Cover Image: A Courtesan's Worth

A Courtesan's Worth

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

You know, I went into this book expecting one thing, and getting not only that, but much more.

I wanted a Historical Romance escape because, let's face it, life can really get you down sometimes, and jumping into someone else's story is my kind of adventure! Getting to know Kitty and her sisters was eye-opening. Catching the favor of going Sidney wasn't merely happenstance, but fate. Seeing these two eventually come together, knowing the odds, was heartwarming... but watching it all fall apart was heart-stopping. My breath was held when all truly seemed lost, and the "bad guy" seemed to achieve the upper hand, but I was brought back to life once again when the dust settled and those we had faith in proved it placed wisely. Yes, my friends, it was a delight to read for many reasons, all of which are noteworthy, but I must say, the surprises didn't stop at story's end!

I'm one of those readers that actually reads the author's notes as well, and this one I found rather interesting! Unbeknownst to me, the characters presented herein have their footing not simply in fiction, but in real life! Darling Ada-Marie was inspired by someone very close to the author, while Kitty and her sisters got some of their history, gumption, and forward thinking from another infamous woman of the times. I guess I never really thought about that aspect of things within this genre. I mean, ladies of the night aren't a new concept, but how they acted, were presented, and treated, certainly changed throughout history.

All in all, a great pick for Historical Romance fans that like characters with gumption, a love that defies the odds, and bad guys that get their comeuppance in surprisingly delightful ways.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to the Blog Tour Organiser Rachel’s Random Resources, the Author & the Publisher for inviting me to be part of this Tour.

Before I begin I just want to say I’m absolutely captivated by this cover, it’s just beautiful.

I love Regency Romance and I couldn’t wait to start this, the bio had me hooked.

This romantic tale begins in July 1918, after only a few short pages I was swept away by the world that the author created, it’s so realistic and historically accurate.

I could really see why Kitty was the most desirable Courtesan in London and also why Sidney was so besotted with her.

I loved every page of this book, the mystery, the love everything was just perfect and I’m definitely going to read the first book in the series even though this can be read as a stand-alone.

On a little side note, I’ve got to say that I loved Sidney’s housekeeper Mrs Smith she’s a woman you can admire and she’s so funny too.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and really loved the descriptions of the Regency period in London so good it made me feel as though I was there. I liked how the characters were gradually introduced to the reader. A really good roller coaster of a read.

Was this review helpful?

So I wouldnt say this was my favourtie regency book. One thing i always find paramount in historical romances is timing and pacing and at times it really frustrated me in this book. Along with that I often felt torn. As the good parts were really really bloody good! But sadly when it wasnt i had to skim and skip just to keep reading.

Was this review helpful?

Well, this story was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the main characters. They were clearly destined for each other but nothing was straightforward and I really felt for them. I couldn’t help but root for these characters and hope that there would be a happy ending for them. There was also a good selection of minor characters that all brought something to the story whether it was conflict or friendships to the main characters.

The plot moved at a good pace and kept me invested. The story had a couple of twists that kept things interesting and made me wonder how it would all turn out. I really liked that there was a lightness to the story especially when Kitty and Sidney interacted. Along with a very sizzling aspect too. Then interspersed with these moments were deeper parts to the book especially when it shows the sisters back story and how they came to be in their current situation.

A Courtesan’s Worth is a very romantic tale that has conflict and obstacles all combining to provide an entertaining escape!

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this ebook and this is my freely given opinion.

This is the first time I am reading something from this author and I had a hard time at the beginning of it. Not because of the writing or the storyline. I quite liked the style of writing and the dialogue. What I had a hard time getting over was some of the family dynamics and how subservient Kitty was to her sister, and how cold, calculating, driven, and manipulative her sister, Matilda was, and how she treated Kitty as an asset, not a sister. I have to admit that I had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around that, and frequently let myself to be distracted and willingly set aside the story to move onto other things because of that. I am not sure why... perhaps it is because of my own observations and expectations of sisterhood and sisterly relations. But Matilda's behaviour, especially as the story progressed was reprehensibly self-serving and intolerable to me.

Likewise how the Countess treated the MMC, Sidney, and how the so-called family and others connived against the lovers of the story to tear them apart, for their own personal, selfish, rather evil purposes, without any care or consideration for even the safety and well being of their own kin.

