A Haughty Courtesan

(7 customer reviews)

Feelings of the heart do not abide by the rules of society, do they?

Rose is a proud and egotistical courtesan. She has a reputation of exacting her revenge on those who dare to cross her or put her in a bad mood. Still, her flawless beauty and skills at her trade make her the most sought-after courtesan in Madam Dustin’s brothel. As skilled as she is, she is unprepared for the moment Lord William Clifford makes his presence known and shakes the very foundation of her life.

Lord William agrees to attend a masquerade ball at the brothel with his lifelong friend, Lord Robert Tyne, with no intention of partaking of any services offered. His thoughts and emotions are strained when the most beautiful woman he’s ever encountered walks into the room. With one look from her, his life is thrown into chaos by a thunderbolt of emotions; something much stronger than lust.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy historical romance contains elements of power exchange.

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

 

In the house of Madam Olivia Dustin, a masquerade was underway. Highborn lords were hiding behind masks, trying to conceal their identities from each other. Everyone was aware of who was present, yet all of them wanted to keep the charade of not knowing the presence of their neighbor, friend or family members.

The reason for their shame was the establishment where the current festivities were held.

It was a brothel.

An expensive one, and reputable for discretion.

The girls working at the brothel of Madam Olivia Dustin were highly paid. All the working girls were skilled in their trade and were some of the prettiest girls in the whole town. Nobility and merchants flocked towards the place every day.

Among these girls was one girl who was a favorite of the madam and the countless admirers who kept an eye on her every move.

And why wouldn’t they?

Her every move was a tale of sensuality and seduction.

Her name was Rose.

She had been living in the establishment ever since she was six years old when the madam picked her up from the streets and took her under her wing. In the beginning, she carried messages for the madam and became a courtesan once she came of age.

Under the tutelage of Madam Olivia Dustin, Rose had become the most sought-after courtesan from the very first day of her life as a courtesan. At the age of twenty-six, she was skilled like no other in her line of trade.

Her crowd of admirers increased day by day and so did her pride. She was beautiful. No one could deny it, but the fame had made her a bitter person towards others. She considered herself superior to others and maybe, in some ways, she was better than the other girls.

Her skin was alabaster, and her lips always painted like a red rose. Her thick, onyx locks reaching her slim waist ensnarled countless men in their trap. When she batted her thick lashes, a myriad of hearts stopped beating. Her violet eyes changed color as the lighting changed and it slew many in their wake.

Beauty was her weapon and she knew how to wield it.

It had been a long time since she began work as a courtesan, but never in that time did she yearn for a different lifestyle. Unlike many people, she liked her line of work. It provided a kind of freedom that was rare in a male dominant society.

At the masquerade, she was wearing a garland of roses in her hair and a mischievous smile on her face. She moved with a gait of a skilled courtesan from one person to another, hunting for her prey.

“Beautiful Rose, you look ravishing in the costume of Flora.”

She smiled at the man hiding behind the mask of a wolf. The only visible features through the mask were his lips and green eyes. The man was wearing a black tailored coat with golden embroidery and grey breeches… a complete ensemble for someone representing a grey, feral beast.

She would have never recognized the man, but the ring on his hand gave away his identity.

“Lord Doris,” she said coquettishly. “I should have known you would come as a wolf.” She leaned towards him suggestively and dragged a slender finger across his chest. “Deadly and clever.”

Lord Franklin Doris was an Earl. He came to their establishment less frequently than others, but he always came with a heavy purse. He was a favorite of the madam for his generosity, but he was not favored by the courtesans because he was a careless brute.

She knew he would never harm her because he would have to answer to Madam Olivia, and no one wished such fate upon themselves. Madam Olivia kept high-ranking officials in her pockets and one word from her could ruin the life of any nobleman.

“And ready to devour,” he drawled.

Her lips curled into a crooked sensual smile and she bit her bottom lip between her teeth.

“We are all here for your pleasure, my lord.”

Lord Doris did not miss the suggestive look she was throwing his way. He grinned at her before eyeing her leisurely from top to bottom with the gaze of a predator.

“Is that so?” he asked roguishly.

“Point to anyone and see for yourself,” she said in a sensual manner.

He leaned towards her ear and she pretended to shudder as his warm breath teased her lobe.

“The only thing I came here for is standing right in front of me,” he said. “Why should I bother looking elsewhere?”

When he straightened, she batted her thick eyelashes… casting her bait of deceptive innocence. Her innocent face always worked in her favor. Men fell at her feet in droves because of her ageless beauty.

“I am flattered,” she responded.

Her small gesture had the desired effect she had been looking for. His Adam’s apple moved up and down.

