Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bianca-Bertrice Small


Bertrice Small

NAL, Oct 2 2012, $16.00

ISBN: 9780451237958

In 1474 affluent Florentine silk merchant Giovanni Pietro d’Angelo and his wife Orianna expect to arrange the right marriages for their daughters starting with the oldest, sweet beautiful Lady Bianca. However, her future collapses when her brother Marco admits to doing something stupid. He and Stefano Rovere visited a courtesan who died when his friend rode her. To avoid a scandal they dumped her body in the river. Stefano told his abusive father Sebastiano who makes sure the stupidity remains buried but informs Giovanni he owes him for keeping the family out of a scandal. Payment is Bianca.

Bianca uses her intelligence to somewhat lessen the abuse of her husband. However, fearing for her life as Sebastiano turns uglier towards her, Bianca abetted by her mom flees to Santa Maria del Fiore convent before hiding in remote Villa Luce Stellare. There she meets and falls in love with kindhearted Turk, Prince Amir, the grandson of Memhet the Conqueror. When someone murders her odious husband, Bianca plans on becoming Amir’s spouse knowing her mom will disown her for marrying an infidel.

The first Silk Merchant's Daughters early Renaissance romance is an engaging historical. The cast is fully developed especially the heroine who refuses to sacrifice her happiness and future for a second time. Although Sebastiano’s death feels convenient even if he deserved to die, readers will enjoy touring Florence and the Italian coast.

Harriet Klausner

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