Sins of the House of Borgia
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In the vein of Sarah Dunant's New York Times bestseller, Blood and Beauty, Sarah Bower reveals the burning heart of the Borgia family.
A Notorious Duke
An Infamous Duchess
An Innocent Girl
Violante isn't supposed to be here, in one of the grandest courts of Renaissance Italy. She isn't supposed to be a lady-in-waiting to the beautiful Lucrezia Borgia. But the same secretive politics that pushed Lucrezia's father to the Vatican have landed Violante deep in a lavish landscape of passion and ambition.
Violante discovers a Lucrezia unknown to those who see only a scheming harlot, and all the whispers about her brother, Cesare Borgia, never revealed the soul of the man who dances close with Violante.
But those who enter the House of Borgia are never quite the same when they leave-if they leave at all. Violante's place in history will test her heart and leave her the guardian of dangerous secrets she must carry to the grave.
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always like this down here.” “I would have liked to have taken you north of the city. The fishing is better there, but that’s all the duke’s land. I’m afraid we shall have to walk a bit.” He took me by the elbow and steered me around the quarrelling men and the broken cheese, through the gate, and on to the public dock with its clamour of bells and raised voices, the slap of rigging against masts and coin against the table tops of the wholesalers and tax collectors. The air smarted with the
buttocks flexing and shuddering. My skin crawled with a thousand emotions, as though I had been flayed in an ice bath like Cesare. It was not until we were almost in sight of the Porta Mare I realised Gideon was not carrying any fish, and broke the volcanic silence between us to ask him what had happened to them. He shrugged. “I had to leave them. You didn’t leave me time to stun them all and pack them up.” “What a waste.” “I don’t think so.” Chapter 4 Ferrara, Corpus Christi 1506 We have
peevish and reluctant. “She is to replace Donna Angela,” added the duke. “You will take her under your wing, Monna Violante. She is a baptised Jewess like you.” How I managed to make sense of anything the duke said I do not know. Replace Angela? What was he thinking of? How could he? Angela was irreplaceable. Had the Este poisoned her after all, and whatever she had been sold by the crone on the Via dei Volte was merely masking the true cause of her sickness? But why? Perhaps Duke Ercole had
and give him away, I could not tell. Turning his back on me he returned to the bedchamber, holding the door open behind him with the flat of his palm. He wore no gloves and crescents of grime edged his fingernails. His hand trembled slightly and I ached to touch it, to feel its human warmth and trace the fan of bones from wrist to fingertips. The low, bestial growling and gargling entered my consciousness only gradually through the dizzy distraction of Cesare’s sudden closeness after the months
a game of dice with the Hungarian ambassador. “But speaking of fine couples,” Strozzi resumed, “are you not dancing? Should I flatter myself you are staying out to keep an old cripple company?” He gave me a questioning look, although I am certain he had already guessed why I was not dancing and sought merely to confirm his suspicion. Strozzi was like that, quick to solve a mystery but quite unable to leave it alone if it had potential for creating gossip. “I do not know the Spanish steps, sir.”