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The Woman in the Fresco, by Bella D'Arcy Reed

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The frescos of Rome are full of unknown women. This is the story of one of them, Cecilia Arditti, who moves from a childhood friendship with the boy Giulio Pippi, to an overwhelming love for the painter he becomes: Giulio Romano.
 
When two murders force their separation, Ceci survives poverty by becoming a prostitute, rising to become one of those offered by Vanozza, mistress of a former Pope, to enhance parties of the elite. Giulio re-discovers her through a drawing by his Master, the great Raffaello Santi, and is reunited with her at a Papal festival. Their love shines amid the passion, joy, and cruelty, of Renaissance Rome, as Ceci becomes the face of Giulio’s many painted Venuses and Madonnas. Until threatened by ambition and betrayal.
 
The debut novel of Bella D’Arcy Reed, award-winning short story writer and author of books on Italian Renaissance and Edwardian gardens.

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