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I know, I know, I keep saying how many books I have got to read at home, but as soon as my kids make me take them to the library something takes over and I cannot stop myself from taking a peek, and this book looked so like the sort I like to read, and the fact that I was introduced to this author last month (and thoroughly enjoyed it!), I decided that it would be rude not to! (Lol!).
The book in question is - "The secret pearl - Mary Balogh".
As the man leaves the theatre he spots the girl standing in the shadows, or does he? She doesn't move forwards to show herself fully, but he knows she is a lay of the night, and knows that even though she has made no effort to come to show her wares, he will have her, and maybe lose himself in the comfort of a warm female creature for a few hours......
She is lead away to a small motel and ordered to strip, she does so with wide eyes and almost abject terror, but offers no resistance, after he has had his way with her he realises that she was maybe not at first what he assumed, realising he has just taken her virginity, but she demands payment, and that is what she gets.
He cannot get his mind off of her, he feels remorse and disgust at himself for being unfaithful to his wife of 7 years Sybil, so seeks a way to make recompense.
At the same time the young woman (who again is not what or who she seems to be) is living a personal hell that drove her far away from her family home, and ended with her selling herself on the streets of London, but maybe the new position of governess will be the turning point for her, though only after she stops dreaming of the hawkish featured and scar faced man sitting on top of her.......
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was hooked from the first page, set in the 1800's era (which has always been a favourite of mine!), this book is full of propriety by the young lady and star of the book "Fleur Hamilton", while all around her the debauchery of the upper classes makes a mockery of the Christen beliefs held by the lower classes.
This book is a cross between a love story/romance and a "who dunnit" book, due to the background of one of the characters, which to me made it so much more than a bodice ripper.
The characters are wonderful to get to know too, Fleur is strong, stubborn and frightened for her life, but keeps her chin up and lets no-one know of the torment that is happening just below the surface.
The other main characters are the Duke and Duchess of Ridgeway, with the Duke being an honourable man, marrying the pregnant lady he had left behind to go to the battle of Waterloo, a woman who gave herself to his brother whilst assumed dead, then on his return tidied up for his brother, as he made a dash for it when he realised the lady in question was pregnant.
The lady assumes her lover has been drove away, so there is no cordiality between the duke and duchess, this at times makes for uncomfortable reading as the duchess is quite happy to flaunt lovers in front of his face.
This is an enjoyable read, but will only ever be aimed at women, with there being a few "heaving bosom" moments, with the other matters being a welcome distraction!
Price wise this is available for around the £3.00 mark on www.amazon.co.uk
For a few hours of complete absorption into a book and a getaway from the real world this is your book!
Thanks for reading x