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(The Silk Merchant's Daughters #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  885 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Renaissance Florence comes to passionate life in a vivid new historical romance series by “legendary” New York Times bestselling author Bertrice Small.

Florentine silk merchant Giovanni Pietro d’Angelo and his wife want nothing more than to marry their daughters to wealthy men of distinction. But when their son’s dangerous indiscretion implicates him in a tragic accident,
Paperback, 421 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Berkley Books (first published October 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  885 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Sarah Mac
First: the squeamish elements are exaggerated. Yes, Bianca's marriage is abusive, complete with forced threesomes & a skanky bedslave...but the stepson doesn't take her virginity, while the donkey thing was *always* offscreen or by reference, & even then only with the skanky slavegirl or use-and-discard characters to represent hapless victims of the douchebag husband. The heroine herself is never with a donkey. :P As for Bianca being married so young, that's documented fact -- 21st-c society mig ...more
Lise Anne
Jan 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Small writes somewhat stiffly with the tone of Anya Seton. The character is believable, within the context of the romance. Too bad her male characters don't have more um, character! There is repressed sensuality, but hardly anything really sexy happens with the love of her life. The nasty stuff with her first husband is almost better. I don't recommend this read. ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ack, dreadful. Picked this up in a little free library. Haven’t read romance novel since college, and now I may wait another 20 years. Started off okay- different kind of plot, nice descriptions of Florence and fashion. But then—- omg, slog of platitudes, a cardboard prince with literally no personality, and characters who speak in unnatural exposition, and constantly repeat themselves. Absolutely maddening. Teases suspense that never amounts to anything or goes anywhere, and tepid love scenes w ...more
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I actually liked it overall. It was well described, horrifying, and yet it gave you some chance to empathize with the main heroine and feel something for her.

But I felt like the whole book was rushed and areas of the storyline, which probably should have each been dedicated a good portion of the book itself, were just skimmed over way too much. There were entire areas of the plotline which could have made for beautiful, rich, intriguing plotline which could have really set up each and every cha
Regan Walker
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Florence and the Black Sea in the 15th century!

Set in Florence and the area around the Black Sea, beginning in 1474, this is the story of Bianca, oldest daughter of Giovanni Pietro d’Angelo, a Florentine silk merchant. When his son’s indiscretion threatens to ruin the family, Giovanni is blackmailed into giving Bianca in marriage to the debauched blackguard Sebastiano Rovere. Rovere treats his delicate new bride abysmally and she loathes and fears him.

Her mother, appalled at what has befallen he
Bambi Unbridled
This was not one of my favorite Small books, but it wasn't so shocking as some of these reviews would have you believe. Yes, the girls married young back then. The author stayed true to the time period in that regard. Yes, there was reference to some distasteful activity involving a donkey... but it was only referenced and there were no graphic descriptions or details. I would not be surprised to learn things like that happened back then - I think they still have donkey shows in parts of Mexico ...more
Dawn ♥ romance
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, historical
I enjoyed this steamy historical romance. I like the authors writing style with action that moved right along which compensated for feeling uncomfortable at how easily the heroine accepted her new lifestyle. Bianca escapes from a terrible marriage and meets Prince Amir who has majorly different religious beliefs.
Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it
meh. I read Bertrice Small books mostly out of obligation. I love her early heroines - Zenobia, Adora, Skye O'Malley, and even Jasmine. I'm not so excited about her later books. This one falls somewhere inbetween. Bianca is an interesting character. It could be a good start to a new series. But it does not really have the spark of her earlier series. ...more
Nov 03, 2012 added it
Classic Beatrice Small...I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Jamie Kane
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My favorite romance author. This is her most recent book: loved it!
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Reminded me of The Borgias in the first half; second half dragged and I couldn't wait for it to be over. ...more
This book was very interesting. I liked it, and didn't shine for me. Read my full thoughts here ...more
Tommie Sebastian
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This book started out great but ended boring. Half way thru I wanted to put it down but I don't like to quit so I pushed on hoping it would pick up. Didn't happen! Very disappointed:( ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Bennett-kronebusch
Excellent read. Loved the writers ability to make you feel like you were there share the characters lives. Amazing and thrilling all in one. Can’t wait to read the other two in the series

Excellent read. Loved the writers ability to make you feel like you were there share the characters lives. Amazing and thrilling all in one. Can’t wait to read the other two in the series
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
For me this book started out a bit slow. The first part was a bit hard to stomach, but once I got past that it wasn’t half bad. The characters were complex and intriguing. The plot kept changing and surprising me each time. The ending was good and fit the story well. This book just didn’t suck me in like I wanted it too.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this one. Simple and classic Bertrice Small. I'm sad that this series may never be finished, but I plan to read the next two. ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I am a huge Bertrice Small fan..she has taught me a great deal of history..and provided some smutty reading...Bianca's tale is pretty tame...a nice read ...more
Audible Romance Package

AUDIOBOOK: Read April 8 & 9 2018

Narrator: Jill Tanner does one heck of a job.
Loved BS books from the start and she never disappointed me.
This series may not be as perfect as Sky O'Mally but is a second best.
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read.

