The Mistress Experience

Avon. (Society of Sirens, Bk. 3). Jun. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780062935656. pap. $9.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
At a fundraiser for the Institute for the Equality of Women, Thaïs Magdalene, a well-known courtesan, auctions herself to the highest bidder for one month as his mistress. When Thaïs arrives at a secluded country cottage, she finds that her bidder hid his identity and is none other than Lord Alastair Eden. Alastair wants to improve his love-making skills for a future bride-to-be, so he hires Thaïs to teach him. Before Thaïs begins her bedroom tutelage in earnest, she and Alastair get to know one another. Despite this, Alastair has severe performance anxiety, but Thaïs is a kind and patient instructor. By month’s end, the two have developed a deep mutual trust, with Thaïs confessing her secret desire to marry and have a family. Alastair destroys that trust with an unthinkingly cruel remark rejecting her. When Thaïs and Alastair meet again in London to celebrate the marriage of their friends, Alastair is faced with his hypocrisy in caring what the London aristocrats think. Can he win Thaïs back?
VERDICT Peckham pairs polar opposites in a sexy, bawdy, fun, and yet deeply compassionate romance. A fitting end (after The Portrait of a Duchess) to the “Society of Sirens” series.
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