Dukes's gripping historical novel tells the tale of a desperate Albanian woman who will do whatever it takes to keep her independence and seize control of her future...even if it means swearing to remain a virgin for her entire life. When eighteen-year-old Eleanora's father is shot dead on the cobblestone streets of 1910 Albania, Eleanora must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Meria.Nearing starvation, Meria secretly sells Eleanora into marriage with the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Intent on keeping her freedom, Eleanora takes an oath to remain a virgin for the rest of her life-a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household and can work for a living as well as carry a gun. Eleanora can also participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain tribes, but she may not be killed-unless she forsakes her vow, which she has no intention of ever doing.But when an injured stranger stumbles into her life, Eleanora nurses him back to health, saving his life-yet risking her own as she falls in love with him...
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