Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Serpent and the Pearl: Kate Quinn

The year was 1492 and she fled the slithering canals of her beloved Venice for a crime so terrible she wouldn't speak of it. She who had stolen a relic to escape the city. Who had dressed as a boy for the masquerade. Her sins were so numerous she wouldn't even attend Mass.

And she landed with the Borgias, the one family in Rome that knew a secret that no one else did. That rules existed to create scandal, that nothing forgivable was pursued and that when you were powerful, penance was light. They called her mistress, La Bella, and her virtue was dear to her- she'd been raised properly on a more rural estate. The dangerous streets of Rome shunned her as harshly as she locked them out. Did Carmelina, the criminal, tell her mistress the one thing that every common woman knew?

Of course, that one common secret was death for some. Those without stronger brothers to protect them, and even for people who had men to look out for them in the rougher times. Leonello loved a serving woman who knew that secret a little too well, loved her like a sister, and the day that he found her, crucified on a serving table was the same day that he met the Borgias as well.

If all roads led to Romes, somehow all sins seemed to find their way back to the Borgias... and La Bella, in her innocence.

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