Thursday, 8 February 2018

7 Shades of Sin - A Cardinal's Nightmare Begins

On occasion I do endeavour to write a Historical Romance that is a little different than the norm of tried and tested Georgian and Regency tropes. So where better to set the story than Italy 1796, just as Napoleon begins spreading his wings farther east across Europe.  Whilst northern Italy resided under Austrian overlords there were Italian nobles who mingled with their Austrian overlords and despised their very presence. But the noble Italian elite for the most part despised the French revolutionary forces even more, and a great many rose up against the French by allying themselves to the Austrians in hope of regaining former independent status for the differing regions. In the end after many years of war between the French, the Austrians and other countries who allied with Britain, Napoleon was  finally vanquished for the second time in 1815 following the Battle of Waterloo. The only region in the meanwhile to gain independent status was that of Venice.

This novella has one illustration for every chapter so it is priced accordingly at 1.99 as opposed to  0.99. Is it a love at first sight plot, well it is for the heroine, and the hero is soon smitten! Whilst it is all about sin, this is not an erotic novel in the vein of 50 shades of Grey. No, no, no. it does reveal dark practices, but wholly different than 50 shades, but that is for the reader to discover! 

Aside from history and all that befell Italy, it has an abundance of beautiful villas with spectacular gardens, and beautiful Fontanas. Thus a Fontana has a part to play in this love story, as does one statue.

The book's blurb: “...It would be unforgiveable for him to break his oath...”

Presented with a dreadful and frightening fait accompli, the Contessa de’ Medici is ordered to commit to a shameful act to beget an heir to her husband’s fortune. In defiance of the laws of the church and the sanctity of marriage, her husband has determined only one direct de’ Medici bloodline is acceptable. Fearful she can never lure her husband’s chosen man to her bed, she seeks to deceive him. But war comes to Italy, scandal rocks the foundations of the nearby village, dark secrets are unveiled, and Portia is finally blessed with true love.

Excerpt: An excerpt:
Drawing breath, the air was cooler than expected for September. Nonetheless, she ventured down the steps, and through the courtyard garden where the walls radiated sense of stored heat, but again the air fell cool whilst traversing along the lower path to the Fontana.
...The gardens basking in moonlight were so familiar no sense of fear befell her. Every shadow, every bush, every tree, lay mapped in her mind.
...In the distance Lodovico’s statue shone stark and ghostly white against the evergreens hedging the walkway. All the while the sound of cascading water grew louder as she drew nearer to the path that circumnavigated the Fontana’s pool.
...She walked on and paused beside the statue of her husband but momentary, his beauty forever carved in stone. But the olive grove beckoned; the statue of the young man with a drying cloth slung over his shoulder, the cloth itself as though blowing in the wind and concealing his back was so lifelike it always seemed as though animated, walking toward one. 
...It was strange to compare the statue of Vincenzo against the real blood man. Here naked, and in real life shrouded in papal robes.
...The memory of him standing under the cascading waters of the Fontana leapt to mind, and she now pondered...

This Fontana features in the story!