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IMMORTAL VENUS by Cynthia Ann Baldini

IMMORTAL VENUS

by Cynthia Ann Baldini

440 pages
A riveting story of romance, reincarnation, and Renaissance art

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Category: Fiction:Romance
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About the Book
Megan Eston’s marriage is on the rocks. She hopes her short tour of Italy will be a reprieve from months of tears and mutual accusations; she doesn’t expect it to resolve anything.

As she views the “Birth of Venus” in the Uffizi Gallery, a woman she meets there remarks on the coincidence that her name—Megan—means “sea-born” in Gaelic, and that Botticelli’s Venus is shown rising from the sea, where the goddess was conceived. This feels doubly significant to Megan since she’s a Pisces … a water sign. Struck by the irrational conviction that she was meant to be here in Florence, that her whole life had been leading to this place, she abandons her tour group to stay.

She begins drawing and doing yoga, practices she’d given up after her marriage. When she experiences moments of altered reality, a mysterious wolf-figure materializes and takes on ominous significance in the following weeks. Visions and nagging coincidences convince Megan that she’s the reincarnation of the Renaissance painter, Alessandro Botticelli, whose talent she admired in the Uffizi Gallery, and gives her the confidence to develop her own artistic talent.

Donatella Giunti—the proprietor of a neighboring bed-and-breakfast—has become her friend, and, to Megan’s surprise, she isn’t skeptical. She lends Megan a book so she can read up on reincarnation.

Megan’s landlord, architect Luca Arrighi, asks her to restore a fresco in his home, and, as they work in close proximity, Megan recognizes her attraction to him. She has developed a surprising new ability, which can only be described as psychic, which she hides from Luca; it makes her too weird. She doesn’t find out until later that Luca is already suspicious.

Debonair Jacques Gaudet has become Megan’s confidant. He attempts to manipulate her into using the wolf to lead her to a treasure long-rumored to be hidden on Luca’s property.

While Megan is busy with new friends and secrets, her husband, John, has been in emotional turmoil. The attacks on September 11, 2001, bring his issues to a head. At year’s end he decides to go get his wife, make things right between them, and bring her home.

These same events of 9/11 put Megan into phone contact with a member of her former tour group, from whom she learns about spirit guides … and that Wolf is an important guide.

When John reaches Italy, he almost doesn’t recognize his wife. Yoga and daily walks have slimmed her, and she lacks her former insecurity. The timing of his arrival is terrible; Megan has just succumbed to an unexpected sexual encounter with Luca, and the treasure hunt has succeeded.

Events keep John from broaching the subject of reconciliation and introduce a new disruption … he becomes attracted to Donatella. Complications include a theft, a kidnapping, and a frantic manhunt through Florence’s massive cathedral. The startling truth about the treasure is revealed, a web of relationships is untangled, and Wolf appears once more to confirm the path that Megan has taken.

 

 

About the Author
After earning her B.A. in Art & Design, Baldini moved to Italy, where she painted, exhibited, and wrote poetry. Fourteen years later, back in the USA, she continued both creative writing and artwork. When a short story she wrote was published, it became the catalyst for her debut novel.

 

 

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