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Always the Courtesan

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Always the courtesan and never the bride - it's a life she never chose and cannot escape... Lady Honora Lennox hasn't gone by that name in three years - not since she was abducted and forced to work in a brothel. She's but nineteen and has given up on the world offering her anything of kindness. Until he walks through her door. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is exhaus Always the courtesan and never the bride - it's a life she never chose and cannot escape... Lady Honora Lennox hasn't gone by that name in three years - not since she was abducted and forced to work in a brothel. She's but nineteen and has given up on the world offering her anything of kindness. Until he walks through her door. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is exhausted with politics and games, deceit and lies - it's time for simplicity, and there's nothing simpler than the clear cut exchange of coin for pleasure. And yet there's something different about this girl. She knows how to please a man, certainly, but there's more to her. Something refined. He's determined to find out the truth. She's terrified of destroying her family name. Tensions mount as wills clash, and there can only be one victor. Can Josiah ever prove himself as trustworthy, or will he fall back to old habits? Can Honora ever return to society after her fall from grace - or is his bed far more inviting? This full-length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order.


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Always the courtesan and never the bride - it's a life she never chose and cannot escape... Lady Honora Lennox hasn't gone by that name in three years - not since she was abducted and forced to work in a brothel. She's but nineteen and has given up on the world offering her anything of kindness. Until he walks through her door. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is exhaus Always the courtesan and never the bride - it's a life she never chose and cannot escape... Lady Honora Lennox hasn't gone by that name in three years - not since she was abducted and forced to work in a brothel. She's but nineteen and has given up on the world offering her anything of kindness. Until he walks through her door. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is exhausted with politics and games, deceit and lies - it's time for simplicity, and there's nothing simpler than the clear cut exchange of coin for pleasure. And yet there's something different about this girl. She knows how to please a man, certainly, but there's more to her. Something refined. He's determined to find out the truth. She's terrified of destroying her family name. Tensions mount as wills clash, and there can only be one victor. Can Josiah ever prove himself as trustworthy, or will he fall back to old habits? Can Honora ever return to society after her fall from grace - or is his bed far more inviting? This full-length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order.

30 review for Always the Courtesan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Whitworth

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 💋💋 Passionate and intense, this couple have a wonderful chemistry together. Josiah and Honora are a great pair. Troubles are many and problems varied, the biggest is her situation are a whore , or a courtesan as Josiah likes her described. Honora Sister to a Duke ,has no way of getting out of her predicament, her life has been this way since she was kidnapped years before. Now she’s not sure if it’s wise to get out, she knows no other life and does not want to bring shame on her family, it’s ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 💋💋 Passionate and intense, this couple have a wonderful chemistry together. Josiah and Honora are a great pair. Troubles are many and problems varied, the biggest is her situation are a whore , or a courtesan as Josiah likes her described. Honora Sister to a Duke ,has no way of getting out of her predicament, her life has been this way since she was kidnapped years before. Now she’s not sure if it’s wise to get out, she knows no other life and does not want to bring shame on her family, it’s better if she stays lost. The story is wonderful and very good reading, maybe Josiah is a bit of a weaker character but he fits, and suits perfectly. A great read and enjoyable. I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review

  2. 5 out of 5

    InD'tale Magazine

    Once readers turn the first page in this book, they won’t want to put it down and will hate for it to end! Read full review in the 2020 September issue of InD'tale Magazine. Once readers turn the first page in this book, they won’t want to put it down and will hate for it to end! Read full review in the 2020 September issue of InD'tale Magazine.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ChasingLeslie

