* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
They call me Lovely. But I know I am not.
Once I had another name. Now, as Angelique, I do what I can to please les messieurs. What would they say if they knew I felt no pleasure? To them I am wanton, insatiable. I alone know the truth.
So I am mystified by my reaction to my latest caller, Alexandre. Handsome, well-bred, with an air of innocence that intrigues me. And true pain in his eyes. A mere kiss on the hand inflames me as never before. In moments this man disconcerts me like no other, and soon I can think of nothing, no one else. And yet, he barely touches me.
I know my true purpose is to mend his wounds, but I wonder what lustful appetites are buried deep within him. I will do what I can to his secrets…
Lovely is a novella about a young woman that is a courtesan in high demand. She was taken in as a young child and sent to school. The mistress of the house took her under her wing and gave her a new name. She was taught all the ways to please les messieurs and quickly became one of the most popular ladies in the establishment.
Angelique may be good at what she does but no one knows the truth, she remains unfulfilled after her encounters. She hasn’t been called by her true name in so long she has forgotten who she truly is. The only thing that gives her peace and enjoyment is her painting, until Alexandre enters her life.
Alexandre is lost, his wife died in childbirth and he has stopped living. During his visits with Angelique he slowly comes back to life. They spend a lot of time getting to know one another and Angelique is slowly falling in love with him. Her growing love for him makes her question her current life and wish for more. She shares a secret with him, she tells him her real name is Marie-Claire.
During a night on the town, Alexandre meets a man that changes his future. He and Angelique have a night she will never forget. In the end, she gets her chance at a new life.
Angelique/Marie-Claire knows that the men desire her and call her lovely but she doesn’t feel lovely. Through her visits with Alexandre, she realizes that there truly is more to her than just being a courtesan. By the end, she has gained confidence in herself and her abilities. she has grown as a person.
Even though this is a novella, the story is well developed and flows smoothly. The characters are complex and well developed. I was drawn in from the first with this book and couldn’t put it down. I read it in one sitting. I give Lovely 3 1/2 Flaming Hearts.