Review: Courtesan’s Lover by Gabrielle Kimm

Courtesan’s Lover by Gabrielle Kimm
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pages: 528 pages
Source: NetGalley

A compelling and vibrant tale from an up-and-coming fresh voice with glowing reviews and strong sales in the UK. The Courtesan’s Lover is a return to the fascinating, decadent world that Kimm fans will want to savor. Francesca Felizzi, former mistress of the Duke of Ferrara, longs to be one of the most prestigious of the courtesans. But a chance encounter reveals to Francesca that her sumptuous life is a gaudy facade, and soon an unexpected event plunges her and her two young daughters into a danger she has long dreaded.


Review: Francesca Felizzi is one of those female leads you love instantly because she’s fierce, fun, and independent – and she doesn’t concern herself with what anyone else thinks about her. The men who pay extravagantly for the use of her body may think they’re the ones in control, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

Modesto, her manservant and…”pimp”, is more like a best friend and bodyguard. He is loyal to his mistress unconditionally and sees her through some of her darkest times. You feel sorry for him when you learn what his father allowed to be done to him when he was little, but you have to respect him for always looking out for Francesca. There were times when I nearly almost caught myself longing for them to be together.

The cast of characters in this book are so very, very intricately interwoven. Ms. Kimm seemingly goes out of her mind to prove that the saying “it’s a small world” was true even in the 1500’s. Or maybe it’s that you can never run from your past. Whichever it may be, Francesca meet every challenge head-on.

At times I wish that I had read His Last Duchess so that I could have gotten to know Francesca better from before she became a courtesan, but as I read at the end of the book, this is a stand alone book, Francesca wouldn’t quiet down and demanded her story be told. I do hope that certain other characters demand their stories be told and further books are written from this time period and with these families.

If there are any negatives to this book, it’s that at times it feels a bit too wordy, with the ending seemed a bit out of place; especially the Epilogue. I kept biting my tongue wondering if something horrible was going to happen, but it didn’t thankfully enough. Which reminds me, there are a few loose ends that could have been tied up and have me curious. Regardless of what can be loosely perceived as negatives, I enjoyed this book.

If you’re looking for the one book you want to read this summer, make it The Courtesan’s Lover. At 528 pages long, you can read as fast or as slow as you want and still manage to have fun doing other things.

{Although, I’m not sure what other things anyone would want to do besides read. Just, don’t listen to it via the Kindle’s text to speech option – hearing that robotic voice in either male or female repeating the f word or talking about sex was a bit creepy.}



One thought on “Review: Courtesan’s Lover by Gabrielle Kimm

  1. Maria d. says:

    Great review Angie! This sounds like just the kind of historical fiction that I would enjoy reading this summer. Thanks for sharing

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