Swept up in political intrigue, an assassin and a princess embrace a passionate love in this fourteenth-century romance by a New York Times–bestselling author.
As the last unmarried princess of Monteverde, Elayne is trapped in a marital bond when her hand is promised to the land’s ruler. On the voyage to meet her future husband, she is captured by Allegreto Navona—the living embodiment of the dark angel she’s seen in dreams. Endowed with godlike beauty, his eyes burn bright with sin. A woman of modesty would flee such a man. But try as she might, a wanton hunger binds her to his side . . .
Trained as an assassin, Allegreto is the bastard son of an ambitious lord who raised him to murder for control of Monteverde. Now that his father is dead, if Allegreto can make Elayne his wife, it will cleanse his tainted blood, and the country will be his, but she is no mere maiden to be possessed. Unexpectedly, he falls in love with her, finding in her quick mind and azure eyes the conqueror of his heart. But will his dark past scare her off?
With a legendary ability to create lovers you’ll never forget, the author of Flowers from the Storm offers a lively historical romance.
This long-awaited follow-up to Kinsale's last book, For My Lady's Heart (1993), takes place in 14th-century Europe, where Allegreto assassin, pirate, brute and bastard son of the Navona family attempts to reclaim his birthright in the Italian principality of Monteverde. To this end, he captures Elena, the princess of Monteverde, and makes her his wife in a particularly violent sex scene ("She met him with a fierce reply, opening her mouth against his shoulder, a willing she-cat to his leopard, biting him as viciously as if she could draw blood"). As Allegreto and Elena journey to Italy to face Franco Pietro, Elena's former fianc and a rival of Allegreto's family, lust and affection spring between the two (in that order), but Elena's disdain for Allegreto's ability to murder without remorse gives rise to an abundance of romantic tension and some intense love scenes. Kinsale's characters speak in stilted phrases resembling Middle English, and she loads the book with historical detail, making it both realistic and ponderous. Those who have waited 11 years for Kinsale's return will lap up this romance, but others will be turned off by its length and its controlling, sometimes cruel, alpha male hero.
A dark and beautiful love story that I didn't want to end.