Sunday, February 13

Claudia Dain: The Courtesan's Daughter

A woman's infamous past is preventing her daughter from attaining a suitable match. Her pragmatic solution is to buy the girl a husband. She chooses an acceptable man, buys up his substantial debts, then offers him a clean slate if he agrees to her proposal. The daughter is outraged by her mother's action and refuses point blank to marry a man who could be bought for the purpose.
Then she sees him. And wants him. But only if he wants her in return, not her mother's money. And she can see only one way he could prove his devotion. He must be willing to pay for her.
She attempts to set herself up as a courtesan with dramatic consequences. Needless to say, in the end she gets her man.
This was, dare I say it, a genuine romp. A believable, well written romance with plenty of fun along the way. The naivety of the daughter to the realities of her mother's premarital way of life, together with the unglamorous details of the mother's memories of her courtesan days felt true. The hero managed to be heroic in spite of his less than ideal situation.
Sure, this is no accurate portrait of social history but let go and enjoy a frolic with this novel twist on the historical romance genre.

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