Nisha's Reviews > A Precious Jewel

A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh
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Mar 06, 12

bookshelves: historicalromance, courtesan-prostitute
Read in March, 2012

This book is one of those stories where its sooo different from the norm, that you can't be anything but impressed with the plot, the characters, and the writing style. The only reason I can't give this 5 stars is because the hero never felt like a hero to me, and I need that to be satisfied. Let's say that this is a 4.5 star book.

The hero, Gerald, is a typical gentleman. Average in all accounts, intelligence, looks, personality, etc. He has a little bit of a tragic past, so he's a bit self-centered. He visits the golden whorehouses of whorehouses (supposedly, it is run with strict rules for how, when, where the naughty stuff happen...WTF). Here, He meets Prissy, apparently his ideal lover who doesn't use any of her "tricks" and lies still while he "takes his pleasure". I'm still trying to understand how this makes Prissy like him... After 2 months, he decides to take a chance at a bit more permanence and makes Prissy his mistress. Prissy. I don't understand her, but apparently she's a lady hard on her times and turns to prostitution because her ex-governess is now the proprieter of a whorehouse. She's cheerful and childlike - and at times, I wondered whether she is fully matured, or whether Ms. Balogh employed a half-wit as her heroine. From the first time Prissy meets Gerald, she liked him and his frequent visits only allowed her to slowly fall in love with him, a cardinal sin in whore-world. And when she gets preggers (her 2nd cardinal sin), it's time to move out. Of course, the seperation isn't permenant and the couple reuinites and lives HEA.

I didn't like Gerald. I thought he was too selfish and self-centered to conduct a loving relationship with anyone. He was much like his father, who he had a troubled relationship with. He was absolutely NOT hero material and did very little to take care of Prissy. Prissy was also difficult for me to like. Her self-sacrificing nature held some appeal to me, because I enjoy things like that, but I don't understand WHY or HOW she fell in love with Gerald. Even Gerald was confused about her love for him since he wasn't at all hero material.

Miles, Gerald's friend, WAS clearly hero material, but his HEA popped out of nowhere. It's ok, though I really would have wanted a story for himself. He was a truly nice person, with the perks of being hot.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I was frustrated with the actual characters, but otherwise, the angst levels were perfect for me. I think a lot of people will enjoy reading this. But I will warn you, the heroine is an ACTUAL prostitute - so she has slept with other men on her job. At times, she gets harrassed for it, so it's real, not like the typical HR virginal courtesan route.
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