Reading Level: Adult
Length: 352 pages
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
“In prison, accused of murder, Tully Truegood begins to write her life story. A story that takes her from a young girl in the backstreets of 18th century London to her stepmother Queenie’s Fairy House—a place where decadent excess is a must…
Trained by Queenie to become a courtesan, and by Mr. Crease—a magician who sees that Tully holds similar special powers to his own—Tully soon becomes the talk of the town.
But as Tully goes on a journey of sexual awakening, she falls in love with one of her clients and the pleasure soon turns to pain. Especially when the estranged husband she was forced to marry by her father suddenly seeks her out. Now Tully is awaiting her trial for murder, for which she expects to hang…and her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who might be able to help her.
Delaney’s incredible tale of a young woman’s journey out of the depths of despair is shocking, haunting and evocative. Part historical fiction and part magical realism, this juicy, jaw-dropping story will linger long after the last page is turned.”
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program to review. I actually really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting and easy read. This is a historical fantasy erotica of sorts; so there is very explicit sexual content (just FYI for readers who don’t like that).
The story starts with our heroine, Tilly, in jail. Tilly decides to write about her life on some paper that is left with her. Thus starts Tilly’s life story; it is a story filled with sadness, happiness, brutality, warmth, and magic all in turns. Tilly’s life starts out hard; she is the only daughter of a lord who has drunk and gambled away all his fortunes. At the age of 12 Tilly’s dad sells her into marriage to clear his debts…but Tilly’s husband goes off to war and Tilly is never forced to consummate the marriage.
From that point Tilly’s life is a series of magical and beautiful fortunes that alternate with periods of tragedy. Tilly falls in love, learns what it is to be a courtesan, and suffers the sacrifices a woman must make to be independent in this time of history. Amidst this Tilly learns she has magical powers which help her to make her way and gain notoriety.
The story flowed beautifully and I enjoyed the main character of Tilly quite a bit. Tilly is naive and witty when the story begins and as she ages and learns she keeps her wit. The story is told in Tilly’s own ironic and amusing voice and was very entertaining to read. This book was effortless to read and I ended up loving it. It was very hard to put down and I was desperate to know how everything would end up.
I also enjoyed some of the fun twists in the story. There are some very ironic events that happen especially toward the end of the book that will make you shake your head and smile. As mentioned above there is a lot of explicit sex, some violence, and sexual violence in here; so if that really offends you I would steer clear.
Overall this ended up being a highly entertaining book and I really loved it. The story has a lot of highs and lows but somehow still comes off as being happy and hopeful. I loved Tilly and the characters that surrounded her and enjoyed the touches of magic throughout. I would recommend to those who enjoy historical fantasy and don’t mind some eroticism in their stories.