Saturday, March 24, 2012
Her Husband's Harlot
Lady Helena is swept off her feel by Morgan, the Marquess of Harteford, and she sees a connection with the Lord with the shady past, that she has never felt before. She has always been somewhat of a wallflower and has never been confident of her voluptuous shape and believes that Morgan sees the real her behind what is presented to society and that he desires her. Morgan grew up on the streets of London, believing himself to be a bastard, until the Marquess of Harteford claims him as his legitimate heir and leaves Morgan a thriving estate and the title. He does not fit in with society and feels a connection with the woman sitting in the corner and knows that with her he can finally find somewhere to belong. But their wedding night ends in disaster as both of them are nervous and Morgan fears hurting his wife and Helena fears that Morgan will find her unattractive or find her to be too passionate. Afterwards Morgan tries to avoid being around his wife, convinced he is not good enough for the gently reared young lady with his uncouth, street ways.
Desperate to have a real relationship with her husband Helena follows him to a brothel where she poses as a lady of the evening and it is very clear that they have passion between them. Helena hesitates to reveal who she is however, wanting to bring some of that passion to their marriage bed now that she knows it is there. Morgan is also having problems at his work as the shipping company he owns has been suffering from some small, but significant losses that have been adding up. He hires runners to look into what is happening but dos not want to reveal that the person also knows secrets from Morgan's past that could put him in jail. He is more determined than ever to keep his distance from Helena, as she is pure and noble and he does not want to taint her or put her in danger. However, Helena is having none of this and wastes no time in showing Morgan exactly how well they suit and that she definitely does not mind when is less than gentlemanly. Together they can face down the man who is out to harm Morgan and the entire ton and prove their love.
I love the insecure heroine who doesn't fit the in with everyone's idea of beauty and Helena was a perfect example of this and that made it so much better when she took such a huge risk by going after her husband and putting her reputation and her marriage on the line. Helena really fought for what she wanted and wanted so desperately to save her marriage and have the relationship she imagined for them when they were courting. It was romantic and brave and wonderful all at the same time. While her refusal to reveal her identity to him did prolong the novel, which I often abhor, I felt like it was done really well since she wanted to strengthen their relationship for real and not base it on trickery. Morgan was haunted by the demons of the past, which were certainly very real and I felt like his back ground was real and could conceivably have happened (unlike some heroes whose stories of horror stretch even my willingness to overlook things). His motives to protect Helena were admirable, but they were one part of the book that annoyed me because he would not let it go even when it was obvious it was no longer necessary.
I wish that Morgan and Helena had spent more time together, especially more time where they both knew who the other was. There relationship progressed well throughout the book but it did jump in a little in the middle because they were both already in love with each other at the beginning and sometimes it felt like the thing they were working on was their sexual relationship as that was the part that was the most damaged. And wow! The sex was super hot, pretty frequent, and used some quite kinky terminology- this book could definitely pass for an erotic novel. As with the rest of their interactions I wish that more of the sex had taken place when they knew who the other was and it seemed like once Morgan knew she wasn't a prostitute he behaved differently in bed. The plot involving the stolen goods and blackmailing Morgan over his past started out interesting and while it had some interesting twists and turns I felt like it definitely served to unnecessary prolong the novel and provided a rather lame roadblock to the happily ever after.
Rating: A very enjoyable book with a wonderful heroine, a well written romance, an interesting side plot, and lots of really hot sex.