Tuesday, August 9, 2011

THE SECOND DUCHESS by Elizabeth Loupas

Publisher: NAL Trade
Date published: March 2011
ISBN: 978-0-451-23215-1
Trade Paperback
Historical fiction
Revewed by Valerie
Obtained by publisher

Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara takes a new bride, Barbara of Austria. When she arrives in Ferrara to marry the Duke, she is met by people who are not wholly happy with her being there. It is rumored that the Duke killed his first wife, Lucrezia, a daughter of the powerful Medici family. The relationship between Ferrara and Medici are tenuous at the least. As Barbara hears whispers and tales, she becomes more and more determined to find out the truth, even though her husband has expressly forbidden it. She asks questions, goes on the hunt and finally has to tell her husband the truth when she finds her own life in danger. Surprisingly, the Duke gives her leave to continue her investigation, under his supervision and together they unravel the mystery of the death of his first wife.

Ms Loupas gives her readers a really excellent and breathtaking story that will have you mesmerized and exited to keep turning those pages. She not only brings her reader into the Ferrarese court with all its glamour and intrigue but she gives a good murder mystery to solve too. Barbara is a strong woman who is determined to find out the truth, even though her haughty, proud husband has forbidden it. I loved to watch these two characters get closer to each other and see the proud man slowly realize that he has a jewel of a woman even though she may not be very beautiful. Ms Loupas has cleverly mixed real history with a bit of fiction to give the readers a captivating story that will stay with you long after reading. I can highly recommend this for all lovers of historical fiction.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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