By Saskia Walker
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Spice
IT IS A DARK ERA, ONE WHEN A LUSTY LASS WILL DO WHAT SHE MUST TO SURVIVE. EVEN IF IT MEANS BARTERING FLESH FOR A PALMFUL OF COINS… Forced to watch her mother burn at the stake, Jessie Taskill knows the danger of the gift she inherited—a powerful magic that must stay hidden. Until one night when she's accused of witchcraft and Jessie finds herself behind prison walls, awaiting certain death with a roguish priest unlike any man of the cloth she has known. In reality, Gregor Ramsay is as far from holy as the devil himself, but his promise of freedom in return for her services may be her salvation. Locked into a dubious agreement, Jessie resents his plan to have her seduce and ruin his lifelong enemy. But toying with Gregor's own lust for her is enjoyable, and she agrees to be his pawn while secretly intending to use him just as he is using her….
The Harlot is a spicy Scottish tale of revenge, witchcraft and seduction.
Gregor Ramsay is out for revenge against the main that destroyed his family over a decade ago. When he comes upon Jessie in a whorehouse he decides that he could use her to seduce and take down his enemy. After fighting with another woman over a customer though, she is accused of witchcraft and carted off to jail. Gregor then rescues her, takes her against the wall, and helps her escape but only after she agrees to help him in his mission. Gregor and Jessie then embark on a sensual journey of magic and mayhem.
The Harlot is about; well…a harlot known as The Harlot of Dundee, so needless to say this novel has a whole lot of sex in it. So insert all the naughty warnings here. ;)
Gregor is supposedly teaching Jessie the finer arts of innocent seduction but really it’s just an excuse to get under the sheets, on top of the table, on the floor, from the back, tied up…yeah, you catch my drift. Oh, he puts up a strong front at first, determined to remain in control and keep it a strictly a business relationship, but he quickly falls into Jessie’s charms and opts for the hands on kind of teaching. Throughout the story he holds firm to his goals of revenge, trying not to succumb to his attraction to the feisty, spirited and passionate Jessie, but as his knowledge of her life and character deepen, so does his feelings. While Jessie is dealing with her own internal struggle of her growing powers and hiding them from Gregor along with her budding feelings for him.
The sex did overshadow the main plot of revenge a lot but being erotica this wasn’t surprising. There is also a subplot of m/m that, in the end, added an important nugget to the main plot. And then just to fully round out the sexual exploits of this novel there was a f/f with the maid for Gregor’s viewing pleasure. Basically, there was sex, a little plot, sex, a little more from the plot, sex, sex, some sub-plot here, sex, sex, sex, The End.
It took me forever, it seemed, to finish The Harlot and I had a real hard time keeping focused on it. I actually read two other books in between this one, which was a first for me; I usually stick to them one at a time. I cannot pin point any specific reason for this except I just didn’t connect strongly with the characters. And the overuse of the word ‘cunny’, I don’t ever want to read that word again now! This wasn’t a bad novel in any way; the story was good, I just don’t think it was for me. If you like historicals and erotica with a little of the supernatural thrown in then I would definitely recommend this one to you, it just wasn’t my glass of wine.
Rating: 3 Wine Glasses - Good