A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh

Setting: Regency


She was unlike any woman he’d ever met in the ton or the demimonde. But Sir Gerald Stapleton frequented Mrs. Blythe’s euphemistically dubbed “finishing school” for pure, uncomplicated pleasure–and nothing else. So why was this confirmed bachelor so thoroughly captivated by one woman in particular? Why did he find himself wondering how such a rare jewel of grace, beauty, and refinement as Priss had ended up a courtesan? And when she needed protection, why did Gerald, who’d sworn he’d never get entangled in affairs of the heart, hasten to set her up as his own pampered mistress to ensure her safety–and have her all to himself?

For Priscilla Wentworth, the path leading to Sir Gerald’s bed had been as filled with misfortune as it suddenly seemed charmed. But Priss couldn’t allow herself to believe she’d ever be more to a man like Sir Gerald than a well-cared-for object of pleasure. Now, despite Gerald’s deep distrust of marriage, neither scandal nor society’s censure can keep them apart–only the fear of trusting their hearts.

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I loved this book. Full stop. It was poignant, beautifully romantic and just plain wonderful!

Mary Balogh has always been one of my favorite authors but with this novel, she has just become my favorite. Her books are always touching and emotionally complex, much more than just a romance about a man and a woman falling in love. Her books teach you important lessons about life. She is also brilliant at creating a connection between the hero and the heroine, so that there exists no doubt in the reader’s mind that the two are meant for each other.  I always tear through her novels and come away from her books feeling warm and fuzzy, which is always the best feeling to have 😉

I’ve read her Slightly series and her Huxtable series. In fact, Slightly Dangerous was the book that got me hooked on historical romance! This book did not disappoint either. Far from it. I cannot believe she wrote this book in only two weeks!

Priss was a wonderful heroine. Right from the start, I never saw her as the whore she was supposed to be. There was never a moment I felt anything but pure admiration for this young woman who bravely accepted the way her life turned out.

As for Gerald, although he wasn’t your typical hero (his best friend Miles was) I still found him endearing. He might not be super good-looking, sexy, a virtuoso in the bedroom, or extremely clever but I liked him all the same. He had a quiet charm that was all his own and the way he came to care for Priss, although she wasn’t meant to be anything more than an object for his pleasure really touched my heart.

Their love story was just all around beautifully and gently told. From the moment I started this book, I was hooked and could not put it down. When I did, I thought constantly about the characters and what would happen next. One of the things about Mary Balogh is that she doesn’t write a whole bunch of out-of-this-world, amazing sex and call that love. So although, for some readers, it may be lacking in that department, the few scenes there were were evern more erotic because of the lack and the enormous amount of sexual tension/connection between the hero and heroine.

After reading so many romances, I admit that now I find some of them to be almost copies of each other. It takes a really good romance to completely knock me over now and this is one of those books!

I can’t recommend it enough–If you haven’t read this, spend a little money on this great book because I promise you will not regret it 😀

Sensuality Level: Pretty warm-Not very detailed and long love scenes

Final Verdict-Truly a fabulous emotionally satisfying read! Read it if you haven’t yet!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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