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When sixteen-year-old Lucrezia de' Medici marries the fifth Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d'Este, she imagines life with her handsome husband will be idyllic. But little does she know that he is a very complicated man. The marriage is fraught with difficulties from the start, and, as time passes, Lucrezia becomes increasingly alienated. For Alfonso, the pressure mounts as the Vatican threatens to reclaim his title should the couple remain unable to produce an heir. Only his lover Francesca seems able to tame his increasing fury. But Alfonso's growing resentment towards his duchess soon becomes unbearable, and he begins to plot an unthinkable way to escape his problems.
His last Duchess is Gabrielle Kimm's debut novel which is inspired by the poem 'My Last Duchess by Robert Browing'. The novel has become a fave amongst my shelves and stands proud with its beautiful cover(you know you all agree). Holding it in my hands once received and even smelling the pages for this novel wasn't enough to hold me content, so it rushed to the front of my TBR pile and boy I'm glad I did.
I was immediately seduced by His Last Duchess and grew very fond of the characters Lucrezia with her compassion and innocence, I found myself rooting for her to have a happy ending and was constantly praying for her to escape the vicious lie of a marriage to Alfonso who was a nasty, troubled man (that also needs a good beating ;o}). I was constantly surprised at how Gabrielle worked her magic never allowing the suspense, adventure and danger to leave the page and for it only to get more exciting towards the end.
His Last Duchess is a definite addition to your books shelves - get yourself a little historical fiction to make your mouth water and toes curl with the gripping novel and life like situations explored in breathtaking detail which gives you a great sense of time. I was never a real historical fiction fan but have found myself falling harder then expected. I can not wait for the sequel The Courtesan’s Choice, which will be about one of the minor characters Francesca (Alfonso's lover).
I recommend this to all my readers - why you ask? Because its one bad ass novel in 416 pages ;o)
Happy Weekend xxx