Redonk Nutshell: Husband who has banished his wife to “Courtesan Court” considers divorce despite their intense attraction

I picked up this book (bundle, actually – these three books are currently available as an e-bundle) solely because of the buzz it generated via SmexyBooks, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, etc.  I wan’t sure what to expect, having never read anything by Maggie Robinson.

Our story is about Edward Christie and Caroline Parker, spouses for several years, though living separately.  Edward banished Caroline to a townhouse in the notorious “Courtesan Court” after discovering what he believed to be infidelity on her part.  He visits her once a year to partake in his marital duties, then leaves her.  Caroline is a vivacious beauty, a woman with a tumultuous past who has grown tired of her strained relationship with her estranged husband.  They both agree that divorce would be best, though scandalous.

The problem, however, is that they can’t seem to shake their intense attraction from each other.  Edward is cold and devoid of emotion while Caroline wears her heart on her sleeve.  They drive each other to insanity, which ultimately ends up creating sparks in the bedroom.

During the process to collect information in order to petition for divorce, Edward discovers information about his wife he’d never known, and his world suddenly shifts around him.  He realizes, albeit too late, that he loves her and he wants desperately to keep her. He has only to convince Caroline, and unfortunately Caroline has her mind set against him.

Okay. I had to adjust my expectations while reading.  Some authors have a romantic way with words that weave an intricate and dreamy web of exposition. Other authors throw it out there, raw and unbridled.  That latter is Maggie Robinson.  There is little sugar coating in her tone, and once I got past that I found myself settling in just fine to watch the story unfold.  Her main characters are complicated creatures.  It’s a lot of fun watching them struggle with the unwelcome attraction they each share toward the other.  Edward’s Achilles heel is his wife, and it drives him nuts.  It’s ultimately why he wants to rid himself of her.  Caroline is just tired of being jerked around on his emotional chain, and she’s finally at a point where she can admit to herself it’s time to let it go.

What really takes this sensual story the extra mile is the intricate ties our main characters have to each other.  It goes beyond physical, and it takes the span of the story for our hero and heroine to realize it.  It’s lovely.  What we get is a sensually charged story of two people at ends rediscovering each other.   I enjoyed it.  I look forward to checking out the other books in this series.

Mistress by Marriage by Maggie Robinson, 352 pgs, Aug 2011

Rating: B

Romance: 4/5           Raunch: 4/5

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