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The Courtesan: A Novel (The Dark Queen Saga)…
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The Courtesan: A Novel (The Dark Queen Saga) (edição: 2005)

de Susan Carroll (Autor)

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4211245,216 (3.64)15
Determined to ensure her future by winning the heart of Henry, the Huguenot king of Navarre, sixteenth-century courtesan Gabrielle Cheney finds her plans jeopardized by the malevolent enmity and dark arts of the queen, Catherine de Medici.
Membro:boleynbitch
Título:The Courtesan: A Novel (The Dark Queen Saga)
Autores:Susan Carroll (Autor)
Informação:Ballantine Books (2005), Edition: 4th Printing, 534 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Courtesan de Susan Carroll

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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I love a little intrigue and romance. When the story is good, I want more from the author. I read Susan Carroll's The Dark Queen and loved it. I was excited to read the sequel, The Courtesan, but wasn't too keen on the description of it.

To understand this book, don't read it unless you've read The Dark Queen. It will be impossible to fully grasp what is happening. The author does explain scenes from the first book, but in my opinion it is not the same as reading it and getting it all.

The Courtesan is the story of the middle Cheney sister, Gabrielle, who becomes a French Court Courtesan believing that it is all she is qualified for. Thinking that the only man she loved is dead, she gives her body to other men punishing herself for her cursed ability to lure men to her. She finds herself in the snare of the Dark Queen who uses her magic to discover the true heart of Gabrielle. When Nicholas, her love, arrives not dead but very much alive, she is torn between her heart and the life she had chosen.

The intrigue from the first book with the witch hunters and the Dark Queen continue and escalate. The St. Bartholomew massacre was just the beginning of the death that awaited those that oppose the witch queen.

Once I got into the story and got my mind wrapped around the fact that it was just a continuation of the story I loved, I couldn't put it down. Maybe it was because I so wanted to strangle Gabrielle. Ms. Carroll brought in the characters from the first book and opened the path for the third book which concentrates on the third sister, Miri. The plot for that book laid out in The Courtesan sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it, too.

This is a book of romance, fighting, deception, magic, and denied love. There are a few intimate scenes but the author keeps them less descriptive which was perfectly fine with me.

A great read by a great author!

Note: This book was purchased with my own funds. ( )
  RGraf | Apr 22, 2012 |
The second in the Cheney sisters series this book follows Gabrielle's story as she becomes a courtesan in Catherine de Medici's court. This book was good and I enjoyed the story. Again this is reads more like a romance novel than historical fiction but still an entertaining read. ( )
  lollypop917 | Jun 23, 2010 |
This book was good! Gabrielle is by far the most exciting sister to read about! I loved the intrigue in the court and how beneath everyone's plans there's always a hidden agenda of what they really want. This is a great mix of historical fiction mixed with paranormal and fantasy. The plot was interesting, the romance was there but I was able to tolerate it, and the ending was great and I'm really looking forward to the next book. There is also a helpful author's note at the end of the novel to explain what's fact and fiction - very helpful and a nice explanation done by Susan Carroll.

I really liked how each Cheney sister has her own unique personality and characteristics. Ariane the oldest, is very calm, a healer, and strong. Gabrielle is quite the opposite, she's reckless, ambitious, outspoken, and stubborn. Miri, the youngest, has an affinity with animals, but tries to see the good in everybody. Each of them has a love interest and although I liked Ariane and Renard, Gabrielle and Remy were much more passionate and "heated". There were more explicit scenes in this one - I suppose it makes sense as Gabrielle is a courtesan but I let that slide, her and Remy had a nice chemistry and they just seemed to be great for each other. (I actually think Martin and Miri are rather cute together, I suppose we'll see what happens next with her in the following book).

There is a good element of plot twisting and surprises, which keeps the plot interesting and keeps you turning the pages. I have to admit, some parts were a little eye rolling; especially when one is in danger and suddenly the rescue team arrives just on time. However I enjoyed this book too much to let that bother me.

My favorite part, would be when Remy surprises Gabrielle at the masquerade party. It had great descriptions and you can vividly picture Gabrielle's gown, and the party sounded like something I just wanted to jump into. It was a perfect scene to develop a lot of intrigue and mystery into the plot!

