© 2015 by Five Directions Press. Five Directions Press logo © Colleen Kelley.

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Finalist, Latino Book Awards, 2018: Historical Romance

The Duel for Consuelo

Claudia H. Long

Like most well-born young women in eighteenth-century Mexico, Consuelo Costa Argenta hopes for a good marriage, preferably to handsome Juan Carlos, son of the local landowner. But Consuelo cannot simply follow her heart’s desire. Born to a Crypto-Jewish mother, raised as a Christian, living under the Inquisition, she must balance the safety of conformity against loyalty to her heritage. As her mother’s mind begins to fail, her hidden allegiance to her ancestral religion emerges, drawing the attention of renegade priests. They spin a financial web intended to ensnare Consuelo’s father, torture her mother, and threaten her own life and happiness.

Misunderstanding her father’s demands for money, Juan Carlos rejects her, and his parents arrange to send her to the nuns of Condera to pursue her education. Learning about herbs eases Consuelo’s pain, as does flirting with another potential suitor. But once Juan Carlos arrives at the Condera court and Consuelo’s father promises her to the wrong man, her future looks grim.

When the Inquisition’s renegade priests kidnap her mother, only Consuelo can save her. If she can first save herself.

Previously published by Booktrope Editions. Print version re-edited and reformatted and a new cover designed for this reprinting.

TENDRILS OF THE INQUISITION 2

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“Long, who grew up in Mexico, paints a vivid picture of private passions and public strictures during the waning years of the Inquisition.”

Contra Costa Times (Bay Area News Group)

 

“And so with Consuelo, she lives in a time where the full force of a woman’s personality is in and of itself forbidden. Where her spirituality (and that of her mother), her sexuality, and intellect [are] considered liabilities as opposed to what makes her beautiful… . Consuelo has all necessary components of a real person, all of the aspects of a powerful and wonderful woman; sometimes they leak out, and often she keeps them under wraps. And I feel this is the truth of people who are oppressed and especially of women historically.”

—John Baltisberger, Aggadah Try It

“A fascinating, terrifying window into early eighteenth-century Mexico and the final throes of the Inquisition. Courage and daring fill every page. The conclusion is as heart rending as it is pulse pounding.”

—David Perlstein, author of Slick! and The Boy Walker