Read an Excerpt Read The Reviews Buy The Book

Bianca Salva, the brilliant and beautiful daughter of a renowned doctor, defies the conventions of the day by practicing medicine among the poor in her city. When she arrives at the home of a young courtesan, she is shocked to find a tragic scene: the lady has been murdered, stabbed with a dagger bearing the coat of arms of Ian Foscari, a handsome aristocrat renowned throughout Britain and Europe for his courageous escapades and his romantic conquests. Clutching the shining dagger Bianca looks up to see none other than Ian Foscari himself.

In a heartbeat, the dashing Ian draws the obvious conclusion that he's caught the murderer red handed. Bianca, meanwhile, mistrusts Ian and presumes he is guilty of the bloody killing. Determined not to let this dangerous albeit alluring woman out of his sight, Ian quickly spirits Bianca back to his palace, where he will announce to society that she is his fiancée--a plan that conveniently satisfies his family's insistence that he find a wife. And while clever Bianca knows the scheme will allow them time to determine the real murderer, it is nearly unbearable to be held "prisoner" by this imperious, though starkly sensual, man.

But the light of suspicion leaves them nowhere to hide. Now, what began as a necessary arrangement for their quest for the truth becomes its own kind of intriguing partnership--a heated match of wits with an undeniable, irresistible passion at its core. Stepping carefully among the secrets of murder and betrayal, and breathless whispers of desire, Bianca finds herself the linchpin in a conspiracy where love may be her only hope...or the greatest danger of all.

Set against the dazzling and utterly romantic landscape of Renaissance Venice, this wonderful novel marks the arrival of a splendid new storytelling talent.

Jacket Design by Lisa Litwack
Reproduced by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
All rights reserved.
From the book THE STARGAZER by Michele Jaffe,
Published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Copyright © 1999 by Michele Jaffe

Secret, Secret?