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Claiming the Courtesan

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  2,620 Ratings  ·  253 Reviews

The Duke of Kylemore knows her as Soraya, London's most celebrated courtesan. Men fight duels to spend an hour in her company. And only he comes close to taming her. Flying in the face of society, he decides to make her his bride; then, she vanishes, seemingly into thin air.

Dire circumstances have forced Verity Ashton
Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Avon
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Updated to add that this review is chock full of spoilers - proceed at your own risk

My review:

Claiming The Courtesan is one of those novels that is subjective… open to interpretation. Each reader will react differently to certain events, perhaps drawing on their own life’s experiences and emotions. I am no different and this review will be a collection of my own thoughts.

I will start by saying that Anna Campbell did a brilliant job of allowing us a glimpse into Kylemore’s mind, not only as an ad
Sep 13, 2008 new_user added it
Recommends it for: readers who can appreciate well-written emotion, even the darker kind
Shelves: historical
I could definitely see why some people find this book controversial. In fact, there is more than one rape scene in Courtesan, perpetrated by the hero upon the heroine-- and yes, she does fall in love with the hero. That goes without saying; the whole book hinges on this. However, that is only the basic plot.

The real bulk of the story deals with the characters' histories and emotional struggles. The hero, especially, suffers a lot of anguish, past and present, that motivates his actions. He is b
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I must admit I am not a fan of the courtesan/prostitute heroine because I dislike the idea of a woman having to sell her body for survival. For that reason, I did not read this book right away, although I was very intrigued by the storyline of a hero who would do just about anything to keep his heroine. I read some scenes from it at the bookstore, trying to decide if I was "ready" to read it, and I couldn't stop thinking about story and how good the writing was. Finally, I decided I had to read ...more
May 07, 2008 Eastofoz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers looking for a "regency noir" captor/captive story
Can you give 10 stars because this book is worth 10 big fat gold stars hands down! A phe-no-men-al read. Not only is it beautifully written (we’re talking as good if not better than Lisa Kleypas) it will have you up until 2am squirming out a “geeze, just one more page!” and you’ll find yourself still reading at 6am when the alarm goes off to go to work —yes it is that good! Campbell has a way of segueing from one chapter to the next that you can’t help but turn that page and read on.

The story is
Fani *loves angst*
Before people berate me for rating it with 1 star, I have to say I reached p. 250 before I finally admitted defeat. I just couldn't like the hero and the plot no matter what. I hoped that at some point he might redeem himself, but after 2/3 of the book, I had to give up since at that point the heroine started annoying me as much as the hero. Simply put, he's a kidnapper and a rapist. And no, the fact that deep down she wants him too, even though it takes her 3 or 4 tumbles to realize it, doesn't ...more
Aug 17, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
Just wanted to give a very brief review of Claiming the Courtesan because there are lots of reviews with summaries written about it already.

I wasn't sure how the author could handle the rape scenes without totally turning me off to the rest of the book. I was prepared to dislike Kylemore, but as the book progressed, I felt a deep sympathy for him and what he had been through as a child. That didn't excuse how he treated Verity, but as the book progressed, it became less about him forcing her and
Jun 08, 2009 Rane rated it it was amazing
It's been quite some time since I read such a dark romance such as this one, both lead characters draw on your emotions tightly and didn't let go until the final page. At times the actions in this book were a hard pill to shallow, but nevertheless it kept you wanting and reading more.

Kylemore was one of those Alpha Males I detest the most, pushing and hurting others to have it their way, acting more of a caveman then a human being. Most of the time he was very shovel worthy to the point you wa
Feb 25, 2010 Anne rated it liked it
I had to think about this one for a little while before I could review it. Whew! Now, I went into this book with fair warning from several of my Goodreads friends, so I really can't complain that I was shocked by anything that happened. I gotta say, though, I felt a little dirty when I was done reading. And not 'dirty' in a good way either. The worst part about the whole experience was how much I liked most of the story...which probably contributed to my questioning whether or not I needed to im ...more
Tammy Walton Grant
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2008 Holly rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
This was a fascinating book. It was truly fascinating and yet so depressing. It's quiet and moody and well, romance noir. The aliented, doomed hero and the femme fatale. Corruption, madness, and moral breakdown. It's all here. And it's sometimes hard to read.

