Miss Eva Black spent her life concealing her mother's past as a courtesan. Now a spinster, her beauty hidden away under a dour disguise, Eva spends her days schooling courtesans to be suitable wives. But one vengeful duke does not appreciate Eva turning his mistress into a lady. He plans to seduce Eva into becoming what she detests: a courtesan. But he doesn't expect her to be a woman of such beauty and so many secrets.
Smith's lively debut is chockablock with plot twists. Frowzy, pseudonymous Miss Eva Black runs a school and sanctuary for courtesans who wish to retire from carnal service. Part yenta and part Henry Higgins, Eva teaches the young women proper manners and matches them with eligible suitors. Her scheme is a success until Nicholas Drake, duke of Stanfield, shows up demanding the return of his favorite concubine and threatening to use all his wealth and power to destroy Eva. With her school, her secrets, and her principles at stake, Eva must grudgingly bend to his indecorous demand that she take his mistress's place. Naturally Nicholas cannot anticipate what a wildcat he has loosed, nor can Eva know how easily she will succumb to his charms. Historical details are few, but there's plenty of passion and intrigue.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I thought it needed a bit more character development. I enjoyed it but felt it could have been even better.
This Is A Keeper!
At last an author who has returned to the plot twists, and unexpected turns that make a story that you can't put down. This is one of the few books that I read cover-to-cover by the time the sun came up since "The Flame And The Flower" was published. I love the good girl in difficulty who is unknowingly from a noble family. I love that no one is really who they appear to be at first.
Romance novels have slipped lately but this is a return to the fantasy and improbable situations of ladies who aren't too much of a lady; where so many events unfold in a different way than what you expect, but, of course, they lived happily ever after. This virgin writer will have a loyal following for her next works and since this was a first effort they will get even better. I can't wait!
A light fun read.