The Prisoner of Paradise by Rob Samborn
Series: The Paradise #1
The world's largest oil painting. A 400-year-old murder. A disembodied whisper: "Amore mio." My love.
Nick and Julia O'Connor's dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto's Paradise, a monumental depiction of Heaven. Convinced his delusions are the result of a concussion, Julia insists her husband see a doctor, though Nick is adamant the voice was real.
Blacking out in the museum, Nick flashes back to a life as a 16th century Venetian peasant swordsman. He recalls precisely who the voice belongs to: Isabella Scalfini, a married aristocrat he was tasked to seduce but with whom he instead found true love. A love stolen from them hundreds of years prior.
She implores Nick to liberate her from a powerful order of religious vigilantes who judge and sentence souls to the canvas for eternity. Releasing Isabella also means unleashing thousands of other imprisoned souls, all of which the order claims are evil.
As infatuation with a possible hallucination clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick's past self takes over. Wracked with guilt, he can no longer allow Isabella to remain tormented, despite the consequences. He must right an age-old wrong - destroy the painting and free his soul mate. But the order will eradicate anyone who threatens their ethereal prison and their control over Venice.
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I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.
This one grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. When I said I was going to branch out with my reading this is what I meant. The intrigue in this was more than I expected but in the best possible way. This is Rob Samborn’s debut novel and I would say he knocked it out of the park.
Nick gets hit on the head and ends up not only in the 15th century but as Angelo. You can imagine how difficult this is for Nick. We find out that he has lived many lives but never remembered any of them. He wants to leave and go back to himself but little things in the past tempt him to stay. After all who wouldn’t want to stay and right the wrongs done to the love of his life. Wrongs that he, himself did.
All of this throws Nick and his wife into a world of conspiracy on the Venetian canals. We are talking secret passages, antique keys, and much more. Nick has to make choices that most of us would find beyond difficult.
As I said I enjoyed this book. It is well written, well researched, and made me think of books by Ian Fleming. I can’t wait for the next one to come out and see what else happens in this series.
Read an Excerpt
The flood of questions never left Nick’s lips. Large hands wrenched him up by his armpits.
A hushed voice spoke in his ear. “Come with us. Quietly.”
The grip tightened.
Nick twisted his head to his sides. Bernardo led him away, staring straight ahead. Another security guard in a navy-blue suit flanked him. The man was about Nick’s age, with a close-cropped beard and light brown hair pulled into a tight ponytail—and considerably heftier than Bernardo.
“Dante,” said Bernardo to the guard, “please notify—”
Nick whipped his arms from Bernardo’s hold. Twisting, he whacked Dante’s earpiece, jamming the device into the large man’s head. Then he shouldered him into the nearest wall. Appalled gasps rose from the remaining tourists.
Bernardo grabbed Nick from behind. Nick’s elbow blasted backward, landing with a shattering blow in the man’s ribs. Dante dug his finger into his ear and pulled the piece out. He flicked it at Nick, poised to attack.
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Wendy B says
Oh my gosh, thanks for the great review! I read this one and felt the same as you did! Excellent read!
Rob Samborn says
Thanks for the spectacular review, Rita! I’m love that you decided to branch out to different genres and I’m thrilled you enjoyed The Prisoner of Paradise.
Bea LaRocca says
Thank you for sharing your review of this story and the author’s bio and book details, it sounds like a thrilling read and I am adding it to my TBR pile
Wow – this sounds like a great read – right up my alley!
This book sounds so exciting and one that I know I would love. Thanks for the great review it makes me want to read it even more now.
Shirley O says
This book sounds intriguing and I know I would really enjoy it. Thank you for sharing your review.
Eva Millien says
The Prisoner of Paradise sounds like a great mystery that I might enjoy, thanks for sharing your review and the excerpt and have a fantastic weekend!
Phyllis Huebbe says
I think this is a book I can get into.
I’m already hooked from the excerpt!
Megan Allen says
I love when a story consumes me like that ! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the great blurb, excedrpt, and review. The book sounds very exciting.
Judy Thomas says
Great review. It sounds like a good read. Thanks for sharing it.
Thank you for the review! This seems like a great read; very interesting!
Oh wow! This sounds like a really interesting read – out of my norm too!
Thank you for the recommendation and review
This not my kind of read. However, my hubby would love it! Thanks for the review.
Trever Meenen says
This book looks like a fantastic read
Thomas P says
Love the mix of history, foreign location and thriller to boot. It’s nice to learn things about the world even though it’s fiction.
Kari B says
Sounds like an exciting book that will keep the readers on the edge of their seats until the end.
This one just went on my to read list. Thanks for the review.
shannon zeidan says
I hadn’t heard of this book or author, but after reading the review I’m very excited to read this.
Jen L says
I love mystery/thrillers so I can’t wait to dive into this!
Phyllis Huebbe says
This book sounds exciting
Rajee Pandi says
I really love this book finds so interesting and want to read it
Karen Petrychko says
Very interesting will be a great read 💚
Rita Leonard says
Sounds like a great book. I am looking for something new to read
Dawn Newberry says
Between your review and the other comments, I gotta check this out.
Looks like an interesting read. I love Venice
Dawn N. says
Thanks for the review, I love the history.
This really sounds like a great read!
Phyllis Huebbe says
I really like the plot line for this book!