The Courtesan's Lover



Stunning Captivating Gets Under Your Skin Praise For The Novels Of Gabrielle Kimm Francesca Felizzi Knows She Wields An Immense Power Over Men Her Patrons See Only A Carefree Courtesan, And They Pay Handsomely For The Privilege Of Her Time Francesca Never Saw Him Coming, The Man Who Cracked Her Heart Open And Ruined Her For The Job But He S Shown Her What A Gaudy Facade She S Built, And She Doesn T Know How To Tear It Down Without Taking Her Beloved Daughters With Her The Wrong Move Could Plunge All Of Them Into The Sort Of Danger She Has Dreaded Ever Since She Began Her Perilous Work All Those Years AgoAn Exquisite Tale That Explores The Intricate Nature Of A Mother S Heart The Courtesan S Lover Draws You Close And Whispers In Your Ear In The Tradition Of Sarah Dunant And Marina Fiorato, A Compelling And Vibrant Tale From An Up And Coming Fresh Voice That Readers Will Want To SavorThe Courtesan's Lover

I am the author of three historical novels, all published by Sphere His Last Duchess Sphere 2010 , The Courtesan s Lover Sphere 2011 and The Girl with the Painted Face Sphere 2013.I live and work in West Sussex writing and teaching English in a tiny performing arts school.

!!> Reading ➶ The Courtesan's Lover ➮ Author Gabrielle Kimm – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 528 pages
  • The Courtesan's Lover
  • Gabrielle Kimm
  • English
  • 21 December 2019
  • 1402265883

10 thoughts on “The Courtesan's Lover

  1. says:

