Unclaimed, by Courtney Milan

“You’ve always been your own knight,” he said, “riding to your rescue.  I’m just the man who came along and saw how brightly your armor shone.”

Redonk Nutshell: A courtesan at the end of her rope accepts a deal to seduce a renowned male virgin

Jessica Farleigh has been through hell and back and is ready to be done with her life as a courtesan.  But to do that, she needs money.  So she accepts an offer (against her better wishes) from her former protector to seduce his rival, renowned writer Sir Mark Turner.  Turner is known for championing male chastity, his writing so popular that male “societies” have sprung up everywhere, like little support groups where the guys go to talk about their latest temptations and how they resisted.  Jessica believes it to be hook, line and sinker, and moves to Turner’s small home town to begin her charade of seduction.

Mark Turner, despite what everyone believes, is really just a man.   He has a wicked temper, when he loses it, and his appetite and appreciation for women is just like any other men his age.  The difference is, Mark has committed himself to being constantly in control of his basest emotions.  He refuses to fall prey to irrational action, a decision he made after witnessing his and his brother’s treatment by their mother.

It would be unfair of me to give too much away of how these two end up fitting together.  I can, however, tell you this – it’s simply splendid.  Who wouldn’t be fascinated with a male character that has become iconographic for his virginity?  I mean COME ON! What really makes this story work is Milan’s unflinching ability to write about the gritty and unpretty realities of human emotion.  Jessica is a damaged woman and Mark…well, he has his own issues as well.  The way these two end up involuntarily filling each others voids is poetic.  They don’t mean to fall in love. They don’t mean to forget themselves. No one other than Mark would have been able to reach through to Jessica.  And Jessica is the perfect woman to go toe-to-toe with Mark.

I effing adored this book.  It’s likely my favorite by Milan thus far.  I say “likely” because Trial by Desire still reigns supreme for me.  Unclaimed is almost perfection.  Poignant, funny, romantic…it’s a fantastic blaalance.

Unclaimed by Courtney Milan, 432 pgs,9/20/11

Rating: A

Romance: 4/5         Raunch: 3.5/5

 

 

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1 comment

  1. It’s crazy how much I love Milan’s books. And I didn’t think I could love someone more than Ned. And then I read this book.

    I need Smite’s book..like yesterday! 🙂

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