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Trades of the Flesh
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Trades of the Flesh

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A darkly erotic tale of prostitution, murder, and medical science in Victorian England

Lydia Ketch is a young woman whose life some would call immoral and shameful. But with the death of her mother and the prospect of the obscene conditions of the workhouse looming before her, Lydia chooses to enter into the “trade” in order to shield herself (and, more to the point, her sw
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Forge Books (first published August 7th 2009)
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Barb
I was taking my own advice when I didn't judge this book by it's cover...mistake! The writing is so amateurish that I'm surprised this book ever got published. The awful cover is a good indicator for what you will find inside.

I thought this was going to be a gritty look at the life of a prostitute in Victorian England, with a bit of grave-robbing and pornography thrown in. And, yes, that does sound good to me. In my mind I thought of it as The 'Dress Lodger', 'The Mephisto Club' and 'Fingersmith
...more
Sarah
Mar 25, 2011 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The early reviews here are terrible, but Victorian whores are my favorite.
Jenny Q
A quick and attention-grabbing read, but in the end it left me wanting more. The marketing copy is a bit misleading. I got the impression that there was going to be a darker, murderous, mysterious element, but there wasn't. Jack the Ripper is stalking London prostitutes, but he doesn't figure into the story at all, and indeed there didn't seem to be much danger other than that which nineteenth-century prostitutes already faced. But I did find it an interesting glimpse into the seedy side of Lond ...more
Laurie
Faye Booth has written a different kind of historical romance. It’s set in Victorian days, but this is no tale of a poor but genteel woman rescued by a duke or lord. Protagonist Lydia Ketch is only a teen when her mother dies in wretched poverty, with her last words to Lydia being to take care of her younger sister Annabel- the brains of the family, the one with a future. There aren’t many options for poor girls with no family in that era, so Lydia picks the one that looks to be the most lucrati ...more
Beadyjan
I really wanted to like this book, I love well researched books about the seedy side of Victorian life but this read like porn for young adults.
The story itself was really childish and naive and the author had tried to titivate it up a bit by splashing a few dirty words and unrealistic sex scenes in all over the place.
It held a lot of promise and the ideas behind the story were pretty good, but having read The Journal of Dora Damage and The Crimson Petal and the White I just found this to be a c
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Jan Crow
Lydia's life seems to be set for her when her mother’s passing leaves her in
charge of a younger sister, Anna. Barely more than a child herself, she applies
at a House of Introduction for employment as a prostitute so that she can
provide for her sister allowing her to continue her education as was her
mother’s dying wish.

Lydia quickly fits into the entertaining life and meets Henry who chooses her as
his favorite. Their friendship grows and Henry asks her to be a model for him.
Lydia learns just
...more
Brittany
This is the kind of book I pick up from the library when I'm desperate--I'm totally out of reading material, the library closes in 10 minutes, and none of the books I actually want to read are available at the branch I'm at and the books for which I've placed holds haven't been delivered yet. I grabbed several books off a fiction display and bee-lined it to check out, thinking if any or all of my random picks were awful I wouldn't read force myself to finish the books. But fortunately, it was a ...more
Lisa
This wasn't what I expected at all, especially with the cover it has. I was pleasantly surprised to find it a light story about the Victorian underworld; a look at prostitution and the laws surrounding learning medicine. It is set in Victorian England without shoving that fact in your face. Small details show the politics and environment it's set it. It's not about the dangers of being a Victorian prostitute or procuring corpses for medical studies, but about a girl who made a promise to her dyi ...more
Anna Wallace
It is touted as being an Historical Romance, but I didn't find a lot of romance in it. Sure, our lead heroine seemed to have a liking for our "hero," but the story wasn't about them.

It was an interesting look into the underbelly of London and I enjoyed it.
Vivienne

Well I will say that whoever chooses the covers for Booth's books does a great job as they are lovely.

This book wasn't quite as bad as her first one,'Cover the Mirrors', so showed some improvement.

Again I felt that Booth did write some good erotic scenes but still there wasn't much of a story, realistic characterizations or a convincing Victorian feel to the setting.
Monica
I read this entire book but I did not like it much. It was just weird...I never would have guessed or even could have pictured this book going the way it went and I didn't like it. I loved how Lydia starts her life on her own terms, I love the concept of a "lady of the night" being independent...a la Sugar...but I just didn't feel the connection to this book that I wanted to.
Clockwork Cynthia
As much as I wanted to LOVE this story, it lacked in rising action & there wasn't a climatic pivotal moment. It was just stuff happening. *SPOILER* The ending was eh...right when you think Lydia is finally going to do something worth reading, she quickly changes her mind after talking to her friend.

Overall, it was an okay story. I'd probably read it again, but no time soon.
Ellie
What a surprising little book, it was only £1 or so and most definitely worth it. A little bit of scandal, female fiction and history with loveable and easy to know characters. Easy to read but definitely a book for adults due to some slightly explicit scenes. Very glad I read it and I shall be looking for more from the same author.
Karmen
Loved the character of Lydia as she makes the best of her circumstances.

Mary, Daisy & Kathleen at house and Henry Shadwell make excellent foils for her.
Librarychick4405
Moral of this story : don't borrow a book from the library just because all the good ones are gone. Life is too short to waste on dodgy books.
Mandy


I don't often read mediocre romance novels. But when I do, I make sure they contain corsets, cobblestone streets, and grave robbing.
Jessa
It was will written, but i picked it up thinking it would be very dark and was disappointed that the back cover synopsis seemed misleading.
Karen
Not a literary masterpiece but a fun read when you're looking for something historically inaccurate but enjoyably scandalous.
Hannah
i am allowed to be biased here as the author is a very good friend of mine but i was gripped and i really enjoyed the book
Bella
Light but not fluffy not really worth the time spent on it
Sharon Joseph
Fast paced book with a catchy story line.
Misfit
Feb 08, 2013 Misfit marked it as no-thank-you  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: harriet-loved-it
Review # 24,000 for our fearless leader.
Marie
Meh. This one didn't thrill me.
Sonia Dean
Not astounding but an enjoyable read
Amanda Arnott
Amanda Arnott marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2014
Lorraine
Lorraine marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2014
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Faye L. Booth was born in Lancashire in 1980 and continues to live in the county. She shares her home with a menagerie of animals and has given up denying her eccentricity.
More about Faye L. Booth...
Cover the Mirrors

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