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The Harlot

(Taskill Witches #1)

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  565 ratings  ·  125 reviews
It is a dark era, and a lusty lass will do what she must to survive. Even if it means bartering flesh for a palmful of coins…

Forced to watch her mother burn at the stake as a witch, Jessie Taskill was separated from her siblings in the aftermath. Jessie is similarly gifted, ripe with a powerful magic that must stay hidden. When she's accused by a rival of witchcraft, Jessi
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Harlequin HQN (first published May 18th 2011)
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3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  565 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Emily May
Note: Do not bother reading either this review or the novel itself if you are likely to be offended by graphic sexual content, including but not limited to: light bdsm, m/m couplings and f/f couplings. If your tastes are somewhat more vanilla, this book is perhaps not for you.

Now, I'd just like to say I am so glad I've had the opportunity to read this! I have never ever given 5 stars to an erotic novel, I reserve such ratings for books that I deem to have more 'substance'. This usually means tha
Jen Davis
Warning: This review is designed for adults 18 years or older. It contains mature subject matter and coarse language.

Jessie has got to be the horniest heroine I have ever encountered. She is working as a whore in 18th century Scotland when Gregor spies her in a fight with another whore over a potential customer. Jessie puts on quite a show, but it comes to an end when the other woman accuses her of witchcraft. Jessie is promptly arrested. But Gregor is taken by her and figures that if he helps h
Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Advice to all husbands whose wife's libido has gone down the drain and are experiencing a dry spell: go get this book and give it to your woman NOW.

First off, I should make clear straight away that this is not my usual genre. Or rather it is but slightly less. I do enjoy me some good steamy paranormal romance (I'm thinking Cat and Bones here) but I had some really unfortunate experience with PRN bordering on erotica (I'm thinking Beyond the Highland Mist here). This is mainly erotica with roma
Saskia Walker's The Harlot nearly never made it to my finished book shelf. One of the first scenes featured a man having sex with a prostitute in a jail cell. I'm not sure when this novel takes place (1800's perhaps? There is mention at one point of muskets.) At any rate, it surely takes place in a time before penicillin. Therefore, so much talk of unprotected sex with a prostitute and endless references to her "wet cunny" did nothing for me but send visions of syphilis and crabs and whatnot. So ...more
Gregor Ramsay is on a mission of revenge against the man who robbed his father - and thus, him - out of his lands. Now that he has a lot of money, he intends on reclaiming the property anonymously before revealing his true identity. Knowing his enemy's weakness for innocent flesh, he hires a woman called "The Harlot of Dundee" to play the role of virgin servant girl to infiltrate the house and bring back information about the bad guy's plans for his land. Needless to say, the lessons in modesty ...more
One word... Wow! If you want a lot of steam (I'm thinkin' twenty-minute-sauna-110F-at-least steam here), with a bit of (accurate) historical stuff, and a decent plot thrown in, then this book is for you!

It was my first book by Saskia Walker (received through netgalley), and it certainly won't be my last.

On the face of it, it had loads of things which I wouldn't normally like (m-m and f-f action, moderately-repentent prostitute as heroine), but it was just so well-written, steamy but not cheesy o
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and if I seem a little surprised by this, well, I am! This is not your typical Historical Romance, even though it takes place in 18th Century Scotland, I think I would categorize it more a Historical Erotic Romance, lots of hot sex!! :) - They don't call Jessie Taskill 'The Harlot of Dundee' for nothing. She is a wonderful heroine, fiesty, brazen and full of life without being obnoxious, and and btw, she is a witch!! That is how she meets Gregor Ramsy, she is in a bar ...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I really enjoy books by Saskia Walker. I have a hard time categorizing her books, and I like that. I’ve yet to read a book by Walker where I wasn’t thoroughly entertained by the story and the arousing sexual scenes.


