THE BEAST Strange, twisted carvings and hideous gargoyles adorn the palazzo of the great Scarletti family. But a still more fearful secret lurks within its storm-tossed turrets. For every bride who enters its forbidding walls is doomed to leave in a casket. THE BRIDE Mystical and unfettered, Nicoletta has no terror of ancient curses and no fear of marriage ...until she looks into the dark mesmerising eyes of Don Scarletti. She had sworn no man would command her, had thought her gift of healing set her apart, but his is the right to choose a bride from among his people. And he has chosen her. THE BARGAIN Compelled by duty, drawn by desire, she gives her body into his keeping, and prays the powerful, tormented don will be her heart's destiny, and not her soul's demise.