Monday, August 11, 2014

Inamorata by Megan Chance

Title: Inamorata
Author: Megan Chance

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 19th Century / Venice / Artists / Supernatural / Romantic Relationships / Sibling Relationships / Immortality)
Publisher/Publication Date: Lake Union Publishing (7/8/2014)
Source: TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did!
One-sentence summary: A succubus, a slighted lover, and gifted twins with a strange intimacy all come together in a tangle of art, sex, and desire in 19th-century Venice.
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: Love it -- totally spot on for the novel's feel and setting.

I'm reminded of...: Alma Katsu, Lauren Owen

First line: Though it was only a few hours until dawn, it was not quiet.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy.

Why did I get this book?: I've heard great things about Chance's previous novels.

Review: I'll admit that I keep meaning to be super snobbish about Amazon's Lake Union imprint, but then I forget -- and good thing, because I keep enjoying the reads I've come across (I Am Livia and now this one).

Set over a month in Venice in 1879, the novel follows four individuals: Odilé Leon, an immortal courtesan who feeds on genius to survive, gifting the artist in question with immortal fame; Nicholas Dane, a failed poet who never made a bargain with Odilé and is determined to destroy her; Joseph Hannigan, a deeply gifted artist with a disturbingly dark past and an impossible-to-ignore sexuality; and his twin sister, Sophie, who provides sensuous inspiration to her brother.

Odilé is on the hunt for a great genius to gift her curse to, and her sights land on Joseph. But Nicholas is determined to protect him -- and finds himself half obsessed with the artist and his alluring sister. Joseph and Sophie are on the hunt for the perfect patron -- someone to keep them fiscally comfortable so they can avoid the penniless pain of their childhood.

The plot of this novel is straight up melodrama -- in the best way. The Hannigan twins have a back story to make V.C. Andrews proud, and the supernatural elements harken to Anne Rice, Alma Katsu, and Lauren Owen. The setting -- 19th century Venice -- enhances the decadent, decaying allure of our courtesan and the give-and-take between the rich expats and the artists vying for their attention.

While the premise of the novel is fabulously over-the-top, it's the four main characters that make the story grounded and real. In Chance's hands, they are all mufti-faceted and intriguing -- even our "villainess", the succubus Odilé, is sympathetic (in fact, she was my favorite part of the story).

The narrative was a tiny bit too long-winded for my tastes: I felt like the set up for the denouement was perfectly established well before Chance did, and as a result, the conclusion felt a bit rushed for me. Still, there was a deliciously bittersweet ending that caught me up despite myself and made for a satisfying finish.

A delightful escape for summer, or, something for October's R.I.P. challenge, Inamorata has all the right elements for a juicy, slightly titillating supernatural read.

*** *** ***


I'm thrilled to offer a copy of Inamorata to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US and Canadian readers only, ends 8/22.  Be sure to check out my interview with Megan Chance on 8/13 for another chance to win!


  1. Good review, but I think I'll skip this one for it is not my taste.

    1. Yeah, this kind of book won't hit all readers the same way -- but thanks for stopping by and commenting -- I appreciate it!

  2. This is exactly what I like! Historical fiction that is a little sexy, with a supernatural element. This is a must read for me!

    1. Let me know what you think if you get to it -- I've just foisted it on a coworker, who has the same tastes -- it's a fab way to round out the summer.

  3. I cannot wait to read this after finishing my book club selection for the month.

  4. Terrific review, but I think I was wise in not getting this one for review!

  5. I'm definitely not opposed to some historical dramafests sometimes. This sounds super enjoyable—after finishing The Golem and the Jinni I'm really in the mood for more HF with a bit of the supernatural to it.

    I'm glad I read this review; like you, I'm a bit biased against Amazon's imprints and probably would have skipped over this. Instead, I'm adding it to my wish list! :)

    1. This is a little more splashy than The Golem & the Jinni (which I loved), but I still think this is a fun one for the summer. Hope you enjoy it!

  6. Seems like a very interesting read! I love novels set in Italy.

  7. Thanks for being a part of the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

  8. I read and loved her novel Prima Donna. I have been wanting to pick up another of her's for awhile now. I do love this cover though!