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From Mary Blayney, the acclaimed author of Stranger’s Kiss, comes this irresistible new novel of historical romance featuring the Pennistan family. In Courtesan’s Kiss, an independent woman is determined to make her way in the world—even if it’s a scandalous one. But first she must escape a nobleman with plans of his own In the wake of a broken engagement and shunned by the ton, Mia Castellano does not retire to the country, as a proper young lady might, but sees her chance to escape society’s restraints—by becoming a courtesan. In her mind, no unmarried young woman is as free as a courtesan. She alone controls her destiny: managing her own money, having her own house, choosing her lovers. There’s only one obstacle in Mia’s path—Lord David Pennistan. As a favor to his brother, Lord David agrees to escort Mia to his family’s home in Derbyshire, where her guardian awaits. Mia attracts nothing but trouble from the outset of their journey, yet with every adventure they share, Lord David’s desire for his charge grows. When they’re caught in a compromising situation, Lord David insists that she marry him. But there’s only one thing Mia wants from David, and it isn’t his charity or his title. Can he convince her before it’s too late that the love she wants is already hers—to take or to lose forever? Can he win more from this untamed beauty than just a courtesan’s kiss?From the Paperback edition.read more
I reviewed this book for Romance Reader At Heart website:RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS: COURTESAN'S KISS is a fourth installment of the Pennistan Family series. TRAITOR'S KISS/LOVER'S KISS and STRANGER'S KISS are the previous ones that I highly recommend you read first. As much as this book stands on its own, I was glad to have read the other stories first.We meet Mia Castellano, our heroine in STRANGER'S KISS, and we just know that this beautiful and headstrong young lady will be more than a handful for our hero, David Pennistan.From the first paragraph of this book, we know we’re in for an entertaining ride:“’No is the most valuable word in the English language.’ Mia Castellano raised two fingers to her mouth and tried to think of someplace, anyplace on earth, where women were as powerful as men. ‘Indeed, no is the most valuable word in any language.’”Naturally, those words come back to bite her. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the antics of this girl. Ms. Blayney has written the character of Mia so well that she jumped off the pages. I loved her enthusiasm, her quirky personality. From the beginning, we knew that her fiancée was no match for her, that she needed someone who would accept her as she is and not subdue her lively personality. I was relieved when she broke of her engagement and thrown in with David Pennistan. As the two embark on a journey to his family’s home, where her guardian and his sister-in-law Elena resides, we’re treated to an adventure our protagonists will never forget. En route an illness strikes, and our hero is quarantined with Mia. Time spent together in closed quarters gives these two a closer look at each other and an opportunity to get much closer than either thought possible. However, the reality hits them both that without a chaperone, Mia’s reputation is in tatters unless David marries her. Her fascination with David doesn’t stop her for thinking him too domineering and too serious for her. Mia’s worries aren’t so much for her reputation, but for her freedom. This naïve girl thinks the life of a courtesan might suit her better than a wife to David.Lord David Pennistan is not a happy man now that he’s basically ordered to escort this naïve, spoiled, and impetuous girl. He has a lot on his mind, and he doesn’t need any distractions. He's mind and his heart is on how to present his newest venture (a steam powered mill) to his brother, so that he can get the financing for it.It’s quite rare to read of a character in romance novels of Lord David Pennistan’s caliber. He had big dreams for himself, and he wasn’t going to let those dreams get away. This was the beginning of the industrial revolution, and David needed to be a part of it. Our hero was a serious individual who had serious things on his mind. Building a cotton factory, steam engines, offering jobs and housing to veterans and their families, are just a few of the ambitions that drove this man. He didn’t need this slip of a girl and her antics. Ms. Blayney however, thought he did, so she gave him Mia, a vibrant and charming young woman that brought out the best in him. It was highly entertaining to watch Mia and David slowly warm up to each other and realize what we all knew from the beginning of their adventure.With this unlikely pair and a well-rounded supporting cast, COURTESAN'S KISS is best described as an entertaining, witty, and heartwarming adventure. I highly recommend it.Melanieread more
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