by Johanna Lindsey(Malory # 5)
Left penniless and in dire straits, Kelsey Langton realizes that only by allowing herself to be sold at auction can she rescue her sister's future. So the proud, desperate lady enters the infamous House of Eros, resigned to becoming some well-heeled gentleman's plaything -- and Lord Derek Malory is the highest bidder for Kelsey's charms.
A handsome and irredeemable scoundrel, Derek soon draws the sensuous, unsuspecting maiden into a world of unparalleled pleasures and dangerous rivalries. But Kelsey knows she must always guard the secret of her highborn past -- even as her grace, spirit, and beauty entice her new "master" to renounce his scandalous ways and take a gamble on true love.
This author/series is listed amongst my favorite top 5 and occasionally I enjoy re-reading these books. The other day, I selected this one and was immediately swept away into a different time.
1844 London Kelsey Langton is a wonderful character. She is willing to do absolutely anything to save her family from financial ruin. And I really do mean anything - she agrees to auction herself at "house of ill-repute" to a stranger with the intentions of becoming his mistress.
Derek Malory is the average, good looking, aristocrat that has no interest in 1.buying a woman and 2. having a mistress. But when he notices a man he knows for fact is twisted and enjoys abusing his women, he bids on the lovely lady standing on the table without really thinking it through. Kelsey and Derek are delightful and it is fun to read their romance and see how it grows over time. But, can they over come the scandal that is attached to their love?
I've said this before and I will say it again, Lindsey has a remarkable talent for character development and slow building passionate (believable) relationships. I highly recommend all of her historical romances, which range from Viking era to Regency.