|This story begins with Lady Elizabella Aldrich, Eliza, along with her lady's maid Leticia and two more servants arriving in Padua, Italy to a castle she has inherited from Marchese Calendri. When she arrives, well, she's sort of in shock not having any idea why the Marchese, who she's never met, would leave his castle to her. We then meet Leonardo Da Mitri and his friend Santo Ambrosini. Leo has also received a letter saying he has inherited a castle from Marchese Calendri. You can see where these characters could have a problem with this right? The only servant from the castle we meet is an old man by the name of Eduardo who is actually semi able to answer some of their questions.
Eliza is a very proper English woman, she wears her manners like they are battle armor. Leticia uses a broom as if it were a sword. Between these women, they have Leo and Santo on their toes. Poor Leo, he's spent much time on the streets or in battle somewhere. Santo is the only trusted friend he has and he feels as though Eliza as a woman should just do what he tells her. I had to remind myself this is the fifteenth century, not one of the later ones I usually prefer. Now, Eliza also has an English fiancé, Baron Geoffrey Camden, who she really wasn't planning on marrying since he's a selfish... unprintable word. I say it's unprintable because he follows her to Italy and proves all the words I would use if I wasn't writing them in a review.
At first, I really didn't like Eliza and it wasn't until about sixty percent into the book that I started to think she was okay. Leo was a typical Italian male (for almost any century) and he was alright I guess in the beginning. Ms. Corti-Petska really did create perfect characters for the period and location. The tone and pace of the story are appropriate for a period romance, but sometimes she slips into text that is more appropriate for contemporary romance, those brief moments change them and kind of threw me off. Now, I certainly had a few moments of being afraid there wouldn't actually be a happy ending, so the last forty percent of the book had me glued to my Kindle. I have looked around online and can honestly say I look forward to reading more from Ms. Corti-Petska's work!
Reviewer: Teresa T.