Rameau’s ramblings: This will be listed under second opinions, but technically this is the first opinion and the review that got Anachronist reading historical romance. Go me!
Originally posted on Goodreads September 20th 2011.
Her only hope for survival…
But Jessica is a courtesan, not the genteel lady Sir Mark believes. Desperate to be free of a life she despises, she seizes her chance when Mark’s enemies make her an offer she can’t refuse–seduce Mark and tarnish his good name, and a princely sum will be hers. Yet as she comes to know the man she’s sworn to destroy, Jessica will be forced to choose between the future she needs and the love she knows is impossible.
Why should you read this?
Because it’s a historical romance of two people coming together and surpassing social and personal obstacles. You need more convincing do you?
Let’s see. There’s a virgin, there’s a seduction, and there’s a defamation that’ll separate the two lovers. Not sold yet?
Well, he’s the one with an untarnished reputation and virtue to protect, and she’s the experienced lover who’ll teach him to know better.
That did it, oh, good. Just in case…
Sir Mark has written a book about chastity and to his disbelief it’s taken a life of its own. He’s become the darling of the public and an unwilling role model for men in search of new challenges. He’s also become the target of envy and resentment. Someone wants to see Sir Mark’s good name in the gutter and they’re willing to pay for it.
Enters Jessica, the experienced courtesan who longs for freedom. She doesn’t want to sell her body to survive anymore. All she needs is enough money to break free and make a quiet life of her own far away from the city. She grabs the opportunity with both hands and prepares for one last tryst.
Sir Mark is immediately attracted to the mysterious widow Jessica pretends to be, but he’s not ready to succumb to her charms quite so easily. After all he’s battled his yearnings for nearly thirty years and there have been other temptations. Nothing quite like this though.
What follows is a delicious tale of two people circling and trying to outsmart each other. It’s a seduction in the best sense of the word. It’s a seduction of the mind as well as the body and the erotica is far from gratuitous. It’s actually earned.
It isn’t until near the end when the reader has all but abandoned hope for Sir Mark and Jessica that they do come together and admit the extent of their feelings for each other. After all, there’s more than love involved; there’s respect and dignity to consider.
Milan’s writing is solid as she slowly guides the couple together. She takes her time introducing the characters and explaining just what makes them so unique especially considering the setting. Milan doesn’t skirt around sex scenes, because she’s afraid to write them, she simply ensures they fit in with the plot – questionable word choices and all.
Yes, an actual plot in a romance novel, can you imagine? So, what are you waiting for? Go, read, and enjoy the slow burn.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.