Title: The Botticelli Secret
Author: Marina Fiorato
Publisher: Beautiful Books
Publication Date: May 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Christmas Gift
Luciana Vetra is a Floretine whore whose life is turned upside down when she is asked to model for painter, Sandro Botticelli. She poses as the figure of Flora in La Primavera, but when the artist abruptly sends her away, she steals the cartone of the painting.
Suddenly, friends and clients of hers are being murdered and she realises that taking the painting has put her life in jeopardy. She turns to Brother Guido della Torre, a novice at Santa Croce, whom she had recently met when he tried to turn her from her profession.
Together they flee the city, trying to decifer the meaning hidden within the painting before they are caught by those that pursue them.
This was a fairly enjoyable story. Luciana makes an interesting heroine and is no shrinking violet, while Guido is a wonderful foil for her. Together they make a great team.
The story itself I found interesting. There were moments when I found my attention wavering, but it would pick up again within a couple of chapters. I would have liked a little more pace at times, but the ideas and concepts surrounding the meaning of the painting were well thought out and presented.
This is a pleasant read for anyone who enjoys historical romance and Renaissance art. It is similar in a way to The Da Vinci Code; although it is set in a contemporary period to the time of the artist and is considerably better written.