The Master of Verona
, book 1 in the Star-Crossed Lovers Series (i.e., Romeo & Juliet) is free today, June 27, on Amazon Main
Orginally published by St. Martin's Press in 2007, this is the first book of a series set in Italy which explores fictional orgins of the Montague-Capulet (Romeo & Juliet) feud that became the basis for Shakespeare's play several centuries later.
If you like historical fiction by Cornwell or McCullough, I can't recommend this higly enough. I read it back in 2007 (paid $25 for my hardback!). And while the writer is a personal friend...well, I've had a number of friends ask me to read books, but I've rarely read one of this length (about 560 pages) in three days because I couldn't put the thing down.
But don't take my word for it:
Publisher's Weekly: A novel of intricate plot, taut narrative, sharp period detail and beautifully realized characters.
Kirkus: A debut historical novel peopled by Dante and other Italian Renaissance figures, along with reimagined Montagues and Capulets. Intricate plotting, well-staged scenes, and colorful descriptions enhance head-spinning but lively entertainment.
David Blixt bursts onto the historical fiction scene with this masterful tale of adventure, love, and intrigue -- this is high adventure at its best, an epic novel filled with the breathtaking feats and evanescent beauty of the early Renaissance. - C.W. Gortner
In other words, I can't recommend that you pick this up highly enough. It's a really fun read and a real bargain at $0.00.