Mine to Keep by Jannine Corti-Petska
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Length: Short Story (123 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern
Lady Elizabella Aldrich receives notice of an inheritance in Padua, Italy. Arriving from England, she discovers another heir lays claim to the castle. An unreasonably handsome Italian rogue stands between her and the castle she’s inherited.
Leonardo Da Mitri never met the noble who included him in his will. But after one look at Lady Eliza he relishes the challenge of defeating the beauty to make the castle his own.
Astonished to learn they must wed and remain married for a year, it soon becomes apparent someone does not want the nuptials to take place. As Eliza fights her growing desire for Leo, he fights for his life. Will he walk away from his inheritance—and Eliza? Or is he willing to risk everything to stay married to the woman who has claimed his heart as hers... to keep?
Lady Elizabeth Godwin has inherited a castle. Though not a wealthy, land-endowed one of her fantasties, it’s hers and Lady Elizabeth is determined to make the best of it. Leonardo Da Mitri’s solicitor informs him he’s been endowed with an Italian castle upon Lord Calendri’s death. Surprised, as he’s not of noble blood, Leo nevertheless decides to follow where his fortune might lay. Both Leo and Lady Elizabeth insist on the solicitor explaining how they can both be in possession of the same castle. What follows are certain conditions that shock and secretly entice them both.
A wonderful historical novella, this story made me laugh, sigh and thoroughly enjoy both Elizabeth and Leo’s adventure. While the language sometimes made me pause – with both the old style of speaking and a few Italian words peppered in neither of these detracted from the story. Both Leo and Elizabeth could be stubborn and difficult, their attraction was undeniable. The spice their relationship and interactions brought to the book really made it sparkle.
Hard core historical readers might find some nit-picks, but I really enjoyed the world, settings and characters. The romance builds slowly but is no less sensual because of that. The author manages to juggle the history elements, different social settings and intertwine an intriguing plot to wrap it up into a wonderful book I thoroughly enjoyed.