by Eden Bradley

April 2009
ISBN: 978-0-553-38557-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Delta Trade
Trade Paperback

Valentine Day is a high class call girl. She is pampered and taken care of by her exclusive clientele. Yet she hides a secret – Valentine has never had an orgasm that doesn’t involve money. Being paid for sex puts her in ultimate control and that is a potent aphrodisiac for her. Until she meets Joshua Spencer.

Joshua isn’t a client, just a man she sits next to at the opera one evening. Her attraction to him and their tender, fierce love making is a shock for Valentine. She becomes hooked. But Joshua makes her question everything she’s built. Can she tell Joshua the truth? Will he still love her if he knew her occupation?

A 21st Century Courtesan is essentially a character study into life, love and sex. Valentine is very much a product of her childhood and the guilt she has carried around for so long. The novel unfolds and the reader is swept on a journey of how, if you have enough faith, you can choose your own path in life, you can choose to change.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I will admit in the opening few pages I didn’t like Valentine Day very much. She seemed pompous and a little bit arrogant, even cold. When she meets Joshua Spencer, Valentine begins to question her life and her choices – the numerous obstacles and dilemmas she faces are heart wrenching. Despite never been a high class call girl, I identified with Valentine and the struggles she goes through with reinventing herself, with the need to forgive herself.

The erotica is exquisite and frequent – something I’ve come to expect from Ms. Bradley and she doesn’t disappoint.

The only minor niggle I have is at times the book read like a psychological analysis. Not a lot happens. Valentine sleeps a lot and is very introspective, and as the book is written in the first person it makes for some long paragraphs of self analysis from the heroine.

A 21st Century Courtesan is a haunting read; beautiful and erotic, as well as a novel filled with hope and love. It made me have faith that love really can conquer all if you just believe enough.

Reviewed in April 2009 by Donna.

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