    This is the third book in the Never A Bride series. It still works as a stand alone. At sixteen, Lady Honora Lennox was abducted and forced to work in a brothel. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is exhausted by the insincere artifice of the ton and looks to a brothel for an easy exchange of money for pleasure. But Honora, under the name Hannah, is not what he expects. He wants to know more, but she is determined to safeguard her past. This is the first time I am reading a book by Emily Murdock. I This is the third book in the Never A Bride series. It still works as a stand alone. At sixteen, Lady Honora Lennox was abducted and forced to work in a brothel. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is exhausted by the insincere artifice of the ton and looks to a brothel for an easy exchange of money for pleasure. But Honora, under the name Hannah, is not what he expects. He wants to know more, but she is determined to safeguard her past. This is the first time I am reading a book by Emily Murdock. It was a very intriguing read…The subject matter is difficult and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. Being abducted and forced into prostitution is not a sexy plot point, and the author doesn’t portray it as so. This is not a “Pretty Woman” situation where the heroine meets the hero and her situation melts away into a happily ever after. On the one hand, I totally appreciated that realism; but as a romance reader, it made me slightly uncomfortable. Josiah wants simplicity and an easy human connection. He struggles with wanting to be closer to “Hannah” and believe she has true feelings for him, while dealing with the reality of her circumstances. For Honoria, Josiah comes to be a bright spot in her prison of a life. She wants to believe it could be real but being in a brothel means she’s only an object to be purchased for a time. Their happy end does come, but it’s not an easy journey. I only wish the beginning of the book had been as fleshed out as the rest. * I received an ARC and this is my honest review. #AlwaystheCourtesan #NetGalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    niteskycs

    3 stars, i was intrigued by this book because the synopsis talks about how honora is a courtesan forced into the job after she was kidnapped years ago. this makes the book very unique because most of it is josiah, earl of chester visiting her at the brothel because he's tired of scheming society women and just wants a simple encounter with a woman. obviously, they fall for each other over the course of the visits but in my opinion the strong suit of the book is is the last 20% after honora's bro 3 stars, i was intrigued by this book because the synopsis talks about how honora is a courtesan forced into the job after she was kidnapped years ago. this makes the book very unique because most of it is josiah, earl of chester visiting her at the brothel because he's tired of scheming society women and just wants a simple encounter with a woman. obviously, they fall for each other over the course of the visits but in my opinion the strong suit of the book is is the last 20% after honora's brother the duke of mercia finds out where his missing sister has been. that was probably the most emotional moment aside from honora talking about how she has no escape from this lifestyle. her character was really strong and resilient and i wish we had more scenes of her with her brother. josiah was a nice person but a bit too naive and a hopeless romantic. 𝘢𝘳𝘤 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘨𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jill Long

    Overall this book left me with so many questions that my head was spinning! The best part of this story was Honora/Hannah. She was a strong, self reliant woman who did not let her woeful situation change her morals or principles. I found Josiah to be immature and mean. He was nasty to the matchmaker and had no remorse. He never thought about the prostitutes as anything but women who wanted to be in a whore house. Why did we not find out what happened to Honora to make her end up there? What happ Overall this book left me with so many questions that my head was spinning! The best part of this story was Honora/Hannah. She was a strong, self reliant woman who did not let her woeful situation change her morals or principles. I found Josiah to be immature and mean. He was nasty to the matchmaker and had no remorse. He never thought about the prostitutes as anything but women who wanted to be in a whore house. Why did we not find out what happened to Honora to make her end up there? What happened to her friends? I don't even want to mention the epilogue!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    I ping-pong between Western and Regency romances and stumbled on this excellent series by Emily E. K. Murdoch: Never the Bride series, with seven offerings and probably more on the way. #3, Always the Courtesan, struck to my heart because it deals graphically with the age old problem of human trafficking. Lady Honore, sister of a duke was forcibly abducted at age fourteen and held prisoner in a seedy brothel for the past three years. Josiah Stanhope, earl of Chester, is fed up with the phony you I ping-pong between Western and Regency romances and stumbled on this excellent series by Emily E. K. Murdoch: Never the Bride series, with seven offerings and probably more on the way. #3, Always the Courtesan, struck to my heart because it deals graphically with the age old problem of human trafficking. Lady Honore, sister of a duke was forcibly abducted at age fourteen and held prisoner in a seedy brothel for the past three years. Josiah Stanhope, earl of Chester, is fed up with the phony young women in the marriage mart so ends up in the brothel, quite by chance, with Lady Honore! He doesn't see her for her trade but a sophisticated, well-bred lady of nobility. Her brother, and her entire family have been desperately searching for her as well. For shame and disgrace on her family, Lady Honore does not want to be found. Josiah loves her and finds it impossible for her to escape or even leave her prison. What a gripping story! Other than a couple of scenes of graphic sexual encounters, which have never appealed to me, the author has penned a gem of a story. Now, moving on to the other seven in this series. The author's style, unconventional plots and unusual characters have captivated me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Watkins

