This week in reviews: The Virgin Courtesan by Sela Carsen available now at Forbidden Publications. To win this book, simply add your comment to this blog, telling me if you like historicals, and what your favorite period is! I’ll pick a winner on Friday.
The official blurb: Venice, 1528
Nerina Morinelo tried being a courtesan like her mother but failed at the first hurdle. Now she’s gained an implacable enemy and she has no one to turn to except Domenico Venieri, scion of a wealthy and noble merchant family. Bent on a vendetta, Domenico needs a woman to lure out the enemy that he and Nerina share, but he doesn’t expect to lose his heart to a virgin courtesan.
This novella packs a lot into a small package–adventure, good characters, a cool setting (how can you not like a book that mentions the Medicis?), steamy sex, and romance with a somewhat sweet feel. It’s a quick read that is pure escapism–Ms. Carsen wisks you back in time and you immediately get a good sense of time and place. The opening description of the brothel and the initial set-up is particularly convincing, and I was caught up in caring about Nerina immediately.
I don’t have much negative to say. It’s hard to move characters who don’t know one another to eternal love in the space of a day, and Sela almost pulls it off–I might have liked to see things a hair more open-ended, but that’s just me. I think you’ll love Nerina and her sexy little story, as well as the chance to set your cares aside for a few hours.
Ms. Carsen’s writing is smooth, convincing, and very intelligent. I am dying to read more from her!
8 of 10 daggers, holding one aside for wanting a longer, more developed book (sorry, can’t help it–that setting is just so intriguing!) and one for good measure. I loved this story and can highly recommend it!
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