Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Lily and the Falcon by Jannine Corti-Petska

An engaging romance set in 15th century Florence


Bianca degli Albizzi is outraged when sworn enemy Cristiano de'Medici asks for her hand in marriage. With her father's blessing, she weds the handsome warrior to end the war between Florence's two powerful families. But headstrong Bianca vows to teach her husband that loyalty cannot be bought...not even by seduction. Cristiano, a well-known warrior with the wealth of a king, could have any woman he desires. But for the sake of peace he ends up with a defiant bride who awakens his deepest passion. Her vengeful scheming puts them both in peril, but is he prepared to sacrifice his life to safeguard the woman who has stolen his heart?

The Lily and the Falcon is the first of a four book historical romance series set in Italy. The author’s fine prose immediately drew me into the story, and the Italian setting, intriguing characters, and endearing love story definitely kept me there reading.

First and foremost, this a historical romance set in the decadence of 15th century Florence. It is a story about two lovers, Bianca degli Albizzi and Cristiano de Medici who are required to marry in order to bring an end to the long-standing feud between their two families. But things are not all that they seem and trouble soon befalls the young couple, casting doubt on their motivations and growing feelings.

I love Italian historical fiction, and this novel satisfied me very well. The author is of a strong Italian background and it is evident she has spent considerable time in Italy. Her experiences added ambience and richness to the story, making the entire novel, from start to finish, authentically Italian. I could easily visualize the palazzo and sensual descriptions that really brought this novel to life.

Suspicion, betrayal, poisonings, passion, family loyalty, and a love that surpasses all expectation fills each highly descriptive page. Well worth checking out and recommended to anyone who loves stores set in the Italian Renaissance.

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