The third unforgettable historical love story set in Italy from Marina Fiorato, author of the bestseller THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir. Florence looks like gold and smells like sulphur . . .In the colourful world of fifteenth-century Italy, Luciana Vetra is young and beautiful, a part-time model and full-time whore. When she is asked to pose as the goddess Flora for Sandro Botticelli's painting La Primavera, she is willing to oblige - until the artist abruptly sends her away without payment. Affronted, she steals an unfinished version of the painting - only to find that someone is ready to kill her to get it back. As friends and associates are murdered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never tried to exploit her beauty, Brother Guido della Torre, a novice at the monastery of Santa Croce. Fleeing Florence together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine great cities of Renaissance Italy, desperately trying to decode the painting's secrets before their enemies stop them.
Hidden in the language of Shakespeare's best-loved comedy Much Ado About Nothing are several clues to an intriguing tale. It seems that the witty lovers Beatrice and Benedick had a previous love affair that ended bitterly. But how did they meet? Why did they part? And what brought them together again? When nineteen-year-old Beatrice is brought to live at her uncle's court in Sicily to be a companion to his daughter, she first meets Benedick, a young soldier who is there with a Spanish lord on a month-long sojourn. As they begin to wage their war of wit, their words mask their deep love for one another. But the pair are cruelly parted by misunderstanding and slander. Heartbroken, Benedick sails to England on the ill-fated Spanish Armada. Beatrice returns to her home in the North and an unwanted betrothal. While Benedick must fight for his life on board ship, Beatrice fights for her freedom from an arranged marriage. From the point of view of Beatrice and Benedick we hear the lovers tell their own story, taking us from the sunlit southern courts of Sicily, to the crippled Armada on the frozen northern seas, to the gorgeous Renaissance cities of the north. From Marina Fiorato, author of the acclaimed historical novel The Glassblower of Murano, comes a beautifully imagined Beatrice and Benedick.
First published in hardback as Kit. An unforgettable historical romance based on an astonishing true story from international bestseller Marina Fiorato - perfect for fans of Poldark and The Scandalous Lady W. Dublin 1702. Irish beauty Kit Kavanagh has everything she could want in life. Newly married, she runs a successful alehouse with her beloved husband Richard. The wars that rage in Europe over the Spanish throne seem a world away. But everything changes on the night that Richard simply disappears. Finding the Queen's shilling at the bottom of Richard's tankard, Kit realizes that her husband has been taken for a soldier. Kit follows Richard's trail across the battlefields of Italy in the Duke of Marlborough's regiment. Living as a man, risking her life in battle, she forms a close bond with her wry and handsome commanding officer Captain Ross. When she is forced to flee the regiment following a duel, she evades capture by dressing once more as a woman. But the war is not over for Kit. Her beauty catches the eye of the scheming Duke of Ormonde, who recruits her to spy upon the French. In her finery she meets Captain Ross once again, who seems just as drawn to the woman as he was to the soldier. Torn between Captain Ross and her loyalty to her husband, and under the orders of the English Crown, Kit finds that her life is in more danger now than on the battlefield.
The Palio: Siena's famously dangerous and hard-fought horse race. A year of planning, ten riders, three circuits of the piazza - and all over in a single moment. But this year, for two of the women watching, far more than the coveted prize is at stake. For Pia of the Tolomei, the most beautiful woman in Siena, the Palio is her last hope of escaping a violent marriage. For Violante de Medici, it marks the start of what her enemies intend to be her last month as governess of the city. Isolated in her palace, surrounded by conspirators, she must find the courage to uncover a plot that threatens her very existence. The trumpets sound. And into the piazza rides an unknown horseman, clad in the colours of the Tower contrada. What he does during the race will not only change the lives of Pia and Violante, but alter the course of the Medici dynasty itself. Alive with all the colour and rich historical detail that marks Marina Fiorato's work, Daughter of Siena is a dramatic and compelling story of treachery, courage and the power of love.