She’s the Harlot on the cover. To call Jessie feisty is an understatement. She is tough and fierce but she has a real tender side. At the beginning of the book, Jessie is hiding her magic. She has powerful magic but due to events that happened to Jessie’s family, she must force
Janet Robel
A dark erotica novel set in 1715. Almost anything goes in here, but the author pulls it off beautifully.
☙ percy ❧
May 23, 2017 marked it as tbr-other
i don't usually go for m/f erotica but how can i resist a roguish priest, revenge, and witches lmao
Sarah Mac
Frustrating. I liked both leads (particularly Jessie) & the full-on bodice ripper dynamic between them (which felt so delightfully old skool). I also liked the plot & the writing.


Too much sex. It got stale. It stalled the story. Nearly every significant scene was packed with unnecessary boinking, which is my main critique of romantica in general. Such frustration was particularly annoying in this case, as the fun plot & flamboyant characters felt overshadowed by the naughty bi
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
My biggest issue with this book is perhaps something I should have anticipated. See, I went into this for the plot, which was sandwiched thinly between many sex scenes. It's an erotic novel, so of course there's going to be an emphasis on the sex. It's pretty much the selling point of the genre. But after a promising setup, the story falls by the wayside so Gregor and Jessie can get their lust on for at least half the book before the plot realizes 'oh yeah, I should get back to work' and pokes i ...more
Wendy Darling
This was the first time I've read this author and I was pretty entertained by this book. I liked the heroine and her use of magic, and the steamy stuff was not bad, even though some of the language made me giggle sometimes. It's probably more wordy and detailed than it needs to be for a book like this, but hey, to each his own.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
It's not often that you come across a HR heroine is an actual prostitute. Not that I'm saying she's a role model or anything, but HR has an overabundance of virginal or sexually repressed heroine who reach their first orgasm with their heroes.

Anyway, I classify this book as "historical romantica" (romantic erotica), so those not interested in explicit sex scenes, move out of the way. This is definitely not your book.

The main character is Jessi Taskill, a prostitute recently accused of witchcraf
Crystal ♥ RBtWBC
The Harlot is a spicy Scottish tale of revenge, witchcraft and seduction.

Gregor Ramsay is out for revenge against the main that destroyed his family over a decade ago. When he comes upon Jessie in a whorehouse he decides that he could use her to seduce and take down his enemy. After fighting with another woman over a customer though, she is accused of witchcraft and carted off to jail. Gregor then rescues her, takes her against the wall, and helps her escape but only after she agrees to help him
This review can also be found on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog.

It’s seldom that I find and read an erotic novel that I enjoy for the sex scenes alone. This, however, is one of those rare occasions.

Saskia Walker’s The Harlot is set in the historical Scotland, to year 1715. There, the story starts with a cat fight in a bar, where two whores are fighting for a man and their pimp is taking bets. One of the women is Jessie Taskill, The Harlot of Dundee, a woman who truly enjoys a tumble and doesn’
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical that features a heroine who is a Lady of the Night and who is also a possessor of "the craft." The hero is a man who has borne the burden of his father's suicide for 11 years and now is ready to carry out the revenge he has been nurturing for that long period of time. Jenny is a woman who has done lots of things in her life to survive and selling her body is just the latest effort to make sufficient money to return to the Highlands of Scotland to live and to find her twin and brothe ...more
Doug Bradshaw
Aug 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

YE OLDE CINEMAX boring story!!

Not many years ago, maybe 30, I would have spent a little extra time reading the r rated scenes. I found myself only scanning through some of these scenes, oh brother, yuck, don't want to read it, glad the young people are enjoying their sex lives, but mostly typical naughty book bs. The story was pretty silly too. Magic, but minimal, revenge, but minimal, sex, boring and stupid with heaving this and throbbing that. Brother. And what are these submissive themes all
Marcela (BookaholicCat)
This review is also published at

Gregor Ramsay is having a drink at the Dundee inn when a fight starts; two prostitutes are cat fighting for a customer. One of them attracted his attention; she is feisty and beautiful. He learns her name is Jessie Taskill and is known as The Harlot of Dundee. She is perfect for what he needs and decides to talk to her after the fight.
Jessie is winning the fight but her opponent declares Jessie is having the advantage because she is us
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a romance book. And, woo boy, was it steamy. I think I’ve had enough sex in a book to last me for a month, maybe two! But then again that’s probably what I get because this is an erotica novel.

