Young Adult Fiction

Bridge of Sighs: A Short Story of the Bubonic Plague

by Laura Morelli

“My uncle the goldsmith died less than an hour ago but the Plague Doctor is already at our door…” After the bubonic plague takes his parents, 10-year-old Tonino is apprenticed to his uncle in a small goldsmith’s studio perched on a bridge. But as the Black Death reaches its hand into his uncle’s workshop, young Tonino is faced with making a choice to survive. From the author of The Gondola Maker and Made in Venice comes a short tale of pestilence, Venetian artisanship, and the will to live.

Volcanic Airs: An English Comedy

by Elizabeth Aston

Where would you rather be? Lonely and fog-bound in an ancient English castle, or sitting under the stars with friends on a magical Mediterranean island? Magdalena Mountjoy, furious with her impossible husband, the rakish Valdemar, doesn’t hesitate when she has the chance to run away to Aeolus, a jewel of an island off the coast of Sicily. Yet every Eden has its serpent. As friends and relations arrive to share the bliss, fleeing from their own problems with life and love, Magdalena begins to wish herself back at Mountjoy Castle. Meanwhile Dido, once a dancer and now a nanny, listens to her voices and foretells just where this of complex dance of love and betrayal will end for her companions as they enjoy the idyll of an Italian summer. Love conquers all—but will it this time?

Racing the Sun: A Novel

by Karina Halle

It’s time for 24-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met. It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones. But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.

The Girl in the Glass: A Novel

by Susan Meissner

Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold. When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?

Curses and Smoke

by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Tag is a medical slave, doomed to spend his life healing his master’s injured gladiators. But his warrior’s heart yearns to fight in the gladiator ring himself and earn enough money to win his freedom. Lucia is the daughter of Tag’s owner, doomed by her father’s greed to marry a much older Roman man. But she loves studying the natural world around her home in Pompeii, and lately she’s been noticing some odd occurrences in the landscape: small lakes disappearing; a sulfurous smell in the air. . . . When the two childhood friends reconnect, each with their own longings, they fall passionately in love. But as they plot their escape from the city, a patrician fighter reveals his own plans for them — to Lucia’s father, who imprisons Tag as punishment. Then an earthquake shakes Pompeii, in the first sign of the chaos to come. Will they be able to find each other again before the volcano destroys their whole world?

Cleopatra’s Moon

by Vicky Alvear Shecter

The only daughter of the last queen of Egypt watches her beloved father–Mark Antony–fall on his sword in front of her. Then she hears the haunting wails of the priestesses of Isis on the island of Pharos and knows her mother died. It is the end of Cleopatra’s rule and the start of Selene’s nightmare. Her parent’s vicious enemy, the snake-like Octavianus, forces Selene to march through the streets of Rome in golden chains and then sentences her, along with her brothers, to live as political prisoners in his own home. There she fights desperately to keep her brothers safe from poisonings and secret assassination attempts. Selene plots furiously to do what she knows her mother Cleopatra would want her to do–reclaim her destiny as the queen of Egypt. While plotting with her mother’s agents in Rome, Selene knows her best shot at retaking Egypt’s throne is to beguile her despised captor’s nephew, Marcellus, the beautiful, golden-haired heir to Octavanius. But Selene unexpectedly falls in love with a fellow political prisoner setting off a deeply personal crisis: Does Selene choose the man she loves over the man who could help her rule Egypt?

To Find a Mountain

By Dani Amore

Benedetta Carlessimo is no stranger to hardship. Ever since her mother died, the 16-year-old Italian girl has cared for her rambunctious younger siblings without complaint. Then World War II arrives on her doorstep, leaving her face-to-face with the most terrible evil she has ever witnessed. With the Germans and Americans fighting furiously to control a strategic swath of Italy, Nazi forces seize Benedetta’s village, turning her home into a command center—and forcing her beloved father to choose between fleeing or fighting on the front lines. In the midst of great deprivation, Benedetta struggles to feed both her family and the Nazis, all the while keeping her father’s whereabouts secret. Yet her blossoming love for a handsome young Italian man hiding in the mountains brings a sliver of joy to her life. But with the Americans advancing and the Germans growing increasingly desperate and cruel, Benedetta knows that one misstep could bring horrible repercussions…and only an extraordinary act of courage can save her family.

Wish You Were Italian

by Kristin Rae

Pippa is in Italy for the summer and, despite her parents’ wishes, she has no intention of just studying the local art! She has a list of things of her own to do: from swimming in the Mediterranean Sea to getting a makeover – and falling for an Italian boy! As Pippa explores the dramatic ruins of Rome and Pompeii, she is swept into her own drama with two guys: an irresistible local she knows is nothing but trouble and a cute American archaeology student . . . Will she find her true love?

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1)

by Fiona Paul

Cassandra Caravello has everything a girl could desire: elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, invitations to the best parties, and a handsome, wealthy fiancé—yet she longs for something more. Ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape. When Cass stumbles upon the body of a murdered woman—with a bloody X carved across her heart—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans, and killers. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a poor artist with a mischievous grin . . . and a habit of getting into trouble. Will Cassandra find the murderer before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2)

by Fiona Paul

Arrested in the dead of night, Cass’s fiancé is imprisoned on false charges. To free him she must journey to Florence, a city haunted by rumors, secret soirees, clandestine meetings, and home to the eerily stunning leader of the Order of the Eternal Rose, the Belladonna herself. Cass can prove Luca’s innocence, but can she trust her heart to lead her to the truth? Dangerous, seductive and alluring, this edge-of-your-seat romantic thriller will leave readers wondering not only whom Cass will choose—Luca or Falco—but whether or not all three of them will survive.