Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan have given us the best of both worlds. These two authors have teamed up to write contemporary historical romance mash up that works so well. A Courtesan’s to Getting Your Man is beyond steamy, perhaps the most erotic and hottest romance these two authors have penned thus far in their careers. I look forward to reading another romance with this writing duo. And if you’re fans of Celeste and Susan’s work, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man.
Piper Chase-Pierpont may be a smart cookie with a Ph.D, but she’s, “a sex-starved, uptight, overworked and underpaid museum curator at the Boston Museum of Culture and Society who’s turning thirty and has parents who constantly put her down. Piper’s job may also be cut unless she can astound the public with an exhibit at the annual BMCS Fall gala in three months showcasing Ophelia Harrington, the city’s most beloved icons from the nineteen century. Piper has found something shocking from Ophelia’s papers that have remained hidden in a secret compartment of her travel trunk. Piper has unearthed Ophelia’s secret diaries where she was once a famous courtesan in England called the Blackbird. Piper would love to unveil Ophelia’s scandalous past for the exhibit, but she could be made the laughing stock of Boston and be canned. Piper can’t get enough from what she reads by Ophelia’s hand because it’s so tawdry and erotic. Piper yearns to be more like Ophelia, who took her life into her own hands and owned her sexuality proudly with no regrets.
Around the time Piper finds these diaries, Mick Malloy walks back into her life. Mick is the one who got away and has made quite the life for himself. There are rumors that the sexy Irishman may get his own cable reality show. Piper thinks of Mick as a real-life Indian Jones who gave her self-esteem a blow when years ago she tried to seduce him. Mick walked out on her without falling for her attempts to get him into her bed and has never forgotten it. Mick is on sabbatical for six months as a consultant to the board of trustees at the museum and wants to get reacquainted with Piper. Mick has always liked Piper, even with her dowdy clothes and almost clumsy nature. He hopes they’ll be more than just business associates and can finally explain why he left her unfulfilled that night so long ago.
With the help of Piper’s friend Brenna, they use Ophelia’s diaries to help Piper with a new makeover and a plan where she’ll finally seduce Mick and give him enough mind blowing orgasms where he’ll be craving for more. Ophelia’s tale began when she walked away from her family because they were forcing her to marry a man she didn’t despised. She went to the Swan, a well-respected courtesan, to teach her to become a courtesan. With the help of a masked man, she only knows as Sir, he teaches Ophelia desire and passion to the point she wants to be only with him. Unfortunately Sir must let her go, but watches over her from a distance until Ophelia finds herself in a precarious situation where her life as she knows it could be destroyed.
As Piper and Mick have a no holds barred love affair, they team up to unravel the mystery surrounding Ophelia and how she was able to keep her courtesan life a secret all this time and become one of the most celebrated women in Boston.
A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man is a must read. Piper is your typical repressed heroine who is almost pathetic in nature when you first meet her. But thanks to a good friend and some outlandish reading material, Piper channels her inner seductress. And when Piper unleashes her new self, Mick is lost under her spell. Mick is wonderful and sweet. His relationship with Piper is a nice counter balance to the one Ophelia and Sir share. Finding out Sir’s identity and why he keeps tabs on Ophelia for over the course of ten years is a nice surprise and a welcomed twist you may not see coming.
Again, the love scenes are very well written and hot. Ophelia is not a fake courtesan only playing a role and she has both protectors and lovers, although her heart always belongs to one man. It may seem somewhat illogical that Ophelia could fall so easily into becoming a courtesan, but you’re able to put that aside and enjoy what Ophelia goes through and how her willful spirit is never crushed. Ophelia embodies the feminism ideal that the female reader should admire.
A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man hits all the high marks for excellence in the romance genre and one I’d urge any romance reader get their hands on. (St. Martin’s)
Final Grade: A-
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