In The Fifth Daughter, Elaine Coffman introduced us to Italy's struggle for independence from Austria. Now she continues the story of the Carbonari rebels, as Italian patriot Angelo Bartolini and British artist Beatrice Fairweather are caught up in the intrigues.
Long ago, Beatrice had fallen for Angelo, but she then left Italy for England. She's since returned to soak in the beauty of Tuscany and paint in Florence. She also hopes to see Angelo, who, it turns out, never forgot her.
It is easy for them to fall in love once more, but highly dangerous for their love to flourish when Angelo is so deeply involved in the coming rebellion. They face betrayals, great pain and loss, yet they will do what they must to help Italy and stay together forever.
Readers who are already enchanted with the lush and magical beauty of Italy and fascinated with its history and art will savor Ms. Coffman's long and carefully constructed romance. Those seeking action or searing sensuality will not find it here; instead, there is plenty of the romance of Italy and the fascination of spying, high political intrigues and love's ability to make us strong. This reads like a BBC costume drama mini-series! SENSUAL (Nov., 440 pp., $6.99)