Title: If I Were Fire
Author: Heloise West
Length: Novella (59 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16 Sept 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts
Blurb: In 18th century Siena, Count Salvesto Masello returns home to find the family villa and his father’s estate deeply in debt. In order to save it, he sells valuable heirlooms, but he is running out of silverware. Somewhere in the villa, his deceased father has hidden the art treasures that will pay the debt—but Salvesto can’t find them anywhere.
Amadeo Neruccio has been on the run from the vicious pimp, thief, and pawnbroker Guelfetto, whose toughs finally catch him and bring him to the cellar where Count Masello is selling off his silver. When the count learns what fate Guelfetto has in store for Amadeo, he intervenes, and trades the last of his mother’s dowry for the young man’s freedom.
Salvesto left home over ten years ago to live the life of adventure he craved and leave his broken heart behind. When he rescues Amadeo, he does not expect to find love again—or the start of his next adventure.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6854
Review: This is a rather enjoyable historical fiction about a Count, Salvesto, with heavy debts and the young man, Amadeo, he finds along the way. This is the type of book that I would normally love, but I feel that the rather awkward writing style. Sometimes I felt a bit muddled when, to use a phrase, five words were used when only one would do. Other than that, this is a real enjoyable adventure, somewhere between swashbuckling heroes, scandal in the Court and summer in the country.
Salvesto arrives home to find the family estate in debt and in dire straits. He’s desperate to pay off the debts and though he is guilty about selling the family heirlooms he knows he will feel even worse if he loses the estate. The crook/thief/loan shark that he is selling off his heirlooms to also happens to be after another man for his debts, Amadeo.
It’s rather complicated but Amadeo ends up with Salvestro. The story is really about these guys getting along and Amadeo be rehabilitated from his wicked ways. There isn’t a particularly large amount of romance in the story but what there is reflects a wonderful tension between the two with a bit of “will he or won’t he?” going back and forth. Salvestro and Amadeo are both likable characters, I would have just liked to see more complexity come out of them.
I don’t normally comment on covers but this one I have to because I feel that this one is a bit misleading. The historical looking building and the rather smouldering looking gents on the front is not my issue, I think that’s great.
I just feel that the horses on the cover are rather misleading because I thought, “hey, maybe the guy likes horses”. No such luck, though one MC does own a horse. Then again, I suppose you aren’t meant to judge a book by its cover.
Most people who enjoy historical fiction will enjoy this one, especially since it’s in a rather picturesque area of Europe – then it was called Siena, now it is part of Spain.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *