This Rags-To-Riches Contessa is a Regency era romance set in Venice.
It opens in the infamous streets of The Rookery of St. Giles’, London; a dangerous place. A woman known as The Procurer has been asked to employ a woman with both acting and card-sharp skills.
Becky Wickes is hiding from the authorities after a public scandal where she was accused of fleecing a minor member of the Royal family. If she’s caught, she’ll be hanged. So when The Procurer offers her the chance of escape, she gladly takes the job.
Luca del Pietro wants Becky to make a man destitute; a man who murdered his father. By day she’ll be pale, shy cousin Rebecca, but by night she’ll be disguised as the mysterious card player, The Queen Of Coins.
The book has a colourful and opulent setting. Luca wants Becky to play cards during the weeks of Carnevale, when Venice is alive with masks, costumes and when gambling is allowed. I really enjoyed all the descriptions of Venice and its society, particularly the waterways, palaces and the idea of rooftop gardens in a city of water. This was a refreshing scenery change to other books I’ve read in this genre. Recommended to readers who enjoy historical romance.
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A Matches Made in Scandal story: To catch his father’s murderer, broodingly arrogant Conte Luca del Pietro requires help from a most unlikely source—Becky Wickes, London’s finest card-sharp. Against the decadence of Carnival, Becky’s innocence and warmth captivates Luca, but as their chemistry burns hotter the stakes in their perilous game are getting higher. For Luca is no longer playing only for justice—but also to win Becky’s heart…