Congratulations to my dear friend Greg Michaels in Seattle on winning the prestigious Nancy Pearl Book Award for his novel THE SECRETS OF CASANOVA! I have followed this terrific read since inception and wrote this Amazon review of it a while back. 



Casanova has become one of those hackneyed names that generally make me yawn. After watching Heath Ledger do a passable job of bringing the fellow to the screen yet again, I felt I was well and truly over the original Italian playboy. Then I picked up “The Secrets of Casanova” by Greg Michaels, intending to have a flick through. To my amazement I was still reading by page 80. This re-telling of the Jacques Casanova story is in a class of its own. Greg Michaels’ background as a very fine Shakespearean actor – and sword-fighter – has stood him in excellent stead for his first novel. The language is wonderful and unlike many historical novels, very authentic to the ear. But although the dialogue and luscious descriptions of 18th century Europe draw you into the scene in the same way as an old masterpiece the novel has an engagingly modern feel to it. Jacques’ insights into the workings of a woman’s mind – let alone her body – bring a sort of hipness to the story that adds layers to the plot. So may male authors fail miserably at breathing life into their female characters.Michaels has succeeded and soared above the pack. He has also succeeded in writing a very horny tale.


  1. Well, heresy to those in Winchester! I stood on Jane’s grave only yesterday – she lived here later in life and is buried in the Cathedral. Hampshire is Jane Austen country and, fittingly, D’Arcy was played by a Winchester man. Despite knowing Colin Firths father, I have never been graced with an introduction to the unlikely heart -throb, who sensibly prefers to live in Italy. Lesley

  2. Oh, heresy indeed! You’ll have to burn me at the stake…if you could make it a bar-b-q I’d be grateful. Have an excellent sauce to go with.

  3. Re Casanova: I am puffed with pride at our friend Greg Michael winning the Nancy Pearl award for Fiction for SECRETS OF CASANOVA. A debut novel in the struggling historical fiction genre written by a man – very unlikely but a reminder that sometimes dreams really do come true.


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