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The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys
silverdevilDescription: Italian Renaissance Historical Romance. Dark, intense and totally un-pc. Duke Domenico sees Felicia, a serving girl, in a window and forcibly makes her his mistress. Really no description could do this book justice.

I was very surprised to discover that I had not yet written a review of the Silver Devil. Since I bought a copy in a little used book store in 1989, it has been one of my favorite books.

Note: It is out of print and a little hard to find, but well worth the search.

This is one of the few romances that explores the darker side of romance. Generally, the poor hero is just misunderstood, heís really not that bad. The heroine may suffer a bit, but a modern sense of romance will overcome. And so often in historical romances, everyone feels like modern people with modern sensibilities that for some reason wander around in tights. 

The characters in the Silver Devil are intelligent, sophisticated, back stabbing, complex Ė totally right for their era.

Domenico is an incredibly complex character and it is a tribute to Denys skill as a writer that he is so incredibly magnetic. You see, he isnít a nice or good man. In any other book, he would be the villain. His entire life he has been encouraged to indulge every vice, mock every virtue. He is capricious and cruel, like a brilliant child with infinite power in his world. However, love isnít always for nice people. Love can be cruel.

The Copenhagen Connection by Elizabeth Peters
Description: Mystery.
Feckless young aspiring poet falls into a mystery involving her favorite author and her son. Hijinks, clues, and love ensue.

This is a charming and simple mystery in the style of M.M. Kaye. If you liked her Death in (insert exotic locale here) books, you'll love this one.

Elizabeth Jones wants to write poetry but for now has a job in the publicity department of a large book publisher. Of course, she picked it because they publish her favorite author of historical romances. Elizabeth is on her first trip to Europe when who should she spy on the plane, but her idol. Quel surprise! Through a bizarre series of events, Elizabeth becomes her assistant, then spends the rest of the book chasing her employer all over Copenhagen with her son, the handsome and grumpy Christian. They follow strange clues, meet eccentric characters, and of course fall in love while being held captive. 

It's not Laurie King, but it is a lot of fun. The perfect book for a rainy weekend afternoon.

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