Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Romaunce Books has scooped an 'historical romance' debut thriller by new author Angela M Sims, ‘The Rose of Florence’
Publisher Antonia Tingle acquired English speaking rights, initially on a one book deal but with a follow-up option which will be published in early 2023.
"With a cast of extraordinary historical characters, intrigue and deception at every turn, and based on historical facts, I knew Angela had a hit on her hands and I’m so thrilled to be a part of this wonderful book’s journey," said Antonia Tingle, Publisher at Romaunce Books
The story is presented as a typical Italian meal, with appropriate recipes at each stage of the story, e.g., Antipasti – setting the scene, whetting the appetite for more.
The story starts just before the beginning of Lent (at the end of the Carnival period), goes through Easter, and finishes at Pentecost.
While it is a work of fiction, it incorporates factual places, historical characters, and events, although there has been some poetic license taken with actual dates.
The synopsis reads
Prologue (1460): Gianetta is born in a farmhouse in Fiesole. Her mother dies in childbirth. The unnamed father is distraught but leaves her in the care of her grandmother and returns home.
(1478): Gianetta grows up and moves to Florence, where she is in service to a wealthy family of textile merchants - the Rosini. They are friends to and supporters of the powerful Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici clan. In the small, tight-knit group of staff, we meet Eleonora (cook), Luigi (Signor Francesco Rosini’s private assistant), Antonio and Lucia and our hero, Matteo. Gianetta and Matteo are in love and have a happy, peaceful life with the kind and generous Rosini family. They enjoy entertaining at Palazzo Rosini, where the Medici and Botticelli are frequent visitors.
Following the suspected poisoning of Lorenzo Medici and near death of Giuliano Medici, both within the Rosini family home, there is suspicion that there is a traitor in the house and speculation as to who it might be. In Botticelli’s workshop (where Matteo worked previously), there is discussion about unrest in Florence with rumours in the city that Medici days in power are numbered, and there may be trouble at Easter.