILAN was not what she’d expected of Italy. It was without color and mostly nineteenth century, she thought. There was little evidence of the Roman Empire or even of the Renaissance, although she knew it would be there if she had looked more closely. Leonardo’s last supper was somewhere around here, as was the opera house La Scala and the famous Galleria. She managed to miss them all. She just didn’t have the desire to look. Even the Duomo…the huge cathedral in the center of town appeared to be something from France or Germany, very Gothic, very un-Italian.