Everyone thought she was dead…
In 18th century Covent Garden, Madam Moineau, is the mistress of Blackstairs, an establishment catering to the finest clients in London.
The mysterious, veiled lady of Paris was better known in the past as a former courtesan and went by the considerably less exotic moniker of Georgina Radcliffe, or Georgie to her friends.
In the winter of 1785 two men appear in Madam Moineau’s life.
Rogue artist Anthony Lake has recently returned from Europe. Lake is on his own assignment, searching the streets of London for the daughter he only recently discovered he had fathered.
He learns that the child’s mother is dead, brutally killed and Anthony finds himself on an unexpected mission to avenge his ex-lovers’ murder.
Nearly ten years after he left Madam Moineau, then known as Georgina, for dead, Viscount Edmund Polmear returns to London.
He has a new fiancé in tow and is soon to be found around Blackstairs, seeking a further mistress for his own pleasure.
His sudden appearance is a shock for the victim that he believed he left for dead, forcing Madam Moineau to face the horrors of her own past head on.
Anthony Lake and Madam Moineau’s lives become inevitably and inextricably entwined as they find themselves up against the fearsome and unforgiving Viscount Polmear.
Artist, Anthony lake has returned to London with one thing on his mind and that is to find the daughter he never even knew existed, but now he does know of her he wants her in his life. He wants to be the father that he never got the chance to be while she was young and with her mother dead he is his daughters only relative, the only person to look after her and guide her. Or so her thinks!
He scours London for any word of his elusive daughter and while on his search he drops in at a coffee shop where he meets the most intoxicating and intriguing women he has ever met in his life, she is the flame and all men are moths to her beautiful light. She is the queen bee amongst her drones and he can’t get enough of her. Who is this veiled tantalizing creature?
Madam Moineau knows her little world better than anyone, she rules and she isn’t afraid to show her power, but beneath the veil she is a not just physically scarred young woman but a psychologically damaged one as well, after surviving a horrific assault from her husband, an attack that should have killed her she has reinvented herself from Yorkshire Whore Georgina to the greatest Madam of the age, owner of Blackstairs Brothel she treats her girls with the respective that they would never had got anywhere else and she is hugely respected in return, amongst this she is also the adoptive mother of a young and rather out spoken girl named Molly. And so far everything in Her life is perfect. That is until a stranger turns up and turns her life upside down.
Georgina and Anthony have become embroiled in the same plot, they are both up against the same enemy a man who is worse than Satan himself, the snide, cruel and murderous Lord Polmear. A man who secrets Georgina knows and a man who would kill to have them buried.
I have said it before and I am going to say it, yet again! I really like Catherine’s work, her writing draw’s you in, I love novels that have a lot of history and Curzon is a pro. I am always in awe of how cleverly she entwine’s historically accurate life and times with an entertaining fictional story where you become submerged into a dark and dangerous world. Curzon is a master of this.
Georgie is a great character, she is a genuinely loving women. She has been through hell and yet she hasn’t turned jaded or sour from her experiences. True, she is a little cynical of those around her; which can be understood and isn’t at all surprising. But she has so much love in her closely guarded heart and you really see that love when she is with young molly. Their relationship is so sweet and so natural that you get a real sense of who this woman real is under the facade of the Madam.
She is such a resilient women! A strong, brave woman who dragged herself from where the evil Polmear left her for dead and re-created herself into what she is today. She is remarkable, but then again she is from Yorkshire and I think we all know how remarkably resilient Yorkshire folk are 😉 to me she shines.
“Until Anthony held her she had almost forgotten how safe it could be in someone elses arms, so used to being strong for herself, that it no longer occurred to her that there might be someone else in the world who’s strength she might be able to rely on.
Only for them to let you down again in the end.
He almost had me for the fool.
I have no need for men, let him revel in his whores. He is gone from my life, forever and we shall be the happier for it, our home shall settle down once more.
And the Madam of Moineau shall reign over Blackstairs again”
Anthony has no idea what he has gotten himself into, he is a rare, good man in a world of scoundrels and villains. He wants to do right by his daughter, and you have to give him credit for that, he is charming and highly intelligent and he sees things so much more than others do. He saw Georgie and he knew she was special even from behind the veil.
A sophisticated and classy tale of two individual’s trying to do their best to make a life for themselves and amongst so much peril and danger there is a tantalizing love story where our too leads are just too stubborn in their own rights to see and accept what is staring them in the face.
Now I really loved The Star of Versailles and The Crown Spire; with it’s two handsome highwaymen was fabulous, but this just caught my attention! It pulled me in and I have to say that The Mistress of Blackstairs is my favourite of Curzon’s work. It is just flawless! It’s like a good cup of tea when made to perfection, brewed strong with the perfect amount of sugar. It’s rich and solid and the story flows fast and seamlessly.
An intriguing plot that has you guessing where in the world this is going to take you, For me this is an all out winner, a five out of five! It has got everything that I look for in a Historical book, fabulously gripping story, the history to back it up and characters that are so well-defined that they just jump off the page. This is why I read historical books.
Historically packed, entertaining and believable…Just superb!
This was a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Mistress of Blackstairs Ebook edition is out now and available on Amazon.