Shields DownBook - 2015 | First edition.
Marriage matches for the Venetian nobility were not preordained by God in heaven. They were skillfully negotiated by fathers looking to enhance their own prestige and wealth. A young lady could overlook petty shortcomings in her future husband if he were rich, held a title, and was easy on the eyes. The young Baron Mauro Baric was such a desirable yet flawed match.
Mauro was the last of the House of Baric, and he required a wife to provide him with sons. Resi Kokkinos was not interested in marrying an aristocrat any more than Mauro wanted a common, Ottoman Greek girl as his bride. Betrothed as children to repay Resi's father's debt to the Barics, they had no choice in their paired future together.
Resi made the best of her sequestered adolescence in Thessaloniki while she waited to be summoned to the Venetian colony of Croatia to marry. Since her fate had already been decided, Resi's mother allowed her to be tutored with her brothers. She did not need to learn the skills her friends focused on to entice a desirable husband, so she used her freedom to read every book she could find.
Mauro's bachelor years of soldiering gave way to burdensome responsibilities as a baron and a new husband. Personal and political conflicts added more challenges to the couple's awkward first year of marriage. Dear friends and unexpected visitors would bring their own troubles to the House of Baric. Through it all, Mauro could no longer deny that his complicated and unpredictable wife might be his perfect match after all.
Set in the summer of 1649, you are a fly-on-the-wall into their intriguing and adventurous world. Love, war, hating, and mating were perhaps not so different back in the 17th century. These relatable characters only wanted to steer their own destinies in search of happiness, and you will find yourself rooting for them to succeed in their quest.