The Angel of Soriano by Stella Marie Alden
The Angel of Soriano is a historical romance set in Renaissance Italy, populated by a fascinating cast of characters including the infamous Cesare Borgia, who plays a major part as a villain in the book.
Loosely basing the book on an old story of a woman who saved the Italian town of Soriano from invasion in the fifteenth century, Stella Marie Alden has crafted a compelling tale of love triumphing against all the odds. The oft-strained relationships between Rome and the Papal States, as well as the relationships with the royal court of Spain, is touched on in intriguing little snippets, showing how decisions made by old men at the seats of power had consequences on even the smallest parts of people's lives.
Aurelia has learned to depend on nobody save herself. Cursed with the kind of striking beauty that makes men cast aside all honour, she has already escaped from the Borgia's men twelve times and fully intended to make it a thirteenth when Don Bernardo Caraval intervenes.
Of course, he too has an ulterior motive, he wants her for himself... but he doesn't expect to fall in love with the resourceful, brilliant young woman he thought might be an angel at first sight. Bernardo has his own problems to overcome, though, not least a Spanish fiancée who hates his guts and Cesare Borgia determinedly on Aurelia's trail. How the pair manage to thwart Borgia and other enemies to find eventual happiness is ingenious, but you'll have to read The Angel of Soriano to find out more. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through Reader’s Favorite.