Friday, 24 February 2012

Auctioned Virgin to Seduced Bride by Louise Allen

London, 1814 Innocent Laurel Vernon is living a nightmare after being kidnapped and put up for auction in one of London's most notorious brothels. 

Only the memory of private enquiry agent Patrick Jago gives her strength. Even though she only knew him for a few days, Patrick made her feel both protected and weak with desire.When Laurel sees Patrick among the brothel's clientele, she isn't sure if he has come to rescue her or to satisfy his own lust. But she is certain that he intends to bid on her!

This is basically a side story to the author's series The Transformation of the Shelley Sisters, which I haven't read. Honestly for someone who is so insistent on reading things in order this is becoming a theme in my reviews! Anyway it doesn't really matter much as you can understand what has gone before from the story itself. I love the way the author explains why she wrote the story - in one of her books Patrick explained to the heroine that he had been delayed in London for a few days and so she, the author, wanted to find out why. She wasn't expecting to find her hero at a high class brothel!

I'm not surprised the characters are alive for the author and have a tendency to go off and do their own thing without her conscious permission, because that's a sign of well-written characters and Patrick and Laurel are very well written.

I did think that Laurel gave into her desires a little quickly, but Patrick is incredibly sexy and he had just saved her from a terrible fate so I think we can forgive her!

The story is short, only five chapters, but the author manages to pack a lot in. I really felt I knew the characters by the end of the book and I was wishing them well. I wouldn't mind revisiting these two at a later date, preferably in a longer story, but I guess that's up to Patrick and whether he wants to share any more of his story with the author.

The sex scene is sweet and hot at the same time. Laurel's fear and desire are both very well drawn and Patrick's desire for his sweet Laurel leaps off the page but it's tempered by his wish to protect her from the villains and also from himself.

The prose is a little purple at times, but not overly so, and it's far from the worst I've seen in a regency romance. I will be adding the series this belongs to to my TBR pile as soon as I can!

VERDICT - 4 out of 5. Short and sweet with great characters.

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