    Kidnapped and sold as a courtesan, Honora feels less than worthless and dreads her family ever finding out what had happened to her. Unbeknown to her, her brother's friend arrives at the brothel and chooses her for companionship. Josiah is smitten with Honora and the tiny peeks she gives him of her past intrigue him, making him long to know more about her. Unfortunately, with his place in society, marriage to Honora is out of the question, but that does not stop the sense of urgency he has to kn Kidnapped and sold as a courtesan, Honora feels less than worthless and dreads her family ever finding out what had happened to her. Unbeknown to her, her brother's friend arrives at the brothel and chooses her for companionship. Josiah is smitten with Honora and the tiny peeks she gives him of her past intrigue him, making him long to know more about her. Unfortunately, with his place in society, marriage to Honora is out of the question, but that does not stop the sense of urgency he has to know her. This novel is very different from others that I have read by this author and I felt somewhat uncomfortable with it. Nevertheless it is well written and highlights the reality of the plight of women in the Regency era, as well as the stigma attached to loss of reputation. I received a copy of this standalone novel from NetGalley as a gift and this is my honest and voluntary review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Layne

    Courtesan Kidnapped and sold to a brothel Hannah was beautiful and sad. All she had dreamed of was being a wife and mother but those dreams were all gone Josiah, Earl of Chester, is fed up with all the ladies throwing themselves at him simply because of his title and wealth. He decides to find a courtesan to talk to without any strings story. Except he puts those strings I n pls e when he meets Hannah. I loved this book

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had conflicting thoughts on this book. I really like this author and find her books enjoyable and romantic. This topic however is a more serious and I feel deserved more serious treatment. The heroine is really not what we would consider a courtesan. She has been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. She is in a low end whore house which is just alluded to by the comments of patched clothes and no belongings. She is kept prisoner with the threat of beatings or even death. I really felt like I had conflicting thoughts on this book. I really like this author and find her books enjoyable and romantic. This topic however is a more serious and I feel deserved more serious treatment. The heroine is really not what we would consider a courtesan. She has been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. She is in a low end whore house which is just alluded to by the comments of patched clothes and no belongings. She is kept prisoner with the threat of beatings or even death. I really felt like this was minimized. I did believe that the hero did not catch onto the true circumstances of her situation, but even when it should have hit in the face of how bad her situation was, he whined about how she was not 100% devoted to her... even when it was because she was a prisoner. He acts like he was the one that was the victim. This scene was actually offensive it was so insulting. And when it could have possibly been redeemed by some sort of actualization on the hero's part that did not happen. I ended up giving the story 3 stars because I was torn. I do enjoy this author and feel like she was trying not to give a message about sex trafficking, however I also think if you write about a subject like this you have to be more serious and provide more weight to the story. The heroine was strong but even so I really feel she would have a lot more PTSD then shown in this story after going what through what she did.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Les Romantiques

    Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du site Reviewed by Jazzmen Review Copy from the Publisher I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book is the third tome of the series “Never the bride”, by Emily EK Murdoch. With this novel, I’m getting acquainted with the author and with the series. I was intrigued by the description: a young lady Honora has been kidnapped and forced to work in a brothel a few miles away from London. She’s been Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du site Reviewed by Jazzmen Review Copy from the Publisher I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book is the third tome of the series “Never the bride”, by Emily EK Murdoch. With this novel, I’m getting acquainted with the author and with the series. I was intrigued by the description: a young lady Honora has been kidnapped and forced to work in a brothel a few miles away from London. She’s been working there for three years when the Earl of Chester comes and buys her services. I was curious to know how and why a young lady got kidnapped but hasn’t been found during three years although she’s working in a brothel (apparently frequented by aristocrats) not so far from London. I was also curious to see how a love story could emerge between a courtesan and an earl. I have been a bit disappointed. The book isn’t bad but none of the questions I asked myself find an answer and the hero is sometimes hopelessly naïve. The historical context is relatively important since we are in a Regency romance in the worlds of aristocracy and prostitution: not really a subject for a contemporary romance. I wasn’t really thrilled with the author’s style. Not bad, not very good either. As I said, the ideas were interesting but nothing is completed for me (apart for the love story which is in the centre of the novel). I mean (be aware of mini-spoilers): we never learn who kidnapped Honora, nor why and the how is quite vague (and almost anachronic because the young girl is alone at night in the street). And when she’s finally found, nothing is done to solve the case or to close the brothel which forces young kidnapped ladies to work in the sex-trade (I actually have a lot of things to say about the way she is freed but I would risk spoiling too much and write 3 pages because I’m very annoyed by it). The love story in itself has an interesting evolution, especially with the heroin. I still have one little thing to reproach: I think, for a young and jaded prostitute, that Honora falls rapidly in love with the hero. But it is understandable because he’s not like the others: he doesn’t want sex just for sex, he talks to her, he listens to her, he takes her on a stroll (the first time for her in 3 years), he is considerate, kind. It’s logical that she falls in love with him. Honora is a brave and resilient heroine. Those last three years of work have taken her innocence and undoubtedly part of her love of life. But she didn’t totally lost hope or faith in humanity. She stayed kind although she strengthened her character. She doesn’t let herself be walked over and she’s far less naïve than the hero. I admit I have not a lot of nice things to say about him. I had a hard time with this man who behaved like a boy. First, he decided to go see a prostitute because he was too disappointed by the women of his rank (he blames them for their lies and ruses to trap him in marriage). So he says he want simplicity, but there’s nothing simple in his way to live this relation with the courtesan (and there are a lot of lies between the two of them). Then, he has a naïve vision of these women: he thinks they’re here because they want to and that they can leave whenever they want. Well, he can’t guess that some have been kidnapped and forced to work here but one should be allowed to wonder why the windows are boarded up with wooden panels. And a lot of other small details that I won’t reveal to avoid spoiling. But I was annoyed by his personality. Nevertheless, he is a man in love and he does everything he can to be with the woman he loves, despite her past. There are a few secondary characters: lord Chester’s friends (heroes from the precedent tomes or the following), the owner of the brothel (an ambulant cliché, this woman has no depth and is not always coherent) and the co-workers/friends of Honora. The friends help them evaluate their feelings and see things reasonably. I really appreciated the relation between Honora and her friends, they try to make her understand that she should not expect anything from a man, even if he seems genuinely interested. Because they’re right. It was very rare for a prostitute to be bought in order to become an assigned mistress, and almost impossible to become a bride to well-born man. It allows her to keep her feet on the ground and to put back the hero in his place when he’s crossing the lines with his crazy statements. There is a physical attraction between the two and the first sex scene does not appear before a certain time. But… I don’t know, I wasn’t really thrilled with this aspect of the story. I preferred the moments when Honora and Josiah talked and learned to know each other. To conclude, I’m very reserved about this novel. And if I have nothing to reproach to the romance in itself, there are a lot of little things which disturbed me so I’m not really satisfied with my reading. I don’t know if I’ll read other books from this series. 2,5 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Josiah Stanhope, the Earl of Chester, is quite unlike most of the heros we meet in historical romance genre. He is a bit awkward and weird to be honest, and at first I was certain I wasn't going to like him. But ah, odd he might be, but he is also very strong-willed and in the end, a very sympathetic character. Lady Honora, who now goes by the name Hannah, is a woman who has been stolen from her life and forced to work in a brothel. I admired her for not wanting her brothers to find her for the Josiah Stanhope, the Earl of Chester, is quite unlike most of the heros we meet in historical romance genre. He is a bit awkward and weird to be honest, and at first I was certain I wasn't going to like him. But ah, odd he might be, but he is also very strong-willed and in the end, a very sympathetic character. Lady Honora, who now goes by the name Hannah, is a woman who has been stolen from her life and forced to work in a brothel. I admired her for not wanting her brothers to find her for the sake of their reputation. As miserable as her life has became, she's still thinking of her family above herself. “𝑶𝒉, 𝑮𝒐𝒅, 𝒉𝒆’𝒔 𝒕𝒂𝒍𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒘𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏.” I really enjoyed the beginning of the book. It was fun and delightful. I enjoyed the jesting between Josiah and his friends. As the book says it "Mercia, head in the clouds on his recent marriage; Devonshire, never able to take anything seriously; and Braedon, his love of wine just beaten by his love of women."  That was fun! Loved these characters. As we go forward with the romance, I thought the two month-time jump was a bit hasty; I would have prefered a liiittle bit more interaction between the main characters before we jump to the point where they have already established some sort of relationship.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed the relationship between the main characters and found it joyful to read. I also really liked the little surprises the book dropped along the way, as we learn about these characters and where they came from. The sex scene, unfortunately, could have been a lot better. Being what it was, it eventually made me drop my rating from 4 to 3 stars. The phrase "never the bride" was also unnecessarily repeated several times, which I found rather cringey. This was my first book read from Emily E.K. Murdoch, and as always, it's nice to find new authors whose writing I enjoy!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Raunchy Reads

