Is it alchemy that transforms fear into love?
Italy, 1565—Niccolo is a philosopher, a nobleman, and an honorable man. He’s also an alchemist—considered a heretic and an enemy of the church. When his beloved fiancée dies of a mysterious ailment on the eve of their wedding day, Niccolo loses all direction. Maddened by grief, he attempts a desperate, unthinkable act, one from which there is no turning back: transformation of the dead into the living…
Italy, 2015—While excavating a Renaissance-era burial site, Julia discovers a beautiful but mysterious carving. Wreathed in classic period symbols—a cross, a family crest, an open book—the piece contains another symbol she can’t quite place—an alembic—a type of distillation apparatus used in alchemy. Then she finds something else—a burial plaque commemorating the deaths of two people, a man and a woman. Curious, Julia continues to excavate the site, but before she can complete her work, something gives way beneath her and she falls…or is pulled…through the darkness and emptiness of time…
But when Julia turns up in the body of Niccolo’s fiancée, confusion battles with danger. Inextricably drawn to one another, Julia and Niccolo find solace in each other’s arms. But to love again, they’ll have to defy the deadly prejudice of others and the terrifying power of the Spanish Inquisition. Between love, loss, and murderous betrayal, can the alchemy of love create enough magic to save them?
Niccolo’s heart raced, pounding the walls of his chest. He willed it to calm. He needed to clear the raging blood from his head so he could think. In a soft leather pouch hanging from a thong around his neck and buried beneath his cloth, a small sapphire vial was concealed. Niccolo withdrew it now, never taking his eyes from his lover’s face.
Her perfect cheekbones, the nobility of her nose, and the fine twin arches of her brows combined with the chilly pallor of her skin and stillness of form to suggest she was not a creature of flesh, deserted by spirit, but a goddess sculpted in marble, serene in her eternal sleep.
His fingers trembled as he unstopped the bottle. He parted her lips and held the jewel to her mouth.
“God forgive me,” he whispered and tilted the bottle. The elixir had the color and luster of liquid gold with the capricious consistency of quicksilver. It ran out over her tongue and disappeared into her throat, leaving no trace except for one fine golden bead clinging like a gilded dewdrop to her lower lip. The vial was empty, the hollow sapphire glittered in the candlelight. Niccolo scrutinized the delicate fringe of Carolina’s sable lashes against her pale cheeks. He was close enough to feel her breath, had she any.
“Come back to me, my angel,” he murmured and placed his lips upon hers.
Arianna Archer lives in Las Vegas, where anything could happen and something usually does. Things she likes: rain, running in the deep woods, pizza, red wine, and interesting people. Things she’s not crazy about: pumpkin pie, splinters, rudeness, and light beer. When she’s not writing or reading, she can usually be found spending time with her family, in the kitchen, or at the gym, lifting stuff.
This was a unique and thrilling book to read about! Nicollo is a dedicated and passionate alchemist. He has his own office decked with rows and rows of potions and flasks! The description immediately drew me into this world.Everything was so unusual and fascinating! Carolina is getting married to him and they are both so happy. But when a jealous old flame of Nicollo’s kills Carolina, he is broken apart until he makes her drink something that will make her come back to life. In the same time, Julia is excavating treasures from sites, It was beautiful to see her passion for her job.
Julia and Niccolo are both broken. They have both lost their fiancees. This was a tale of love and pain. The atmosphere of the book was dark and so intriguing i found myself getting lost within Niccolo’s world. They make a great couple together! And Nicollo is so dreamy 😛 !!!
I really loved all the characters especially Maria, she was a really amazing ‘bad guy-well gal i guess’ driven by jealousy. That’s another thing i appreciate from this book. The characters were three-dimensional, they came to life with all their sorrows and happiness.
I am a total lover of Victorian era, and this book dealt with all my favorite stuff! I honestly really enjoyed this amazing book. The author is definitely one i will be following and reading her upcoming books!!
Arianna Archer weaves a beautiful tale of love and alchemy that will definitely keep you hooked till the end!