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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671027395, Hardcover)Michele Jaffe's first novel, The Stargazer, may have very little to do with astronomy, but its mixture of murder mystery, historical romance, and steamy passion certainly has universal appeal. Our heroine, Bianca Salva, a doctor of the poor and unfortunate, first meets her love interest, Ian Foscari, as she holds a bloody knife over the body of a lovely, if dead, courtesan. Equally suspect and suspicious, they agree to a sham betrothal--Ian knows Bianca is guilty, and gives her one week to offer some explanation. If she fails, he can denounce her, she will be executed, and he will be no worse off. Bianca feels certain she can track down the real killer within the week, and finds Ian's home a convenient place to dissect the body and base her investigation.
Here's where the steamy part comes in to play. Ian, who had been deeply burned by his ex-flame Morgana da Gigio, can't help but feel attracted to his fake fiancée's beauty, but he refuses to acknowledge the pull she exerts on his heart. Bianca is eager to try out the knowledge she has gleaned from her prostitute friends, and Morgana, the beautiful ex, is using her sexual powers to manipulate everyone within reach of her perfume.
As Bianca closes in on the killer, Ian struggles with the battle between his head and his heart. Though their compatibility in bed is undeniable, the two's fragile bond is strained by the increasing dangers--explosions, more murders, seductions, executions, seven giants, and a dwarf flush out the mystery.
While a few historical inaccuracies surface, the overall flow and quick pace, not to mention Jaffe's charming characters and a few choice, steamy sections that should make you blush, make for a fine debut from a fresh new voice . --Nancy R.E. O'Brien
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:18 -0400)
A romance in Renaissance Venice between Count Ian Foscari and Bianca Salvo, a doctor's daughter. They stumble on a murder, hide the body, and while he turns detective to find the killer, she uses the opportunity to dissect the victim for a book she is writing on anatomy.
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