09 September 2008

Review: Anna Campbell - Claiming The Courtesan

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (March 27, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061234915
ISBN-13: 978-0061234910

The Duke of Kylemore knows her as Soraya, London's most celebrated courtesan. Men fight duels to spend an hour in her company. And only he comes close to taming her. Flying in the face of society, he decides to make her his bride; then, she vanishes, seemingly into thin air.

Dire circumstances have forced Verity Ashton to barter her innocence and change her name for the sake of her family. But Kylemore destroys her plans for a respectable life when he discovers her safe haven. He kidnaps her, sweeping her away to his hunting lodge in Scotland, where he vows to bend her to his will.

There he seduces her anew. Verity spends night after night with him in his bed . . . and though she still dreams of escape and independence, she knows she can never flee the unexpected, unwelcome love for the proud, powerful lover who claims her both body and soul.

I just have turned the last page of this stunning debut from Anna Campbell and I’m in awe of her talent. She strips all the glitter and glamour from the regency time period and gives the reader a man and a woman with a range of emotions between them that echoes long after you’ve finished the story.

With a passionate pen Anna Campbell writes such vivid dialogues between Justin and Verity I actually felt the fire burning between them. Two characters, each in their own way, are bold, fierce and filled with a life-force that comes from a tough life. This and much more was translated in words that made me eager to turn the pages, more than eager to follow the verbal fights, the clash of emotions and the path of love and healing. All this poured right into my mind with reading every page and left me breathless.

There’s also a physical passion and hunger for domination that is described with heartfelt words that left me with no anger towards Justin Kylemore. His haunting and dark emotions travel with him in his actions and undoubtedly served a higher purpose in this story. To conquer such a man will never be easy and with Verity the author gave a voice to a powerful yet vulnerable woman. Possession can work both ways and this novel shares its path in both the light and darkness with every shade in between. There is no sugar coating nor any real humor to find that elevates the darker side but if you want to read about an intriguing journey of love and understanding, 'Claiming the courtesan' is a story for you!

Claiming the courtesan is bold and daring, both endearing as it is compassionate, dark and light as well as pain and pleasure. This tale speaks of such emotion you can’t close this book and not speak about it. A battle between the sexes has never been more scintillating!

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