    Always the Courtesan ( Never the Bride #3) by Emily E.K Murdoch Always the Courtesan is short Regency Romance and number three in the Never the Bride Series. Our main characters are Josiah the Earl of Chester and Honoria the sister of a Duke who has been forced into prostitution. Josiah, looking for a simple arrangement, visits a brothel where he meets Honoria and their romance begins. I really liked both of our main characters. Josiah is a bit awkward, but gentle and made me laugh more than once Always the Courtesan ( Never the Bride #3) by Emily E.K Murdoch Always the Courtesan is short Regency Romance and number three in the Never the Bride Series. Our main characters are Josiah the Earl of Chester and Honoria the sister of a Duke who has been forced into prostitution. Josiah, looking for a simple arrangement, visits a brothel where he meets Honoria and their romance begins. I really liked both of our main characters. Josiah is a bit awkward, but gentle and made me laugh more than once. Honoria is strong willed and I was thrilled when she confidently made demands for her own pleasure during the sex scenes! More of women asking for what they want in the bedroom please! Unfortunately, as the story continued I found Josiah a bit shortsighted and selfish in his thought process. I also could not understand why Honoria did not try to escape through Josiah despite many opportunities. I would definitely have found the book sexier if there was less abuse ( this is not graphic or described in the novel but we know Honoria is being held against her will in a brothel) , or have liked it to have delved into the darkness. It was alluded to but very surface level. I would also have enjoyed more banter and build up between the two characters. The sexual tension was minimal and the sex scene was over very quickly. In truth, the entire book would have been better if it was fleshed out. However, if you are looking for a short Regency Romance with an unconventional hero and a bold heroine then you may enjoy this one. I received an ARC from Dragonblade Publishing through Netgalley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Always the Courtesan by Emily EK Murdoch is the third in her Never the Bride series. Always the Courtesan was an enjoyable read despite the fact that its premise was ludicrous. Honora Lennox had been kidnapped and forced into a life of prostitution. How forced, you ask? Constant vigilance on the part of her keeper and a life filled with debt that honor declared must be repaid. It was a trap. Her brothers had been searching for her for three long years, but of course they didn't patronize such an Always the Courtesan by Emily EK Murdoch is the third in her Never the Bride series. Always the Courtesan was an enjoyable read despite the fact that its premise was ludicrous. Honora Lennox had been kidnapped and forced into a life of prostitution. How forced, you ask? Constant vigilance on the part of her keeper and a life filled with debt that honor declared must be repaid. It was a trap. Her brothers had been searching for her for three long years, but of course they didn't patronize such an establishment. Josiah, Earl of Chester, by chance discovers her when he has given up running for damsels who are part of the ton and decided to keep it simple, by paying for it. This is a really cute series, and Murdoch writes compelling characters. This is an entertaining book except for the fact that it would not have been possible to live as a whore for three years and then regain one's position in society, let alone marry an earl. Honora knew her place in the world, what it had become, and did her best with what she had. Josiah was so determined that love wasn't real, and he wasn't going to fall for it, that he fell for the most unlikely and inappropriate woman. I guess we, as readers of romance, suspend reality all the time. This is no different. The other books in the series make more sense. There is, however a certain continuity that must be maintained. For that reason, I recommend Always the Courtesan. I received a free ARC of Always the Courtesan from Dragonblade, through Netgalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and interpretations contained herein are solely my own. #netgalley #alwaysthecourtesan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kaffeeklatsch and Books

