Thursday, October 17, 2013

REVIEW: The Vitruvian Man Trilogy by Cate Masters

The Vitruvian Man – Book One

....a cold and lonely existence....

Bruno diCesare lives in the shadows. Alone and hidden from the world, his only joy comes but once a year---at Carnevale. For ten days, he can blend in with the colorful, masked masses without revealing his true nature. But this time, he is faced with fiery temptation.

Carnevale allows Melina Weaver to be someone else--someone sexy, daring, enticing, someone who lives on the edge. It's a far cry from her real life, with long and boring hours spent in a sterile lab. When her fire dancing arouses the curiosity of a dark and compelling stranger, she might have more excitement--and danger--than she ever imagined.

Can Bruno escape his cursed existence? Can he protect her, and can she trust him to save them both?

Ten days. The difference between bliss or desolation, redemption or remaining forever Cursed.


Light danced in his dark eyes. “I must admit, your fire dancing fascinated me. What made you choose such a dangerous skill to master?”

“The thrill of the challenge, I suppose.” It balanced the rest of her mundane life, to a degree.

His gaze intensified. “Mistakes must be very painful.”

“I practiced a long time before I worked up the nerve to actually light the wands. I found the fire great incentive to focus, however.” God, her grin must be goofy, the way he stared. What gorgeous eyes, such a deep brown they almost appeared black. He probably had rugged features, if his large hands provided any indication. Too bad he wore gloves, another barrier between them.

“Yes,” he said, “I imagine so.”

“What about you? What other magic do you know?” Oh please, could she get any more ridiculous? It sounded like a line from a bad chick flick.

The crinkle around his eyes was the only evidence of his smile, but enough to charm her. “Lifetimes of studying the dark arts have provided me with many tricks.”


He stiffened in her arms. “Pardon?”

She watched him carefully. “You said ‘lifetimes.’ Plural.” And what the hell did he mean by “dark arts”?

Graceful movements became rigid. “I’m sure you’re mistaken.” He stared over her head as they whirled to the music.

Mistaken my ass. How very strange. More strange that the question upset him. He’d clammed up, and his muscles were so tense she expected him to bolt. Better to drop it. For now. “Must have been a slip of the tongue.”

“Yes.” Relief sounded in his tone, though guarded.

This man had something to hide. How intriguing.

The Vitruvian Man – Book Two

Brought together by accident, bound by fate—and magic.

Love works its charm over Bruno DiCesare and Melina Weaver during his transformation from beast to man. But love likewise blinds them to the secrets each holds. Bruno thinks his secret will devastate Melina. Melina’s afraid Bruno will hate her for what she’s become. Neither guess the greatest danger lurks outside their door—and could force them to choose between love and life itself.


The ancient grandfather clock chimed the hour, the only way Melina Weaver tracked time these days.

Eight o’clock. No wonder her stomach grumbled. When had she last eaten? It took her a moment to remember whether it was day or night. Beneath the city of Venice, inside the quarters Bruno had made his home, no light penetrated. Why hadn’t Leonardo da Vinci, ├╝bergenius that he was, factored in the human need for sunlight? Despite being cavernous, the chambers were closing in on Melina, like being swallowed by a giant python. She took a deep breath, but the stale air only reminded her how much she craved fresh, sweet openness.

A masculine groan broke her self-pity. She hurried past the curtain to the bed where Bruno lay. The oil lamps in the outer room were dim but enough to show his furrowed brow, a sign of distress too common lately.

She stroked his forehead. “Shh.”

Covers clenched in his fist, he thrashed. He clasped her hand, his skin smooth rather than scaled like before. It amazed her to witness the process, how the human being inside slowly surfaced, as if a sculptor worked at a masterpiece, chipping away the layers of scales, smoothing away the roughness, leaving a magnificent man. So beautiful, Melina found herself constantly staring. At first, she yearned to map the mechanics of recovery into some logical reasoning. Later, she stared because his handsomeness captivated her.

Did he know how striking he looked? How magnetic women would find him? Would every female hang on him like Elda did? A pang of jealousy surprised her. The vision of Elda sharpened. Irritable, Melina envisioned herself growing larger, an angry Alice in Eldieland. No way did she intend to stay there. She harnessed her will, condensed it into a roiling ball, and mentally thrust it at the sorceress.

The Vitruvian Man – Book Three

Forced to choose between life and love, their battle is far from over…

Melina Weaver gave up everything—for Bruno diCesare. Fire destroyed everything Bruno held dear—except for her. They have no prospects, no place to hide, and are out of options—their only hope is to join with the rogue magicks to fight to overthrow the Council’s dictatorship.

Can they forge a new world from their love or will their claim on each other damn them forever?




“I love you,” I breathed. “I love you.”

“Forever.” Melina’s lips pressed to my skin like raindrops on a thirsty man. I drank them up, but still wanted more. Her limbs quaked.

I gently set her on the ground. “We should get back. You need to rest.”

“So do you.” She nestled into my side as we strolled and sent me a lopsided smile. “But I’m glad you’re getting your strength back.”

“More importantly, my head has cleared. Elda must have tainted the treatments.” It would explain the strange dreams; Elda’s way of muddling my mind so I wouldn’t know what was real and what was imagined. So far, it hadn’t weakened the shield I’d put up to hide my thoughts and power from the Council, but I couldn’t afford even one slip. It would send an undeniable signal that I still lived. Still presented a threat.

Melina splayed her hand across my ribs. “I suspected she tried to keep us apart that way.”

“You spent a lot of time alone.” No need to phrase it as a question. Much as I’d struggled to stay conscious, I’d managed to remain awake a fraction of our time together. A great unfairness to her.

“I did a lot of reading, as you know.” Her casual tone belied her worry.

I couldn’t help my past disapproval, but I could offer reassurance. “Yes. Of course. Your studies serve you well.”

We reached the cottage, and she faced me. “It’s the only way I know how to protect you. They’ll find you here, won’t they?”

“For now, I’ve shielded my thoughts from them. They’ll sense magic in use, however. Most who practice tap into a main source. Those with the greatest power learn to wield it with little effort, and create our own. It’s one way you’ve proven yourself to be a great talent already.”

“But I know so little.”

“You learn fast. And you command your magic well.”

“Teach me to use it better.” Urgency edged her tone. And excitement.

I dreaded the responsibility of the task. “I’m not the most patient teacher.”

“And I tend to be a hardheaded student.” She linked her arms around my neck. “But we’ll make it work.”

She made everything so effortless. Even when I imagined problems between us, she made them disappear. But how long would she grant me such grace?

Erin's Review
  Cate Masters spins a spellbinding tale of love, mystery, suspense and intrigue like no other. In The Vitruvian Man Trilogy we meet Melina, a self proclaimed boring genetic scientist who on holiday meets the mysterious Bruno diCesare, who is much more than meets the eye. The trilogy follows the pair through Venice and deep in to Da Vinci's secret world of magic. Melina proves herself worthy of what a great heroine strives to be in an epic battle that shows off her quick mind and her tenacity to hold on to what she holds close to her heart and you want to weep for Bruno, who after centuries of torment, is finally freed from a prison he had thought was permanent.

 These books had me from the first chapter and I couldn't put them down. Paranormal romance has met it's match with these books and the history that is wound within the story sets the tone for what the underside of Venice is for those of magical persuasion.

 I honestly cannot say enough about this wonderful story and once again proves that  vero amore conquista tutti

1 comment:

  1. Wow. It's so gratifying to read such wonderful comments. It truly makes writing worthwhile.