Impoverished aristocrat Isabella Vernaducci will defy death itself to rescue her imprisoned brother. She'll even brave the haunted, accursed lair of the lion -- the menacing palazzo of legendary, lethal Don Nicolai DeMarco. Rumor says the powerful don can command the heavens, that the beasts below do his bidding... and that he is doomed to destroy the woman he takes as his wife. But Isabella meets a man whose growl is velvet, purring heat, 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... not sacrifice her life.