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The Illicit Love of a Courtesan: HarperImpulse Historical Romance [Kindle Edition]

Jane Lark
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $6.64
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

"The romance pulls at the heartstrings." 4.5* RT Book Reviews ~ THE ILLICIT LOVE OF A COURTESAN is a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance, and a Kindle Top 25 bestselling novel.
The prequel is now also available THE LOST LOVE OF A SOLDIER
 
"Romantic, sensual and heartbreaking." - bookworm2bookworm

"What a brilliant read!! Jane Lark has an incredible talent to draw the reader in from the first page, Illicit Love captured me immediately. This book has a Romeo and Juliet (which I love) type of feel It's a display of raw emotion drama and intimacy." Cosmo Chicklitan

"Beautifully descriptive, emotional and can I say, just plain delicious reading? I defy anyone to NOT love Edward... 5 Glittering Stars" My devastating Reads

"I am NOT a big fan of historical romances but Illicit Love is so beautifully written it was a rare jewel... that just warmed my heart and reeled me in." - Gimme The Scoop

"Bravo to Jane Lark for this wonderful debut novel." Brook Cottage Books
"Pure, unadulterated romance." Best Chick Lit.com

In the eyes of the ton, Ellen Harding lives a charmed life - she is the beautiful, exquisitely adorned mistress of Lord Gainsborough.
But on the inside, behind her glamorous façade, she is empty - a vessel - deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame. Unable to escape the gilded cage she has been trapped within.
Kind, gentle Edward Marlow could prove to be her salvation... With one look he gives her hope. With one touch he sets her senses alight.
Lose yourself in the passionate intensity of this stunning debut from exciting new talent Jane Lark.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"The romance pulls at the heartstrings." 4.5* RT Book Reviews "Romantic, sensual and heartbreaking." - bookworm2bookworm "What a brilliant read!! Jane Lark has an incredible talent to draw the reader in from the first page, Illicit Love captured me immediately. This book has a Romeo and Juliet (which I love) type of feel It's a display of raw emotion drama and intimacy." Cosmo Chicklitan "Beautifully descriptive, emotional and can I say, just plain delicious reading? I defy anyone to NOT love Edward... 5 Glittering Stars" My devastating Reads "I am NOT a big fan of historical romances but Illicit Love is so beautifully written it was a rare jewel... that just warmed my heart and reeled me in." - Gimme The Scoop "Bravo to Jane Lark for this wonderful debut novel." Brook Cottage Books

From the Author

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan was inspired by the memoirs of a real Regency Courtesan, Harriette Wilson, I have been telling her story on my blog at janelark.wordpress.com/ . 
As this was my debut novel, Edward and Ellen lived within my imagination for six years before making it into print with a publisher, to be shared with others. So I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to firstly receive so many five star reviews, and then to see this novel race up the charts in February 2014 and reach number twenty-two in the overall Kindle chart, and hold the No.1 Historical Romance position. A huge thank you to all my readers, and note, there are many more books to come in the Marlow Intrigues family historical romance series. The story has only just begun...

Product Details

  • File Size: 2103 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperImpulse (October 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F240EKU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,752 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars complex and moving historical romance October 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
ARC received via Netgalley.
Sometimes I enjoy a foray into the gentle romances, with a historical setting, and this one appealed so...
Ellen, what a lovely heroine. She's been through so much, and is stuck in a lifestyle she hates but has no way out. Then, out with her keeper one evening, she meets Lord Edward Marlow. Edward has a fascination for her, with one glance she sees in him everything she'd love to have. He's equally smitten, and when the chance arises they have a brief but torrid affair. Edward wants more and just can't understand why she stays with Lord Gainsborough - it's clear the man abuses her, she has a reputation little better than a whore, she's his mistress and everyone thinks she's with him for what material gains she can get. It's clear to him though that what's on the surface isn't the true story and he's perplexed. Ellen has secrets though and slowly they come out...
After a vicious argument with Lord Gainsborough Ellen escapes and runs to Edward. She can't tell him everything, but pleads with him to help her nevertheless...and loving her he does.
Secrets slowly come out, family relationships are at risk, Edwards's family think she's simply after his money, and believe the story put about over her relationship with Lord Gainsborough. There are huge problems to be overcome if they are to have a chance at happiness and a relationship that lasts.
I liked the way the secrets came out carefully, a bit at a time, in drips and each setting up the next part of the story. Edward was a superb man, strong and loving and willing to abandon everything for love, even though he kept finding out more and more secrets Ellen had kept from him.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good! May 12, 2013
Format:Paperback
Okay so I am NOT a big fan of historical romances but Illicit Love is so beautifully written it was a rare jewel I ran across that just warmed my heart and reeled me in. Ellen pulls at my heartstrings with what she is having to go thru with Lord Gainsborough and then to find love and joy at the same time with Edward and having to sneak around always a chance of getting caught and punished for her betrayals. Edward was a perfect gentleman who I instantly took a liking to especially when he called out the Lord Gainsborough in a poker game. Lord G thinks his money gives him all the power and influence over people and it made me happy for him to get found out!

