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Diamond Dee Loves to Read

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Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen
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Chris Grabenstein
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Henry James, Anthony Curtis

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan - Jane Lark A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher and Fiction Addiction book tours in exchange for an honest review.
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

Once in awhile I really enjoy a good Regency historical romance. I didn’t know much about what this story was about before reading; but I’m glad at least it fulfilled my expectations in the sense it was a good romance, albeit a predictable one.

We meet Eleanor, who is a courtesan. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a whore. We don’t know how she got “the job” of being a whore, but we quickly find out she hates it and is frightened. The man she is attached to is a mean fellow, Lord Gainsborough. I don’t think I’ve quite detested a character like him before. He’s truly a horrible man, he’s an abusive, manipulative, and deceitful piece of scum. Fortunately, Eleanor meets the dashing Edward quickly and soon he wins two hours with her from Gainsborough in a game of cards.

I really enjoyed Edwards character. He was a bit flawed, but a good man. In fact, I really loved all the characters. At times it did feel a bit too modern. Even though it was difficult for Ellen to get readmitted to people—the fact that it was at all possible was a bit too far-fetched. I did like the mystery, but on the opposite side, Ellen hiding key facts of information from her husband after he continued to help and save her was simple-minded and just plain dumb. I think it was done perhaps to make the plot twists keep twisting, and that bothered me. As far as historical expectations-- I did not find any inaccuracies, just more of an overall more modern feeling in the outlook of people and willingness to accept. I disagree that there were that many open –minded people back then. I guess that’s more a matter of opinion though, and gosh knows I’m not a historian.

In the beginning, I was also disturbed by how many times she thought “oh my! Will Edward save me?” and then specifically forces herself not to think it because no man can save her in her dire situation. I mean, really?!?!??! *facepalm* Seriously, Ellen? So within the first like 2%, I pretty much knew Edward would save her. I don’t think that qualifies as a spoiler because you don’t know how, and it is alluded to in the first chapter.

I also loved how much the boy, John, was included in the plot and story. I was sad when he kinda stopped being part of the plot again though. His presence was missed at that point. I don’t think a character should become that integral and then just drop off. Even a reintegration at the end would’ve been nice. I can tell there’s going to be a spin-off story about Edward’s dashing and rogue-ish brother, Robert. I think I’m open to reading it, as I found Robert one of the most interesting characters in this story. I know there is a story there.

Overall I enjoyed this book. I think you could enjoy it if you don’t expect an unique or feminist take on a historical romance with a mind-blowing plot. Expect a light regency romance with some interesting characters, and you’ll be quite satisfied.