    Synopsis 16th century, Naples, the south of Italy Francesca Felizzi has been a courtesan for ten years now She earns a lot, owns two houses and generally enjoys a great popularity among men due to her stunning beauty and intelligence She has several rich and influenced patrons, sumptuous dresses and three servants Still, when she falls on the street people jeer, catcall or feign indifference at best Nobody wants to help her She is a sinner, the lowest of low No courtesan ends well, no mat Synopsis 16th century, Naples, the south of Italy Francesca Felizzi has been a courtesan for ten years now She earns a lot, owns two houses and generally enjoys a great popularity among men due to her stunning beauty and intelligence She has several rich and influenced patrons, sumptuous dresses and three servants Still, when she falls on the street people jeer, catcall or feign indifference at best Nobody wants to help her She is a sinner, the lowest of low No courtesan ends well, no matter how popular or rich she is during her best years.One evening Francesca, dressed up as a respectable young widow and accompanying one of her regular clients, discovers an entirely new world the world of true friends, decency, propriety and peace of mind And she falls in love at first sight with Luca della Rovere, a scholar and a respectable widower with two adult sons It seems everything should divide them but Luca cannot forget that lovely, quiet widow and soon enough he is courting her like a man at least 20 years younger What will happen when he finds out the truth about Francesca How couldn t he find it out What I liked I am really impressed by the amount of research done by the author Her sixteen century Naples Napoli came to life for me and I was delighted by all these tidbits concerning ships, dresses, renaissance houses and habits of Italians, inhabiting them I learned a lot In the first part of the book I liked Francesca Felizzi She was definitely better than an ordinary whore and she took care of her daughters while working hard, almost too hard, to ensure her girls have a better future When she returned from that fatuous evening during which she fell in love her reaction was heartrending I also liked Modesto, her castrate friend and servant who also acted as her pimp and advisor It was very touching that these two broken souls could count on each other even in the most difficult moments.Also Carlo, a secondary character and a baddie through and through, seemed somehow nicer than he should Maybe I felt so because he was a deceiving brat, a Loki type and I always fall for them.Oh, and the cover is lovely.What I didn t like I asked myself different minor questions while reading this one translation had several WTF moments but I admit my biggest problems began in the second part of the book, after our lovely, hard working courtesan fell in love with Luca I know, love is basically a mental illness but does it have to make you so completely na ve and stupid Does it, really Francesca abandons her profession all of a sudden, right after one evening spent in the company of her beloved That much was at least understandable she was in a shock and she didn t want to be unfaithful to him even before they went to bed However her complete lack of apprehension when it came to the reaction of her former patrons was surprising to say the least of it After all she knew the best that they were a bunch of unsavoury although rich and influential types who hardly accepted a no for an answer still she thought that if only she informed them about her decision, writing a letter or sending her faithful Modesto with a verbal message, they will meekly thank her for her troubles, kiss her hand gently, leave a good buy gift and find themselves another courtesan Oh lady, who do you think you re fooling I did wonder how you survived in that ruthless profession for 10 years at all and remained such a gullible, unpractical creature In my humble opinion Francesca s best course of action would be lying low for some time, conducting business as usual or even better, feigning a venereal disease or, in fact, any disease I know, I am cruel but it would cool down even the most libidinous customer, don t you think and then, after selling her houses secretly she should have fled the city even before any of her clients got wind of her real intentions and sudden change of heart.Then her next, surprisingly stupid blunder she informs her two servants, Ilaria and Sebastiano, that they would be made redundant soon and then she leaves her precious twin daughters in their tender care because she has to go on a much expected date with Luca No doubts, no second thoughts Hello, earth to Francesca, have you ever heard of spiteful people who bear a grudge No There are no spiteful servants in Napoli Not even when they find out that after two years ofor less acceptable service they will be shown the door Oh dear and you are a courtesan, right Finally I was very surprised by Luca s easy acceptance of Francesca s past It was highly uncharacteristic for a man, even a man madly in love so in a state of advanced stupidity I would summarize his attitude this way it is a bit spoilerish so click to read or omit it view spoiler Ok, sweetheart, so you had two extramarital kids with some old, rich creep, you have screwed a countless number of people for money and half of the city knows you as basically an exclusive whore Not a problem We don t have to go out at all or keep decent company, your past won t influence my position at the University and I ve always wanted to sleep with somebody like you You took the virginity of my younger son Oh, simply peachy, it was basically a favour, great to know he was in such professional hands his first time He is in love with you and would like to repeat that experience Puppy love, it will pass in no time I trust you and I know you love only me, you are such a sweet girl, all forgiven and forgotten, now come and kiss me, darling hide spoiler To me it rings hollow, especially from the psychological point of view People need time to accept such earthshaking truths people living in the 16th century were overall definitelyconservative andobservant when it came to religious laws and customs Perhaps a complete libertine would actually enjoy such a situation but nothing suggested Luca was a libertine and even if he was he still had to think about his reputation, his colleagues and superiors at the university, his everyday aquaintances I wouldn t be surprised if that guy needed months, even years to accept such a colourful past of his beloved Once again it would have been farbelievable and easier if they Luca and Francesca plus their families had left Naples and started anew in another city.Final verdict A nice novel which could have been better if not for the maudlin, improbable romance and some psychology glitches If you like historical romance and those saccharine sweeet HEA endings you might enjoy it For me it had too high sugar content

  2. says:

    The Courtesan s Lover is exactly the sort of book to keep you occupied over Christmas as you sip mulled wine before a cosy fire In fact I would liken it to mulled wine rich, deep and satisfying Set in a beautifully realised Renaissance Italy, it tells the story of Francesca Felizzi, a wealthy courtesan, who decides to go straight The first section of the book shows us her life as a courtesan the glamour and the potential danger are neatly interwoven For the book to work this part has to The Courtesan s Lover is exactly the sort of book to keep you occupied over Christmas as you sip mulled wine before a cosy fire In fact I would liken it to mulled wine rich, deep and satisfying Set in a beautifully realised Renaissance Italy, it tells the story of Francesca Felizzi, a wealthy courtesan, who decides to go straight The first section of the book shows us her life as a courtesan the glamour and the potential danger are neatly interwoven For the book to work this part has to be believable and the author spends some time setting this up, so we understand just what a courtesan s life would have been like, right down to how a citrus fruit is used as a contraceptive device.The setting of Napoli is impeccably researched the nitty gritty of Francesca s business is described frankly, but there is nothing here that would shock the average reader.Once Francesca falls in love, the rest of the book is concerned with how her former clients interact with each other, and how each past encounter now poses a danger to the one true relationship in her life The reader is kept on tenterhooks wondering which of her lovers will betray her There are plenty of colourful characters, not least her servant Modesto, a eunuch, whose plight is both touching and sad There can be few books that examine the tragedy of these young boys whose voices were preserved by the worst kind of intervention.There is plenty of danger to add spice to this romance We fear for Francesca s life when she entertains the sadistic Michele the client from hell, and fear for her daughters at the hands of the irrational Carlo, her lover s son Gabrielle Kimm racks up the tension and the pace so it builds nicely to its conclusion.The Courtesan s Lover is a well written pageturner, a good old fashioned story with action, romance and a sumptuous setting Very highly recommended

