Like those covers? I have the second one.
Daughter of a Pasha and a Greek Princess, Tulla is sold into slavery when her father’s kingdom is conquered and her parents killed. The Prince of the Valenti, Il Leone, spots the beauteous Tulla and desires her for his own. Married to stem a long-standing blood feud between the Valenti and the condescending Biscaglia family, Leone has tired of his frigid wife Alessandra and installs Tulla into his household – although she is none too willing to share his bed and Leone is not the type of man to force a woman – he’s willing woo her instead. Tulla is soon caught up in the machinations of the hateful Alessandra, her brother Silvestro (a Cardinal), her creepy astrologer Atroviso and her mercenary cousin Zorza. Add to that a card-carrying witch capable of brewing up any kind of love-potion or poison, Sandro Botticelli and Il Magnifico himself Lorenzo De Medici and it sounds like a heady brew for a storyline.
It soon becomes apparent that someone desires Leone’s demise as well as the destruction of all the Valenti and they will stop at nothing to achieve it. Leone will have to set aside his easy-going ways and step into the role of commander and soldier – is he up to the task? Can Tulla forget her true heritage and find love in the arms of The Lion? Inquiring minds want to know…..
But I’m not telling. I went into this one expecting something more on the fluffy side and not a serious historical novel and in that respect I wasn’t disappointed. That said, while the story itself has a lot of potential for a good, fun, romance kind of a read it just fell a bit short of it’s mark. The baddies were plenty of fun without going so far OTT to make you cringe, and I very much liked Leone and Tulla and their growing relationship and attraction. I think I would have just liked to see more chemistry between the two – and I’m not talking constant sex either – it just would have been nice to see them sizzling off of the page anytime the two were together in a room. In the end, it was a light easy read and I would recommend it for those interested in all things Renaissance, but romance readers be warned, despite the cheesy lurid cover there really isn’t much sex to speak of and not in great blow-by-blow detail. A good book, just not a great one. 3/5 stars.