One of my favorite authors. She has never disappointed me and didn’t this time either. Excellent and wonderful read for me.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
very repetitive - yes, historical romance can be repetitive - but this one was more than expected
James Sherland
Aug 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
i got a few pages into but just could'nt get interested in it, i really wanted to like it but for now this is a dnf for me. ...more
“Bianca” by Bertrice Small (historical, Berkley, October 2012, $16.00, 432pp)

Series: The Silk Merchant’s Daughter

Florentine silk merchant Giovanni Pietro d’Angelo and his wife want nothing more than to marry their daughters to wealthy men of distinction. But when their son’s dangerous indiscretion implicates him in a tragic accident, it is their eldest daughter who must pay the price. Blackmailed by the powerful and debauched Sebastiano Rovere, the Pietro d’Angelos must give beautiful
Erica (EricaEreads)
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
Back in undergrad I recall reading Bertrice Small and enjoying her historical settings and feisty heroines immensely. Unfortunately Bianca....was not enjoyable.

Initially I found myself cheering for Bianca and admiring the strong relationship between Bianca and her mother as they worked together to outmaneuver the domineering men in their lives and patriarchal society they lived in. Go girl power! But then....once the main romance came into play...those elements disappeared. Bianca's character b
Kayla Garcia
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-reads
I did not expect to like this book as much as I did! (honestly I expected a dry historical romance that dances around the subject of sex.) The sex scenes are very well written- I really liked the contrasting description between the two lovers Bianca has. Her first husband (who she is repulsed by) the descriptions are really vulgar and brutal- you feel legitimately sick for this poor girl. In the scenes with her lover later on, the description is very sensual and intimate. I felt very sympathetic ...more
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
I’m at a bit of a loss on where to start with this review. No, that’s not quite accurate. I do know where I want to start with this review – I’m just struggling with being diplomatic about it.

Simply put, I did not like this book. For many reasons. So many reasons. Most of all, I’m irritated with myself for not properly vetting this book so I could have avoided the whole experience altogether. I was drawn in by the back-cover blurb and the cover artwork. It was a bait-and-switch.

First, the writin
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Okay, so if you are one of those REALLY ignorant people who doesn't seem to realize that back in the day 12+ years old was a marriageable age and that this book is based in a time frame where that was reality, DON'T BE STUPID AND READ SOMETHING THAT IS CLEARLY GOING TO OFFEND YOU.

Cry pedophilia all you want, but back in that day 12+ year old girls seriously thought that they were adult enough to be married and popping out kids. Even in today's world, kids still like to think they are adults. We
Feb 22, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: appeal-emotions
In 1474 Florence, to save her silk merchant family's fortune and honor, the lovely fifteen year old Bianca is married to a man more than twenty years older than her. At his hands, she suffers rape, beatings, and sexual degradations until she finally manages to escape. As time passes, her emotional wounds begin to heal. Although she must remain in hiding, when she meets Prince Amir ibn Jem, she dares to reach out to another. Over time, the two fall in love. When her husband finally dies, Bianca a ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
hmmmm, okay, where to start?
Firstly, warning to anyone who can not handle reading depraved assaults on women, bestiality, etc.
At first, I contemplated that I would simply state that it was a disgusting book and I have no idea why I didn't strop reading it a quarter of the way through. I guess that is my darker side eager to read on.
After further thought, this author did a lot of work to bring this book into the world and for that I commend her. It is impossible to not notice how well versed and
Kathryn T
Oct 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
You may find this book uncomfortable to read, I know that I did. If you are going to read this book, there are a few things you should know. It is a harem romance, mentions and mild descriptions of beastiality, and there is graphic description of multiple occasions of rape involving the heroine at age 14 and 15. I did not expect this, and only finished the story because I have issues reading about a rape victim and not reading the 'happy ending'.

I found it ridiculous that a victim of rape felt
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 04, 2015 01:20PM  

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Bertrice Williams was born on December 9, 1937 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, the daughter of Doris S. and David R. Williams, both broadcasters. She studied at Attended Western College for Women and Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School. On October 5, 1963, she married George Sumner Small, a photographer and designer with a History Major at Princeton. They had a son Thomas David. She liv ...more

Other books in the series

The Silk Merchant's Daughters (4 books)
  • Francesca (The Silk Merchant's Daughters, #2)
  • Lucianna (The Silk Merchant's Daughters, #3)
  • Serena (The Silk Merchant's Daughters, #4)

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