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Genre: Historical Romance, Renaissance, England, Continental Locales
In Lucianna, third in Small’s sweeping Silk Merchant’s Daughters series, the deft storyteller moves from the warm beauty of Florence to the chill of Henry VII’s court delivering a story replete with history and simmering sexual tension. Longtime fans will find all of Small’s hallmarks: a strong, smart heroine, a dashing hero and lush historical details alongside a sexy love story. This is a delicious read.
Her sisters’ scandalous behavior has made it difficult for Lucianna Pietro d’Angelo to make a match. Learning from their mistakes, Lucianna agrees to her parents’ dictates and weds an elderly bookseller. Upon his death, she becomes a wealthy 19-year-old widow, content with her life — until Robert Minton, Earl of Lisle, visits the shop. Robert is smitten with Lucianna. Seeing the Englishman’s interest in their daughter, the Pietro d’Angelos arrange for Lucianna to represent the silk merchant’s guild in London. Away from Florence, Lucianna flourishes. Robert pursues her until she agrees to a country holiday where she gladly loses her innocence. He does not rest until she is his wife. Lucianna’s intelligence and beauty bring her to the attention of Henry VII’s powerful mother. Lucianna rises in the court as her husband fights alongside Henry, building a life where business, politics and passion merge. (NAL, Oct., 400 pp., $16.00)
Reviewed By: Kathe Robin
Published: October 2013