Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Book Spotlight: The House by Sebastiana Randone

The House
by Sebastiana Randone
Paranormal Regency Romance


The House is an adult fairy tale, time travel romance mystery.  

Clad only in a torn night dress, a woman finds herself, late one afternoon, in an arcane forest. How she arrived there remains a mystery, both to her and the reader. Finally a frightful looking house arrives in view. Night is moving in and faced with the prospect of remaining in a wood, where only wolves and predators revel, she reluctantly seeks refuge in this unwelcoming edifice.

Once inside, and taken aback by a most unexpected interior, she soon discovers a room where a magic portal laying in wait transports her to a Georgian estate.  A baleful altercation with a beastly, drunkard Lord of the estate (archetype to the evil wolf in traditional tales) sets the tone for this narrative. Unable to find an escape route, she remains confined in the somber historical setting for many months, interacting with a curiously dysfunctional household.

Finally she finds her way back to the enigmatic house and a journey to Regency London follows, where she meets with a disparate cast of individuals. Although it soon emerges that there is a relationship between the characters from both periods, the mystery surrounding her presence continues to confound all.

One foggy eve, a down cast man arrives, and is introduced to the time traveller. When their eyes meet, an inexplicable sense of familiarity is felt by both. Returning home after a large stretch in Florence, the poet is instantly taken with the mysterious beauty, a meeting of which promises restoration for the heart broken man. Frustratingly however, there are obstacles hindering this unusual love match.  Soon a past life connection emerges, and by the last pages, many pieces of the puzzle form a startling picture. Upon the final curtain, the biggest surprise of all is revealed. With a conclusion, although bizarre, that is positive, like all good fairy tales.


The intellectual prowess of Artemisia overwhelmed and excited the young poet, whose engrossment with the workings of her mind was such, that any enquiry as to her domestic arrangements was quite overlooked.

It is true to say however, that during their parting hours he did wonder about her private life, but whenever the two met, these curiosities were often usurped by matters more engaging and fascinating. Her beauty was matched by an incisive and far reaching mind that would often wax lyrically on a numerous range of topics, which rendered the absorbed poet helpless to enquire about more mundane matters.

As with all developed intellects, an inquisitive nature was handed to Artemisia from an early age, this set in motion a life time appetite for knowledge. Amongst her many virtues, was that of a linguist, which meant that she was able to communicate to David in his native tongue. It appeared that life had only just started when they met, and that all other experiences had become unimportant. Therefore, it was of no great surprise to learn, notwithstanding the immeasurable anguish generated, that she was in fact already married.

The Contessa de Luce resided with her substantially older husband, the Count Giacomo de Luce in the opulent confines of Palazzo del Oro. The couple met in Venice, Artemisia’s birth place, five years prior to her encounter with David. The sixty-one year old count met his future wife at one of the many lavish balls hosted by the doge, where Artemisia cut a fine and graceful figure as she danced sinuously around the grand Venetian hall. Instantly struck by her beauty and carriage, the count assumed her to be from a noble family, which was very much not the case, as this exemplary figure of refinement was in reality a courtesan. A fact well obscured by a personality that combined gentility and forbearance, the latter trait being quite unfounded in the typical coquettish concubine.

Thus it was not due to naiveté that had led the Count de Luce to believe otherwise, it was the innate aura of elegance that Artemisia exuded, that belied any hint of the licentiousness that one invariably connects to this ancient profession.

She had been introduced to this work early in her years. A distant aunt had taken the adolescent to meet with her destiny in a house famed for its training of young women. She was given the name Artemisia and was placed under the auspices of a ‘signora’, who in time tutored the young lady in the art of giving pleasure.


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