There are a few things I enjoyed about this book, one of them being the romance and the characters – Jessie, especially. I loved how the romance didn’t revolve around the charismatic, all-knowing, and experienced man awakening the passion in the innocent, virginal gi
Desert Rose
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

While Jessie Taskill -nicknamed the Harlot of Dundee- was fighting with a fellow whore for the favor of a client she is accused of witchcraft and sent to the tollbooth. This happened in front of Gregor Ramsay who was looking for a whore to help him seduce his enemy to take his revenge on him.
He found the exact thing he needed!! So he aimed on rescuing her on the terms of performing the task he asks of her.

She had a hard life, starting with watching her mo
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Saskia Walker, as always, continues to surprise and astound me at her ability to adapt and form a story true to an era, a time, or a character as opposed to writing each of her stories in her own singular voice. I love the old world erotic novel feel of this book, it fits and makes you feel more into the story. I would have loved more information about the witch hunts, I know it's sort of a downer for an erotic novel but I would have loved to learn more about this time in history

I love Jessie in
The Harlot begins with the heroine, Jessie engaged in a catfight with a fellow harlot while a room full of bar patrons looks on or makes wagers. Among the crowd is the hero, Gregor Ramsay; a blackguard seaman who's hellbent on revenge against the man who destroyed his father. Gregor is fascinated by Jessie; not only by her lush curves but also by her brazen, shameless behavior. He believes that Jessie is just the woman he needs to help exact revenge against his enemy but his plans are temporaril ...more
This one was kind of odd. It was readable, but it ultimately it seems to fall a bit short on all fronts. Read as erotic romance, the sex scenes were a little bit too awkward (partly due to the unsexiness of the language) to stand alone, so they really needed a solid plot line to back them up. The plot, however, didn't really rise to the occasion, and then ultimately fell off a cliff entirely. A very (unnecessarily) convoluted set of circumstances, characters, and relationships were set up, and t ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
2.5 stars.

This book is :

One part historical fiction
One part paranormal romance
One part movie - My Fair Lady
One part movie - Pretty Woman
Several parts erotica, with a couple of brief BDSM, enslavement, m/m and f/f interludes for reasons unknown. TBH, I was confused as to why these were even added into the book. I can't stand when content is added for no apparent reason other than to meet some sort of erotica quota. It's almost as if the author tried to hit all of the erotica sub-genres in one bo
Norma Wright
May 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read Romance novels and Harlot reminded me why. Only with Harlot, my level of acceptence was pushed beyond limit. I enjoy romantic or erotic novels but I thought this one was smut. Too much drama and every kind of deviant sex imagineable. Thrown into the pot were gay/lesbian, S and M, rape, beastiality, self gratification, just to name a few. Take the sex out of the book and you have a poorly written book. Put the sex back into the book and you have a poorly written smutty book. ...more
Hillary Hunt
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fem-fantasy, romance
If you're looking for a sexy times book whose plot and characters are actually decent, here it is.
Cecilia Grip
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lästa2016
And Im done with book nr 2 this week. :-)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tammy Walton Grant
This slope to kindle smut is very slippery.....

June 1/11 -- just bought it!!! Yay!
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I am the author of several erotic novels including ALONG FOR THE RIDE, INESCAPABLE, RAMPANT, SORCERESS, MONICA'S SECRET and THE HARLOT. I've also had shorter work published in over one hundred anthologies.

I write across genres, and all of my work has erotic content, whether it's short erotica, a contemporary romance, or a novel set in a paranormal or historical world. I consider myself a storytel

Other books in the series

Taskill Witches (3 books)
  • The Libertine (Taskill Witches, #2)
  • The Jezebel (Taskill Witches, #3)