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Unclaimed

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Unclaimed (2011) Courtney Milan

Set in England in 1841

Mark Turner has been knighted by the queen for his book on Chastity for men. That single event has made him a super star–despite all his best efforts not to be one.

Why was it that men had to take every good principle and turn it into some sort of a club? Why could nobody do the right thing on his own? And how had Mark gotten himself embroiled as the putative head of this one?

“I’m not a member of the Male Chastity Brigade,” Mark said, trying not to make his words sound like a rebuke. “I just wrote the book.”

Jessica Farleigh is a courtesan who has realized she is no longer able to do the work to keep her off the streets. So she decides to take up the offer to seduce Mark Turner for 300 pounds. Except that doing so is going to be much harder than she expects.

She wasn’t impossibly thin and delicate; nor was she extraordinarily buxom. Still, she somehow made every woman around her seem wrong and ill-proportioned by comparison. For just one second, Mark felt a wistful tug. Why doesn’t anyone ever try and foist women like her off on me instead?

“There is no such thing as a fallen woman—you just need to look for the man who pushed her.”

“When someone falls,” Mark said, “you don’t throw her back down in the dirt. You offer her a hand up. It’s the Christian thing to do.”

What I especially like are the people who actually hear what Mark has been saying. Most people don’t hear, but some do.

Unbidden, Mark glanced across the lawn toward the knot of other contestants. He caught a glimpse of Mrs. Farleigh—a flash of a long gown of buttercup yellow with smart white cuffs.

“And you needn’t worry about her,” Tolliver continued innocently. “Dinah—Miss Lewis, I mean—has agreed to partner her. I did take what you said to heart.”

“Huh.” Perhaps the boy might actually have done so.

“And besides,” the young man continued, “Dinah wanted to talk with her. She wanted to know how she did her hair. Can you believe it?”

Also, there are these bits about rural life.

Technically, Mrs. Tatlock was only the letter carrier’s wife. She had no duties, collected no pay. But her husband was known to sometimes evade delivering the letters to the houses farthest out, particularly on fine summer days when he preferred to fish. She’d arranged a system where she would hold letters at the post office until her husband decided to deliver them—or the owner decided to pick them up, whichever came first.

I don’t like it as well as the first story in this series, but it’s still a good book, and despite being a rock star, Mark is eminently likable.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Entangled

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Re-Read, Romance     Comments (0)    



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