The film I am recommending this week is Dangerous Beauty starring Catherine McCormack, Jacqueline Bisset, Rufus Sewell and Oliver Platt and Moira Kelly in a small role.
The movie takes place in 16th Century Venice and is as rich and opulent as that implies. The costumes are gorgeous, the sets are grand and the romance is epic! Catherine McCormack plays Veronica Franco. She is a young woman from a good but poor family. When she finds out that she cannot marry the nobleman she loves (Rufus Sewell) she chooses the life of a courtesan as they are the only women in their society permitted an education or any sort of freedom. Will her love survive her new profession? Will she survive the Inquisition? Watch and find out!
This movie is one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures. Fun and fantastic from start to finish.
My book rec for this week is the first book of a trilogy which is the first in a series of 3 trilogies. The book is Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey.
This book is in the fantasy genre but it is very smart and like nothing I had ever read before. The first book and the entire trilogy has everything! There is political intrigue in the royal court, scandalous liaisons, courtesans of every persuasion, assassins and spies, sword fighting and war all in a world that worships a god whose main tenet is "Love as thou wilt." Boy do they ever!
The first few chapters are very densely packed with world-creating but if you have patience and stick with it, you will not regret it. The heroine of these novels is wholly unique and I love her, I love the man who becomes her consort and I love her story! The writing is sophisticated and very poetic in many places. It's an altogether fantastic read and I read it over and over again without getting tired of it.
I will warn you that there is a lot of sex; some of it homoerotic and some of it sado-masochistic but I don't think it distracts from the greatness of the story.