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Illicit Love

Illicit Love

4.8 6
by Jane Lark
Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty-a vessel-deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame.
When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would


Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty-a vessel-deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame.
When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would be like to escape her chains for a night by giving her body to him.
Edward is restless, lonely, and a little angry with his lot in life-it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man's mistress. The woman's dark hair and pale eyes are striking, and he cannot take his gaze off her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes.
Once he's known her, he cannot forget her, and once he's seen the evidence of her supposed benefactor's brutality, he wants to help her. But how can he when she will not run any more than she will speak of her past?
When a desperate Ellen finally relents and shocks Edward from his sleep, he doesn't hesitate, he helps her flee. He just doesn't know he's running headlong into the secrets of her past.

Product Details

Sapphire Star Publishing LLC
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.82(d)

Meet the Author

Jane is qualified to the equivalent of a Masters Degree in People Management and is fascinated by the things which craft people's personalities, so she has great fun exploring these through characters. She lives in the United Kingdom near the Regency City of Bath and has just bought her 400 year old dream home. History has always tempted her imagination and she loves researching and also exploring ruins and houses to get ideas. She equally loves a love story.

Jane has always aspired to writing a historical novel so when she was thirty she put it on her ‘to do before I am forty’ list. She completed her first novel ten years ago, never sent it anywhere then started the next. She’s not stopped writing since, and escaping into a mental world of fiction is a great painkiller to help fight off her Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Jane is a member of RWA, RNA, and the Historical Novel Society.

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Illicit Love 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
AshleyBodette More than 1 year ago
I didn't realize just how much I would get out of reading this book. I was so happy this book was an eBook, because buying the eBook was the quickest way to get the words under my eyeballs. :)  And am I ever glad I did!  Not only is the plot itself amazing, but Jane Lark does an amazing job of helping the reader to understand her characters, either through offering background information, intimating their inner thoughts, or showing us how they react to things outside their control.  The two main characters become emotionally bare with one another, vulnerable to the core.  And, just when you think the story must be coming to its conclusion...BAM!  There is WAY more story to be told. Sounds amazing, right?!  Well, IT IS!   But there is another reason this book is oh so special to me.  If you've read some of my other reviews, or my first blog post ever, you might know that I hold a special place in my heart for books about characters who are able to overcoming abuse...who are survivors.  Well, I felt an extreme kinship with Ellen Harding.  I realize her 'keeper' was not someone she was married to, and the abuse I personally have gone through was not so much physical as it was mental and emotional, but I thoroughly and completely understand her.  Ellen feels that somehow she got herself into the situation she is in, and that no one and nothing can get her out of it.  She must deserve what she's gotten out of life.  But when she meets Edward, she starts to wonder  if not only there is a possibility of someone saving her, but if maybe she deserves better, despite everything she's done...if only she didn't have such a sordid past.  When Edward helps Ellen to flee her captor, they both discover they have a lot to learn about each other... Alright, I would LOVE to tell you oh so much more about this fabulous novel, but I don't want to give the story away before you read it! 
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
The circumstances the two main characters found themselves in wasn't an easy one in the best of time periods, let alone this one where reputation meant everything and was easily tarnished. There were times when the story dragged a little, and I really wish their first meeting had gone a little differently. Overall this story kept me deeply engaged in the lives of Edward and Ellen. As a reader, I really felt for Ellen. I couldn't imagine being in her shoes. The ARC of Illicit Love by Jane Lark was provided to me by Reading Addiction Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
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. There was somewhat of a darker aspect to their relationship, considering Ellen's past, and it added a deeper element. I thought they were a wonderful couple and the romance was extremely well done. The other characters all had depth. None of them were completely one sided. All of them felt realistic. The plot was excellent. It was fast paced and had me hooked immediately. There were tons of thrills and secrets as Ellen tried to shed her past. And tons of emotional drama as she faced her demons. Like the romance, the story as a whole had a darker aspect that added a deeper element. And the ending was just perfect. Illicit Love was a top notch historical romance! Lovers of the genre, you must read this book! *I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
TeenBlurb More than 1 year ago
Illicit Love is a captivating story about the power and strength of love. Ellen was lived a very hard and rough life. Disowned by her family and widowed Ellen makes the choice that many women in that era had to make. To become a mistress. Ellen gets trapped into an abusive relationship with her protector. He is cruel, selfish, and possessive. Ellen lives with the abuse because she has no other means to survive and she fears what would happen to her if she tried to live. When she tries to forget the horrors of her life and take one bit of happiness for herself she meets Edward. Edward makes her feel like someone who is cherished and loved. Edward tries to help her escape, but she has secrets that she will not tell him. Can Edward convince Ellen to trust him? Can he persuade her to leave? Jane Lark creates a beautiful tale of love lost and love found. This is a truly unique story. The characters really worm their way into your affections. Ellen is a unlikely heroine, especially for the time period. Being a mistress was social pariah. This is precisely what is so refreshing about this story. So many historical romances do the same song and dance, but Illicit Love shows us the other side. This story will make you laugh, shed some tears, want to resort to violence, and sigh from pleasure. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is Jane Lark's debut and it is a winner. Inspired by the life of real-life courtesan Harriette Wilson, it's the story of a mistress whose rejection by her father after his disapproval of her youthful runaway marriage forces her into the life of a mistress in order to survive. I was intrigued by the story of a mistress and how she came to be in this situation. Lord Edward Marlow is the second son of an earl whose dissolute older brother has forced him into managing the family's estates. When his brother returns to claim his birthright, he is at loose ends when he meets Ellen. Their love is forbidden as she is under the protection of a rich and powerful man, but I found myself rooting for them all the way. Sensual and provocative, I look forward to reading more not only in this series, but from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago