The Courtesan’s Lover by Gabrielle Kimm
Francesca Felizzi, former mistress of the Duke of Ferrara, is now an aspiring courtesan. Astonishingly beautiful and ambitious, she revels in the power she wields over men. But when she is visited by an inexperienced young man, it becomes horribly clear to Francesca that despite her many admiring patrons, she has never truly been loved. Suddenly, her glittering and sumptuous life becomes a gaudy facade. And then another unexpected encounter brings with it devastating implications that plunge Francesca and her two young daughters into the sort of danger she has dreaded ever since she began to work the streets all those years ago. (Goodreads)
Francesca 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.
Published: Sphere (2011)