One wicked night . . . Lady Portia Ellerslie, dearest confidante to Queen Victoria and a woman of impeccable breeding, normally wouldn't dream of dallying in Aphrodite's Club, London's most exclusive and erotic bordello. But one lonely night she finds something enticing about the idea of a wild encounter in the notorious hothouse. Donning a daring, dangerously low-cut scarlet dress and a veil to mask her identity, she arrives at the club ready to succumb to the torrid desires raging inside her . . . and is shocked to find herself gazing into the eyes of Marcus Worthorne, the man she swooned over at seventeen. Could lead to a lifetime of ecstasy . . . Back then, Marcus barely knew she was alive, but now he's about to make her most wanton fantasies come true. Portia's proper life is about to change forever . . . because for Marcus one night with the lady in red could never be enough.
Bennett's latest skirt-lifter featuring Courtesan Aphrodite, a Victorian London madam, stars Portia, Lady Ellerslie, who's weary of living her life to honor her deceased husband, a war hero and favorite of the queen. Courtesan Aphrodite grants Portia's wish to spend one night at Aphrodite's establishment with the man of her choice. While in disguise at Aphrodite's Club, Portia encounters Marcus Worthorne, a man she admired as a young girl before her marriage to elderly Lord Ellerslie. The two engage in a heated tryst, which leaves Marcus obsessed with uncovering the mystery woman's identity. The complexity of the novel increases dramatically when Portia must reconcile her desire for personal happiness with her duty to her country as she and Marcus continue their sizzling clandestine affair. An intriguing subplot involving vicious attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria adds depth and substance to this pleasing historical romance. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 25, 2007
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