As I have said before, there is a lot to be said for lopping some branches off the family tree... A good pruning can often be healthy for many trees after all.

This is a romance with themes of differing social status, love from afar, but with different circumstances than the usual historical romance. For one, the FMC, Kitty Breece is a famed, notorious and famed courtesan, highly coveted amongst the elite, and from a family of courtesans, organized by her sister Matilda. Matilda is more bawd and brothel businesswoman than she is sister. Kitty is in a quandary however, because Matilda has agreed to a contract with a new keeper for Kitty, the Duke of Gillingham. The problem with that is that she does not want to be his lover - he is reprehensible, manipulative, cruel, and threatening. As it was, she was the mistress of his heir, and because the Duke desired her for himself, he arranged for his own son to be sent away to war. Kitty has arranged for his contract to start after a grace period for herself, in the hopes she could find another who will buy out her contract.

Sidney Wakefield, a local curate, and younger son of an Earl, has been good friends with Kitty for the past several years. He secretly loves her and she is his muse, because he hopes to make a future for himself as a writer and novelist. He goes to Kitty bursting with joy and news for her, because he has managed to sell some of his manuscripts and thinks that he may be able to offer Kitty a way out of her profession, and perhaps he can bare his heart to her finally and offer her a future with him.

While Kitty is proud of Sidney and loves him dearly as a friend, she dares not consider what he is offering. For one, he cannot afford to buy her out of Matilda's contract with Gillingham, and she knows that, in the eyes of Society, she is not good enough, as a soiled dove, to dare to claw her way upward to wed the son of an Earl.

Once I got beyond my own feelings about the sisterly/family dynamics, this became a fast paced story of Sidney and Kitty discovering the depth of their love and loyalty while fighting against the scheming and mechanisms of those seeking to break them apart. Not only did they face perceived social prejudices, but also the threats and schemes of their own families. They were betrayed by those who were supposed to love and protect them, and that was heartbreaking. It took a long time, but Kitty had to learn to open her heart and head up to being loved, and realizing that she is deserving of love and respect. Sidney was wonderfully earnest and initially seemingly naive, though later revelations blew his seeming innocence out of the water. But while he made heroic endeavours, I loved that ultimately Kitty pulled herself together enough to realize she deserved to be loved, to be respected, and to be treated well, and saved herself.

I am sure she forgave Matilda and continued to connect with her sister... but really, after what Matilda did to her and Sidney, I would not have been so forgiving.

4.25 stars out of 5

Was this review helpful?

I really loved A Lady's Risk, so I was super excited to read this. It was even better somehow. Kitty is just perfection, the most perfect character. And Sidney..phwoar! The friendship between them is so special and heartfelt, and the romance that it turned in to was perfection. I loved this so so much

Was this review helpful?

I did like the characters of Sidney Wakefield and Kitty Preece. Sidney had always been ridiculed by his family and lacked the benefit of a loving home life. Sidney did have good friends. He was a kind and caring man, who had loved Kitty since he first saw her six years ago. Kitty was a well paid and much sort after courtesan. She also had a very caring nature but she also had a deep sense of being unworthy of Sidney’s love. There are many twists and turns in this story before happy ending is achieved. There are a few despicable characters, one of which is Kitty’s own sister, Mathilda. I know she had experienced hardships but I just couldn’t take to her. This shows a different side of Regency life and I found the author’s notes very interesting. The story did lack pace at times but then at others it raced along. Overall, this was an entertaining read with likeable main characters. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

As one of the famous Preece sisters, Kitty is the most sought-after courtesan in London. But with the vicious Duke of Gillingham scaring away any man who looks her way, securing a new arrangement with a wealthy gentleman will be no easy feat. Kitty's only hope to find someone suitable is through her loyal and cherished friend, the Reverend Sidney Wakefield. Sidney, a second son, has devoted his life to the church, but it was never by choice. He is a writer and Kitty his muse.
This is the second book in the series & it’s easily read on its own - I haven't read the first – it was also the first book I've read from this new author & I’ll definitely be read her first book. Well written with strong characters & a well paced story. I loved both Sidney & Kitty & thoroughly enjoyed their journey to a HEA, it's an emotional read & one I found hard to put down
My review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

Was this review helpful?

