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Conjuring Casanova
     

Conjuring Casanova

5.0 1
by Melissa Rea
 

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ER physician Elizabeth Hillman has been hurt by the men in her life far too often—which is why she spends her free time safely alone, reading the memoir of Giacomo Casanova, history’s most famous libertine. But when a child in Lizzy’s care dies, she flees to Venice, Italy for a much-needed break—and there, on a lovely rooftop, Casanova appears

Overview

ER physician Elizabeth Hillman has been hurt by the men in her life far too often—which is why she spends her free time safely alone, reading the memoir of Giacomo Casanova, history’s most famous libertine. But when a child in Lizzy’s care dies, she flees to Venice, Italy for a much-needed break—and there, on a lovely rooftop, Casanova appears beside her.

In 2016, Casanova is still Casanova. He seduces her friends, is arrested for child endangerment, and even boffs the cleaning lady. Although his antics upset Lizzy, she’s determined to enjoy his conversation and not fall victim to its legendary charm. But when she and Casanova travel to Paris seeking an answer to a question of love that would have changed his life, an incendiary love affair begins to unfold. Who better to teach modern guarded Lizzy about love and life than an eighteenth-century libertine?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
2017 The Reader Views Literary Award: Winner, Romance
2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards: Winner, Romantic Comedy
2016 Beverly Hills Book Award: Winner, Romantic Comedy

"Rea offers a small spin on the popular time-travel trope by bringing the past to the very near future. The narrative is full of the practical—and often humorous—problems that arise when one meets an 18th-century libertine . . . In addition, Rea sprinkles bits of well-researched history amid the romantic tension, working in specific details from Casanova’s life, such as his appreciation of intelligent women. Though falling in love with an infamous playboy may be ill-advised, Rea makes it seem like a wonderful idea. A light, enjoyable romp through time."
Kirkus Reviews

Conjuring Casanova is a skillfully crafted, delicious tale, successfully integrating contemporary romance, time travel, history, and intrigue . . . Rea’s quick wit and obvious sense of humor shine throughout the narrative.”
Reader Views

"Casanova got a bad rep for about three centuries. He was confused with Don Juan, censored until 1960, was dismissed as a writer, and lumped together with famous misogynists. After the true text of the Story of my Life appeared in 1960, his admirers hastened to rescue the famous eighteenth-century lover and Illuminist from ignorance and neglect. Melissa Rea has brought him to life in our time. He was hard to resist in his lifetime, and as this novel makes it clear, he's just as seductive now."
—Andrei Codrescu, author of Casanova in Bohemia

"Rea takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster in her debut novel, Conjuring Casanova . The story is full of rich characters and extremes; tears to laughter, twists to turns, oh no to oh yes moments, and ahh's that warm the soul. This fascinating story is entertaining from the first page to the last."
—Pam Webber, author of The Wiregrass

Kirkus Reviews
2015-11-24
A lonely doctor conjures up a famous lover in Rea's time-traveling romance. Dr. Elizabeth Hillman has an obsession with the past. She immerses herself in the 12-volume memoir of the legendary Italian lover Giacomo Casanova in an attempt to escape her memories of devastating breakups and a stressful job as an ER doc. In the wake of a tragic death, Lizzy escapes from Chicago to modern-day Venice for some needed time off. Somehow, her tears manage to summon Casanova through the centuries, and he appears on her hotel rooftop in 2016. What follows is an entertaining—and often steamy—update for the infamous lover boy. Casanova seems to take the trappings of modern society in stride. Lizzy helps him update his wardrobe, arranges for a thorough teeth cleaning, and doses him with a course of antibiotics to clear up any lingering STDs. Casanova lives up to his reputation, offering Lizzy comfort and support while seducing any female within sight. Despite her best efforts, she finds herself falling for Casanova's smooth moves, sharp intellect, and, eventually, amazing talents in the bedroom. Though Casanova might not be able to stay, he teaches Lizzy a thing or two about life and love. Rea offers a small spin on the popular time-travel trope by bringing the past to the very near future. The narrative is full of the practical—and often humorous—problems that arise when one meets an 18th-century libertine; his predilection for young girls, for example, was more acceptable in the 18th century than in the 21st. In addition, Rea sprinkles bits of well-researched history amid the romantic tension, working in specific details from Casanova's life, such as his appreciation of intelligent women. A trip to Paris provides some of the most satisfying parts of the book. Casanova reminiscences on the Paris of old are entertaining, and the city provides a satisfying romantic conclusion after all of the flirtation. Though falling in love with an infamous playboy may be ill-advised, Rea makes it seem like a wonderful idea. A light, enjoyable romp through time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781631520563
Publisher:
She Writes Press
Publication date:
06/07/2016
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
17 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Melissa Rea has degrees in psychology and French literature, is an amateur Casinovist. A dedicated researcher, she has read Histoire de Ma Vie many times in English and in its original Archaic French. She traveled to Paris to see the handwritten manuscript when it was displayed for the first time in over two hundred years, and has stayed in the hotel in Venice that was Giacomo Casanova’s home for nine years. Originally from Louisiana, Rea has a degree in dentistry from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She practices in St. Louis where she lives with her husband, and is at work on her third novel. When not drilling, reading or writing, she is in search of the next Madmen/’50s-era dress and a matching bon mot.

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Conjuring Casanova 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (10/16) “Conjuring Casanova” by Melissa Rea is a delightful romantic tale about an ER physician, Elizabeth Hillman, and her encounters with the most infamous rogue of the eighteenth century, Giacomo Casanova. Elizabeth hasn’t had the greatest luck with the men in her life so for her, cozying up with the memoir of the legendary lover seems like the safest and best antidote. When a young child dies tragically in the ER under her care, Elizabeth is put on administrative leave and uses her time to take a much-needed trip. She escapes to Venice, staying in a hotel that was once the home of her Italian obsession. When Casanova shows up one morning beside her on the rooftop of her hotel, things get very interesting! Melissa Rea is a fantastic writer. I became a huge fan before I even got to the first chapter of the book. She completely won me over with the Table of Contents – tagging every chapter with the name of a famous song, which she then wittingly incorporated into the story. Her quick wit and obvious sense of humor shine throughout the narrative, as does her expertise in the subject. “Conjuring Casanova” is a skillfully crafted, delicious tale, successfully integrating contemporary romance, time travel, history, and intrigue. I’ve heard many accounts and read several stories about this legendary ladies man, but “Conjuring Casanova” certainly brings a unique spin to the table. The characters are extremely well developed and really take the center stage. Of course, Casanova is Casanova, and though there are limitless ways in which he could be portrayed, watching him grow and adapt to life in the twenty-first century felt convincing and realistic. Elizabeth is a respectable, intelligent female protagonist and I appreciate that she was not a “perfect” subject, but had genuinely relatable issues regarding her friends, relationships, and her own body. "Conjuring Casanova" by Melissa Rea is simply a must-read for all fans of contemporary romance, historical fiction, and time travel. I can’t wait to see more work from this author. Five stars for this exceptional story.