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The Sweet Swoon of Historical Romance from Debut Author Angela M. Sims in "The Rose of Florence"

Find yourself transported through time, and swoon for the debut historical romance from author Angela M. Sims.

For those of us who believe "love is eternal," finding a romance that steeps us in a bygone culture rich with foreign sights, sounds, and smells is enough to male us fall in love. When you add star-crossed lovers to the mix, it's a heady combination.

Lose yourself in the excerpt from The Rose of Florence below. Wander the ancient streets with Gianetta as she searches for love and meaning.

And if you're looking for something else to make you swoon, be sure to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Good luck, and happy reading!

Book Details:

The Rose of Florence by Angela M. Sims Publication Date: March 23rd, 2023 Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance Synopsis:

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.

The Story (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 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 de’ Medici and near death of Giuliano de’ 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.



As she approached the building, Gianetta began to feel some unease. Crowds had gathered around the building to gawp at the corpses of those who had taken part in the atrocities of just a few days before. They still swung from the high windows, beginning to rot now in the sunshine. Their bloated faces and swollen tongues had taken on a greenish hue. Some had already lost their eyes to passing birds. Their clothing was stained, either with blood from their fighting, or from the moment they realised their fate and soiled themselves. Unlike many of the people of Florence, Gianetta had no wish to linger in the area and quickened her step. She manoeuvred around a group of women, who had paused their daily tasks to gossip and pass judgement on the culprits.

Vai all’inferno!” shouted one, as if the dead were not already in Hell.

“Not so brave now, are you, bastardo?” called another.

Figlio di puttana!”

As the profanities fell from their lips, they crossed themselves piously. A group of small boys entertained themselves by throwing stones at the corpses, cheering riotously when one hit its mark, making it swing. Gianetta kept her gaze firmly to the ground, until she almost tripped over a young man. She recognised him as an acquaintance of Signor Sandro’s, an artist from the small town of Vinci in the hills of Tuscany. She had served him during a Rosini family banquet and remembered thinking that he had intelligent eyes.

“Signor Leonardo! Buongiorno!” She gave a small curtsey, as the well-dressed young man rose from his seat on the road.

Buongiorno,” he replied, with a bow of his head. “Surely this is no place for a member of the Rosini household?”

“No, ser,” replied Gianetta. “I had to pass here to reach the macelleria. I do not intend to stay any longer than is necessary.” She started to move past him, but then her eye caught sight of a paper in his hand.

He saw her looking at his work and lifted it to show her more clearly. He had been making an ink drawing of one of the hanged men.

Gianetta looked horrified. “I don’t understand, Signor Leonardo. This is not the art that you create. Yours is beautiful. This is…ugly. Death is ugly.”

Certo!” he agreed. “Death is ugly, but our life is made by the death of others. It is only by understanding this that we can learn and grow.”

Gianetta looked uncertain, but Leonardo said, “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. I am here to simply understand. That is all.”

Gianetta looked at his drawing, then back at the man with intelligent eyes. Her own eyes then slowly turned towards the walls of the Bargello and upwards, to the hanged men. What she saw hit her in the pit of her stomach, so much so that she gasped out loud and staggered backward.

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Author Bio:

The Rose of Florence is my first novel, borne of a love for the history, art and city of Florence, grown over many years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it. My background is in healthcare, and I have been a University lecturer since 2010. My writing experience was limited to a Masters dissertation, purely academic, but the research skills I learned during that process were soon put to use in researching my favourite topic, the Italian Renaissance. It didn’t take long before the seeds of a story began to germinate, and The Rose of Florence blossomed. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) and the New Writers’ Scheme (NWS) in 2020 and found the encouragement and resources available taught me so much about the process and skills needed to write fiction. I have been lucky enough to have the support of the same NWS reviewer since joining, and her advice and guidance has proven invaluable, and I am now a contender for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2023 for debut authors. I am also a member of the Society of Authors. Author Links:

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