Hazel's Reviews > The Secret Pearl

The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh
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Jan 31, 12

bookshelves: romance
Read in December, 2011

** spoiler alert ** The opening chapter took me by surprise. Very early on, a prostitute and a punter meet and have painful, unpleasant, mutually degrading and shameful sex. At first, I didn't even realise that these characters were our hero and heroine. Of course, the punter faces lesser consequences and recovers more quickly, but it's fair to say that they're both marked by this initial and deeply unromantic encounter.

Later on, the story becomes more conventional. Poor fellow, there are reasons he is driven to seek comfort in the arms of a prostitute. Not too much of a heel; he's done the honorable thing by his wife. Poor girl, she's an orphan, wrongly accused of murder and penniless. Not too much of a whore; she was a virgin before deciding to sell herself. Balogh establishes them as virtuous after all. Despite the inauspicious beginning, they fall in love and live happily etc. etc.

But that was an unusual and promising introduction, worth an extra star.
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