Pocket, Sep 2007, $6.99
In 1861, seventeen years old Jocelyn Tolliver ran away from boarding school when she realized her beloved mother was dying to tend to her. However, mom informs her that Jocelyn is about to become a mistress as she inherits the famous wicked brothel, the Crimson Belle in London; Jocelyn was now Madame DeBourcier. Jocelyn figures she will have no trouble running the place even though she is a teen because she assumes she is a chip off the old block.
Nine years later Alex Randall has been attracted to Jocelyn since he first saw her. He proposes an offer she cannot refuse; that she be his for the summer. As they make love and enjoy each other’s company, they fall in love. However, as a serial killer is murdering prostitutes, summer draws to a close; Jocelyn fears more for her heart than her life.
This is an entertaining Victorian romance starring two fascinating protagonists especially Jocelyn, the daughter of a courtesan, who believes that she is fulfilling her destiny and her mother’s death bed wish. The serial killer subplot adds plenty of suspense and serves as a catalyst between the lead couple, but also feels unnecessary as the prime focus is the delightful entertaining romance between the brothel mistress and the aristocrat.