Rumour says the powerful Nicolai DeMarco can command the heavens, that the beasts below do his bidding ...and that he is doomed to destroy the woman he takes as wife. It is whispered he's not wholly human - as untamed as his tawny mane and slashing amber eyes. Impoverished aristocrat Isabella Vernaducci would defy death itself to rescue her imprisoned brother. She'll even brave the haunted, accursed lair of the lion - the menacing palace of legendary, lethal Don Nicolai DeMarco. Then Isabella meets a man whose growl is velvet, purring heat, and whose eyes hold dark, all-consuming desire. And when the don commands her to become his bride, she goes willingly into his muscled arms, praying she'll save his tortured soul ...and not sacrifice her life.