If you like Regency romances, you will like this book. It is a re-release, so if you have read a lot of books by Mary Balogh, you may have already read this one.
A Precious Jewel
by Mary Balogh
Priscilla Wentworth is a precious jewel. She is graceful, educated, accomplished, and must work for a living. Misfortune has caused her to end up as a prostitute in a very elite brothel. It is not a difficult job and she learns to do it well. She is a practical and cheerful woman and has a knack for looking on the bright side. She begins to fall in love with a new client and to her surprise, he asks her to become his mistress.
Sir Gerald Stapleton hates marriage and attachments but he is worried about the safety of his new paramour. He sets Priscilla up as his mistress for her own safety and to keep her exclusively for himself. Despite Gerald’s attachment issues and Priscilla’s unsuitability, they become deeply attached to each but neither will admit it.
Mary Balogh wrote this book in 1993 and re-released it in 2009. Priscilla and Gerald were 2 characters in another book she had written. She wrote this book in 2 weeks and it has been a very popular book.
I especially like the character development of Gerald. At first, he seems like a typical young hero of the Regency time period. He is a handsome, selfish, gambling, drinking, social young man. As time progresses, you learn that he is insecure, not very bright, and lacks self confidence. He has issues about attachment and being loved. I like that he is so flawed. He is not who you would expect to be the hero of an historical novel. I also like the novelty of having a prostitute as the heroine even though her character is not very realistic. You will like her and feel sorry for her.
If you can fall in love with these interesting characters, you will like this book. It chronicles the ups and downs of their budding, impossible romance as you get to know them.