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Monday, February 7, 2011

The Bartered Virgin by Chevon Gael

The Bartered Virgin by Chevon Gael
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (133 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Sold to the highest-ranked aristocrat!

That's what Winnifred Percy, New York City heiress, considered her engagement to Sir David Knightsbridge, Earl of Wolshingham. It's 1902 and she wants to be a modern woman, free to travel the world. To do that she needs to show the Earl she is a completely unsuitable bride.

Smoking and cursing doesn't have much effect on David so Winn reads him a very naughty French book. That leads to unexpectedly passionate kisses, and David's declaration that he wants to marry her. Drat! Even when she takes him to Coney Island to mingle with ordinary people and eat exotic hot dogs he's intrigued...and intriguing.

When desire leads them into scandal, Winn realizes she's ruined his hopes for restoring his family's honor. Can she let him go to find a more suitable bride?

Reared to be prim and proper, Winifred Percy longs for the freedom to travel and experience world in early twentieth century when women were gaining more freedom. Naïve but adventurous and curious, she and her friend Kitty slip away for their elegant homes to visit Coney Island that teems with taboos for proper young ladies. Even though she made her debut into society a year ago, she has dissuaded all her suitors much to the dismay of her parents. She does not want the constricted life style her mother loves.

Faced with the ‘done deal’ that her father ‘traded’ her and her dowry for a title and prestige for his law firm, Winnifred sets out to shock Lord David Wolsingham of Knightsbrair with bad behavior. While her antics reveal she is no shrinking violet, her fresh, untamed joy for life delight and captivate him. She makes his blood sizzle with desire. Their match may have been made in the Bank of Manhattan, but their mating made them one in body, heart, and soul.

Caught in the sensationalism of society news reporting, their world is shattered. The mile-a-minute action that follows takes one’s breath away. As secrets come to light, secondary characters come to the fore. Even the now deceased Louise Desjardins and David’s father influence events. Winnifred’s father and his past dealings are reprehensible. In trying to keep control of the situation, he causes an upheaval that brings things to a head and the reader gets to see the true strength and character of David and Winnifred.

The Bartered Virgin sparkles with humor, sizzles with sex and suggestive scenes while revealing a vibrant early twentieth-century America as the social structure changes. The ‘new rich’, who flaunt their wealth and their snobbery, still long to be considered on an equal footing with the aristocracy of the old world and are willing to buy titles and prestige with their ‘new’ money—money that the old aristocracy needs.

Chevon Gael gives the reader an exciting vicarious experience with a diverse group of characters that grab the attention and hold on to the very end. Delightful reading!