The darker side of Regency England is showcased to great effect in this sensual historical romance. Kitty is a successful courtesan but still cannot choose the man who keeps her. That is left to her older sister, now losing her appeal and determined the lifestyle of the Preece sisters and their offspring is maintained whatever the cost to Kitty. Sidney is the second son, a curate in the church, he is Kitty's friend but longs to be more, and when the opportunity arises, he takes it regardless of the emotional costs. The story is often heartbreaking and full of historical detail, bringing the setting and its players to vibrant life. It explores the darkness in Regency society through its vividly portrayed characters and the depravity they experience. The plot has twists all centred on the passionate connection between Kitty and Sidney. One is experienced and world-weary, and the other kind, naive but surprisingly determined to achieve a happy ending for Kitty. I love the passion, the historical setting and the growing love between the couple, whatever the conflicts.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Was this review helpful?

The beautiful courtesan Kitty Preece searches furiously for another man to take over her protection rather than be the mistress of the vile Duke of Gillingham whose cruelty is well known. However, Kitty's friend, and confident, the Reverend Sydney Wakefield is determined to free Kitty from having to rely on the whims of her rich protectors and yet in helping Kitty Sydney realises some important things about himself.

You can't read a Regency romance about a celebrated courtesan without there being steamy content and A Courtesan's Worth literally sizzles on the page as the author brings the vagaries of Regency romance alive. I enjoyed getting to know Kitty, she's an interesting character with a lovely personality but the shadows surrounding her way of life are quite dark so that as you read on you can't help but want the best for her. The family dynamics of Kitty's place in the Preece family circumstances add an altogether different dimension to the story, and the eldest sister, Matilda Preece, is especially difficult to like but you can sort of understand why she behaves as she does. I took a while to warm to Sydney, he comes across as quite a hapless character and yet there is far more depth, as we discover, to this mild mannered reverend.

Dark and sinister in places and yet also wonderfully passionate with some sizzling sexual content A Courtesan's Worth is a lively romp through Regency England and even though it's the second book in the Gentlemen of London series, it is perfectly possible to read as a standalone.

Was this review helpful?

A Courtesan's Worth is the second book in the Gentlemen of London series and you do not need to read the first book in the series for it to make sense! I've seen some people describe this as Bridgerton meets Moulin Rouge; honestly, it makes sense!

We follow Kitty the main breadwinner for her family and she is never allowed to make a decision for herself. From the men she sleeps with to who she speaks to everything is controlled by her older sisters (who are courtesans past their prime). Kitty has had a long friendship with Sidney who has devoted his life to the Church. As a Godly man, he struggles with what Kitty does for a living but never once judges her for it which made me love him even more. It was a very sweet friendship and the evolution to romance felt natural and the steamyness was just right!

Overall a 4 ⭐ read.

Was this review helpful?

A Courtesan’s Worth is a steamy Regency romance featuring Kitty, London’s most expensive courtesan, and Sydney, a vicar who’s struck up a friendship with Kitty, and believes Kitty is the muse that inspires his writing. What neither of them seem to realise is that they love one another. Sydney, somewhat blind to Kitty’s role in society, believes they should marry, if only he had the money. Kitty, with the responsibility for ensuring her sisters, and their many illegitimate offspring, are well provided for in life, feels the weight of pressure, for all she seems tired of the life of a courtesan where she has no choice other than to become attached to the man with the largest purse strings, many of whom are odious and aged.

What ensues is a tale of love and desire, passion and sometimes hatred, as the pair try to negotiate their way to be together even though there are obstacles in their way, Kitty’s sister, and the Duke who wishes to employ Kitty’s skills, being the main ones. There’s also a pugilist, Butcher, while Sydney’s brother, the heir to the fortune, is also somewhat dismissive of it all.

This has a lovely feel to it. There are all the elements you’d expect to find in a Regency romance set in London, but we also see some of the ‘other’ side as well. The life that Kitty leads is explained in some detail, and the way society views her adds a new flavour to the genre you know and love.

The story moves quite rapidly, building to the thing we all love about Regency Romances, the many obstacles and people in their way and the eventual satisfying resolution of the romance between Kitty and Sydney. There is also a rather fabulous twist in the last few pages.

