Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review: The Courtesan Duchess by Joanna Shupe

The Courtesan Duchess 
by Joanna Shupe
Series: Wicked Deceptions, #1
Pub Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher:  Zebra
Pages:  353
Format:  eArc
Source:  Netgalley
  


My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:


How to seduce an estranged husband—and banish debt!—in four wickedly improper, shockingly pleasurable steps...

1. Learn the most intimate secrets of London’s leading courtesan.

2. Pretend to be a courtesan yourself, using the name Juliet Leighton.

3. Travel to Venice and locate said husband.

4. Seduce husband, conceive an heir, and voilà, your future is secure!

For Julia, the Duchess of Colton, such a ruse promises to be foolproof. After all, her husband has not bothered to lay eyes on her in eight years, since their hasty wedding day when she was only sixteen. But what begins as a tempestuous flirtation escalates into full-blown passion—and the feeling is mutual. Could the man the Courtesan Duchess married actually turn out to be the love of her life?


I enjoyed this historical romance from new-to-me author, Joanna Shupe. Julia was a strong-willed heroine who was not afraid to be sexy to capture her estranged husband's attention. Even if that means painting her hair, roughing her lips, and pretending to be a courtesan. It was easy to start off hating Nick, the estranged husband. We open the book to his wife (in disguise) watching him pleasure a woman in his lap while playing cards in a gaming hell. Nick abandoned his young bride 8 years ago before the marriage was even consummated, and has been living the life of a rake ever since. So as easy as it was to hate his rogue lifestyle and seemingly uncaring nature, Nick was able to win me (and Julia) by the end for a sweet little HEA.

While this book was not heavy on the historical details, I did enjoy the descriptions of the costumes Julia wore when she was pretending to be the courtesan. It was also more sultry than typical historical romances, so it would be a good bridge between a contemporary and historical reading kick. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light historical read with a bit of angst and drama between the characters.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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