Votive by Karen Brooks (The Curse of the Bond Riders: Book 2)

La Serenissima - a beautiful but deadly city where corrupt aristocrats rule and everything, including love, has a price. Tallow is anything but a simple candlemaker and when she has everything taken away from her - friends, family, hope - all she can do to survive is rely on the Maleovellis. Casting aside the safety of her disguise, she becomes cold-hearted Tarlo, female courtesan and the toast of those who, if they knew her secret, would destroy her. But the intrigues of the Serenissian nobility are nothing against the larger forces moving within the world. And Tallow's enemies have a hidden asset: the one thing they know she cannot possibly resist.

The second instalment of The Curse of the Bond Rider Votive sees Tallow transformed into the woman she once thought was never possible, but dark forces continue their hunt for the young candle maker.

With her beloved Dante dead, Pillar and Quinn thrown into disarray as the entire city has discovered her secret, Tallow turns to the Maleovelli family to help disguise her former self and be transformed into something and someone she never thought she could be; a courtesan.

With the help of Giaconda Maleovelli and her father, Tallow becomes Tarlo Maleovelli. All her hopes and dreams are shattered and Tallow must rediscover what it was in the first place that made her create, hide and most of all, love. The games come at a higher cost than Tarlo anticipated, with nothing left to loose, except for her life, Tarlo must discover how to trust without extracting, to love once more and to understand the deeper meaning of the prophesy in which she is to play the biggest role of her young life.

As Tallow discovers the truth about her past, her present and the future she is to decide, the final instalment is set to have readers bonded. As the final pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place, Tallow must decide what is right for all, but most of all, she must the one to decide.

9/10 Dark forces continue their hunt for the young candle maker.

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