Beatrice d’Este Duchess of Bari was married to one of the most powerful men in Italy during the Italian Renaissance. Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Bari, Regent for the Duke of Milan ruled Milan for his incapable nephew Gian Galeazzo Sforza. Gian prior to Beatrice’s marriage had married her cousin Isabella of Aragon. The cousins had shared a grandfather, Ferrante I, King of Naples and were not strangers to the brutal rivalries between Italy’s powerful leading families.
The cousins had been reunited upon Beatrice’s marriage and it was clear from the beginning there was no cousinly love between them at all. An intense rivalry was instantly born, hate at first sight, as I like to call it. The cousins knew they could each be each others undoing yet at times they found they did love each other but really could not stop the rivalry that had escaladed as the years progressed. On the cusp of the Italian Wars the cousins find each other at odds over titles and the rights to rule Milan. Beatrice had everything to loose and Isabella had already lost everything. Faced with an uprising and the French practically at the city gates the cousins discover their fates are forever intertwined with the survival of Milan.
4/5 I enjoyed this novel but it was a bit on the dramatic side. I enjoyed the liberties the author took and found it a bit on the smutty side at times. This is not a novel I would recommend to my more reserved readers. Yet if you’re anything like me you enjoy a little bit of smut in your history then this is the novel for you!
X~ Rating for graphic sexual encounters.
FTC~ this novel is from my personal collection.~Lizzie~