by Barbara SamuelApril, 2007
A kiss for all time
At the other end of the historical romance spectrum is Claiming the Courtesan, a study of the nature of sex and love. Anna Campbell's debut is a refreshingly different and very romantic novel that was so admired by its editors that it was included in Avon's Romantic Treasure line for rising stars. It's easy to understand why. When beautiful courtesan Soraya known to herself and her brother as Verity Ashton reaches the end of her contracted year as the Duke of Kylemore's mistress, she has finally accrued enough resources to leave London and retire to a small village. She disappears overnight, leaving the duke thwarted and furious. Obsessed with the beauty, Kylemore tracks Verity down and kidnaps her, holding her prisoner on his Scottish estate. There, his plans for sensual conquering fall to pieces, and two tortured characters find that sex is sex, but love is an entirely overwhelming proposition. Campbell delivers a lusciously sensual exploration of love with one of the best kiss scenes in recent memory. Barbara Samuel's Lady Luck's Map of Vegas has been named a Target BreakOut Book.