Warrior nobleman Oliver Ducci Montaldo is a protector of Venice. He heeds the call to battle when Venice is called into a Holy War between France and the Sultan Bayezid.

Oliver was once imprisoned in the Sultans dungeons and escaped because of a womans help. In payment, he rescued her daughter. Now that child, Julian Madrigal, has grown into a lovely young woman.

Julian leaves the safety of England for the intrigues of Renaissance Italy to ask Oliver to repay his debt to her mother. She must return to the city of her birth and uncover the truth about her mothers fate and her heritage and finally understand the magic of her special powers.

She accompanies Oliver on his crusade. Oliver is unprepared for the beautiful Julian. He cannot deny his attraction to his ward nor can he ignore the vow he made.

But returning to the East is dangerous. Oliver and Julian are sucked into a maze of betrayals and falsehoods. Theres a traitor afoot, and dark secrets from the past must be uncovered before they can find happiness.

Riveting, colorful, exciting and utterly compelling, THE LION OF VENICE, second in Ms. Johns Italian trilogy, fulfills all the promise of her first volume. Brimming over with accurate historical details and lush descriptions, here is a tale that holds you in its grasp as you wind your way through its mysterious mazes like a carnival reveler wondering who is behind a mask. Rich as espresso and sensual as the city itself, read and savor. SENSUAL (Apr., 369 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin