The Valet

S.M. LaViolette. Crooked Sixpence, $9.99 trade paper (322p) ISBN 978-1-951662-16-5

LaViolette titillates in this erotic historical romance between master and servant, the red-hot second in her Victorian Decadence series (after His Harlot). Jo Leather is a woman, but she’s been raised as a man by her misguided father. Now she works as a valet to Stephen Chatham, for whom she pines in secret. Having jealously spied on Stephen with prostitutes on many occasions, Jo hatches a plan to reveal herself as Josephine while playing the part of a prostitute at a local brothel in hopes of finally experiencing Stephen’s charms. The plan works, but as Stephen indulges in decadent encounters with Josephine, he’s surprised to simultaneously realize an attraction to his longtime valet. Jo struggles to balance her newfound double life, and it’s only a matter of time before Stephen discovers the truth. Having been hurt by romantic partners in the past, Stephen lashes out, taking Jo’s deceptions as betrayal. But will his outrage outweigh his love? LaViolette’s clever, inventive plot makes room for some kinky erotic scenes as her well-shaded characters explore their sexualities. Fans of erotic romance will find much to love. (Self-published)
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