Deborah Johns brings to life an often-overlooked historical setting, breathing fresh life into an exciting time and place where war and intrigue mix with forbidden desire while men seize every opportunity for power.
Caught between the French and the Italians, between two popes and her loyalty to her family and estate, Contessa Francesca shelters Sire Beltran de Harcourt, a Knights Templar, and his wounded brother Guy, despite the danger they bring to her home.
Once betrothed to Guy, Francess has never forgotten their youthful passion or her feelings for him. His dark, enigmatic brother, Beltran is another matter. Risking her life and her home, she steers their enemy away from the estate while tending to their wounds.
She allows Betran to bring her to his home in Florence, where she should be safe. But who will keep her safe from her growing desire for her enemy? Then Francess uncovers a terrible betrayal and realizes her only hope is to trust Beltran and travel with him to Rome to expose those who would destroy their homeland.
TUSCANY overflows with the flavor and fascinating history of the lush and beautiful Italian province. Ms. Johns has carefully researched the era and crafts a tightly woven tapestry with threads of dark history, deep passion and intertwining intrigues. Here is a tale for those who like their history laced with romance and their passion entwined with intrigue and war. SENSUAL (Nov., 380 pp., $5.99)