She had piqued his interest.

He had taken the bait.

“I usually don’t visit twice in a week, but for you, I will make an exception,” he said.

“I will be waiting for you, eagerly,” she purred.

He reached out to catch her, but she was quicker than he anticipated and all he could manage to grab was air.

“One kiss is all I ask this fine evening,” Lord Doris said.

She winked before turning her back on him. She was quick because it was not the first time she was luring a customer. She knew how to play this game of erotic teasing.

“You know the rules, Lord Doris,” she said. “Rose does not kiss her customers.”

It was true. Rose would allow the customers to do anything, but never let them taste her lips. She never offered any explanation, but it increased her allure, and everyone assumed it was the reason.

Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. Who knew what Rose really hoped to gain? She was a proud girl with a big ego and all her other traits, good or bad, dimmed behind her bitter nature. No one cared to ask her why she was reluctant to kiss anyone.

She prowled through the party, searching for other gentlemen who would take an interest in her. Her eyes and ears were on alert for any subtle sign of interest from the guests.

She felt rather than saw a gentleman’s gaze penetrating her skin. From the corner of her eyes, she observed two men standing in a corner. One of them was wearing a mask of a white feathered bird while the other was wearing a mask of a devil. She knew the first one, but the latter was a first comer.

She stood near a pillar, knowing full well the gentleman in the devil mask was interested in her and would sooner or later approach her.

It was an old routine… an old dance she had been performing for a long time.

She knew and so did everyone else that no one could resist the allure of Rose.

 

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7 reviews for A Haughty Courtesan

  1. Stats23

    This story is of the Victorian erotica genre, with a decidedly different set of circumstances. Instead of the female lead being a rather naïve and innocent young lady she is a highly skilled courtesan with a bit of a superiority complex. She is not led astray but rather she leads noblemen along with her sexual favours. Rose believes she is above all her contemporaries, believes that money is everything, and that emotional attachments are unrealistic. That is, until she meets Lord William Clifford. She is so taken by him that she begins to doubt all of her beliefs. Lord William is also quite taken by Rose, but she is after all a courtesan and he a Lord, so doubts anything more could evolve. With all the rules and expectations that Society puts on them, as well as their own doubts, can any meaningful relationship really develop and endure? The story includes a few disciplinary spankings and the sex is…. well, what you would expect from a skilled courtesan. A refreshingly different story line told in a very believable way. 4 Stars.
    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

  2. Ronald

    Rose is a courtesan in a famous London brothel. She meets Lord William, who is enamored of her, even though all they do is speak briefly. They go through a lot of difficult problems in trying to establish a relationship that they both want, but given their positions in life, it is hard to achieve. Rose is a wonderful character – Lord William less so, though he is constrained by his rank and the pressure of his parents to find a “suitable” bride. The story is interesting but it is hard to really get into it. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  3. Marybeth

    This is the story of Rose, a courtesan. She was raised in the brothel from the age of 6, when the Madam took her from the streets. Once she became of age, she became the most sought over courtesan in the town. She was haughty and superior and did not associate with the other courtesans as she felt they were beneath her. Then she meets Sir William. She comes to care for him and he for her. There is a HEA after many trials and tribulations for them both.

  4. Rjr

    Rose is the star courtesan in the city. Her beauty, wit, and seductive manner have men falling at her feet. She treats the other working girls in her brothel with total disdain. Then one day, she meets Lord William Clifford and he falls under her spell but does not use her or treat her as other men have. Rose falls in love and William fears he is too. But William has a great deal of family business that needs his attention and requires him to leave town frequently. The loss of William causes Rose to go through a desperate time and changes her personality and outlook on life. As she goes from bad to worse, she only wants William. William must decide whether to follow his own path or continue to do his duty. And they both must decide if they are willing to do whatever it takes to remain together. This was a terrific, well written story. I loved the all the characters around William and Rose and the plot was very good, but it was difficult to read about what Rose goes through. Still, a very solid read.

  5. Lori

    There is no love for a courtesan. No place for emotion or deep feelings for anyone, much less paying customers.. Being haughty and cold is a way to protect herself. This is the only life that she knows. When a handsome Lord visits, she is alarmed to discover an attraction she has never felt before. Is she really the mean girl he sees? Can she change? Will it matter?

    I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  6. Redrabbitt

    The third story in the Unexpected Love series could read well as a stand-alone. I must admit, I had a hard time in the beginning with the main female character, Rose, a courtesan. She is beautiful, but her beauty is only skin deep. She knows how to attract men and use them as they use her, but when it comes to having any friends, she doesn’t. She is so vain and self-centered that she is ugly—but read on, because things will change.

