Long before embarking on romantic adventures of her own, Julia Justiss read about them, transporting herself to such favourite venues as ancient Egypt, World War II submarine patrols, the Old South and, of course, Regency England. Soon she was keeping notebooks for jotting down story ideas. When not writing or traveling, she enjoys watching movies, reading and puttering about in the garden trying to kill off more weeds than flowers.
The Courtesanby Julia Justiss
After years of dangerous fighting on the Peninsula, Captain Jack Carrington has returned home to take up family duties and find himself a wife. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he views a fencing lesson unlike any other. The talented student is no student at all, but a beautiful young woman, and the most infamous courtesan in all of LondonLady Belle.<
After years of dangerous fighting on the Peninsula, Captain Jack Carrington has returned home to take up family duties and find himself a wife. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he views a fencing lesson unlike any other. The talented student is no student at all, but a beautiful young woman, and the most infamous courtesan in all of LondonLady Belle.
Who is the mysterious Belle? A jaded cyprian seeking her next protector? A kind friend helping those in need? Or a mistress of sensual delights that tempt a man to madness? Eager to uncover the true woman behind the facade, Jack wagers he can win a kiss from Belle if he bests her at fencing. And though Belle is a woman he can neither afford to keep nor dare to marry, he's willing to risk it all to win her to his bed.
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Former soldier Captain Jack Carrington watches the late Lord Bellingham¿s courtesan Lady Belle defeat an admirer in a sword contest. Afterward, Jack¿s pal bets he can defeat the unbeaten Belle. Early in their duel, Jack realizes she is at least is equal and maybe his superior so he tries to tire his opponent. Her cork falls off the tip and not long afterward the undefeated Belle wins the match stabbing Jack in the chest. She is stunned as he falls down with blood flowing everywhere. Belle agrees to nurse Jack in her home as he has no other place to go. --- As Jack heals, he observes his hostess be kind with people. He soon realizes he wants Belle in his life permanently. Belle tells Jack that Bellingham threatened to hurt a child if she left him so she never left the odious man. Jack vows to respect his Belle who fears she loves her guest though nothing can come of it as his sister is to be presented shortly. To prove he is a rat like all men, she tries to seduce him. He angrily rejects her though he desires her. He tells her he wants her not the whore, but though they make love she believes he deserves better. --- These delightful lead protagonists display honor and loyalty as his fine courtship serves as the center of the story line. Belle is the more interesting protagonist and not just because of her prowess with a sword in which she remains undefeated against a myriad of male opponents, but also her history. Though the ending seems too easy, a solid secondary cast adds to a wonderful gender bending Regency romance. --- Harriet Klausner