  3. says:

    I d love to give this bookstars because I think the basic idea has so much potential The plot could go so many ways it could focus on the forbidden love, always a crowd pleaser The story could be sensual, describing the everyday life of a courtesan It could focus on the historical aspect, depicting the Neapolitan life very accurately The story could be an adventure or even a comedy as Francesca tries to hide her occupation from Luca and his equals But instead, the book combines all o I d love to give this bookstars because I think the basic idea has so much potential The plot could go so many ways it could focus on the forbidden love, always a crowd pleaser The story could be sensual, describing the everyday life of a courtesan It could focus on the historical aspect, depicting the Neapolitan life very accurately The story could be an adventure or even a comedy as Francesca tries to hide her occupation from Luca and his equals But instead, the book combines all of these options and, sadly, quite poorly There are too many characters and each one gets at least a couple of chapters For instance Maria and Cristoforo could have been dropped and the story would have remained the same There are also too many events so towards the end of the book the story has started to resemble a soap opera The writing is very repetitive like, how often DO people lick their lips which makes for a slow read So, unfortunately my high expectations were not met

  4. says:

    4.5 starsFrancesca Felizzi works as a courtesan in Naples and is quite content with the life she is living Then she has an inexperienced young man as a customer who turn out to be sweet and gentle He makes Francesca to realize that she hasn t never been truly loved, a thing that hasn t bothered her before But then she meets someone who turns her life upside down and makes her rethink her life.The Courtesan s Lover is kind of a sequel to her previous book His Last Duchess but I haven t read th 4.5 starsFrancesca Felizzi works as a courtesan in Naples and is quite content with the life she is living Then she has an inexperienced young man as a customer who turn out to be sweet and gentle He makes Francesca to realize that she hasn t never been truly loved, a thing that hasn t bothered her before But then she meets someone who turns her life upside down and makes her rethink her life.The Courtesan s Lover is kind of a sequel to her previous book His Last Duchess but I haven t read the first book and it still worked well as stand alone.I really enjoyed the book even if I have no idea which characters were real since I don t know much about Italy s history I think I have to do some googling I liked Francesca and I loved how she wasn t ashamed of who she was and still managed to stay as a good and caring person and she really loved her daughters There were few sex scenes but they weren t graphic despite the character being courtesan She had an interesting relationship with her castrato manservant Modesto It wasn t always easy for him and he had his own past to solve but it was nice that she had someone to trust and who really cared for him.I ve really wanted to read His Last Duchess and now I just have to get it And can t wait for her next book too

  5. says:

