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The Courtesan's Lover [Paperback]

Gabrielle Kimm
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

24 Nov 2011

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 façade.

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.

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The Courtesan's Lover + His Last Duchess + The Girl with the Painted Face
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (24 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751544558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751544558
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gabrielle Kimm is the author of three historical novels - 'His Last Duchess' (Sphere 2010), 'The Courtesan's Lover' (Sphere 2011) and 'The Girl With the Painted Face' (Sphere 2013). She has also written an exclusive digital short story: 'Playing a Dangerous Game'. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Reading, and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester, where, five years on, she is now an Associate Lecturer. She still meets regularly with a writing group of fellow graduates.

Gabrielle Kimm is the mother of two teenage daughters. She lives and works in rural West Sussex, the area in which she grew up. As well as writing, she teaches English part-time at secondary school level.

Twitter: @gabrielle_kimm
Facebook: Gabrielle Kimm

Product Description


A glorious tale of dangerous love in 16th-century Italy (Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller)

A heartwarming story of love and redemption (Historical Novels Review)

This passionate story resounds with historic truth and makes for a vibrant journey around the Naples of the past (Italia)

You'll love this . . . Four stars (Cosmopolitan)

Book Description

A sensual story of dangerous love set in Naples, by an author making sixteenth-century Italy her own

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful novel from Gabrielle Kimm 26 Nov 2011
'The Courtesan's Lover' is another wonderful novel from Gabrielle Kimm. I read, and loved her debut novel; 'His Last Duchess' and had been eagerly awaiting her next book. The wait has been well worthwhile and I have not been disappointed.
'The Courtesan's Lover' takes the reader back into the rich world of 16thc Italy.

The book is beautifully and descriptively written. As in her debut novel, Ms Kimm brings the characters in this book vividly and sensitively to life, and I found myself instantly engaged by them.

Enchanting, sumptous, touching, tragic, and uplifting. - I loved this novel and found myself completely caught up in Francesca's turbulent life. I shared her joy and her pain. A fabulous read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Courtesan's Lover is Gabrielle Kimm's second novel, whose heroine, Francesca, first appeared in Kimm's debut novel, "His Last Duchess". She has now moved to Naples, where she has become a courtesan. Through an encounter with a young man (given a tryst with her as a birthday present) she finds herself questioning her way of life. I shan't give away any more of the plot - suffice it to say that this novel is rich with twists and unexpected directions. What makes Kimm's novel special is her unfailing eye for detail. She writes about 16th Century Naples with an almost cinematic view, so that you not only see the pictures, but are aware of the sights and sounds and smells of the city. She evokes the strange life of a high class whore vividly, and though there is a certain amount of graphic sex, it is never prurient, and is an important tool in the telling of Francesca's story. Added to the sumptuous descriptions of place are more fascinating characters, whose histories one really cares about. My favourite is Modesto, Francesca's servant and protector, a castrato who can no longer perform, but each of these people come alive, and their stories evolve through the pages of this book, so that one really cares what happens to them. There are plot developments which carry this tale way above the normal romantic fiction, and some moments (deep under the streets of Naples) which are truly disturbing. I loved this novel, and thoroughly recommend it to anybody looking for an exciting, touching, beautiful and memorable book. A GREAT Christmas read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want a quality read? 13 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Look no further than Gabrielle Kimm... wow. You'll be on under a duvet, the edge of your sofa, drinking coffee so you can turn the pages all night long.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious 22 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very believable with strong characters that keep you on your toes. Loved it, great story line and very satisfying conclusion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next one 4 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well done Gabby. I enjoyed this follow up every bit as much as the first one. Another one of those 'can't put it down' type novels.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable 18 Jun 2013
By Claire
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very well written and kept me interested until the end. The descriptions of Italy were very atmospheric and I could almost imagine I was there.....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, very gripping at times 23 Mar 2014
By Karen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very much enjoyed this book. Has twists and turns some of which you can see coming, some you can't and others where it twists back on itself again with a page-turning heart-in-mouth bit about 3/4 of way through. Characters have been woven well into and through one another. Ending realistically unlikely but hey this is fiction so why not!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read 14 Sep 2012
By AnnB
I really enjoyed 'His Last Duchess' and was wondering how this would compare, so it was great that, once I started it I could barely put it down and read it in just two days. I felt it brought the whole era to life and I was transported back to a very different kind of existence.

Francesca's character was beautifully developed as her old life was suddenly thrown up into the air in a few short days. The twists and turns of the plot kept me willing her on and I was simply captivated throughout. It stayed in my head, which is always the sign of a great read and I am very much looking forward to the next novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I bought this book because I enjoyed the author,s debut novel his last duchess which gave rich descriptions of 16th century Italy and its history. Read more
Published 13 days ago by paul moutell
2.0 out of 5 stars Just an OK
Not gripping. Not exciting. But ok. I would say very mediocre, not a favourite... Try The Darling Strumpet!!!! now that is a GOOD read.
Published 3 months ago by Gordon R. Kebbell
3.0 out of 5 stars a time passer
good story happy ending not earth moving but worth the time to read the wife loved it so maybe a womans book
Published 13 months ago by rocky
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable historical romance.
This is an interesting, historical romance, although it is an enjoyable read it is spoilt by being very predictable. A pleasant holiday easy read book.
Published 18 months ago by Lili
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelled to read on after slow start
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... Read more
Published on 3 July 2012 by DizzyC
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't let anything get in the way of reading this straight through!
This writer absolutely hits the spot with her historical fiction. It is pacy, gripping, sexy (as you would expect given the title), full of historical detail and with that trick... Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2012 by EleanorB
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic follow up!
Having read and loved, Gabrielle Kimm's first book, His Last Duchess. I was really looking forward to the follow up. Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2012 by George Allan
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