Lord of the Night" is set in 16th century Venice and follows the romance of Laura and Sandro, both natives of that city. Laura is an aspiring painter (training with Titian) who is planning to finance her studio by becoming a courtesan. Sandro is a forty-something nobleman who heads up the police. They meet when the Doge's assistant is killed just after visiting Laura's bordello. Shortly thereafter ruffians assault Laura and the mystery begins....
In someways this is a May to December romance. Indeed, the obstacles to their joining are obvious from the start - he's twice her age and would lose his status as a noble if he marries a commoner. She, in turn, has genuine artistic talent if she can just get admitted to the all-male Academy. He, of course, is not too wild about her finacing plans.
The mystery works well in this romance and has a genuinely surprising ending. I also really enjoyed the insights on life in 16th Century Venice
I loved, Loved, LOVED this book! As an artist, perhaps I was prejudiced, but I found the history and background of this book to be fascinating and enthralling. In a previous review, Anny gave a wonderful and accurate synopsis of the book. After reading countless mindless Regency and other romances, this one was so different - it had some meat on its bones. I loved the characters - complicated, flawed, honorable, but ultimately, very real. The mystery was truly interesting, and the ending was wonderful. I could not put this book down!
This book has often appeared on "hidden gems" list and is about to be re-printed so the publishers must have faith in it as well. The best thing about this book to me is the unusual Medieval Venice setting. That makes the characters (especially the hero) stay in your mind longer than books you read after it.
I rarely give a HR a 5 star rating but this one nailed it. This is set back in Venice in the 1500's so right there is a big difference. The characters were richly developed and solid in who they are. The weaving of history into the story,plot and romance was perfect, using the settings and social environment of the times to encourage challenges and forbidden romance. Multi level plots keep the story moving in all directions. Excellent read.