I haven’t done an ‘Off the Book Shelf’ review for a while now, but I was super excited when I saw this gorgeous book on Amazon and then it ‘accidentally’ fell into my basket.😅 and now I can’t wait to take it ‘Off the Book Shelf’ and share my review of the enticing; Behind the Courtesan’s Mask by Marguerite Kaye.
Behind the Courtesan’s Mask by Marguerite Kaye
London, 1818 Troy Templeton, the Earl of Ettrick, has been tasked with the strangest job of his diplomatic career: visit London’s most notorious courtesan, La Perla, to warn off the ambassador’s besotted son. Instead, he’s irresistibly drawn to her beguiling combination of sensuality and unexpected innocence.
Little does he realize that “La Perla” is actually her twin sister, Constance. Staying in her sister’s home, Constance is aroused by its erotic ambience and dreams about the sinful delights that have taken place within its walls.
And as La Perla, she can finally experience such pleasure for herself with Troy – if she can maintain the ruse….
My, oh my – what a super sexy, spicy and enthralling story of passion, secrets and lies!
Confession time, this is the first book I have read from the Mills and Boon Undone line! I know, shock and horror!!! How come I never knew about these sexy little books?! I have since been filling my kindle with them and already started my second Undone (another Marguerite Kaye too).
The opening is fun and engaging, you are instantly drawn into the darkly erotic world that the characters have found themselves in and the very sexy air crackles with lust between Troy and Constance. I loved their relationship from the first moment they laid eyes on each other their romance blossomed and the chemistry is off the charts.
Set in London, 1818, the story opens in a brothel of all places, where Constance is packing up her long sister’s life after her death; ‘La Perla’ was a notorious madame, one of the most highly sought after courtesans in London, she is loved and revered and wanted by the most powerful of men. To Constance ‘La Perla’ is her sister; Annalisa! Constance can’t help but try a few of La Perla’s things on and dream of what her sister’s life was like, she has never had such adoration and in a way, she is envious of the allure her sister had on men.
Constance never knew she had a sister, let alone an identical twin, but because of her mother’s position, Constance was adopted into a loving and good family, whereas Annalisa stays with her mother. She has grown up to be a good woman, married early in age to a man three times her age. it wasn’t a love match, it was a marriage of convenience but she was a loyal and faithful wife right up to his death. When she learned of her sister’s existence it was too late, Annalise was dying and they only had 6 months together all the time Constance was caring for her ill sister, in that time she learned all about ‘La Perla’ so when Annalise passes and leaves everything to Constance it’s then that she can’t resist to try on few things, just to see how it would feel to be the mesmerizing la Parla for a moment.
But it’s at this moment when she meets Troy Templeton, Earl of Ettrick. Troy is on a mission, being a diplomat his current task is easily one of the most bizarre to date. He is there to save an ambassador’s son from ruin and warn of a notorious courtesan, should be easy, right? Just show the lady a bit of gold and boom, she will do as she is told, right? Wrong, oh, so wrong!!
I am a dizzy, smouldering wreck this is incredibly sexy, it’s hot and spicy and a lot of fun – I may have mentioned that already but it has lots of emotion and heart the characters are done hang around and wait to get to know each other and before you know it they are happily romping in a courtesans boudoir.
This is completely different o any other Mills and Boon and far sexier than anything I have read by the author, Marguerite Kaye is a mistress of the genre but this is far more provocative than any other of her books if you make me think of the dare books but this time in historical form and it works, it really, really works your imagination goes to places which will make you blush delightfully while melting completely.
I loved the characters Troy and Constance are wonderful, the chemistry and attraction is instant, she is the trusting, generous kind and beautiful woman who is so far removed from her sister’s erotic world, and he is a world-weary, rugged, cautious, cynical and ridiculously handsome man who has comet to put La Perla in her place only to be charming. they meet and there is a little bit of mistaken identity which is when the romping comes in and oh, lordy lord what a romp!
The romance is sizzling from the start from the moment they laid eyes (and hands) on each other the lust and attraction leaps of the page shooting stars have nothing on these two for energy and sparkle.
I did think it finished rather abruptly and would have liked a little more to see what happened next to them but for a book of only57 pages it is a satisfying end and there is a lot jammed into those few pages.
The story is incredibly well constructed and the characters are beautifully developed, it’s small and perfectly formed. it is very easy to read, it flowed perfectly, and the story is very quick off the mark and doesn’t dally about, I loved the speedy pacing. It’s a very short story but it packs a punch!
Overall, this is a gorgeous read; it’s alluring seductive sexy intense sparkly passionate erotic and romantic…a definite must-read!!