REVIEW: Fiorenzo – Sebastian Nothwell

Fiorenzo Book Cover Fiorenzo
Sebastian Nothwell
Gay Romance, Fantasy Romance
September 3, 2023

Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

When I received this book to read and review, I was prepared to have a long, boring, slow moving read.

The book is almost seven hundred pages so I resigned myself to skipping as many pages and chapters as I could to enable me to write a review. I picked up the book and didn’t put it down till the end. I wouldn’t even skip a paragraph for fear of missing something Enzo and Fiore said so I encourage anyone who is hesitant to read such a long book to give it a shot because there isn’t a boring minute.

Fiore is a courtesan; he wears his scarlet sash which indicates what he is and during a party onboard the ship he has a room in, he waited for someone to approach him. He was approach by a man in all black wearing a bauta mask that covered his entire face and back in Fiore’s room his only request was to be able to watch as Fiore pleasured himself and then he left.

Their next meeting was in front of the opera house and that was the meeting that would take their relationship to new heights. There was sex, no kissing due to the mask and exchanging names, now Fiore new his gentleman caller was Enzo. Enzo never took his mask off though he dreamed about what it would be like to kiss Fiore, but removing the mask would reveal what hides behind it.

Fiore (Fiorenzo) became an orphan when both his parents died of the plague. He became a ward of the temple and was put in the choir where he made a friend named Elio. Fiore and Elio’s voices were picked to train at the consevatorio, their training was hard, but nothing compared to the horror of castrato, a method which guaranteed that their voices would not change, although they would never be able to have children. Elio died since his surgery was done by a barber when it was Fiore’s turn, he was drugged, and a surgeon began the process, he did lose on tentacle, but he managed to wake up and fight and run.

He has been running ever since and being a courtesan was a way to provide for himself and keep hidden. Everything changed the night Enzo came to visit and discovered Fiore was ill, since he had had some medical training, he was convinced it was appendicitis. Refusing to allow Fiore to die he called in a surgeon (chirurgeon) knowing that Fiore would require surgery. When Fiore looked into the face of the doctor all he could see was the one that had performed surgery on him at the conservatorio but Enzo was able to calm him down.

Fiore was very sick, running high temperature and panicking every time a doctor came in to check on him. When he asked Enzo to remove the mask, he obliged him. His face was scarred but Fiore only saw beauty. Day after day Enzo cared for Fiore, never leaving his side until he was able to care for himself and their relationship grew. Fiore always planned on finding a patron to care for him, a position that Enzo happily volunteered for but was refused. Fiore feared that when they grew older that Enzo would leave him for someone younger and if that happened it would break his heart.

Enzo has secrets which over time he confesses to Fiore, he is known as the Dueling Duke who was forced from the university and brought home in disgrace. Until he met Fiore his life was filled with only unhappiness, but Fiore brings him joy, unfortunately he has one more secret that could bring an end to their relationship. Enzo goes hunting with the family and is gravely wounded, calling for Fiore in his sleep the family brings Fiore to be with him and he cares for Enzo as faithfully as Enzo did for him.

So much happens to these two men who have known so much hardship but their dedication to each other is off the charts. Always there for each other until Fiore’s past comes calling and could bring the end for Enzo and Fiore. After everything that happened Fiore knew that he would choose Enzo to stay with and Enzo was willing to fight his family including leaving them if they stood in his way with being with the man he has grown to need and love. Even his secret, which he finally revealed, only made them stronger. The secret was a doozy and I had to sit back and take a breath.

If you wondered how a love affair could carry a seven-hundred-page book, have no fear it did. There is a lot of sex, secrets, surprises and what appears to be constant situations where either Enzo or Fiore get hurt or sick but when it happens reading how they care for each other is something everyone would want.

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