The Borgia Mistress

Griffin: St. Martin's. May 2012. c.416p. ISBN 9780312609856. pap. $14.99. F
Trained in the art of poison for the House of Borgia, Francesca Giodano (Poison; The Borgia Betrayal) accompanies Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) and his entourage to a town outside of Rome where protecting him from his enemies is a greater challenge. Traveling with the court is the nephew of the pope's allies, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain; when he is targeted by an assassin sent to disrupt the Spanish alliance, Francesca and her lover Cesare Borgia must untangle the conspiracy. Meanwhile, a nun who knew Francesca's family has information about her late mother that may explain why Francesca suffers such terror-filled nightmares.
VERDICT An occasional odd turn of phrase (the result of the author trying too hard to write language of the period) is accompanied by a satisfyingly twisty plot and rich historical details about Renaissance Italy. Historical romance readers and fans of the first two books will enjoy this.
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