By: Zarabeth, guest reviewer
This is a fantastic spinster story set in 1836 England. Our heroine, Amanda, is a 30-yr old spinster supporting herself as a novelist who has decided to do something for herself, for once in her life. As we well know a never-married 30 yr old woman is quite on the shelf, but this does not prevent her from having the same sexual needs as any other woman. So our heroine, and my heroine for this, hires a male prostitute for her 30th birthday completely disregarding social conventions of virginity and premarital sex.
On her birthday a suitable man with an association to the escort service does appear on her doorstep and we assume that this is her prostitute. As the reader we are mortified to learn that this man is not a prostitute despite his sexual actions with our heroine. Later in the book Amanda and the not-prostitute Jack meet at a social/publishing event.
The story as a whole involves Jack doing everything he can to get Amanda back in bed and eventually convinces her to have an affair with him. I very much enjoyed the affair and the experiences of our main characters in public and in private (rating: 5). Once Amanda decides that the affair must end, things get pretty complicated and despair ensues. Months into this unfortunate depression we discover that Amanda is pregnant. Again, our never-married 30 yr old woman has just discovered that she is pregnant- this is a problem. Our Amanda must now decide whether to move to the continent or marry below her standards and whether or not to tell Jack about his child (rating: 4).
I call this a solid 4.5. There are 2 reasons that this review is not a full 5: there is some rear-entry stuff (gags and feels uncomfortable) and there is a bit too much time spent on inner-turmoil instead acts based on inner turmoil.