American artist Joseph Hannigan and his alluring sister, Sophie, have arrived in enchanting nineteenth-century Venice with a single-minded goal. The twins, who have fled scandal in New York, are determined to break into Venice's expatriate set and find a wealthy patron to support Joseph's work.
But the enigmatic Hannigans are not the only ones with a secret agenda. Joseph's talent soon attracts the attention of the magnificent Odilé Leon, a celebrated courtesan and muse who has inspired many artists to greatness. But her inspiration comes with a devastatingly steep price.
As Joseph falls under the courtesan's spell, Sophie joins forces with Nicholas Dane, the one man who knows Odilé's dark secret, and her sworn enemy. When the seductive muse offers Joseph the path to eternal fame, the twins must decide who to believe - and just how much they are willing to sacrifice for fame.
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More gothic romance than historical fiction
I enjoyed this book. The novel is set in Venice sometime around turn of the 19th century. The supernatural element is central to the story but an "impossible" romance is also involved. There are moderate doses of "corset unlacing" and lifting of chemises---nothing too graphic and certainly appropriate within the context of the story. I could certainly stand listening to it again for its entertainment value.
I enjoyed the twins....and the "creature"; I believed she had incredible potential which was not fully exploited by the author.
The "creature" was wonderfully performed.
This book is well written and very entertaining. I enjoyed it....I do like period pieces, don't mind the supernatural and love anything that has to do with Venice. The city becomes another character in this story and it is the perfect setting for it. There are echoes of Anne Rice here. But this is not historical fiction. If you liked Anne Rice when Lestat was her hero and her witches were running around New Orleans you will enjoy this "Lite" version.
- Pita "Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books"
Probably not, but the narrator did okay.
I wish I'd known this was quite as disturbing as it is. Themes of incest, child abuse, sex and dead bodies. A bit too dark for my taste.