Hearts and Harbingers by Olivia Waite
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Length: Short Story (73 pages)
Other: M/F, voyeurism, anal sex, toys, masturbation
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Amaryllis
On the very outskirts of polite society, Millicent Harbinger has always found a way to cover the gaming debts of her wastrel brother Duncan. His most recent losing streak is bound to ruin them, however, and her brother’s solution is to arrange for Mill to marry the odious Lord Wart. In desperation, Mill decides to anonymously sell her virtue at a well-reputed brothel and kill two birds with one stone—she will have enough money to cover the debt, and her status as a fallen woman will dissuade Lord Wart from claiming her as his bride.
Jasper Goldeby, Marquess of Holder, takes one look at Mill’s piercing green eyes and purchases her favors at double the asking price—a fortune that could support the Harbingers for life. The night Mill and Jasper share astonishes and transforms them both—and Jasper quickly realizes one night could never be enough.
A one night stand leads to love. This story is listed as a Regency Historical and is set in England. The heroine is brave, forthright and practical. The hero is sensual, sensitive and painstaking. They are sympathetic characters that are easy to relate to.
First we meet the heroine and her brother over kippers for breakfast. Then we take a trip to a brothel where the hero engages in sex with a woman who is not the heroine. The hero and heroine meet and talk for the first time on page twenty-three. The heroine seems mostly resigned to about peddling her virginity. For a Regency miss, she seems very keen to engage in sex and even anal sex with a man who is basically a stranger. She’s cucumber cool for the most part and even becomes the aggressor at some points. The hero is a perfect and considerate lover. The hero wants her on first sight and thinks she is something extraordinary. He knows just what the heroine will like and gives it to her without conflict between them. The sex is plentiful and sexily written.
There’s no true interpersonal conflict between the hero and heroine. They mesh sexually and emotionally from the start. The conflict comes from external forces, from the man who wants to marry the heroine. This villain is drawn to be repulsive and selfish. Also the heroine’s brother, a selfish and weak man, provides some minor conflict in the course of the story. Both villains are dealt with in a way that is satisfying.
A light, sexy story about a one night stand that goes off without a hitch and gives birth to true love.