Tall and sturdy
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
murderers and the dead alike out of the woodwork?
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
What didn't work for me:
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.
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
"Into Temptation", "Suddenly
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
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