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~The Courtship~

by Catherine Coulter

      Heroine:  Tall and sturdy

     Statuesque widow Helen Mayberry, owner of the King Edward's Lamp Inn, is on a quest.  Driven to root out the ancient namesake of her business, she concocts a scheme to meet and entice Spenser Heatherington, notorious rake and scholar of ancient languages, into helping her decipher a scroll which may point her in the direction of the lost artifact.

     Can Helen win Spenser over to her quest without having to pay too dearly for services rendered?  Can his lordship spend time with the beautiful widow yet stay free of the marriage trap?  And can the lusty lovers survive their hunt, which brings both murderers and the dead alike out of the woodwork?

      What worked for me:

      The idea of the archaeological mystery had some merit and added a bit of suspense and drama to the story.  I only wish it had been given more time on center stage.

       What didn't work for me:

     This book wanted so badly to be a titillating descent into decadence and "discipline".  It didn't really ring true as bondage and dominance erotica for me, but instead just left me feeling awkward. (Especially the passages where the entire village takes part in the public discipline activities.)

    I also felt like I might have benefited from reading "The Sherbrooke Bride" and "Mad Jack" beforehand, both of which apparently introduced the characters from "The Courtship".  Perhaps then these people might have seemed more three-dimensional to me.

Overall:

     I would have enjoyed this book more had I not been previously spoiled by the author's excellent Medieval and Viking novels.  Die-hard fans may wish to read "The Courtship", but newcomers to Coulter are better off starting with just about any other title by her.

Warning: steamy sex scenes with occasional forays into mild B.& D..

If you liked "The Courtship" you might also enjoy "Slightly Wicked", "Into Temptation", "Suddenly You", "The Accidental Bride", "The Bride and the Beast", "The Fire-Flower", "The Last Days of a Rake", "Somebody to Love", "Cat and the Countess", "The Courtship", or "Enchanting Pleasures".

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Good-bye, Mom.

I love you and will miss you forever.

 

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