Overall I recommend this book to those that love a good historical fiction, mixed with magic and passionate romance, with a very passionate couple. ( )
  sensitivemuse | Dec 20, 2009 |
Gabrielle Cheney is living the life she's always dreamed of. As Paris's premier courtesan, she has a closet full of exquisite gowns, all the jewels she could want, and a string of influential patrons. With the exiled King of Navarre desperate to possess her, she believes her destiny is set. But when an old friend comes to beg for her help, Gabrielle must choose between her ambition and her heart.

This was an enjoyable, romantic read. Gabrielle is a sympathetic character with a bit more depth than I expected, given the last book. She's abandoned her magic in the wake of an horrific encounter, and she honestly believes that she was responsible for what was done to her. My heart went out to her time and again as she came to terms with that terrible afternoon. I loved the tension between her and Remy, too. The outcome is predictable, but it's no less effective because of it.

I also appreciated the way Carroll handled the magic. The daughters of the earth do deal in necromancy and the like, but for the most part they simply possess knowledge beyond the norm for the time period. Ariane, Gabrielle's older sister, is a skilled physician; Gabrielle herself is an artist. I'll be interested in seeing if Carroll carries this theme through with their younger sister, Miri, who has a rather more magical rapport with animals.

On the downside, I felt that the book was a touch overlong. The emotional climax comes far too early; the rest of the stuff is fairly interesting, but it reads like filler. The historical feel wasn't quite there, either. This definitely doesn't feel like a modern novel, but neither did I feel like I'd be plunked down in sixteenth century France.

But all in all, it was an enjoyable read that I'd certainly recommend to anyone looking for an historical romance. It's probably best if you read the first book, (THE DARK QUEEN), before this one, but Gabrielle's story is stand-alone enough that you should be able to follow along without the backstory.

(This review originally appeared on my blog, Stella Matutina). ( )
  xicanti | Nov 26, 2009 |
As the story begins, Gabrielle has abandoned her home and her sisters to live in Paris as a courtesan in the royal court. She has recently set her sights on Henry, the Huguenot king of Navarre, who is being held prisoner by Catherine de Medici, known as the dark queen. Life in the royal court is full of intrigue, betrayal and religious politics. Gabrielle is still mourning the loss of Captain Nicholas Remy who was murdered in the St. Bartholomew's Eve bloody massacre three years ago.

Unknown to Gabrielle, Remy has survived, saved by the young thief Martin Le Loup, nicknamed Wolf. Remy has been hiring out his services for the last three years as a mercenary soldier all over Europe in order to earn enough gold to release his king.

All the characters in TC are excellently drawn and three dimensional. I complained about how Catherine de Medici's portrayal in TDQ was a bit over-the-top evil, but in TC she comes across as much more human and realistic, and I almost (but not quite) felt sorry for her. After all, she created her own problems with her abuse of power, manipulations, and black magic. I loved how the secondary stories with Ariane and Renard, and Miri and Simon are not shallow but play an integral part of the whole story.

But the stars of the book, Gabrielle and Remy, are wonderful characters who both felt that their past sins made them damaged goods. It was interesting how Carroll presents the parallel notion of Gabrielle selling her body and Remy selling his services. (Spoiler: The scene where they wash each other before making love for the first time and its symbolism of washing away sins was extremely poignant. And the love scene that follows was beautifully tender and sweet (and hot). ::sigh:: Very romantic. End spoiler)

I laughed a little, cried a little, and I couldn't put it down; all signs that I have a DIK on my hands. The intricate plot was gripping and compelling. I'm a relatively fast reader but on this one I wanted to slow down and savor every word. Gabrielle's past horror and her resulting feelings of self-blame and worthlessness was handled very realistically and not beat into the ground. Wolf, Remy's squire, was an intriguing character and I hope he has his own HEA somehow. (Grade: A) ( )
  reneebooks | Sep 7, 2009 |
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Determined to ensure her future by winning the heart of Henry, the Huguenot king of Navarre, sixteenth-century courtesan Gabrielle Cheney finds her plans jeopardized by the malevolent enmity and dark arts of the queen, Catherine de Medici.

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