Casanova's Secret Wife

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

I haven't read too many books set in Italy but after reading Casanova's Secret Wife, I may have to change that.  I loved the descriptions of Venice; the city, the homes, clothes, everything.  Ms. Lynn-Davis' writing was marvelous and she painted a lovely picture of life in Venice during that time period.


While the love affair between Casanova and Caterina was interesting to read about, I was more enamored by the relationship that Caterina built with Leda.  I really enjoyed watching Caterina and Leda pull each other out of their shells and becoming almost like family.  In the beginning of the story, I was worried that Leda was going to cause trouble but she almost became like a daughter to Caterina.  There was just something about their relationship that really struck me.


Marina was a really good, and unexpected, villain.  Villain might be too strong of a word but man, I didn't like her.  She was so manipulative and self-centered despite the fact that she tried to spin her actions as being out of love.  She was very well-written and even though I didn't like her, she was a really strong character.


Casanova's Secret Wife was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I'm so glad I picked this one up! 3 1/2 stars.
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3,5 stars

Almost everything I knew about Casanova before reading this was from Heath Ledger’s movie. So not much… I did know he has written books about his conquests.

Knowing that I was somewhat cynical about the romance between Caterina and Casanova and I just kept waiting for her to realize what kind of man he was. And he did love her but he fell in and out of love very quickly. But she was 14 years old and very naïve. Which was little surprising considering who her brother was and how he behaved…

I liked the older and wiser Caterina who agrees to take care of a young woman who reminds her of herself 20 years ago. The abbess who asks this favor is an old enemy of hers and we learn the story there. And another side of Caterina too.

I enjoyed the book despite some problems with the romance and I can’t wait for the author’s next book.
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Thank you so much for approving me for this title. I apologize for the delay in writing this review. My husband recently passed away a few  months ago and I was suddenly facing downsizing and a move. I have now settled into my new home and am working at my reviews and my own writing once more. Icinnu In
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Casanova is the world’s most famous lover. Casanova’s Secret Wife tells the story of Caterina Capreta, the woman who loved him. At the bequests of the abbess, Caterina takes in Leda, a noblewoman who had been caught in a scandal. As soon as Caterina meets Leda, she realizes how her story was similar to her own. She then tells Leda the story of her life.

   Caterina was fourteen when she met Giacomo Casanova. Upon meeting him, she is immediately smitten with him. She secretly exchanges vows with him and hopes that she will be with him forever. However, her dreams are shattered. Her father does not view him as a potential suitor for Caterina. He sends her to a convent until she is considered for a suitable marriage at the age of eighteen. Despite her circumstances, Caterina plans to be with Casanova again. However, her plans change when Casanova’s feelings turn to another woman. Heartbroken, Caterina is desperate to go to any lengths to keep Casanova at her side.

   I really like Caterina. She was a very sympathetic figure. Caterina is naive, idealistic, and a romantic. She is charmed by Casanova for his handsome features and his love of poetry. She believes that she will be happy with him for the rest of her life. However, Caterina slowly grows wiser. We feel her heartbreak as she slowly learns that Casanova is not the faithful husband that he has professed himself to be. We root for Caterina as we hope that she will eventually find her own happiness without Casanova.

   Overall, this book is about first love, betrayal, redemption, and forgiveness. The message of the book is to forgive yourself. I really thought this was a very emotional book and I really could understand the characters. I especially loved the supporting characters Leda and Zulietta. I was intrigued by their stories and hoped they had a happy ending. However, after reading this novel, I thought I didn’t really know Casanova. He did not seem complex enough. However, I loved the setting. The novel was so vivid that I felt as if I was rowing the streets of Venice alongside Caterina. Thus, it was a very beautiful story, and it captivated me from the first page. I was so intrigued by this book that I read it in one sitting. Casanova’s Secret Wife is a treat for historical fiction lovers, and I cannot wait to read the next book Barbara Lynn-Davis has in store for us. I recommend this novel for fans of Sacred Hearts, The Glassblower of Murano, and Artemisia.
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CASANOVA'S SECRET WIFE by Barbara Lynn-Davis is a beautifully written, evocative tale of love, desire, and loss. Transported back in time, the rich beauty of Venice comes alive through the characters that will capture your heart and a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading the final sentence. 

When Caterina finds herself obliged to help a young girl, Leda, who finds herself pregnant and alone, it stirs up memories from her own past that seems so long ago. As Caterina becomes closer to Leda, she starts to open up about her own love affair when she was but a girl. Through letters and her own memories, we become embroiled in the passion and desire that Giacomo Casanova fired up inside of her. And as the tale progresses we understand that this is one romance that will never have the traditional happy ending. 

