Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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*Novel provided by the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviews program
For more information please visit Celeste Bradley's website and Susan Donovan's website.
Regency London’s most celebrated courtesan, The Blackbird, was a woman before her time—uninhibited, financially independent, and free to live by her own rules. Schooled in the sensual arts by the one man she loved the most, she recorded every wicked detail in her diaries…
When Boston museum curator Piper Chase-Pierpont unearths The Blackbird’s steamy memoirs, she’s aroused and challenged by what she finds. Could the courtesan’s diaries be used as a modern girl’s guide to finding love and empowerment? One curious curator—and one very lucky man—are about to find out…
A Courtesan's Guide to Getting You Man by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan was quite possibly one of the most intense, emotional and utterly amazing novels that I've had the pleasure of reading. With two worlds perfectly entwining and chock full of masterfully created characters, amazing chemistry and romance hot enough to make your blood boil this is one novel that will live on in the reader's memory far passed the final page.
Without a doubt this has one of the most intricate worlds imaginable spanning from present day all the way back to Regency London. Each world is vividly created with wonderful attention to details bringing each into perfect clarity from the wonderful settings in which the story takes place to the society in which each character lives emphasizing not only the differences but the similarities of each. Now, what initially had me worried about this when I first started reading was the fact that it would entail both contemporary and historical romance. I was a bit nervous that because of the split focus that the plot of the novel and the characterization would suffer, but I can say that all of those worries were for nothing. In fact, this story perfectly spans these two very different times creating a great duality that suited the theme of the novel.
The characters themselves were beyond endearing, from Ophelia, otherwise known as the Blackbird, to Piper and their respective lovers, Sir and Mick. In fact, I don't think I've ever found a character that I've respected more the Ophelia. She's iconic and impassioned and unabashedly herself. If ever there was a woman to feel inspired by it would be her, with her wonderful intellect and fierce heart. Piper, in her own way is much the same, however, she's extremely accessible with her own set of vulnerabilities, emotions and self worth issues. Just as intelligent as Ophelia but lacking in confidence, she follows in the footsteps of the Blackbird earning her courage and the love her life, Mick, in the process. And now for the men in their respective lives. First, let me start with Sir! Delectable isn't even a strong enough word for how deliciously wicked this mysterious man is. I loved him and found him intriguing and beguiling. His love for Ophelia was obvious no matter how each other them shy away from the fact. But, I will say that I was so, so happy to be right about his identity! It was so perfect and when he is finally unmasked I think I loved him a bit more. Truly, this was a realistic man who any woman would wish was flesh and blood and not only in their bed, but in their lives. But, it was his unending support of Ophelia, even in her darkest moments, that really won me over which on emphasized my idea of this being something extremely close to the perfect man. Mick was pretty much the same way with Piper in so much as he was devoted, caring and over all rather remarkable. While I loved Mick though there was a charisma to Sir that I couldn't ignore.
But, what is a romance without well, the romance? This novel was beyond scintillating with two separate affairs that set my blood to boil. There were so many wonderful emotions that were intense and masterfully realized and the chemistry, don't even get me started it was so wonderful. The sexual awakening of both Piper and Ophelia was marvelously written creating an erotic, passionate connection between these amazing women and the men within their lives. I really couldn't get enough, and while I loved Piper immensely, I fell in love with the passionate affair between Ophelia and Sir. I was completely sucked in to their hesitant relationship eagerly anticipating my next fix, and when the story was finally over, just wow.
Honestly, I don't know which side of this story I loved more, but I am leaning toward Ophelia and Sir. They were each just so charismatic and I adored Ophelia and her spine of steel, her devotion and loyalty to her friends and her verve for life. But, at the same time I adored Piper's courage at stepping outside of her comfort zone and finally allowing herself to grow and to be daring even when she knew the result would not end favorably. I think that these authors did a phenomenal job of bringing these two spunky ladies to life and creating a world and characters that readers can find some great messages and inspiration from. And the writing styles were perfect creating separate, but connected characters with fluid writing and prose that only served to ensnare me further in to this story.
Over all, this book was amazing. It's just that simple. I fell in love with the characters, the worlds, the authors, the whole package. If you love romance that will make you laugh, cry and keep you hooked from the first page to the last, then this is it! And for those who want characters that pop from the pages then this novel definitely delivers on that front too!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Scars
Advisory: Explicit sexual content