Takes Place: London, 1762
Genre: Historical Romance, Novella (allegorically follows the theme of the fairy tale The Ice Princess)
Coral Smythe a beautiful young woman, known as Aphrodite, the madam of her own brothel, had her life fairly in hand, finally. She had been able to remove her older sister off the streets of London, an accomplishment that made her life as a whore bearable. Now after two years of not having to share her body in her brothel, she felt life wasn’t too shabby at all except for the dark cloud Jimmy Hyde, a scoundrel in all accounts, who held the majority share of the brothel having financed the rebuild of the brothel after a fire sustained 4 months earlier.
So when he wagered Coral in a game of chance, she had to accept. He basically owned her. She was to spend seven nights with the winning gentleman doing whatever he requested her to do. How could she accept to participate? She had to, that’s all.
Captain Isaac Wargate, a puritanical naval officer had come to the brothel six months previous when his ship was in harbor, not to partake himself, but to collect his junior officers so they wouldn’t get into trouble while on shore leave. He had at that time and even now been attracted to the madam, her wit and quick intelligence, but he never dallied with women in the brothel. How could he be this attracted to her when he never really saw her; she was always masked.
The captain was standing behind the madam the night that Jimmy Hyde made the wager offering up Aphrodite herself to spend seven nights to have her do has the winner requested. The captain saw how she reacted and knew that she was shocked and this was not by her choice that the wager was offered. The game cost way more that any normal man would wager — one thousand guineas just to play the game of chance. Would the captain consider wagering six-months pay to save the madam from this wager? Or would he consider that she was a just a whore and take its consequences?Elizabeth Hoyt writes stories that read themselves! Even though a novella, her character descriptions were fully realized . The reader easily feels the emotions and frustration that both Coral and the captain experience along with just how they change through knowing each other. It’s a sweet love story.