The Paradise Series: Book 1
Publication Date: November 30, 2021
The world’s largest oil painting. A 400-year-old murder. A disembodied whisper: “Amore mio.” My love.
Nick and Julia O’Connor’s dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto’s Paradise, a monumental depiction of Heaven. Convinced his delusions are the result of a concussion, Julia insists her husband see a doctor, though Nick is adamant the voice was real.
Blacking out in the museum, Nick flashes back to a life as a 16th century Venetian peasant swordsman. He recalls precisely who the voice belongs to: Isabella Scalfini, a married aristocrat he was tasked to seduce but with whom he instead found true love. A love stolen from them hundreds of years prior.
She implores Nick to liberate her from a powerful order of religious vigilantes who judge and sentence souls to the canvas for eternity. Releasing Isabella also means unleashing thousands of other imprisoned souls, all of which the order claims are evil.
As infatuation with a possible hallucination clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick’s past self takes over. Wracked with guilt, he can no longer allow Isabella to remain tormented, despite the consequences. He must right an age-old wrong – destroy the painting and free his soul mate. But the order will eradicate anyone who threatens their ethereal prison and their control over Venice.
Nick O’Connor is just an average guy who hit his head two weeks before he and his wife take a trip to Venice. It’s not until he sees a painting by Jacob Tintoretto called Il Paradiso (The Paradise) that he starts hearing voices, specifically from a female in the painting.
Author Rob Samborn crafts a compelling tale full of political intrigue and history in The Prisoner of Paradise Spanning four centuries, the story highlights the ill-fated romance between Isabella Scalfini and Angelo Mascari while focusing on present-day couple Nick and Julia O’Connor.
The author’s precise attention to detail is evident in the depictions of Renaissance artwork. Venice’s rich history is well-integrated into the story, which adds to its appeal. While the story has a taste of fantasy in the form of trapped souls, it gives readers an opportunity to ponder love that has no boundaries.
As the first story in the series, this installment provides an excellent foundation. The cliffhanger at the end works well as a natural bridge for future development. The O’Connors are joined by a cast of characters with personal agendas, secrets, and lies. It’s a dangerous time to be in Venice, but Nick can’t seem to silence the voice in his head.
The Prisoner of Paradise delivers a thrilling story that alternates between past and present to highlight the connection between Nick and the female voice. Rich with history, this story takes a fresh path showcasing the meaning behind a valued painting and exposes a sinister plot dating back through time.
In addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid traveler. He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them (including Italy) and studied nine languages. As a restless spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog.
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