'A rich jewel of a story, full of desire and danger' - Julie Cohen. A dark tale of love and obsession, perfect for fans of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock and The Wicked Cometh. London, 1853. Annie Stride has nothing left to live for - she is a penniless prostitute, newly evicted from her home and pregnant. On the night she plans to cast herself from Waterloo Bridge into the icy waters of the Thames, her life is saved by Francis Maybrick Gill, a talented pre-Raphaelite painter - and her world is changed forever. Francis takes Annie as his artist's muse, elevating her from fallen woman to society's darling. With her otherworldly beauty now the toast of London, her dark past is left far behind. But Annie's lavish new life is not all it seems - and there are some who won't let her forget where she came from... 'A thrilling tale of love, lust and revenge' The Lady 'A captivating gothic blend of mystery and romance' Sunday Mirror 'Exquisite...this is historical fiction at its best' - Book Literarti Reviews 'Gothic, dark [and] rich with atmosphere' - Louise Loves books 'A glorious story of art and passion' - Tea Party Princess 'Dazzling' Goodreads Reviewer 'Captivating' Goodreads Reviewer
The bestselling first historical love story set in Venice, from Marina Fiorato. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir. 1681. Glassblowing is the lifeblood of the Republic and Venetian mirrors are more precious than gold. Jealously guarded by the murderous Council of Ten, the glassblowers of Murano are virtually imprisoned on their island in the lagoon. But the greatest artist of their number, Corradino Manin, sells his methods and his soul to the Sun King, Louise XIV of France, to protect his secret daughter . . . Centuries later his descendant, Nora Manin, escapes an unhappy life in London, determined to apprentice as a glassblower in the city of her ancestors. Passionate and gifted, her famous family name places her in danger within the ancient foundries when timeles rivalries rise to the surface. As she finds new life and love in Venice, Nora's fate becomes inextricably linked with that of Corradino as the treacherous secrets of his life come to light.
Like her bestselling THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO, Marina Fiorato's fifth unforgettable historical love story is set in Venice. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir. 1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague - and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge. But the ship also holds a secret stowaway - Feyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan's concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice. In despair the Doge commissions the architect Andrea Palladio to build the greatest church of his career - an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. But Palladio's own life is in danger too, and it will require all skills of medico Annibale Cason, the city's finest plague doctor, to keep him alive. But what Annibale had not counted on was meeting Feyra, who is now under Palladio's protection, a woman who can not only match his medical skills but can also teach him how to care.
Luscious art forger Laila Cambridge has a little vampire problem.... She's a high-spirited woman with a sordid past, trying to go straight. Enter gorgeous John Bolingbroke, a half-vampire with news of her missing father. From New York through Paris, Amsterdam, and Rome, while fleeing ruthless vampires, Laila searches desperately for her father and a lost painting that holds a coveted secret.
The second unforgettable historical love story set in Italy from Marina Fiorato, author of the bestseller THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir. Bernardino Luini, favoured apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci, is commissioned to paint a religious fresco in the hills of Lombardy. His eye is caught by the beautiful Simonetta di Saronno, a young noblewoman who has lost her husband to battle, and whose fortune is gone. Captivated by her beauty and sadness, Bernardino paints Simonetta's likeness, immortalizing her as the Madonna in his miraculous frescoes in Saronno's church. As the sittings progress, artist and model fall in love, and Simonetta reciprocates Luini's genius by creating a drinnk for her lover from the juice of almonds - the famous Amaretto di Saronno. As the frescoes and the liqueur near their completion, the couple's affair distils into a heady brew of religious scandal which threatens their love, and ultimately their lives. Who is the mysterious Jew with a golden hand? And how does a mute young soldier affect Simonetta's destiny?
The Rebirth of Venus is the last part of The Botticelli Trilogy, following A Tabernacle for the Sun and Pallas and the Centaur. Set in the 1480s and 90s, it tells the story of murder, not only of the leading men of the age, but of the age itself, the Renaissance dying in Savonarola's bonfires. Tommaso de' Maffei was charged with the task of taking the Platonic wisdom to England, but in England he finds he has lost touch with the truth of his philosophy, and he returns to Italy in the early 16th century to find what, if anything, survives from the golden age he lived through. ‘In recent decades, a number of highly regarded novels have been set in Tuscany. Perhaps the best known of these are by English writer Linda Proud, whose Botticelli trilogy – A Tabernacle for the Sun, Pallas and the Centaur and The Rebirth of Venus – is set is Renaissance Florence during the Pazzi Conspiracy, the Medici exile and the rise of Savonarola. The historical detail in all three is exemplary and each is a cracking good read.’ Lonely Planet Guide to Florence and Tuscany