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June 27, 2013

Francesca: The Silk Merchant's Daughters by Bertrice Small


BY  BERTRICE SMALL                                                          3.5 STARS

New York Times bestselling author Bertrice Small continues her glorious historical-romance series featuring four sisters in Renaissance Florence who have anything but marriage on their minds….

Giovanni Pietro d’Angelos selected his oldest daughter’s husband, and the marriage proved to be a disaster. He offers to give his next oldest daughter, Francesca, more latitude in choosing a husband than her sister had. But the arrogant beauty has no desire to marry, and she drives every potential suitor away.

The Duke of Terreno Boscoso seeks a wife for his heir, Rafaello, and invites Francesca, along with several other possible brides, to come meet him. Francesca’s parents think it’s a good match, but she refuses to consider it until her father makes her a promise: If he does not suit, you may return. She is therefore shocked when, not long after they meet, Rafaello chooses her as his bride and her parents agree to his proposal—without her consent.

Furious and feeling betrayed, Francesca flees into the woods and takes shelter at an inn. There, she earns her keep as a servant—and meets an unlikely suitor who steals her heart. But the future remains uncertain for the runaway bride, who is still promised to another.

 I have read several of Ms. Small's books and I have to say they are wonderful reads.  This book disappointed me just a little in that it was not romantic enough for me.  Francesca and Rafaello just didn't seem to have enough time for a lot of romance.  It was more like a reality.  I like Ms. Small's books because it let's you get away from that reality.  We have enough of that in our lives.  You read a romance to be taken away from it all even if it's just for an hour or so.  Another thing that disappointed me was what happened to Rafaello.  I can't tell you. It might spoil your reading, but  it's not what you want in a romance.  The book spent more time on the Duchy instead of Francesca and Rafaello.  The book was more a Historical read than romance. You could almost predict what was going to happen at first.. There were a few surprises but it ended in disappointment for me. I would recommend this book to any reader.  Everyone has their own opinion on a book.  Yours may be different and that's O.K.  This won't keep me from reading Ms. Small's books.  This one just wasn't for me.

I would give the book 3.5 STARS.

The cover is magnificent, 5 STARS.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, FRANCESCA: THE SILK MERCHANT'S DAUGHTERS  BOOK 2 by Bertrice Small from Manic Readers for this unbiased review.

Born in Manhattan, Bertrice Small has lived on eastern Long Island for 33 years, and she loves it! She is a Sagittarian, married to a Pisces, with an Aries son. Her greatest passions are her family; Finnegan and Sylvester, the family cats; Nicki, the elderly cockatiel who whistles the NY Mets charge call; her garden; her work, and just life in general.

She is the author of 47 novels. 38 are Historical Romance, 5 are Fantasy Romance, and 4 are Erotic Contemporary. She has also written 4 erotic novellas. Her novels include THE KADIN (pronounced Kah-deen), and the beloved series "The O'Malley Saga" and "Skye's Legacy". A New York Times bestselling author, she has also appeared on other best-seller lists including Publishers Weekly, USA Today, and the L.A. Times. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Career Achievement for Historical Romance; Best Historical Romance; Outstanding Historical Romance Series; Career Achievement for Historical Fantasy; a Golden Leaf from the New Jersey Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America;  Author of the Year (2006) and Big Apple Award from the New York City Romance Writers chapter of RWA, and several Reviewers Choice awards from Romantic Times. She has a "Silver Pen" from Affair De Coeur, and an Honorable Mention from The West Coast Review of Books. In 2004 Bertrice Small was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by ROMANTIC TIMES magazine for her contributions to the Historical Romance genre. And in 2008 she was named by ROMANTIC TIMES along with her friends Jennifer Blake, Roberta Gellis and Janelle Taylor, a Pioneer of Romance.

Bertrice Small is a member of The Authors Guild, Romance Writers of America, PAN, and PASIC. She is also a member of RWA's Long Island chapter, L.I.R.W., and is its easternmost member on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island.

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