Claiming The Courtesan starts with the incomparable beauty Soraya and her protector the Duke of Kylemore, Justin Kinmurrie enjoying a postcoital glow. All is right with Kylemore's world, he possesses the mistress that is the envy of the ton
Mar 22, 2009 Kathrynn rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathrynn by: Eastofoz
Felt Claiming the Courtesan had a lot of potential, but for me the lengthy narration between the dialogue and further explaining the character's behavior was just too much. Also felt the ending dragged out too long and grew tired of the "I'm leaving," "Please stay with me," angst that reared its ugly head--again.

The two characters were fine and both had a lot of growing to do in their journey(s) through this book. Justin had a lot to learn about life, love and women and he did well getting his a
Sep 27, 2011 Zeek rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I've had this one in my TBR pile and today decided it was time to clear it from list.

Honestly I tried it before and though I was extremely intrigued by the heroine, I quickly realized I was going to have invest a little more time in the hero than a cursory glance. SO I put the book down until that time.

I gave him more time today and unfortunately, he's still an asswipe- not a tool, not a douchebag an ass. wipe.

Dont get me wrong, you who have read a review or two by me before know that I am mor
Oct 04, 2009 Sarita rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Keia, Cheryl, Barbara
I have to agree with other 4/5 star reviews about this book.

It was so emotionally taxing. Some people say 'roller-coaster ride' and I think that sums it up nicely! I found myself elated and then heartbroken throughout the story. What a fantastic whirlwind!

There was so much darkness and hatred in the beginning of this story that I thought I might not like it. In fact, it made me a little uncomfortable at times.

But the author did a fabulous job helping us as readers understand and even want to s
I had to read this because of all the hoopla and the fact that friends who tend to share my tastes were all over the place with their ratings on this one. Personally, I was intrigued until about 50% and then got bored to death and skimmed the rest. I hated that, because I'd love to see a resurgence of the bodice ripper for those of us who enjoy it. I know the very idea offends some people, but I'd be more than happy to put up with warning labels such as "contains forced seduction, rape, etc" if ...more
Apr 15, 2008 Katie(babs) rated it liked it
Anna Campbell's debut novel for Avon will have people talking. Some may consider this book a new type of bodice ripper that was written as they were back in the 1970's or 1980's. Before making a decision I recommend people read Anne Stuart's A Rose At Midnight first and then this book. The author must have read that before because her plot and characters are very much the same as Stuart's.

The heroine Soraya aka Verity is England's most sought after Courtesan. After a year of being with our cold
Ana Rînceanu
original read: 2008

To date, this book is the darkest romance novel I have ever read, in that it deals with obsession, child abuse and sexual assault. If any of this is triggering to you, avoid this book.

Everyone I know that has read this book has vastly different opinions on it and I can see the pros and cons of this book. The relationship between the leads is very well developed and intense, but this you still need to go in expecting ravishment/forced sex situation. The novel feels at times Go
3.5/5 stars. This book left me shaking my head after I finished the last few pages. I really wanted to like the book, but it fell short for me.

I don't mind dark novels, and this one was certainly darker than a typical romance. I didn't object to the coercion scenes that bordered on rape. The controversy didn't bother me.

However, I didn't feel moved by either Justin or Verity. I didn't feel passion between them, and I know that should have been the cornerstone of the book. I felt like it was a c
Aly is so frigging bored

Do you guys remember the books other HR heroins talked about? Those with mad barons/dukes and virginal heroins who keep getting abducted and/or raped and fall in love with their rapists? Well, this is one of those books and it even has purple prose!

I don't know why in the end I enjoyed it, but I did :))

PS: It seems even more of a bodice-ripper then most bodice-rippers from the 80s(at least those I've read)
BJ Rose
Feb 09, 2012 BJ Rose rated it it was ok
Lust does not equal love. Obsession = stalker, not love. Had I cared more about the two protagonists, I might have been able to make this a weak 3*. I understood Verity's rationale for doing what she did at 15, but Kylemore's emotional development appeared to have been frozen at his 7-year-old self, and that just wasn't appealing at all.
5 Heartwrenching stars!

“I’ll give you the world if you stay... “My God, woman, don’t you know I’d lie down and die for you if you asked?”

This is the sort of passion of the "hero" one could wish to experience at least once in their life time...that is bigger than earth, deeper than sea and universally never-ending! The hero here is not a knight in shining armor, but dark creature with only one goal in mind...

