I finished Kate Quinn's "The Serpent and the The Pearl" Saturday evening and it's a darned good thing I'd bought the second volume "The Lion and the Rose" at the same time, because the "ending" of S&P wasn't an ending, just a cliffhanger to get you to the rest of the story. I really hate it when authors do that; it's just smacks of extorting money from the reader. Fortunately, this sotry is good enough that I'd have been really annoyed if I didn't have the next volume on hand and couldn't go straight on to find out What Happened. OTOH, I'm kind of disappointed with L&R because the resolution of the cliff-hanger too less than 10 pages and then the story skipped forward a year and half and the cliff hanger isn't mentioned again. Quinn's portrayal of the Borgia clan is different from any I've already ready, though and the sub-plots intertwine just enough to keep my interest sharp.