I really enjoyed reading about the courtship between Amoro and Morena. There was the perfect balance of give and take, challenge and parry - which is just as it should be, considering how their romance started out.
Morena was a lovely heroine, clever, and as brave as she is beautiful. It was a joy to see how she tested Amoro and how he responded. I did think that he was perhaps a bit too lenient on her considering the background of the story, but that may well be residual from reading about too many alpha males lately.
Mirella spins a well-woven tale; there is enough action and conflict to keep this reader on her toes without sacrificing any of the tender courtship. I did think at times that she could well afford to tone down her writing in terms of adjectives and style - but that is purely a personal take on an aesthetic. Do pick this up if you've a mind to disappear from the mundane world for a few hours, I don't think you'll regret it.
Bloodstone Castle stands sentinel on the shores of the Ligurian Sea. Secreted somewhere in its dungeons is an ancient Roman treasure of immense value. Contessa Morena of Bloodstone Castle possesses a mysterious bloodstone pendant, the only proof the treasure exists.
Since childhood, she has been promised in marriage to Duke Ernesto of Savona. Ernesto is a desperate man, a gambler who has lost his family's fortune, a man who resorts to murder to not only hide his dirty secret, but for the sake of money. Marriage to the lovely Morena will make the treasure his and restore his power and desperate circumstances.
After the brutal murder of his father, Duke Amoro of Genoa swears two oaths. The first is to avenge his father's death. The second is to honour his father's dying wish and wed Morena of Bloodstone Castle, to end the violent feud with between their two families.
Her life thrown into chaos, Morena must choose between obligation and honour, truth and lies, good and evil. In medieval Italy, two men face each other with ruthlessness and intensity. Enter their world of splendour and depravity, of passion and wickedness. It is Italy's most dazzling and dangerous age, and as Duke Amoro of Genoa and Duke Ernesto of Savona match wits and cunning, it is a dance the death to decide which one of them will win the hand of the beautiful Countess Morena and the hidden treasure of Bloodstone Castle.