A Courtesan's Guide to Getting Your Man
Celeste Bradley & Susan Donovan
Source: Goodreads win!
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Whew, I knew by the title of this book that it was going to be steamy, but holy cow. It was the steamiest romance novel I ever read. Not for children, that's to be sure. Rated R for all kinds of... well, you know. Piper is a geeky museum curator in Boston, working on a new exhibit about Ophelia Harrington, one of America's greatest abolitionists and women's rights supporter. While researching one evening she finds Ophelia's secret journals and by doing so discovers Ophelia had a torrid past as a courtesan in London. Risking her job, Piper decides she needs to reveal this secret to the public and make it the focus of her upcoming exhibit.
What I loved about this novel were the parallel plots. Piper was trying to find herself just like the young Ophelia was and what was so great was that Piper had Ophelia's diaries to help guide herself, not just sexually but emotionally. In the end, both women grew and got what they really wanted. It was beautiful.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel! I mistakenly thought it was going to be "just another romance novel," but instead I ended up really liking it as I tore through it. If you're looking for steam, you'll definitely find it here, but it was also much more than that. It was about discovering yourself and finding true happiness in your personal freedom.
Disclaimer: Even though I won this ARC through Goodreads and it was free, that didn't influence my review.