Fun Friday with Cara di Montessori from The Devil to Pay by #romance #author K.C. Bateman #Italy #medieval #arrangedmarriage

Today we’re traveling back in time to medieval Italy to find out how Cara di Montessori from The Devil to Pay by romance author K.C. Bateman has fun! Take it away, Kate!

Hello everyone and thanks to Betty for hosting! Today I’m going to imagine what the hero and heroine of my #1 medieval romp The Devil to Pay do for fun…

The Devil to Pay is set in the early 1400s in Renaissance Italy, a time of feuding city states, uneasy political alliances, and a huge wealth of artistic creativity. Think the Borgias, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Medici.

Heiress Cara di Montessori is quite the tomboy. Educated at the monastery near her home, she loathes doing all the things a “proper” chatelaine of a castle should do, like sewing and cooking, and instead likes to dabble in alchemical experiments, especially those which contain gunpowder! Some have been less than successful; she’s infamous throughout Italy as “the girl who blew up the monastery.” In her defense, only the east wing was actually reduced to rubble…!

Cara’s determined to prove herself capable of running her own keep without a husband by her side, and she’ll do anything to gain the advantage over the sinfully sexy (but downright irritating) Alessandro del Sarto. She might need the handsome mercenary’s help to remove her murderous uncle from her childhood home, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it. We’ll probably find her in the bailey, learning hand-to-hand combat—so she can knock del Sarto on his far-too-attractive posterior.

Alessandro del Sarto, on the other hand, is a cynical, hardened mercenary. Now retired (thanks to a shoulder injury) and incredibly wealthy, he hates the political maneuvering he has to put up with at court. He’d much rather be spurring his trusty horse Saraceno into battle than dealing with the petty disputes of his subjects or fending off the not-so-subtle flirtations from the women. He longs for a challenge to relieve his boredom. Impetuous Cara di Montessori, the daughter of his old mentor, is the one woman he’s never been able to forget. She’s also the one woman in Italy guaranteed to drive him crazy.

Cara’s disobedience is utterly frustrating, but Alessandro loves thinking up ways of making her lose her temper. He finds her passion and ferocity both amusing and completely irresistible. He’s already thinking up ways he can maneuver her into a kiss…!

The Devil to Pay is a sexy, witty, romantic adventure set in Renaissance Italy.

A ruthless mercenary skilled in the art of conquest. 

An heiress who refuses to be tamed. 

The Devil’s own bargain . . . 

Cara di Montessori has a price upon her head. Her traitorous uncle has murdered her father and seized her home. Her only hope of survival, and of regaining her birthright, is an alliance with her childhood nemesis, the infamous mercenary Il Diavolo. The most irritating—and seductive—man Cara’s ever met.

Battle hardened and world-weary, Alessandro del Sarto has earned the sobriquet Il Diavolo. He needs a politically expedient marriage to secure the lasting peace he craves, but the simpering ladies of court hold little interest. More than anything, he longs for a challenge.

Headstrong beauty Cara has always been Il Diavolo’s only weakness, the one woman he’s never been able to forget. When she appears at his door begging for help, the two strike a devil’s bargain. In return for his assistance, for two weeks Cara must entertain his guests, relieve his boredom—and warm his bed. 

Cara has no intention of succumbing to del Sarto’s studied seduction, but the passion that simmers between them is more potent than her paper twists of gunpowder. Surrounded by danger and intrigue, she must choose between what she’s always thought of as her destiny, and what could be the greatest prize of all—her heart’s desire.

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Kate Bateman, (writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of Regency, Victorian, and Renaissance historical romances. All her books feature her favorite feisty, intelligent heroines (badasses in bodices!), wickedly inappropriate banter, and sexy, snarky heroes you want to strangle and kiss. 

Kate wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d “never finish the thing.” She gleefully proved him wrong. When not traveling to exotic locations “for research,” she leads a not-so-secret double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England, and writes despite three inexhaustible children/monsters and a number-loving husband who still owes her that dollar.

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A marriage of convenience story that sounds intriguing and loving all wrapped up together for the holidays… Thanks for sharing, Kate!

And to everyone, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


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