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Lessons From a Courtesan

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  694 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Lesson #1: Every man loves a mystery

A scandalous siren called "Ria" has electrified the ton. Every gentleman in London desires her; every woman envies her. And they are all desperate to know the secrets of the tantalizing, seductively beautiful courtesan. All except Justin, the Earl of Baybary. He knows all about Ria. He learned every inch of her tender skin, every taste
Mass Market Paperback, 373 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Avon
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  694 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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May 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
The gentlemen of London are abuzz over Ria, the most sought after courtesan in all of England. The gossipmongers say she comes from the countryside where a soldier taught her many foreign sex practices and now has come to town looking for a new protector. Ria is really Victoria Talbot, the Earl of Baybary's wife. She hasn't seen Justin in three years, ever since he took her maidenhead on their wedding night and left her alone in the countryside at one of his estates. Their marriage was one of ...more
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
★4 Stars! Lessons From A Courtesan.
The past is unchangeable, but the future is unwritten.
Nicol Althea

Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to expectations. The plot was interesting but somehow, as the story progressed, it went downhill. As much as i liked the characters, there were some scenes that makes me really wanna smack them. Repeatedly. So darn frustrating!

Like Victoria Talbot for instance. She claims she doesn't want to get entangled with Justin again to avoid being hurt and that he no longer concerns her. But every time he sticks his tongue in her mouth, she melts like butter and all
May 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book served as an excellent reminder of why I don't read "bodice-ripper" romances anymore. When it turned up on my recommendation list (Visual Bookshelf), the premise seemed to be outside the usual dreck. Victoria Talbot is an abandoned wife who leaves her country home for London, seeking a friend who has disappeared. Victoria assumes the identity of "Ria," a courtesan, to try and find her friend who had announced her intention to enter that lifestyle.

Well, it fairly quickly turned out to
Mar 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Didn't care for Justin's attitude toward his wife and Victoria always willing to fall into Justin's arms after all he's done in the past.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3,5 stars. Goodreads!! You gotta upgrade your rating system ASAP!!

I love the steamy scenes between Victoria and Justin (we got plenty here guys). However, because our two main characters often indulged in their love/lust whatever, their supposedly "investigation" often forgotten. Another tiny problem, there should have been PROLOGUE!! Come'on guys, it was mentioned before that it's gonna be a problem if people knew that Ria was Victoria aka Lady Baybary. So, it's only natural that I wanna know
Isle Scarlett
I really wanted to like this book

But it just never came together... Arranged marriage by blackmail from brides father (unknown to bride) said groom a month before u marry and then consummate ONCE said marriage... groom abandons u for three years sowing his many wild oats.....but u have so much lust and could it be LOVE??? MY DEAR AUTHOR u author u ask too much of my foolish pride!! This could have been a great story a grand sweeping saga of angst and turmoil... With major rogue
Fangirl Musings
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who love non-stop, page-turning addictive romances!
Recommended to Fangirl Musings by: Me, Myself, and I
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Lesson #1: Every man loves a mystery. A scandalous siren called "Ria" has electrified the ton. Every gentleman in London desires her; every woman envies her. And they are all desperate to know the secrets of the tantalizing, seductively beautiful courtesan. All except Justin, the Earl of Baybary. He knows all about Ria. He learned every inch of her tender skin, every taste of her luscious lips . . . on their wedding night. Lesson #2: No man can make you lose control . . . unless you let him.

Lesson #1: Every man loves a mystery

A scandalous siren called "Ria" has electrified the ton. Every gentleman in London desires her; every woman envies her. And they are all desperate to know the secrets of the tantalizing, seductively beautiful courtesan. All except Justin, the Earl of Baybary. He knows all about Ria. He learned every inch of her tender skin, every taste of her luscious lips...on their wedding night.

Lesson #2: No man can make you lose control...unless you let him

Though theirs
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing

The book begins with a short prologue the night before the wedding of Victoria and Justin, Earl of Baybary's arranged marriage. A very hot wedding night follows. The story never bogs down from there.

Good characterization for the leads and everyone else. Victoria is a woman with spunk and backbone. Justin is a man with secrets that war with his mind and heart and his view of this marriage and relationship with Victoria. Consequently, the damaging secrets kill any chance at a genuine marriage and
Mar 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Petersen gets the sex out of the way quickly, marrying her protagonists off in the opening chapter -- the main story takes place a few years later, when Justin, Lord Baybary, discovers that Victoria, whom he abandoned to their country estate after their wedding night, is running around London pretending to be a courtesan. Since they're already married, by the conventions of the romance genre they can have all the sex scenes they want (and do) while trying to suss out each other's secrets... ...more
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite romance books, in fact it's also on my list of re-reads. It has all the elements of a normal historical romance in this time period- dukes, carriages and such but this one somehow stood out to me. Perhaps because the whole "virgin" fall in love, marriage and children sequence was a little out of order. There is so much truth behind a husband who doesn't want to commit to his simple wife and instead leaves her only to come back finding her completely changed. The story line was ...more

Justin has to marry Victoria because he is blackmailed by her father. However, after the wedding night, he leaves her. After 3 years he recognizes his wife on a ball again. She is now (said to be) a famous courtesan. Well and here begin my problems with the book: On the one hand Victoria is (said to be) a courtesan, on the other hand, she is completely shy and of course never was involved with another man, because that would be against the laws of romance. This is schizophrenic and does
Maureen Feeney
Feb 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it
I liked it ,I have read better but I have also read a lot worse. The plot summary has been done perfectly by other reviewers so I will just add my opinion.