For folks who are not usually into historicals I truly think you will love this one and for those who already do enjoy them here is another awesome find for your TBR!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Emotional, and Romantic October 11, 2013
By Farrah
Format:Kindle Edition
Darkly romantic and full of deeply buried secrets, this book was absolutely fantastic! Illicit Love was a different historical romance, but one that I adored.

The idea for this book was different. A lady forced into being a courtesan to a brutal man? That's a new one for me. And I absolutely loved that about it. This book took on a daunted plot and totally pulled it off.

Ellen was remarkably strong. A single mistake in her past created a chain reaction that ruined her life. And, at the end, she was mistress to a cruel man, unable to run away. She was very selfless in her decisions, always putting the welfare of others first. She was a brilliant heroine, one of my favorites in historical romance. If I had one thing to say against her it would be that I don't understand why she didn't go to her family. I know why she didn't go to her father, but why not anyone else? I understand that she didn't want to pull them into the bad situation she was in, but if it were me, I still would have gone to my family. Other than that small issue, I really liked her character.

Edward was equally amazing. He was never one to shirk responsibility. And, when he found a woman in a terrible situation whom he fell in love with, nothing was going to stop him from keeping her safe. He was stalwart in his determination to keep Ellen out of harm's way. He was utterly brilliant, so sweet and determined and protective and just perfect. I adored him!

The romance was intense. The sparks were flying the minute these two caught eyes. And it got HOT. Those intimate scenes, very spicy, though never overdone. But, more than that, their feeling were very deep and I felt that as I read the book. They fell in love quickly, but it never felt rushed to me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOLD WITHIN THE FIRST 2 PAGES :) February 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I finished reading this book early this morning, and all I have to say is that I did not enjoy this book, like I first thought I would.. I LOVED IT! If I could crawl inside and live in there with the characters I would. This book held me captive after the first 2 pages. You're probably thinking, gee what could have possibly happen in the first 2 pages, well let me share:

"Every mistress and courtesan in the room had
been watching him all evening and she was no exception."
HOOK

"His head lifted and she indulged her eyes with his
severe yet perfect profile. He exuded authority.
The man was sleek strength and sophistication"
LINE

"Light caught the jet-black pools in his eyes, as though
he saw the pictures she was forming in her thoughts
and his captivating smile twisted with
implied agreement."
SINKER

Good right? Proceeding these 3 quotes, lead to probably one of the best first chapters I have ever read. From the synopsis above you can tell that this book is about courtesan named Ellen, who is forced into this world after her husband tragically dies in war. She is at a gambling house with her captor Lord Gainsborough, who likes to show her off like a prized show pony. Lord G is in a card game with the gorgeous man who has caught Ellen's attention, Lord Edward Marlow, the 2nd son of the Earl of Barrington. Ellen notices that Lord G is cheating in their card game, and before Edward can lose a substantial amount of money for a 2nd son, Ellen sends Edward a signal about what is going on. Calling out Lord G on his fraud, Edward requests a couple hours alone with Ellen instead of turning him into the authorities.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but not riveting.
Entertaining read but some chronological discrepancies. If you are prepared to overlook these then you have a reasonable little love story .
Published 1 month ago by Susanna Chin
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty cheezy
I was just looking for a little escapism and got what I wanted, but not high literature by any means. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Melissa M. P. Hoeppner
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Lark has made me a fan from her first book. Her writing style...
About the Story: This is Ellen Harding and Lord Edward Marlow’s love story.

Ellen, a woman who came upon hard times, finds the only way to save herself was to be a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN
4.0 out of 5 stars Edward and Ellan (Eleanor)
Really liked this book. Stayed up all night reading the night before Easter, let's just put it this way after we finished Dinner I passed out for an hour but it was worth it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by colleen everly
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice historical romance
Its been a while since I've read any historical romance, a very long time.

I have had the pleasure of reading Jane Larks books before, so I ventured on this one when I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by read-along-with-Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Scandalously good
As a lifelong Austen fangirl, historical novels set around the Regency England are always a pleasure to read. This one is no different - well-written and absorbing story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bookreader
4.0 out of 5 stars Good romance, bit unlikely, though
I enjoyed this story as a historical romance, but the idea that in the early nineteenth century, a woman who had been publicly paraded around as a man's mistress for six years... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BerylMcM
5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL PAGE TURNER
I couldn't put it down and now will have to read the follow up book
The Passionate Love of a Rake... see you on the other sided.
Published 3 months ago by Ronald L. Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars from the moment they looked at each other, you were pulled into their...
Ah....Ellen and Edward. Every moment of this historical tale had my attention. You rooted for Edward to save Ellen, to somehow get her away from the life she felt she had no choice... Read more
Published 3 months ago by wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars Perseverance
Eleanor has to overcome so much. Edward falls instantly. Can what he feels help her out of darkness? This is book 1 and it was bloody fantastic! A must read series.
Published 3 months ago by McIn
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More About the Author

Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel,'The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, as well as a Kindle overall Top 25, bestselling author.

She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others' imaginations at last.

You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane's favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was 'Katherine' a story crafted from reality.

Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.

'Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it's wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.'

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

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