To possess the heroine his courtesan, because away from her, he felt incomplete

 photo 3635eff9-cf03-4ee9-b94a-49d8251c2d46_zps4548ed2c.jpg
I see a pattern here: Kidnapping romance=Me getting sucked in every time!

This was a very sweet and poignant tale of obsessive love. Not in a bad way though. Justin Kinmurrie is the Duke of Kylemore and he is in lust with his mistress The famous courtesan Soraya. After throwing a out-of-left-field proposal to her, she flees.

But not because of the proposal. See, Soraya, real name Verity Ashton, is done with being a courtesan. She has amassed enough money to set herself free and take care of her fa
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder

Genre: Regency Noir

Usually when I give a book a 5 star rating, it means that I will most likely read said book again and again. I probably will not do that with this particular title. But I still liked this book a lot. Hats off and kudos to the author and publisher for bringing out this book. They took a great risk in doing so. This book, which I think was published in 2007 is edgy, dark and un-PC. This was Anna Campbell's first Book. This book has or will offe
Maureen Feeney
Apr 08, 2010 Maureen Feeney rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claiming the Courtesan is one of those books that seems to polarize readers. I think there are a couple of obvious reasons for this:

1. Many readers do not like to read a courtesan/prostitute character as the heroine

2. This book does contain rape/forced seduction scenes

I can completely understand and respect the response of readers with these views and preferences. But Claiming the Courtesan was so much more.

It was beautifully written with an ease of style that had time losing meaning while the p
I can't say too much about this one because I just finished and I'm kinda stunned. This was not what I would call a light, easy, read. It was intense and I had quite a few times where I found myself all knotted up waiting to see how something would pan out.

Both Verity and Justin are rather flawed, perhaps one more than the other, and for differing reasons, but, as is true in romance, they break through the issues with each other and their love brings them some semblance of survival.

Damn, this wa
Nov 23, 2009 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
This book was intense and wonderful! It was not an easy read. It messed with my emotions and I was even torn at moments as to whether I should like the hero or hate him. Feel free to read my review, although I am afraid it truly does not do this book justice.

The Duke of Kylemore wants to make his mistress his wife. Men have been known to fight duels over Soraya and three men have committed suicide because they could not have her as a mistress. Kylemore waited 5 years before she agreed to become
Jane Stewart
Sep 12, 2010 Jane Stewart rated it it was ok
This was not well done. I did not enjoy it. Characters started out interesting, but conflicts and dialogue were lacking.

Wealthy duke has a mistress for a year, is madly in love with her, and asks her to marry him. She says no and then disappears. Their one-year contract had ended, and she was finally financially independent. She sneaks away to live a quiet life in the country under a different name. He is filled with obsession and anger. He finds her, kidnaps her, and has sex with he
I'd just like to emphasise up front that a Goodreads 1 Star is a subjective "I didn't like it" and is no indication of objective writing quality.

The writing in this book was excellent. Right from the very start I was absolutely interested in what was going to happen. The characters were all richly drawn and intriguing.

Then we come to the controversial part.

(view spoiler)
The plot involves a duke and his mistress. After years of saving up, Soraya leaves the duke (quite legally) and is finally able to live the life she craves. The duke however feels betrayed cause surely he owns her. So he kidnaps her. Then follows several non consensual sex scenes (and I don't care if her body responds or not, its still non consensual).

Its funny I've read a lot of romances with a similar theme but this didn't sit well with me at all. Kylemore was overbearing and the belief that
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Dangerous Hero Ad...: Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell *Spoilers* 6 35 Nov 15, 2015 07:31PM  
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I've written ten multi award-winning full-length historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins (available in print and digital) and my work is published in seventeen languages. Look out for my indie novellas, too. Most recently I've been engaged in the Dashing Widows series, latest release WINNING LORD WEST (April 2016). I live on the beautiful east coast of Australia, wh ...more
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“I want you to want me the way I want you. I want you to come to me and tell me that. Then I want you to show me it’s true.
- Duke Kylemore to Verity Ashton -”
“And if you must sacrifice yourself, do that by marrying me. I’m not an easy man. You’ll earn your martyr’s crown before you’re done. Don’t condemn both of us to an eternity of unhappiness just because you’re too stiff-necked to face society’s censure.” 7 likes
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