Note: this was written for http://www.tigriseden.com/index.htm, a new site I'm writing for.
A poor orphaned Victorian girl with
two brothers to raise takes a chance on becoming a prostitute in a
brothel to give her brothers schooling and a good life. Simone is
trained in sex by a mysterious man named Eravas. She is given a new
name, taught how to be with a man, shown creatures she never knew
existed, and loses her heart.
This is a very short book, rather a
novella. It's very easily a couple of hours of reading if you take your
time. It is fast paced and it held my attention throughout. Simone is a
very likeable character and I found myself hoping she would find a way
out of her situation and somehow could find her happily ever after with
Eravas. The Madame of the brothel, Saint Veronica, has a very
interesting part in the book as well.
The story reminds me of
"The Story of O" by Pauline Reage but with a paranormal bend. It is a
very well done story and it ends up better than Reage's book. It also
reminded me of an old fairy tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de
Villeneuve, the name of which would give the story away so, shhhh, no
spoiler here, if you are curious about what I'm referring to, look it up
AFTER you read this wonderful story and see if you agree with me.
is not a book for the faint at heart, to be sure. It is hotter than a
cup of coffee on the sun and you will need to keep a cold drink, a hand
fan, and maybe even your preferred manner of relief
nearby as you read it.