Viola Whedon, former courtesan, is woken out of sleep one night to hear intruders in her home. She hears the men whispering that whatever they were looking for had to be there and as Viola was finishing writing up her second memoir of her past protectors, she assumes they are looking for it so it can not be published. She know she has hidden it well she flees from her room only to be saved from the villains by Leonidas Vaughn. Little does she know that Leo is somewhat involved in the burglary, through his cousin. Leo had came across some letters leaving him to believe that there was some hidden treasure stashed in her home and he shared this news with his cousin, who took it upon himself to proceed with his plan of finding the treasure no matter what the cost. Leo, on the other hand, has his own plan. He plans to seduce the lovely Mrs Whedon and secretly search him home. He does not count on his own feelings that start the moment he meets the slightly terrified eyes of Viola.
Viola also does not count on her own growing attraction to Leo. She shares her bed with him, without the formality of a contract, because as a younger son, he could not afford her anyways. But there is a much deeper reason she agrees to be in his bed and she refuses to believe it, just shoves it away. She has already been hurt in the past, becoming a penniless widow at seventeen and shunned from her family, she has a hard time accepting that Leo loves and accepts her as does his family. They have many hurdles to overcome though until they can reach their happily ever after. First, Leo is hiding the true reason she keeps getting attacked. Viola continues to believe it is about her manuscript and it takes Leo quite awhile to finally tell her the truth. Then Viola is abducted by Leos mother, but that, thankfully, was a pleasant altercation. One of the bright spots of this book was Lady Beau, Leos sister. She is headstrong and impulsive and always near a scandal. I am so happy to see that she is the heroine in the next book, Ripe for Scandal!
Overall, this was my first read from Isobel Carr, who has also written as Kalen Hughes. I enjoyed her writing and thought her characters were smart, funny and sexy. There is lots of drama fueled by the jealously of Leos cousin, passion, heartache and happiness. Even the inclusion of wigs and hoops and such for the time period of 1783, which I personally don't really enjoy, was done in a way that it did not hinder the story. I would have liked to have seen more of Violas back story though. We didn't really get a full sense of it until the end and I think it might have helped me understand her a bit more in the beginning had it all been spelled out earlier. There were a few loose threads that were left open also I thought but still, this was an enjoyable, steamy (always an added bonus when the lady is a courtesan) read and I will definitely be reading more from this author! 4 stars
I received this ebook via netgalley.com