The characters are well developed and intriguing, and my heart ached for Caterina who loved to linger in her memories. With descriptive settings that will take your breath away and a historical plot that will hold you entranced, CASANOVA'S SECRET WIFE by Barbara Lynn-Davis is the perfect read for historical fans worldwide.
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Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July.

After about 20 years, Caterina is asked to return to a convent headed by lead abbess, Marina, in order to pay it forward for a young girl named Leda, who seems to pregnant and left high and dry by her baby daddy, Filippo. Caterina agrees to care for Leda, but not before telling her (some juicy secrets held back, of course) about her non-official marriage to legendary lover and filthy letter-writer, Giacomo Casanova. It's a fairly casual, late 1700s tale of young love told in first-person from Caterina's point of view as a girl, then third-person while she's caring for Leda.
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Thanks Kensington Books and netgalley  for this ARC.

I can't say enough good to do justice to how enjoyable this novel gave me. I was sorry to finish.
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Caterina Capreta became entangled with the infamous Giacoma Casanova at the age of fourteen and has harbored a secret of her love affair and wedding to him for her adult life.  When Caterina is called back to the Murano convent where she was a boarded for four years, the memories of Caterina and Casanova's love affair return to her full force.  The Abbess, Marina, is an old acquaintance of Caterina's from her time there.  Marina asks Caterina for a favor that she cannot refuse; to take in a young pregnant border until the child is delivered.  Leda, has found herself in a compromising position from what she believed was true love.  As Caterina recognizes herself in Leda, she shares her story of her turbulent time with Casanova.  The two women find their similarities, gain friendship and realize the many definitions of love. 

I was immediately pulled into Caterina's story along with the inviting setting of Venice.  As an adult, Caterina secrets feel compelled to come pouring out.  From the time Caterina meets with Marina, I knew there was something deeper there. The mystery of what happened between Caterina and Casanova and how it created a tumultuous divide intrigued me.  Through Caterina's letters and stories that she tells Leda, we get to see Casanova in a different way, how he was with one woman whom he truly loved.  I was also pleased to see that this is based on some facts that have been discovered.  At first, I was a little put off by the fact that Caterina was 14, but apparently this is how old she actually was.  I was happily surprised that this was not really a love story, but more of a story of acceptance and coming to terms with the past.  With Leda, Caterina is finally able to review that part of her life with someone who understands and put in behind her.  Overall, a historical retelling of one of Casanova's many loves and it's consequences from the women's point of view.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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Thanks Kensington Books and netgalley for this ARC.

Venice will never seem the same after reading Casanova's Secret Wife. I know I will always remember 
Caterina's descriptions of her home. This story has all the hallmarks of a novel you'll want to re-read for the pleasure. of it. Caterina is given a second chance at happiness but she does not realize that til it's almost too late. This is a story of betrayal, redemption, and unforgettable love.
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The books blurb really intrigued me and I was quite looking forward to reading this book. I have to admit that, despite recognizing Casanova's name and his reputation did I not know much about the man himself more than he has written books about his female conquests. With that in mind did I set out to read this book. Which when I look back probably made me a bit cynical when it came to his courtship of Caterina Capreta. Actually, with a bit, I mean quite a lot...

Yes, I had a hard time taking their romance serious because I kept on waiting for Caterina to realize that Casanova is a cad. Now, I don't say that he didn't love her, it was easy to see looking back and see that his love burned brightly for a short moment until he moved on to the next woman. The problem is for the woman or in this case the girl was it not that easy to move on. I came to like very much the grown up Caterina who is looking back to her history with Casanova while taking care of a young girl that was in the same situation as Caterina was in 20 years ago. She didn't have an easy life, was very sheltered and then Casanova showed up and swept her off her feet. It's understandable that this fourteen-year-old girl would fall head over heel in love with him. Now, it may be hard to read a love story with a girl so young with an older man, but I never had a problem with that since one has to see to the context of the story. Although I have to admit that she now and then seemed much older than fourteen, but back then girls at that age probably were more mature than today's teenagers.

Casanova's Secret Wife is a book that I'm glad to have read. Yes, I had a hard time with the romance part because I pretty much knew that this would not end good, but the writing is good and I loved that Barbara Lynn-Davis added towards the end some notes about Casanova books and the mentions of woman that could be Caterina Capreta. I always like knowing more about a real life person after reading a book.
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Not a book worth checking out.  I became distracted and never even finished the book.
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