Adult Read/18+ only
Mmmm… a bawdy wench, a masterful hero seeking to use the heroine’s sexual charms to seek revenge on his enemy, sprinkled with a fair bit of magic, a mouth watering combination! This is an very lusty read, set in Eighteenth century Scotland, with some extremely naughty characters. If you are familiar with the images often portrayed by the Georgian satirist Hogarth, you will have some idea of the licentious scenes that you can expect to encounter! Please note that in addition to the many scorching consensual lovemaking scenes between the main couple, there is also one f/f scene (involving the heroine) and a m/m scene (not involving the hero).
The Harlot is the first book in Saskia Walker’s Taskill Witches series, books 2 and 3 (which I have not yet had the pleasure of reading) being entitled The Libertine and The Jezebel. There is aso a novella in the series, Their Private Arrangement, which contains some characters we meet in The Harlot. The character in each of the main books is one of three siblings, who were cruelly separated after their mother was burnt at the stake for being a witch. All three have inherited their mother’s gift. The Harlot of this book’s title is Jessie, who has had a hard time since the death of her mother and is pursuing a career as a whore, in the hope of saving enough money to return to the Highlands.
Jessie is confident of her sexuality and in the opening scene, which I ABSOLUTELY ADORED, she is brawling in a tavern with one of her colleagues, accused of poaching a customer from her. It is there that she catches the admiring eye of the hero, Gregor Ramsay, a ship’s captain, who has taken leave from his business to take revenge upon a man who did him and his family great wrong. During the brawl Jessie is accused of witchcraft and is thrown into prison. Gregor, who has decided that Jessie would be the perfect instrument in his revenge, disguises himself as a priest and springs her out of gaol in return for her services. This is also an extremely HOT AND SEXY scene which I vastly enjoyed! Jessie is to use her considerable sexual charms to seduce and ruin his enemy.
There are many erotic and humorous scenes throughout. Jessie finds much pleasure in Gregor’s embrace, as he trains her for her role, and whilst she toys with him, Gregor tries unsuccessfully to distance himself from her charms. The sexual energy they create by their coupling greatly enhances Jessie’s powers, putting her at an even greater risk of being denounced as a witch.
Jessie soon becomes emotionally involved as does Gregor. Yet how will he react when Jessie’s powers become so powerful that he finds out that she is in fact a witch? What will happen if this is discovered by others? The plot hots up in all respects as the novel progressed and I could not put it down! What starts off as a very erotic lust fest soon turns to something very emotional and far deeper and whilst the erotic scenes do not cease in intensity, romance blooms and I found myself rooting for a HEA, as danger looms.
I loved the characters of both the hero and the heroine. Neither conformed to society and both have truly heart breaking pasts, yet they have the potential to heal each other and are well suited. Will Gregor’ s desire for revenge and the danger Jessie is in of discovery thwart any future they have together? The supporting cast of lusty characters are equally colourful and there is an unexpected plot twist. There is also a great balance between the erotic and paranormal scenes and the overall plot and character development.
I will most definitely be reading the other books in the series and other steamy offerings by this author. I recommend The Harlot to lovers of erotic historical romance who also enjoy tales of magic, set in a fascinating period of Scottish history.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Check out the following links to find out more:
http://www.saskiawalker.co.uk/theharlot.html – contains a scorching excerpt from chapter one!