Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer's Bride
by Louise Allen
Louise Allen concludes "The Transformation of the Shelley Sisters" trilogy with timid Celina Shelley's story. Lina is the youngest of the sisters and has always been too timid to stand up for herself against their father. When she finds an old letter from an unknown aunt, Lina finds the courage to run away from home. What she doesn't know is that her aunt is the madam of a brothel.
Lina finds a place to belong there with her aunt and the girls. The girls teach Lina how to flirt and what goes on between men and women, and Lina is perfectly content keeping the books for her aunt and being her aunt's companion. Until…her aunt gets sick and her new partner blackmails Lina into service. As a virgin, Lina fetches a high price from Sir Humphrey Tollhurst; scared yet determined to save her aunt, Lina goes to meet her doom. Before the deed can be done, Sir Humphrey dies and his son accuses her of stealing the Tollhurst sapphire ring. Now, timid Lina is on the run from the law.
Sent to her aunt's former love Lord Dreycott, Lina is starting to feel safe again when the old man dies and his nephew comes home. The new Lord Dreycott, Quinn Ashley, is everything that is dangerous to Lina's senses.
Quinn was an interesting character and it would take too long to get into his true reason for returning home. Quinn is a rescuer, and hates to see injustice done. He rescues Lina and her aunt, and saves the day for them. There were times when I just wanted to smack the guy for being a jerk, then he would do something heroic that would make me like him again.
Lina never knew that life outside the vicarage could be so dangerous. She was always the timid one when her sisters were around but, once on her own she found a strength she never knew she had, and she learned to stand up for herself.
While Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer's Bride doesn't pack the emotional punch as the other two stories in the series, it is still a good read and an emotionally satisfying end to the trilogy.
Reviewed by: Valarie Pelissero
“Out of the vicar's house and into sin.”
September 2011, 283 pages
Wrongly accused of theft, innocent Celina Shelley is cast out of the brothel she calls home and flees to Quinn Ashley, Lord Dreycott, for safety. But the heat in the daredevil adventurer's eyes tells Lina that the danger is just beginning…
Lina dresses like a nun, looks like an angel, but flirts like a professional—and the last thing Quinn expects to discover is that she's a virgin!