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The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis

Book cover for The Borgia Bride
Incest. Poison. Betrayal. Three wedding presents for the Borgia bride. Italy 1492. Pope Alexander VI is elected. And so begins the Borgia reign of terror. Alexander murders, bribes and betrays to establish his dynasty.Rome is a hotbed of accusation and conspiracy. Every day, the River Tiber is full of new bodies. Sancha of Aragon, daughter of King Alfonso II of Naples, arrives in Rome newly wed to Alexander's youngest son, Jofre. Their marriage protects Naples against the ambitions of the French King Louis and gains Spanish support for the Borgias. But Rome is very different from her beloved Naples. The debauchery of the Borgia inner-circle is notorious: every lust is indulged and every indiscretion overlooked. It is an open secret that the beautiful and tantalizing Lucrezia Borgia is involved in sexual liaisons with both her father, the Pope, and her devastatingly handsome but sadistic brother, Cesare. Sancha is no innocent: she possesses an indomitable spirit that allows her to survive in the snake-pit, but her paternal ancestors once rivaled the Borgias in cruelty and Sancha's greatest fear is that her father's nefarious blood will dominate the sweet, humanitarian legacy of her mother. Lucrezia's vicious jealousy stings Sancha at first, but gradually the two young women develop a cautious friendship. But when Cesare's malice turns on Sancha and her beloved brother, she must summon her dark side and do whatever it takes to protect her country, her family, and herself.