    Originally posted at lover A patron or patrons yes, but a lover for a courtesan brings a wealth of different emotions and conflicts to the mix.At first just surviving was Francesca s number one desire and then surviving well by charging big fees for what she had, at one time, been forced to do for nothing seemed like a good way to secure her and her daughters futures.In the sixteenth century, women and children could be used and abused or adored and c Originally posted at lover A patron or patrons yes, but a lover for a courtesan brings a wealth of different emotions and conflicts to the mix.At first just surviving was Francesca s number one desire and then surviving well by charging big fees for what she had, at one time, been forced to do for nothing seemed like a good way to secure her and her daughters futures.In the sixteenth century, women and children could be used and abused or adored and cared for as the man of the family saw fit Francesca had not been among those adored and cared for As a courtesan she is desired by many but available to only a few She is like both sorceress and temptress as she divines and meets the needs of each of her patrons fulfills their fantasies and sends them on their way no strings attached Of course, she does keep her Book of Encounters for insurance.Modesto, Francesca s house servant, nurse, pimp, bodyguard and faithful friend, sees the two of them as the seedless and the strumpet against the world His story is compelling He can sing with the voice of an angel, albeit a sad angel.Luca della Rovere and his sons Carlo and Gianni, without knowing it, change the course of Francesca s life as well as the lives of all those who depend on her for a living Gianni, the virgin, who shows her compassion like she has never known before has a profound effect on her life Carlo, who fences illegal goods for privateer s and lives a life style that could get him burned, creates the most anxiety ridden episodes in the novel His associates chill the blood And then there is Luca, a university professor ten years a widower, who creates a tingling of surprise and need in Francesca every time he walks into the room.The many secondary characters entangled in the evolving of Francesca have secrets and fears that create astonishing sub plots that affect the main plot The political and religious power enters into the motivation of many of the characters Miguel Vasquez, a patron of Francesca, lives in fear of losing his place of power if his secrets are discovered, a fact that comes in handy for Francesca as the story unfolds Signor di Cicciano, another patron, wild, depraved, and unpredictable brings terror and chaos into the primary characters lives Filippo and Maria s story, though somewhat twisted and dark, intrigues Most charming of all are Beata and Isabella, Francesca s twin daughters They wiggle their way right into the reader s heart When they get caught in a forbidding situation, it sends the heart pounding.Gabrielle Kimm weaves together a tale of opulent living, depraved living, and lascivious living with characters that seem to come alive on the pages of The Courtesan s Lover In a few places the verbiage slows the story and it seemed the bad overwhelmed the good too much of the time But the story is rich with emotion and throbs with life Even though some of the scenes are horrifying and some are sordid, the descriptions are so vivid that the reader s senses are brought to full alertness with smells of the filthy and the fine, with the touch of fine satin and silks then the hurt of harsh hands, the taste of gourmet food, sounds of happy giggles and angelic singing and sounds of a fight to death in a filthy tavern on the waterfront Ms Kimm manages a tangle of characters with amazing skill as she weaves in a touch of history and s of the time with intrigues and clandestine doings that captivate and sometimes takes one s breath away The happy ever after for these lovers is hard won and precious

  6. says:

    After Francesca s tribulations in His Last Duchess, and in the knowledge that she was off to Naples to a life of high class prostitution, I was fairly certain that The Courtesan s Lover would be, at the very least, as exciting as its predecessor And I was, of course, not wrong However admirably Francesca strives to keep her dangerous working life separate from her domestic one, and to protect her beautiful twin girls from harm, clearly she is taking some devastating risks Tension levels were After Francesca s tribulations in His Last Duchess, and in the knowledge that she was off to Naples to a life of high class prostitution, I was fairly certain that The Courtesan s Lover would be, at the very least, as exciting as its predecessor And I was, of course, not wrong However admirably Francesca strives to keep her dangerous working life separate from her domestic one, and to protect her beautiful twin girls from harm, clearly she is taking some devastating risks Tension levels were high and woe betide anyone who spoke to me while I was reading this book I became very fond of Francesca I respected that she stoically and cheerfully accepted the personal sacrifices of her chosen career for the sake of her daughters And then, when the time comes, has the courage to alter course, change all her values and face up to the consequences There were some beautifully drawn relationships two in particular strike me now The one between Francesca and her manservant, Modesto, whose character, incidentally, was one of my favourites And the one between Maria and Filippo, whose stale marriage was repaired by Francesca s skills I loved that little sub plot Once again this book gave a stunningly detailed picture of life in Renaissance Italy in general, and of The Courtesans and Society in particular As well as being another wonderful read, I learned so many interesting new facts including the fascinating use of limes that The Courtesan s Lover has to be a 5 star read and I only hope we are going to see another Gabrielle Kimm novel very soon