    “She was a walking sin. She truly was Persephone—Enticing the lord of the underworld with her sheer beauty. She had woven a web of lust and desire so tightly he could not speak nor move an inch from his place. She did not need a script to attract her customers. Her sharp mind was enough for making people hooked on her company.”

    Lord William Clifford will be invited by his friend, Robert Tyne, to visit Madam Dustin’s brothel for a masquerade and to meet the courtesans. Rose will enamor William, and this will be the beginning of their acquaintance and adventure.

    “She is the most coveted courtesan because she knows how to gain the attention of men,” Robert said, staring at him. “She is good at ensnaring fools like you.”

    William will return and request the presence of Rose, but he will shock her, not there to use her for her favors but to converse and enjoy her witty conversation. It doesn’t take him long to learn that she is a conceited woman, prone to cause discord, and he will call her out on it He isn’t happy when he hears of the angst she causes amongst the other courtesans, purposely getting them in trouble with Olivia.

    Rose: “What was more beautiful than the courtesan who could literally make any man eat from her hands?”
    William: “You think extremely highly of yourself.”
    Rose: “I am the best,” she said proudly. “There is no one who can even come close to my level.”
    William: “You do realize it makes you sound like a really shallow person. Instead of thanking her for her help you humiliated her. That makes you a shallow person and kind of an imposter if you utter such beautiful words yet behave like a total brat.”

    No one had ever said such truer words to Rose, and they hurt her deeply. She will even speak to John, who works in the brothel for Olivia, and he will be honest with her too.

    “I believe some things cannot be bought with money,” John said. “You cannot change your past no matter how much money you earn, neither can you buy someone’s affections with it.”

    “I am a horrible person, John,” she said. “An imposter. A shallow person.”

    “You are not a bad person, Rose. Your only flaw was considering yourself above others.”

    From here, the story will take a turn, and things will change. Rose will realize that her vanity and standoffish ways have kept her at a distance from everyone else. Yes, the Lords that come to the brothel want her, but they are paying for a service she provides. When William came, he engaged her in conversation and treated her like a lady and not a whore. What has she done? How can things change?

    William’s parents, especially his mother, have a lady picked out for her to court and marry. He has managed to avoid Lady Lillian and his mother’s machination, but maybe it is time to do his duty to his family and marry a noble lady. Rose is a courtesan, and he needs a lady—but how can he forget Rose when she is always in his thoughts? Has she finally pushed him away and lost him for good?

    The story has the good, the bad, and the ugly in human behavior. It brings out some harsh truths, including that men can sleep with multiple women, but a woman must be above board or deemed a harlot—even if she really is one. Is marriage the answer without happiness and love? What would happen if William and Rose broke convention?

    I’m glad I did not give up on this book, and that Rose and William have such a wonderful impact on each other. Each person needs someone special in their life, even if it doesn’t match what society deems acceptable. While this story does not end on a cliffhanger, it does leave one to wonder if we might see them again in the next story.

  7. Julie

    Rose is the most sought after in her profession due to her high skill at luring men. She has a reputation for getting revenge on anyone who annoys her.

    Still, with all her pride and confidence, her world is shaken after meeting Lord William Clifford.

    Lord William had no intentions of partaking of any services offered at the masquerade ball but agreed to attend with his friend Lord Robert Tyne.

    William’s resolve and intentions are thrown out the windows as the most beautiful woman he has ever seen walks in and takes one look at him. It felt as if he had been struck by heavy targeted lightning consuming him with emotion and magnetism much stronger than any lust could.

    It began when Rose enamored William though his friend warns she knows how to snare a man into her web.

    He returns to requests the presence of Rose, but he totally confuses her when he does not use her favors but enjoys witty conversation instead.

    He realizes she is prone to cause disruption and intentionally causes the other courtesans grief with their employee. William is not pleased and calls her on it,

    The conversation and actions of Lord William stir her curiosity to the point she decides what he said was true. She talks to John and reaches out to correct the mistakes she made in front of William.

    Rose changes at this point thoroughly upset that she has lost William. He treated her like a lady and only wanted to talk.

    As with all parents of title men of this era, Williams parents have a lady picked out for him to marry. Up to this point, he has avoided Lady Lillian at all cost.

    Rose is not the kind of woman his parents would approve of but how could he possibly marry someone else when all he thinks of is Rose.

    How can he spend the rest of his life without love and happiness? He still has not found a way to forget about Rose, and the above mentioned is unbearable.

    Royalty needs someone special in their lives also even if it breaks all the standard royal rules. They are destined to be together, which is why Rose and William have such a dynamic impact on each other.

    I received a free copy of this book. This honest review was posted voluntarily.

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