“The real gem of this anthology is Maggie Robinson’s Not Quite a Courtesan. It is difficult for me to find complaint with the story, which is both romantic and sensual in equal measure with well-motivated and delightful characters. Widowed heroine Prudence Thorne is thrown into hero and adventurer Darius Shaw’s hands under the most unlikely of circumstances. Here she is thrust into the world of the courtesan at his house on Jane Street where he is auctioning off a collection of erotic items he has just returned from gathering from all corners of the world. The most enjoyable element of this story is its characters – the piquant Mr. Shaw and the dutiful lady who trespasses into his house. His emotional growth, threaded with warm touches of humor, more than anything is what encourages him to draw the woman out of Prudence’s tightly-buttoned mourning garb.


“It’s still too soon.”

“Then we’ll have a long engagement. But I want us to live together. On my farm.”

“We’ll shock the sheep, living in sin.”

“The sheep won’t notice. We’ll stay indoors. In bed.”

She picked up an egg-laden fork and put it down. There was no way in the world she could eat now, with her heart hammering like Darius’s gavel in her chest. “There’s more to marriage than sex, Darius.”

“I don’t doubt it. And I expect you to school me in all of its rules and regulations. You’re a very organized woman, Pru. A woman like you could make something out of a man like me.”

Not Quite a Courtesan is so well-written and near perfection that I can’t wait to dive into another Maggie Robinson tale!”

Reviewed by: Amber Leigh
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