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Jaywalker (Hampshire, England)

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The Courtesan's Lover
The Courtesan's Lover
by Gabrielle Kimm
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You get more than you bargained for ..., 14 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Courtesan's Lover (Paperback)
... and the title of the review does not refer to the sexual content! Of course there has to be sex, because you would feel short-changed if there was none in a book called 'The Courtesan's Lover', but is is done with discretion, without any embarrassment to the reader - and I was a bit apprehensive about this, since I know the author - and is essential to understanding the main character and her situation. What you also get is a gripping story, with a mixed cast of well drawn characters, and a clear sense of life in Renaissance Naples: Gabrielle Kimm has been doing her research! This is a strong second novel, written with assurance and beautiful turns of phrase. Sometimes she catches a moment exactly, as when the cats 'slither' out of the room. It may sound like a cliche, but I really couldn't put the book down.

His Last Duchess
His Last Duchess
by Gabrielle Kimm
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literature has a new super villain!, 18 Aug 2010
This review is from: His Last Duchess (Paperback)
Historical fiction isn't normally my first choice of reading, but this book has made me reconsider my options. Not only is is very well written (the carefully chosen similes are particularly effective), but it shows great depth of research into C16 century Italy and leaves you with far greater historical knowledge than you started out with (in my case, anyway!). The historical detail is not just tagged on, but is essential to the plot. It is often cleverly used, so that we gain great insights into the art of fresco painting, for example, which is key to the storyline, but, because of the great detail, it acts as a brake to the pace, to keep us in more suspense. This novel is a mixture of romance and dark doings, the most effectively drawn character being the complex Duke Alfonso. When he features, the pages spring to life. Is he the Italian Heathcliff? Although the book is undoubtedly a great page turner, it stays with you once you have finished it. An excellent first novel.

by Christian Bok
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vowels and more vowels - and with character!, 29 Jan 2009
This review is from: Eunoia (Hardcover)
This is a quirky book - a good present for anyone with an interest in Language, because each chapter concentrates on using one vowel only. It's quite some achievement to find words which hang together, all containing only the letter A, for example. It's also extraordinary how each vowel gives its own flavour and character to a word, some being geared up for action and others for more lyrical prose. It's also a very pleasingly presented book, something that book lovers would enjoy receiving. (A must for teachers wanting to show something interesting to A Level Language and Literature students!)

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