  7. says:

    I absolutely loved this book I ve had it on my bookcase for two years now but continuously overlooked it On a whim, I decided to give it a chance Having read His Last Duchess a couple of years ago and enjoying it, I bought this as it sort of follows on from there Although Francesca is a minor character in the first book, she s developed by the end and the story continues through her in this book I initially thought that the title was a bit naff In fact, I don t think the title is anywhere I absolutely loved this book I ve had it on my bookcase for two years now but continuously overlooked it On a whim, I decided to give it a chance Having read His Last Duchess a couple of years ago and enjoying it, I bought this as it sort of follows on from there Although Francesca is a minor character in the first book, she s developed by the end and the story continues through her in this book I initially thought that the title was a bit naff In fact, I don t think the title is anywhere good enough for this book I m not thrilled with the cover either BUT, never judge a book by the cover This is an awesome tale There are so many characters, all of whom are extremely well developed and very cleverly linked together due to their relationship to one woman, Francesca Felizzi Although there are such a large amount of people involved in the story, it never once becomes confusing or daft The whole book is brilliant I love renaissance Italy and this has everything for me love, mystery, actionwhatcould I ask I ve bought Ms Kimm s next novel already I can t wait to crack on with it

  8. says:

    Francesca is a very well regarded courtesan in Naples, 1564.Her encounter with a young virgin called Gianni has an effect on her that takes her by surprise and her usual confidence and professionalism begins to crumble.She is asked to accompany one of her clients to a lavish event posing as his widowed cousin in place of his wife who prefers not to attend Francesca sees this as another transaction and a one off, but a chance meeting with Gianni s father could see her deception exposed and chang Francesca is a very well regarded courtesan in Naples, 1564.Her encounter with a young virgin called Gianni has an effect on her that takes her by surprise and her usual confidence and professionalism begins to crumble.She is asked to accompany one of her clients to a lavish event posing as his widowed cousin in place of his wife who prefers not to attend Francesca sees this as another transaction and a one off, but a chance meeting with Gianni s father could see her deception exposed and change her life forever.I have to say this novel has been on my shelf for a while There is a slow start that did not hold my interest, initially, but I did feel this was not one to give up on completely but one to put back on the shelf for a later date.So glad I did When I re read from the beginning, the story took a little while to get going Once Francesca met Gianni I was compelled to read on and see how this meeting would affect her future.4.5 out of 5 for me I loved it Thank u to Sphere for a review copy

  9. says:

    Gabrielle Kimm brings back one of her characters from The Last Duchess, Francesca Felizzi, the former mistress to the Duke of Ferrara The Courtesan s Lover can be read as a stand alone as Francesca is now a sought after Courtesan living a life of luxury and raising her two twin daughters She has beauty, ambition, smarts, and power over men yet lacks real love until meeting a certain young man and soon after his father She realizes she wantsand to have it must give up what she s known T Gabrielle Kimm brings back one of her characters from The Last Duchess, Francesca Felizzi, the former mistress to the Duke of Ferrara The Courtesan s Lover can be read as a stand alone as Francesca is now a sought after Courtesan living a life of luxury and raising her two twin daughters She has beauty, ambition, smarts, and power over men yet lacks real love until meeting a certain young man and soon after his father She realizes she wantsand to have it must give up what she s known This realization and need to change brings anger to some she must reject which brings danger to her and her girls Will she and her girls survive the dangers and will she finally have genuine love returned I recommend you to follow along the pages to discover what Francesca discovers in the end For those afraid of what they ll encounter among the pages because of the title, do not fear, it s only enough to help you understand the lifestyle but not enough to have you blushing too hard Kimm does an excellent job with giving you just enough

  10. says:

    There is a lot of action in this story, a lot of soul searching, it blends in so well with the action it never gets boring This was a very delightful book.

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