Redonk Nutshell: Fugitive courtesan seeks refuge with a burdened duke

Anne Beddington is a fallen woman on the run.  Having recently bashed her evil matron over the head with a fire iron, she and the three young girls she was intent on rescuing, seek refuge away from the brothel.  Anne takes her fellow courtesan’s advice and seeks out a protector.  She sets her sights on Devon Audley, the Duke of March.  Recently returned from war, March suffered an injury that left him blind and battered both physically and emotionally.  Anne whittles her way into his favor through sexual prowess, and before long these two end up becoming closer and closer, attaching in a manner befitting a duke and his mistress.

First thing’s first, I was excited for this book because IT’S SHARON PAGE, ya’ll! (I said that in my Paula Dean voice BTW).  When I think Sharon Page I think “lush raunch.”  Engaged in Sin is classified a a historical romance, though it toes the line into erotica at times, a common “risk” anytime a courtesan theme is used.   I was expecting a bit more push toward story over sex.  Did that happen.  Ehr…not sure.  What story there was had me rolling my eyes.

And that totally broke my heart.

I really wanted to like this book.   Really.  I did.  As the book progressed I couldn’t help but think what a horrible whore Anne made – she was just so…ignorant.  I mean, yes – there would be a degree of ignorance when you’re kidnapped off the street and forced to work as a prostitute.  But really…the limits she goes to convince Devon she’s pleasing him when in fact she’s incredibly detached and awkward was just…blurg.  I didn’t buy it her ignorant take on it.  As for our hero, Devon. *sigh*  Let me just get this out – it irritates the snot out of me when heroes nickname their heroines ridiculous names right off the bat. The culprit here?  Angel.  He calls her angel NONSTOP.  From the moment he meets her – stark naked, drunk, and in the fit of a violent nightmare recalling the war.   I mean, REALLY?  UUUGGGHHH!  I wanted to tear my hair out.  Page does this in her other books as well, but it seemed to fit those characters more for the tone of the novel, and thus it didn’t bother me…as much.  *eyelid twitches*

I was hoping for a well written, raunchy historical.  What I got was a raunch fest (I approve) with ridiculously bizarre leading characters and a manufactured plot.  I was really, well, bummed.  I may or may not have pouted when I finished.

Engaged in Sin by Sharon Page, 425 pgs , 11/1/11

Rating: C-

Romance: 2/5           Raunch: 4.5/5

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