by Heather Graham Pozzessere

December 1999
ISBN: 1-55166-469-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Christina Tarleton was four years old when her family moved from Venice, Italy to the United States. Christina's father was a part owner of an art gallery in Venice with two other renowned Italian families, the di Medicis and the Continis. Christina's parents never spoke of why they moved or why they always spoke of Venice with a sad sort of longing. Now, Christina is an adult and has been touring Europe with a traveling mime group. Venice is the last stop on their tour and Christina feels a sense of belonging in the beautiful city that she has never felt before. When her father's old friend and partner, Alfred Contini, invites Christina to spend some time with him and the di Medicis, Christina sees this as an opportunity to solve the mystery of why her parents moved from Venice, a city they obviously loved. Christina is stunned when she discovers the reason why her family moved to the States was because her dearly departed father was accused of murdering his partner, Marco di Medici.

Alfred persuades Christina to stay with the di Medici family in their palazzo but she cannot help but feel tense staying with the family who believes her father is guilty of murdering Marco. To make matters even more on edge, Christina is forced to fight the attraction she feels for Marco's oldest son, Marcus. When Christina finds herself suddenly married to Marcus, she is unsure whether he is her savior or her enemy. Furthermore, there is a murderer among them and Christina doesn't know whom she can trust.

The Di Medici Bride was not a book I would recommend to anyone. The plot did not hold my interest, the "surprises" were predictable and the characters seemed contrived and were very unoriginal. We were repeatedly told how dangerous Marcus was and he was compared to a panther so often that I wondered if he was a man or an animal. He was not easy to like as he was domineering and continually used threats of force to get his way with Christina. He also deceived Christina into marrying him, which was as much of a mark on Christina's character as his. I found myself questioning her intelligence throughout the story. She was very na´ve and repeatedly put herself in dangerous situations for no better reason than to prove that her father, who was never convicted of any crime, was not guilty of a murder that took place more than 20 years earlier. I wasn't at all convinced of the necessity of proving her father's innocence, which was what the entire plot was based upon.

Reviewed in September 2001 by Nicole.

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