The book opens on Victoria and Justin's wedding night, he beds her gets up and leaves. Then 4 years after dumping her, when justin sees her again he is instantly feeling jealousy and desire and love??. This while he still hasn't said a dozen words to her or got to know her. I just didn't get it? Apart from that the book is an ok read and the
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was delicious and hot. The title should have been "Lessons to the Courtesan" because her husband taught her over and over and over. I like this book better than the book right after it called "A Scoundrel Surrender" with Caleb. This book was much more developed and engaging. The storyline was interesting also, I wanted to know if the friend was still alive and if the creepy guy got a hold to her. Great Read and HOT book cover.

PS. This book made me want to run out and get a bed with bed
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Marah is annoying. I would pee on her. That's how much I can't stand her. As for Victoria, she's obnoxious. She hasn't seen Justin in 3 years and "apparently" can't stand him, but he touches her big toe and she's swept away by desire with weeping lady petals and rock hard nipples. #spareme

Also, these "Lessons from a Courtesan" clearly is supposed to be ironic as Victoria DOES THE EXACT OPPOSITE.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Hero with no redeeming qualities unless you count adept in bed. I threw down the book in rage. Waste of money. Don't do it. If you must do it, get it from the library. He just doesn't deserve whatever redemption he may get by the end of it. His awfulness isn't even interesting pathological, it's just run of the mill egocentrism. And the heroine buys into it all, wants to be worthy of his love anyway. I sincerely doubt he's capable of the kind of love that's more than possessiveness and lust.
Danette Steward
Dec 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: petersen-jenna
Very simple writing. I almost put the book down 4 times...permanently. I just couldn't follow the sentences after reading other authors. I'm glad I did finish the book. It moves along...plot is entertaining, but not quite believable to me. If you want a fast read (print is huge) and you have this book already in your possession then I would give it a go. This author does have promise.
This author writes under a different name as well=...Jess Michaels.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
New author for me, not bad at all. The hero is blackmailed into marrying the heroine, consumates the mariage and then goes off for three years. She gets a life in the meantime and they meet up when she is masquerading as a courtesan in an effort to find out what happened to a friend of hers who came to London as a courtesan and disappeared. Of course the likelihood of a lady continuing to associate with a courtesan is pretty much zilch, but the story works despite this.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it liked it
If Chloe could write to her lover while in hiding, why couldn't she write to her friends to say she was safe? Victoria and Marah risked being raped and killed trying to find their 'best friend' who selfishly disappeared without letting them know she was going into hiding. And she was safe the whole time anyway. So not worth it.
Diane K. Peterson
3.5 Stars. I really want to like this book, but it just didn't work for me. Justin was closed-off and rather hostile through at least 3/4 of the book. All that the characters seem to share was sensual passion. I just didn't buy it. Also, the story ended too abruptly. I am looking forward to better books from Jenna Petersen.
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really like Petersen's style of writing and dialogue in this book. The premise of this one is really stretching the bounds pretty thin, but in the end she writes good characters, great dialogue, and really hot sex, which is a hard combination not to like. This is my least favorite book of hers so far, and I still give it a four.
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
A really nice story, but the hero should check out his feelings sooner and be a bit more trusting.

But anyway, there is the spark between them (but you shouldn't forgive him everything THAT easily) ...
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved the situation in the story; there was plenty of natural conflict between the two main characters, plenty of reasons they shouldn't want to be together, and yet the attraction was well-described and realistic, too. This is Petersen at her best.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Jenna Peterson's talent amazes me. With so few Historical authors out there, and few willing to push the sexual wire, Ms. Peterson is setting a new trend.

You will love reading Courtesan and have difficulty putting it down. So don't have dinner on the BBQ, or it is bound to burn.
Dawn ♥ romance
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
This was a steamy novel about Victoria abandoned by her husband Justin, the Earl of Baybury, then shows up in London as notorious courtesan Ria. It had a good plot and action moved right along but I wish she had more backbone and he did more groveling.
Nov 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
I don't know about this one. It wasn't necessarily badly written, but it lacked a gripping plot and the tension between the protagonists seemed forced, almost farcical. No steamy love scene can compensate for that.
Nov 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
A quick, fun read with an enjoyable hero and heroine with great secondary characters.
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Jenna Petersen now writes historical romance exclusively as Jess Michaels. Please check out her self-published and Samhain publishing books here:

Jenna no longer supports her HarperCollins/Avon books due to price gouging and refusal to return author rights.

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