All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess
Simon Jefferes, the Marquess of Sainthill, has done the unthinkable—he's fallen in love. The so-called "Saint" has spent his life gambling, dallying with women, and satisfying his every whim. And he fully intended to continue his wicked ways, until he met the mysterious, exotic, and irresistible Madame Venna—the one woman he can't have…and the only one he's ever wanted for more than an evening.
The proprietress of the Golden Pearl, one of London's most exclusive brothels, Madame Venna takes pride in the lush, decadent club she's created. With a half-mask to conceal her identity, she's careful to safeguard something even more valuable—her heart. But Saint is determined to tear down the walls she's built around herself, and to finally expose the truth—that Madame Venna is a woman very much in love…with him.
The fifth installment of Hawkins's Lords of Vice series (after Sunrise with a Notorious Lord) is highly improbable and often gets in its own way. After escaping an abusive childhood where she was raped by her foster brother, Catherine Deverall took refuge in London, where she learned to be a skilled courtesan. Eventually she became mysterious Madame Venna, the masked proprietress of the Golden Pearl. Attempting to get over a night of passion with captivating Simon "Saint" Jefferes, the marquess of Sainthill, Catherine sleeps with his friend and takes other lovers, while sending her friends and employees to sate Saint's passion. Unfortunately, their efforts to forget each other through lurid promiscuity highlight the squalor of even the classiest brothel and the unappealing amorality of both characters, making the love-conquers-all theme unconvincing.
Not like her other books at all. No substance or character development.