The Lily and the Falcon
Bianca degli Albizzi is outraged when sworn enemy Cristiano de'Medici asks for her hand in marriage. With her father's blessing, she weds the handsome warrior to end the war between Florence's two powerful families. But headstrong Bianca vows to teach her husband that loyalty cannot be bought...not even by seduction.
Cristiano, a well-known warrior with the wealth of a king, could have any woman he desires. But for the sake of peace he ends up with a defiant bride who awakens his deepest passion. Her vengeful scheming puts them both in peril, but is he prepared to sacrifice his life to safeguard the woman who has stolen his heart?
“May I see your hand?” When he hesitated, she took it anyway and turned it palm up.
“What fetish is this?” he demanded, uncertain of the puzzling grooves that suddenly invaded her features.
“I am reading your lines.” He tried to take his hand away, but she held fast. “You are mischievous by nature, a knave and a thief.”
“I am not a thief,” he objected.
She gave him a coy look. “Mayhap not of property or belongings, but of hearts, I propose.”
He scowled. “Are we back to my lovers again?”
“No, my sensitive lord.” She brushed the underside of his fingers, causing a shiver to race recklessly up and down his spine. “Your long fingers and broad palm reveal much of your character.”
“Explain this witchery,” he commanded, taking back his hand.
“Reading the palm is a science,” she told him with a slight frown. “Many Florentines seek the advice of seers and palm readers, though none would readily admit to it. Know this, my lord. Were I a witch, I would cast a spell on you.”
Then witch she was. What other explanation had he for his obsession with Bianca degli Albizzi?