A lively, and intriguing tale sure to delight fans of the genre and with an eye to the social history of Regency courtesans which is highly enjoyable.

Was this review helpful?

I haven't read any historical romance in quite some time, but something drew me to this book. This was a really enjoyable read!
The characters were written with a real sense of understanding and believability, and then I soon got swept away by the drama of the story to match.
Sometimes it's worth reading outside your comfort genres, to come across a gem like this one.

Was this review helpful?

Carefully researched, funny and written in a direct punchy style, this is an entertaining, rapid read. Set in 1812 the story focuses on Kitty Preece, one of a family of courtesan sisters who live together in a Mayfair mansion, their many children conveniently sleeping out of the way in the attic. Kitty has been untroubled by pregnancies despite many years in the business, making her particularly popular with the wealthy clients who provide luxurious homes in return for personal services. However as the story opens she is facing adoption by a particularly unattractive man, the ugly vicious Duke of Gillingham, whose financial muscle deters any other candidate for her affections, and even incites her oldest sister to assist his evil purposes. She has one friend, a curate, Sidney Wakefield who attempts to provide her with an alternative keeper of equivalent financial standing, but this stratagem is doomed to failure, not least because of the growing physical and romantic attraction between clergyman and prostitute. The author handles this proverbially comical situation very deftly, so that instead of laughing *at* the characters, we laugh *with* them -and we also empathise with the danger and lack of choice then facing women such as Kitty and the few men who might have respected them as equals. There is genuine suspense as the plot proceeds, with believable dialogue and vivid descriptions of fights, chases, and the eventual sex between the unlikely lovers. Wakefield's respectable reputation is of course destroyed, but he hopes to manage without his family's goodwill through his earnings as a novelist. I felt the historical background was very solid, with two small reservations - firstly that when Sidney's family urge him to write something other than novels, it would have been sermons or classical history they would have recommended rather than military history, secondly that in 1812 a bath with running hot water would have been so rare as to be almost (if not completely) unknown. Still, this remains an extremely entertaining escapist read with propulsive action, humour and eroticism balancing each other to ensure the reader's avid attention. Strongly recommended.

Was this review helpful?

This was probably me vs the book, but for some reason, I just couldn't get into the characters. I found myself skimming fairly early in the book and then skipping to the end. Something about the whole story felt very forced and melodramatic, and I never really connected with any of the characters.

Was this review helpful?

This was an okay read for me. The story had no depth to it; and neither did the characters. I found the male protagonist to be weak - and find it hard to believe a woman would be attracted to such a man. A disappointing read - especially as I loved the cover.

Was this review helpful?

Move over Bridgerton! Felicity George paints a beguiling picture of Regency England with a refreshingly non-judgemental view of sex workers. Steamy and winsome, it was a pleasure to enter that world.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publishers for this eARC. All thoughts/opinions are my own.

I liked this one a bit more than the first :) Felicity George is a talented writer and creates some really unique plots with new takes on tropes in her stories and it seems to be working really well!

I'm giving this one a 4 out of 5 stars because while most of it was enjoyable, there was sometimes just a bit too much going on. For example, I needed a bit more development of the romance between our hero (Sidney) and heroine (Kitty) and a bit less focus on secondary characters.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed the premise of this book. I found the idea of a courtesan suddenly being elevates to Countess super fun and a unique spin on a historical romance love story. That being said it took a while for me to get into the book. I honestly wasn’t sure I was even enjoying the book until a little more than halfway through. It took that long for me to take an interest in Sidney, until that point I found him almost a little goofy, like his head was in the clouds. Kitty also didn’t really grow on me until later either. Once we got to Cornelius’ death, THAT’s when the book became interesting to me and I’m so glad it took the turn when it did because otherwise I’m not sure I would have been compelled to read on. Once they began to hit conflicts and had to explore new emotions and thoughts, the characters became a little more likable to me. Generally, I thought the book was LONG, the story could have existed on less pages for sure. The twists were pretty predictable, though that didn’t bother me too much. The characters felt a little one note for me. Side note, I found Tyrold super interesting from the his first moment on screen and would LOVE to read his love story!

Was this review helpful?