The Scarletti Curse by Christine Feehan is an actual stand-alone novel, as it doesn't belong to any book series.
Although you will find that it's a prequel to Dark Sympony, book 10 in the Dark Series by the same author.
And you need to read this book to really understand the plotline of Dark Symphony.
This story is about Nicoletta and how she wipes the Scarletti curse from the Scarletti family.
Don Giovanni Scarletti is the leader, the master, the caretaker, the one that protects the people from the invading countries around them.
In a small village, Nicoletta is a beautiful peasent girl that hides who she really is behind her Maria Pia.
Nicoletta is considered "different" among the people. But because she is pure and good, the village people hide her from all others. She'd been born with the ability to touch a person and know what they were sick with and know what to do to help them. She's also blessed with knowing things that have happened.
So when the don himself gets ill, she can do no other than to help him and his little neice.
That's when she's called to the Palazzo della Morte. When she helps the don to heal, he really notices her. Giovannie Scarletti is a large and overhearing man who rules with an iron fist.
But when he's tenderly cared for by Nicoletti, he knows that his world is going to change.
As this story is based in historical times and the culture of the story is to have the Scarletti family to be the rulers and caretakers of the small villages around the big castle that is the home of the Scarletti family.
There is also a custom where the don will pick a bride from the villages to carry on his name.
The Bridal Covenant is where the don will go into each village, meet the eligible females and then decide one to be his bride.
And of course, the don picks Nicoletta.
But there is great superstition around the house of Scarletti. Each of their women have been killed, even Nicoletta's own mother.
But Nicoletta is a free spirit and believes that there is a mystery to be solved instead of a curse that has to be endured.
As the story is based in a time when there are elaborate castles, filled with paintings and sculptures that look scary and uninviting, Christine Feehan goes into great detail about the lands and the castle.
Giovanni Scarletti knows that she is the light to his darkness and knows that he can't give her up.
And in time she comes to love him too.
Their love deepens as they get to know each other and that includes sexy scenes that you need to be aware of. They are detailed just like her other books. She writes her scenes with a sensual quality to them.
Giovanni and Nicoletta have a bond that only deepens as they get to know each other. Because the are both "different", they bond even more and accept each other in a way that they both need.
The don can speak to her in her mind. And that bonds them even more.
As Nicoletta is a free spirit and can sense things before they happen, she feels a foreboding in the palazzo.
She feels her being watched at all times. And at first, that overwhelms her but in the end she feels like she must solve the mystery of the curse and even break it.
And this opens a pandora's box. And what she finds out is hard for all to bear.
Now I won't give the ending but she's able to finally break the curse while solving several murders that have happened.
The story is beautifully written. Christine Feehan writes with sensual flowing words that pull you into the storyline and help you to feel what the characters are feeling.
This book is a prequel to the book 10, Dark Symphony. Head over there to see how this book is connected to that one!
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