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.
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication: August 2014
Genre: Supernatural, Historical Fiction
Received via Kindle First
Locate: amazon | b&n | worldcat
Inamorata by Megan Chance
I have to admit, the cover was what really hooked me on giving this book a chance. I don’t usually read historical fiction, but it looked too beautiful for me to pass up. My goodness, am I ever happy that I did choose it! This was such a great, surprising book! I must say, however, I think their decision to classify it as “Historical Fiction” does it a great disservice. I think a good deal of negative reviews are from readers that went into the book expecting it to be historical fiction, and finding that it’s actually more geared towards the supernatural genre, disappointed them. I think if this were listed as supernatural/paranormal fiction, the right audience would be reached and the reviews would be amazing.
Inamorata takes place in Venice in 1879 and revolves around the flourishing arts scene Featuring four main characters and corresponding viewpoint chapters, the novel investigates just how much an artist is willing to give for greatness, and whether the price is justified. Odilé is the sympathetic villainess. She is gorgeous and irresistible and she knows it too well. She raised herself up from the daughter of a common whore, to a famed courtesan surrounded by riches. That was near three hundred years ago. You see, as a woman who made her living through her looks, she began to desperately fear aging and even more so, being forgotten. It was in this state of desperation that she met the woman who would grant Odilé her wish and change her life forever. Odilé is offered eternal life and youth, and the possibility of enduring fame through art, but here is one small catch – she would become an artist’s greatest muse, but would also become a succubus, feeding off of their creativity until they are mere husks of their former selves. Odilé readily accepts.
Nicholas is a surviving victim of Odilé, and once he has discovered what she truly was, has made it his life’s mission to not only destroy her, but to also warn off all other potential victims. You see, being with Odilé will inspire you to create the greatest piece of art or writing that you are capable of, but once she leaves you, so does your talent. Nicholas, a once promising poet, is now living with his inability to write, and blames Odilé for this tragic occurrence. So he hunts her throughout Europe, hoping to hinder her feeding process to the point of starvation and death.
Twins Joseph and Sophie are Americans who have left New York City, arrive in Venice looking to find a patron in hopes of securing a comfortable future. Joseph is a painter, Sophie is his muse. They unknowingly become pawns in the tug-of-war struggle between Nicholas and Odilé.
The first half of the book is interesting, but slow paced as it introduces the reader to the world of 19th Century Venice. The description is fantastic and thorough. The build-up is slow, but necessary to the plot. Once you start the second half of the book, the action is nonstop and I found myself unable to put the book down, but also unable to keep reading for fear of what would happen. The climax was amazing and the ending truly justified and well done. This is definitely a book I can recommend to others, and will be ordering a physical copy for my own personal library.
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