In the tradition of Diana Gabaldon's historical novels comes PRINCE OF CUPS. Florence in the 1400s, filled with religious and political fervor, is the backdrop for this highly-intriguing tale of a gypsy temptress and a wealthy aristocrat.

The Tarot cards predict that lovely Veronica Danti's destiny lies with the handsome man represented by the card known as "The Prince of Cups," but Veronica finds it hard to believe. Pledged to marry the intellectually- challenged son of a wealthy Florentine, she sees her life as one of solitude. However, when she meets Antonio di Fabiani, she recognizes the man fate has decreed as her destiny.

Though each is wed to another, the power of fate is too strong to keep them apart. Veronica attempts to stay chaste, yet she is drawn to Antonio and time and again they are thrust together until their pent-up passions explode.

In a country simmering with the fervor of religious fanatics, dangerous gossip, debauchery, hired assassins and passion, Veronica and Antonio are as star-crossed as Romeo and Juliet. Jealousy, betrayal and treachery stand in their way, yet their supreme honesty and the truth of their love allow them to hold onto their dreams.

Gayle Feyrer, a new author of tremendous talent, is able to infuse her story with the passion and color of the 15th century. Veronica and Antonio ask no quarter and no quarter is given. Like true Renaissance people, their passions carry them into all kinds of situations where courage and love are their only weapons. You'll be pulled into PRINCE OF CUPS and held in awe of Ms. Feyrer's articulate prose. A sophisticated read for anyone who craves a feast for the senses, the heart and the mind. SENSUAL (July, 470 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin