ONE KNIGHT IN VENICE by Tori Phillips 
Historical Series No. 555
Harlequin  -- April 2000
ISBN: 0-373-29155-8  -- Paperback
Category Romance - Medieval

Reviewed by Jo Rogers,
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The medieval period of history is one of my favorite times.  ONE KNIGHT IN
VENICE is set in medieval Venice and England, and Tori Phillips has done her research well.

Francis Bardolph appears to be a rich English dandy, but he is in fact a spy for King Edward VI.  He has indulged in the company of Cosma dí Luna, the leading courtesan in Venice, the reigning Venus of the city.  She is actually a high-priced prostitute who has bedded most of the Council of Ten and the Doge himself.  She has proven to be a veritable fountain of information for Francis. 

But Cosma knows she needs to marry well, and soon, before age begins to dim her beauty.  She intends to trap Francis into marriage, thinking he is heir to a title and fortune.  But he is aware of her plans, and has taken measures to thwart her efforts.  Besides, he is in love with Jessica Leonardo, a young healer who has relieved the pain in the old wound in his right shoulder - and lightened the pain in his heart.

But Jessica also has a secret.  She has a birthmark on her cheek that brands her as a child of Satan to the superstitious clergy of the Catholic Church.  She also is the daughter of Jewish parents who have returned to their faith, a heresy worthy of death in the time of the Inquisition.  Can Francis keep her safe from the Church while he keeps his own activities secret?

ONE KNIGHT IN VENICE is a tale of jealousy, political intrigue, and religious intolerance.  It is also a beautiful love story, of the romantic love of a man and woman, and of friends and family.  I look forward to more of these wonderful stories from Tori Phillips.  Bravo!

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