This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
REVIEWED BY DEBS CARR
It’s 1564 and Francesca Felizzi, a beautiful and talented courtesan, entertains her patrons in one of the two homes she owns in Naples. Her loyal servant, Modesto, a castrato, sits outside her bedroom door ready to defend her should it be necessary. He is determined that a repetition of the violence that Francesca endured from a previous patron that left her scarred both physically and emotionally, will never happen again.
Francesca writes about her encounters and any information she gleans from the men who visit her into a journal she calls, The Book of Encounters. Modesto insists that this is her insurance for the future should she ever need it. Her patrons are not allowed to visit her at the home she shares with her beautiful twin daughters and Modesto, and it’s here that she is able to enjoy precious time alone with them.
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Francesca is popular and expensive, her clothes are exquisite and her lifestyle lavish, but it’s only when, Gianni, a shy, virgin, is sent to her by his brother and friend and treats her with a sensitivity she hasn’t seen before that she realizes she’s never truly been loved. Gianni changes the way Francesca sees herself and her career and she begins to question what she wants out of life. Then, when her young daughters’ lives are threatened, Francesca knows she has to start making changes.
Francesca is a character from Gabrielle Kimm’s debut novel, His Last Duchess, where she was the mistress of the Duke of Ferrara. The various viewpoints in The Courtesan’s Lover kept me rapt throughout the story with all it’s twists and turns and many surprises. This book was almost cinematic with the brilliantly researched details and I can imagine it making a splendid film. I hadn’t read, His Last Duchess, but will definitely have to now.