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review 2018-09-18 14:01
Return of the Procurer
From Courtesan to Convenient Wife - Marg... From Courtesan to Convenient Wife - Marguerite Kaye

Now Procurer is a bit of a problematic title and usually has certain implications but in this story it's a woman who finds women who need help and match them to men who want a no-strings attached woman.  There's a promise of no non-consentual activity but this is a romance novel and we all know that there will be nookie, eventually.


Jean-Luc Bauduin is a wealthy wine merchant but there is a possibility that he's also the heir ro an aristocratic title, lands and a promised wife.  He is not interested in an arranged marriage so he hires the Procurer to find him someone who will help.  Lady Sophia Acton is out of luck and almost destitute, playing the wife is easy enough but leaving him once he's finished investigating things?  That could be a different story.


I liked it, you could see where the tension arose with them, however, no woman in posession of a brain in the period would fritter away monies that were her own, no matter how much they trust their husband, the question is would they trust that his heir would treat them kindly if he died suddenly.


Even today, a woman should take good care of her own finances and know that paperwork after death is a royal pain.

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review 2018-06-01 18:25
Good Grief This Was Bad
The Courtesan Duchess - Joanna Shupe

Ugh. Well that's two romance buddy reads that did not end well, LOL. I love reading these books with WhiskeyintheJar Romance but wow. This one actually somehow maybe beat out the last book where we had the virgin kidnapped by the escaped convict who threatened her all the time, but somehow love happened.


"The Courtesan Duchess" had two leads who should have dusted their hands off after meeting and agreeing to go live separate lives. The first few sex scenes I had a hard time with (believable scale didn't quite register) but then I just got bored. Nick and Julia were not engaging and as Whiskey said, besides having sex with each other, there was nothing else there. Very boring romance with a plot you could call a mile away.


"The Courtesan Duchess" has Julia, Duchess of Colton traveling to Venice in order to seduce a husband she has not laid eyes on in 8 years. Julia plans on seducing the Duke of Colton, Nick, in order to become pregnant with his heir in order to call on the money that his cousin, Templeton, is now refusing to give to her. Did you follow all that? I think what kills me the most from this story is that Julia had other options, she had a very good friend who is also friend's with Nick who would have given her funds, could have written to Nick, etc. This scheme was so harebrained I couldn't do a thing but laugh at it.


Julia ends up taking lessons from a London courtesan on seduction and each chapter heading has some pearl of wisdom from her to Julia. I feel like I recall this from some movie about a woman who becomes a courtesan in Italy. I am not going to go looking it up.


Oh in case you are wondering why Nick doesn't recognize Julia, it's because she dies her head flaming red and I guess she grew in 8 years. I don't know. I had a hard time with that. I guess he never looked his wife in the face when he recited his vows and refused to have anything to do with her. 


If a romance is going to succeed, you have to want the two characters who are the hero and heroine to get together in the end. You have to want them to get past the issues and fall madly in love. Instead I wanted to shake Julia for being a moron with this plan and Nick for just being about 90 percent awful throughout the book. 

When Nick eventually realizes that Julia has done he takes it upon himself to banish her to the country and the time jumps in the story became ridiculous. I think from start to finish this book took place over a year. 


The secondary characters are not that interesting. This book also seems intent on positioning one of the characters as the main character in the next series. 


The writing was fine, I just did not care for Nick and honestly think he got off too lightly in this. 


"The display shocked Julia. Scandalous yet strangely alluring, the performance served as a reminder that her husband’s life was a world away from her own sheltered existence in London."

FYI, she's a virgin at this point. I don't even get what was happening here. 


"His black hair a bit long, it fell down around his collar to frame his perfect features: a straight nose, bold cheekbones, and a full mouth. He was truly breathtaking."


FYI, she is thinking this while watching him fondle another woman who is also "pleasuring herself" while everyone watches. 


"If Colton’s odious cousin, Lord Templeton, followed through on his recent threat to further reduce her stipend, in a few months she wouldn’t have enough funds to pay the servants or the rent on their small house in Mayfair. Colton’s mother had made it clear Julia was unwelcome at any of the ducal properties. Which meant she and her aunt would be destitute. Julia needed a male child, a legitimate one, to serve as the heir to the Colton estate."

Another thing that kills me about this dumb plan, what if she happened to have a girl? She does get that a baby is not automatically going to be a boy because she wants one right??


"God, it had hurt. But it was done—and he hadn’t noticed. Julia felt a surge of triumph, a roar of feminine power at the success. Now the pain was receding, just as Pearl said it would, and a strange new sensation, one of delicious fullness, dawned."

Of course we get the best first time ever scene. Courtney Milan has been the only who has ever written a first time scene that felt realistic to me in a romance book. 


The flow was up and down and that is really because of the time jumps. We go from a month, to maybe two months and all of sudden it's 9 months later. 


The book setting moves from Italy (which barely felt real at all) to England. I hope you enjoy Nick saying tesorina and bellissima. In my head he said everything with a terrible accent.  


The ending has a reveal that anyone that was paying attention could have guessed at and a happily ever after.

You can read Whiskey's review Hate the Hero

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text 2018-06-01 17:51
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Courtesan Duchess - Joanna Shupe

This book was awful. There was some plot here and there, but after a while I started to skim in self defense.


Nick was a terrible hero and Julia and her "plan" was beyond stupid. I still have no idea how they fell in love with each other.


We are also causally told that Nick's mother was raped by his father so that's why she didn't care for him growing up. I don't even know what to say.


The next book in the series is called the Harlot Countess. I am giving that one a hard pass. 

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text 2018-05-31 21:12
Reading progress update: I've read 55%.
The Courtesan Duchess - Joanna Shupe

Well he just cheated on his wife with another woman. What is happening here????

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text 2018-05-31 19:03
Reading progress update: I've read 49%.
The Courtesan Duchess - Joanna Shupe

“Is it Winchester’s? Are you having Simon’s baby?”

Her free hand flew up and, before she could prevent it, cracked across Nick’s face. She froze, shocked at what she’d done, as the sound, harsh and ugly, echoed throughout the room.

He slowly turned his head back to look at her. His gray eyes glittered with hatred, rage, and—much to her surprise—desire.

He dragged her up against the hard planes of his body, her breasts crushed to his chest. Her pulse picked up, but shamefully, not out of anger. She was stunned. How could she still feel anything for this man after the hurtful things he’d said?"


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