Book Reviews

The Florentine Treasure by Rowan Speedwell at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Time Travel / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-September-2012

Book Blurb

Art history professor Daniel Wollek is delighted to assist the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in cataloguing a cache of Renaissance artworks uncovered by an earthquake. But when a second earthquake pitches him headlong into the fifteenth century, Daniel finds himself more involved than he expected in rescuing precious artifacts from a fanatic’s bonfires. Then he meets Leonardo di Vinci’s assistant, Giacopo di Careggi, and finds in the beautiful young model a treasure even greater than art from the past.

Book Review

It is probably every art history professor's dream to travel back in time to visit his or her favorite period, to meet the artists they study, and to talk to them about their work. Of course, since time travel is not something we are capable of yet, this remains a dream. But what if there was a way to go back in time and to find the 'object of your admiration?


Daniel, in this charming tale full of historical details and archeological wonders, gets this opportunity. Quite by accident, and never fully explained, but that didn't stop me from adoring the story. Daniel, although very different from the people inhabiting 15th century Florence and Milan, has enough understanding of history to sort of know what he is doing. Except for his attraction to Giacopo – that pushes him in a conflict of what to do. Save Giacopo and risk a paradox, or let him continue as history seems to indicate – and run into certain death less than a year later?


Giacopo is one of Leonardo Da Vinci's models, but he isn't just a good-looking young man. He has ambitions, is politically involved by necessity, and more than a little interested in Daniel from the very first time they meet. He becomes Daniel's guide and I loved his ability to think about "when" Daniel comes from and deal with it. Giasopo is curious and full of wonder, and not someone Daniel could ever forget. He is also a risk-taker and not likely to want to stick with a "normal' path through life. Luckily, he may not have to.


Daniel happens to land at a critical point in time, 1497, and the ensuing potential paradox ends up neatly explaining what happened rather than confusing me. I loved that, and the emotions between the two men, as well as the depth of Daniel's despair, kept me turning the pages. If you like time travel stories with a twist, if you enjoy art history and explorations of what the past may have been like, and if the developing relationship between a man from the past and one from the present interests you, you may like this book.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 72 pages/21157 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-June-2012
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link