Lucianna

Lucianna

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Author: Beatrice Small
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 289

Synopsis: After her sisters become the scandals of Florence, Lucianna Pietro d’Angelo finds that the only wealthy man who’ll have her for his wife is an aging bookseller whom Lucianna comforts in his final years. When he passes away, she inherits his shop—and a sizable fortune affording Lucianna comfort in widowhood. Then Robert Minton, Earl of Lisle, visits her bookshop. The Englishman is not only dashing and handsome, he’s a trusted courtier of Henry VII.

Lucianna’s parents cannot deny the spark of attraction between their daughter and the earl, so they scheme to send her to London. There, Lucianna steps out of the shadow of her quiet Florentine life, pursuing a love she never dreamed possible—one unfolding in the court of the new Tudor king.

My Thoughts:
I highly enjoyed the first book in this series, Bianca, which was at least double the length of this novel. Lucianna didn’t catch my attention as much as Bianca, but the author definitely knows how to tell a great story!  The Silk Merchant’s Daughters is a series that has those who’ve read any previous installments ready for the next.  In this novel, much like the others, Orianna Pietro D’Angelo, matriarch of the family finds that at least one of her daughters will marry as she deems, when Lucianna easily and willingly enters into marriage of friendship with the much older and  wealthy bookseller, Alfredo Allibatore.  However, Alfredo passes, leaving 19 year old Lucianna a wealthy widow who could marry again easily, if she pleases, but she doesn’t.  Much to the chagrin of her mother, who is hell bent on finding her the perfect husband.
Enter Robert Minton, the Earl of Lisle, a handsome Englishman who is close confidant of the English King. Though the sparks fly when they meet, Lucianna is in complete denial. Her mother is not. Orianna sees the budding attraction and sends Lucianna to England as a representative of the silk merchants of Milan, a conspiracy meant to push Lucianna into marriage with the Earl. However, once Lucianna is in England she is is faced with learning the difference between the two cultures, a task easier said then done. The Earl is desperate for Lucianna’s attention but she still has no intentions of partaking, aided by outside forces that tend to agree with her desires.

Lucianna is the third book in the Silk Merchants Daughters series,and though well written and entertaining, it wasn’t my favorite of the three, as it failed to capture my attention and hold it right away. The author does do a wonderful job of making the reader feel like they are part of the story. The settings come alive, as if you were there with the characters. This is perfect for me, as I like to travel to other places through books. The book just doesn’t hold the same intrigue and sometimes, suspense as the others in the series.  Not much holds the two apart, and the story doesn’t move with quiet the same pace. Overall this was a quick and easy read once I got into it.  If you like Beatrice Small’s writing your sure to enjoy it, you just may be a little disappointed as she has delivered better.

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