I am going to start with a large warning that this book contain a couple of graphic heterosexual sex scenes, however, all of it is bent towards two lesbians falling for each other.
To understand what I am talking about let me give you an overview of the story. Miss Valerie Wilde is the main character in this novella. She is the madam of The Crimson Manor and when one of her girls leaves, she had to get a replacement. To find a replacement she needs to watch potential whores have sex. This is fairly graphic, but, it is clear that Valerie is attracted to the woman not the man and she pays little attention to the man at all.
Then she finds the perfect girl for the house. Miranda.
Miranda’s family were wealthy and when her father died they lost everything. In an effort to support them, Miranda has taken to whoring.
There is an instant attraction between the women and this drives Valerie to distraction. She finds herself trapped in a dark and brooding desire for Miranda and cannot act upon it.
Valerie becomes obsesses with Miranda and this drives her to deep misery as she convinces herself that Miranda could never feel the same for her.
The story is told from Valerie’s perspective and it so well done. Jesalin Creswell is a ridiculously good writer. Valerie is the perfect tortured character. Even though she is a madam her moral compass won’t let her do something that may chase Miranda away and into a bad situation. I really liked her as a character and found her to be an entirely entertaining woman to read about.
The Writing Style
Where has Creswell been hiding?
Her writing is easy to follow, it has a rhythm and her use of language is excellent. She knows just how to conjure a vivid story. It is quite beautifully written and gets the moodiness just right.
She managed to write heterosexual sex scenes without me feeling like it was some sort of fetish or lurid fantasy.
I love this book.
The only real potential con for some readers is that there are men having sex in this book. Having said that, while Creswell does mention specific male body parts it is more as part of a description of what the women are doing. The focus is entirely on the women during sex. The way she handled these scenes makes me really excited to see more from her as a writer. It takes some serious skill to write a hetro sex scene that I am okay with. And while she does mention male body parts it is more clinical than vulgar.
I really enjoyed this book. There are times when I want something brooding and beautiful and Her Most Secret Affair gave me that in spades.
Creswell created an intense, moody, well-written book and this one will definitely make it onto a top ten list.
I also want to insert here that so far I have read two books from Lovelight Press and I am extremely impressed. They have both been excellent.
Excerpt from Her Most Secret Affair by Jesalin Creswell
The Crimson Manor
Outside in the drizzle, hansom cabs clattered down the dark and narrow lanes of London’s East End. Dusk was falling and along these dingy thoroughfares, the ladies of the houses of ill-repute were readying themselves for the long night ahead.
Some did so in dark attic rooms, smearing grease on their cheeks and lips in the dim light. Some hoisted their breasts in their corsets, as children ran between their skirts and old women coughed themselves to death in the next room. Others did no preparation at all: they simply walked out to the streets and called to me to come hither as they raised their mud-lined skirts.
But some whores, by contrivances of fate and fortune, undertook their toilette in lodgings fine enough to impress even the most spoiled debutantes.
One such lady was Miss Valerie Wilde, the madam of The Crimson Manor, and one of London’s greatest beauties.
She was thirty-three years old, and she couldn’t remember her life, or any time at all, before The Crimson.
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Bits and Bobs
- ASIN: B00YSS7HBU
- Publisher: LoveLight Press
Jesalin Creswell Online
Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and, on occasion, I refuse to review books.