The Flesh and the Devil


4.00 · 3 ratings · Published: Jan 1st, 1980 {{ book.ratingTitle }}
Set against the dazzling opulence and dangerous intrigue of the 17th c. Spanish court of King Philip IV, this is the story of lovely, spirited young Juana de Arrelanos. Taken against her will from her home and from Jaime de Nueva, the man she loves, she is brought to the massive, magnificent Castillo Benaventes, the home of Bartolomé, Duque de Valenzuela - the man to whom she must be wed. Within the castle's heavy walls the rebellious Juana finds an atmosphere of secrecy, almost of conspiracy, and a number of cunning, sinister figures, chief among whom is the sardonic Felipe Tristán, the Duque's protector and mercenary, behind whose scarred face lie memories of horror Juana can only guess at.

But the greatest horror is reserved for Juana, and for Juana alone. For the young Duque she is forced to marry, she discovers, is a cruel caricature of a man, a person twisted in mind and body. His wealth and rank can supply Juana with undreamed-of luxury - but also with incredible suffering, for the perfumed silks of the master bedchamber conceal the depravity of an unbalanced mind. Juana's brave attempts to escape from the marriage are dealt with harshly, and, to her limitless despair, she finds herself irrevocably betrothed to the terrifying, unbalanced Duque.

Yet, against all hope, there is a way out. Swift and brutal action by the arrogant Felipe can insure Juana's escape from the secrets and treachery of the Castillo Benaventes. But Felipe's protection, she fears, may be more dangerous than his enmity, and all too soon he begins to demand a humiliating payment....

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