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After the death of his father Amoro Dragone, Duke of Genoa, learns he is to take a wife. Not just any wife, but the daughter of Dragoneís sworn enemy. It was his fatherís wish to end the feud between the Monteserra and Dragone families. Amoro is against the idea to begin with, but his mother assures him that his father would not have asked it of Amoro if it were not in the best interest of the family. So, the Scarlet Dragon sets out to woo himself a bride.
Morena Monteserra, Contessa of Portovenere, never knew her mother. She died shortly after Morenaís birth. But not before bestowing a bloodstone pendant to her daughter and thus the only key to the purported treasure lying beneath Bloodstone Castle.
When the Duke of Genoa arrives at Portovenere with intentions of making her his bride, Morena is both shocked and angered by his audacity. She refuses his suit, of course. Not only is Amoro her enemy, but she is betrothed to another. Morenaís father arranged her marriage when she was just a child. She tells Amoro that she will not marry without her fatherís blessing and approval. That should save her some time because her father is away from home and has been for awhile.
Amoro agrees to wait. There is not much else he can do beyond kidnapping her and forcing Morena to marry him and that he will not do. But there is one who has no such qualms. He is Ernesto of Savona and he will never release Morena from her duty to marry him. When her fatherís dead body is brought home to Portovenere, Morena chooses to follow Amoro to Genoa. Ernesto refuses to be dismissed. He has lost his own fortune and plans to restore it with the ancient Roman treasure of Bloodstone Castle. Heíll go to whatever lengths he deems necessary to attain it.
Ernesto of Savona is not Amoro and Morenaís only obstacle. More danger and treachery lies ahead as they try to accustom themselves to the idea of marriage. They try to let go of the past and work through the changing emotions they have for one another.
Ms. Patzer has written a fast paced historical intrigue about matters of the heart and overcoming the outside forces to prove once and for all that love truly does conquer all. Bloodstone Castle is a good read for lovers of both historical romance and romantic suspense novels.