About the Book
Book: Labor of Love
Author: Marguerite Martin Gray
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: February 15, 2022
Something sinister lurks in Pitti Palace.
Despite having spent eight years as companion to her cousins, Ana Geovani still questions her role and place in the Medici household. This uncertainty compounds and alarms as her cousin’s marriage approaches and a marriage is arranged for Ana.
With no say in her own future, fear and despair dulls even the splendor of the gardens she holds so dear.
As the newest under gardener at the palace, Marco Rossi should have everything he’s dreamed of–beautiful gardens to tend and master architects and gardeners to learn from. Yet a secret mission threatens his peace of mind, his position, and even the love of Ana. Although God is always with him, reminding him of a bigger plan, Marco feels the weight of the consequences he will face if he challenges a Medici member.
The desires of men and women, both royal and common, create costly dilemmas and potential disasters of hearts and souls. What will it take for Marco and Ana to prevail against everything driving them apart?
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About the Author
Marguerite enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in north Louisiana. She writes historical fiction.
More from Marguerite
Are you a gardener? My mom calls me the accidental gardener. Is there such a thing? Well, I threw a pumpkin off my deck into a flower bed in December. By March, I had a garden full of beautiful, big pumpkins and luscious vines.
I love the idea of gardening, although I’m not very successful with my planting and grandiose plans. I stick with zinnias, potatoes, and onions. But I admire all kinds of gardens—flower and vegetable. Gardens are full of surprises—zingers in my ordinary life.
From the beauty of organized formal gardens like Versailles and Boboli to quaint, colorful English gardens, I relish the assault to all the senses. I’m refreshed, renewed, and relaxed just by being in a garden.
The birth of my Gardens in Time series arose from my travels. Labor of Love, set in the Boboli Gardens in Florence, springs from memories of wonder and beauty as I roamed the avenues and paths as a child and then an adult. I never had the adventures of Ana as she struggles and grows in the court of the Medici, but I walked in the Medici’s steps and let my imagination journey with Ana. She now has her own story.
I hope that you can experience some of the awe and amazement through Ana’s wanderings. I invite you to roam the Boboli Gardens with Ana.
It is with great admiration that I review this book. The author swept me away to a place where beauty was plentiful. Oh to be beside Ana as she tends to the garden would be wonderful. I wanted to follow her as she took great care with each flower she planted and the herbs that grew with ease. The garden is where she found peace and a place of belonging. She didn’t have a bad life but one that was not chosen by her. To think that her father would send her away only so he would gain wealth when she married someone with power and money was heartbreaking.
I enjoyed getting to know the members in the Medici household and learning about their social obligations. The palace was large and Ana was brought there to be a companion to her cousins. All around her were talks of balls and marriage. Would she find freedom some day to marry who she desired? Her father has already decided who she will marry but the man is cruel and heartless. I loved how she turned to God and cried out to him to rescue her. She knew in her heart that He was there and would protect her from evil.
Marco is such a charming gentleman. He has come to the palace as a gardener but he has a secret mission that no one can find out about. The beautiful friendship that develops between him and Ana is sweet and written with emotions that are genuine. The author captures not only the beauty of the garden but the gentle spirit of hope as the two main characters slowly recognize that they have feelings for each other. Marco is very aware that something is not quite right with the man who wants to marry Ana. Will he be able to prove that this man is evil and a threat to not only the members of the Medici family but to Ana especially?
Rich in historical facts the author brings this story to life with wonderful characters, intrigue , beautiful landscape and God’s promise of protection. I loved this story so much that I reread it because it gave me a feeling of peace as the words flowed with grace and contentment. Where do you go to find peace and God’s presence?
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 19
Texas Book-aholic, March 20
Inklings and notions, March 21
For Him and My Family, March 22
Betti Mace, March 23
deb’s Book Review, March 24
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 25
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 26
Connie’s History Classroom, March 27
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28 (Spotlight)
Mary Hake, March 28
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 29
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 30
Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 31 (Author Interview)
Paula’s Persuasion, March 31
Blossoms and Blessings, April 1
Inside the Wong Mind, April 2
To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.