This is an ambitious debut novel. Part family saga, part romance, part mystery thriller… but best not to try to pigeonhole it, rather just say it’s a cracking story.

Set in Florence in the 1470s, the book is based in the household of the wealthy Rosini family, both upstairs and downstairs. It is rich in description – to my only personal taste, a little too rich – but I never mind that, because at least I can skip over it. The plot is fast paced so it felt to me there was a slight conflict here, but it didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment.

The plot revolves around the 1478 uprising against the powerful Medici family and their friends the Rosinis and their household become caught up in it, none more so than manservant Matteo, and by extension, the love of his life, Gianetta. There are many twists and turns to this story, but the ending is ultimately satisfying for the romantics at heart.