I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Harlot by Victoria Dahl
Published by Victoria Dahl on October 26th 2015
Genres: Erotica, Historical, Romance
Source: the author
HE CAME HOME TO MARRY AN ANGEL... After two years of work in the gold fields of California, Caleb Hightower has come home to marry his childhood sweetheart, Jessica Willoughby. But when he returns, Caleb learns his refined bride-to-be is now a whore. Enraged by her betrayal, he can’t reconcile this shameless woman with the sweet innocent he once deeply loved--but Caleb knows what to do with a harlot. He’s determined to get everything from her that she’s sold to other men. And he’s prepared to pay for the pleasure of his revenge.
BUT ALL HE FOUND WAS SIN... Left penniless after her father’s death, Jess made a deal with a devil. Now she must face her childhood sweetheart, whose scorn is no match for her regret. To make amends, she’ll let Caleb quench his rage with her body. Their bargain strips them down to searing passion and naked vulnerability, and Jess can still glimpse her loving Caleb buried deep inside this rough cowboy. In the end, an unbearable truth emerges that could push them toward forgiveness…or could destroy their fragile bond forever.
This isn’t the first book by Victoria Dahl I’ve read, but it’s the first historical. I was worried that her historicals wouldn’t be as erotic and fun to read as her contemporaries (It’s my own stupid thing. Even though I’ve read plenty of erotic historicals, I still have it stuck in my head that they’re all kissing and no sex. It’s ridiculous, really. I’ve read everything Courtney Milan has ever written. I’m working on it.) I should have known better, though. Victoria Dahl has never let me down.
This book was all my catnip. Childhood friends? Check. Long separation? Check. Both in love and both convinced they can’t be together? Check check checkity-check. Caleb and Jess were so determined not to hurt each other any more than they already had that they couldn’t do anything but hurt each other. From the opening scene, where they come face-to-face for the first time in more than two years, it was clear they were going to destroy each other. They were both so angry, at each other, at their circumstances, at how their lives had turned out. They were both so sure they were right, and they were both right and they were both wrong, which is perhaps the worst position to be in.
This story was so good. I loved seeing Jess and Caleb find their way back to each other. Both of them had been screwed over by other people, so thoroughly that they didn’t even realize it until they were back together and comparing stories. This story is about forgiveness, of others and of yourself, learning that sometimes people do a lot of the wrong things for all of the right reasons, and you have to be ok with that if you want them in your life. It’s definitely darker than most of Dahl’s books, but it was every bit as good as what I usually expect from her. Preorder this one or pick it up immediately!