    It's the third book in a series, but you can read them as stand alone as well. In this we follow Honora (aka Hannah in the brothel) and Josiah, the wealthy male lead and how they fall for each other until we get a happy ending (which I believe doesn't count as spoiler). The reasons for my rating are that it lacked originality, the "fix" is too easy and I'm not a fan of the "secretly royal/aristocratic" trope. I didn't like Josiah and his reasons why he chose Honora/Hannah. He's this whiny man, wh It's the third book in a series, but you can read them as stand alone as well. In this we follow Honora (aka Hannah in the brothel) and Josiah, the wealthy male lead and how they fall for each other until we get a happy ending (which I believe doesn't count as spoiler). The reasons for my rating are that it lacked originality, the "fix" is too easy and I'm not a fan of the "secretly royal/aristocratic" trope. I didn't like Josiah and his reasons why he chose Honora/Hannah. He's this whiny man, who has everything and complains about why every eligible lady wants to marry him and everything is so incredibly hard and complicated. What is he doing to solve his problem? He's going to a brothel. Oh how awful your life is dear sir! He mostly wanted Honora/Hannah because it's a more "simple" solution and she's hot and good in bed. I wanted more actual romance and a relationship that was better developed Always the Courtesan is your standard formula romance with some sexy time, but who reads those romances because of their intellectual depth, right? Was it a fast read. Yes. Was it still entertaining. Yes. 2.5 coffee cups out of 5. Thank you Netgalley and Dragonblade Publishing Inc. for the eARC in return for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Candy Briggs

    Always the Courtesan by Emily E.K. Murdock Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, felt there were too many lies and deceit going around between the fairer sex and men. He watched as his friend, Duke of Mercia, William Lennox married Lady Charlotte St. Maur, even though she was a spinster of thirty-five. Lady Honora Lennox was standing in a lineup in a brothel. But she still tried to maintain her dignity and sense of shame. Three years ago she had been kidnapped off the street and forced to become a cou Always the Courtesan by Emily E.K. Murdock Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, felt there were too many lies and deceit going around between the fairer sex and men. He watched as his friend, Duke of Mercia, William Lennox married Lady Charlotte St. Maur, even though she was a spinster of thirty-five. Lady Honora Lennox was standing in a lineup in a brothel. But she still tried to maintain her dignity and sense of shame. Three years ago she had been kidnapped off the street and forced to become a courtesan. She was kept locked up at the brothel with a huge man keeping guard if she or any of the other girls made a run for it they would be beaten or killed. The story was funny and sad. She was nineteen when they took her, innocent, and unknowing. Josiah was a bit awkward and exasperating. Sometimes he was a little strange but he was always gentle. He would come and they would sit and talk. It had become a usual occurrence. He didn't know what to make of her. He thought she was beautiful and she also was gentle. I very highly recommend this lovely read. I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Lewis

    A courtesan no more Honora aka Hannah was a courtesan literally picked up off the street and forced into this life! Josiah is an entitled Earl with no real clue to the real world! After reading many stories on life in this time frame where women were forced into this lifestyle even as children! Josiah has been pursued for his title and wealth and he is weary of the farce! Honora has begun to loose hope and her previous pampered life is very dim! Josiah gives her glimpses of a better life only to A courtesan no more Honora aka Hannah was a courtesan literally picked up off the street and forced into this life! Josiah is an entitled Earl with no real clue to the real world! After reading many stories on life in this time frame where women were forced into this lifestyle even as children! Josiah has been pursued for his title and wealth and he is weary of the farce! Honora has begun to loose hope and her previous pampered life is very dim! Josiah gives her glimpses of a better life only to return her to the brothel! Honora is rescued and it's too short a time frame for her to be acclimated to a "normal" life! It is also not clear on what happened to her two friends! Josiah attempted to be an honorable man with the constraints of what society expects of him! When telling his take of woe to the Duke of Lennox it is clear he doesn't really know this woman he claims to love as only a few details later more should have been revealed! Honora survived a life of shame, degradation and fear!!! Hopefully more of her redemption is shared in the continuing series! Fearless brave heroines are the order of the day!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    SH

    Honora has been forced to work as a courtesan for the past three years, having been kidnapped as a young girl. When Josiah Stanhope, the Earl of Chester, arrives at the brothel, he chooses Honora, only to find himself captivated by Honora. He is puzzled by her, believing that there is more to her story, than she reluctantly shares with him. As they spend time together, the secrets they both hide, threaten to destroy any chance of happiness that they might have. Whilst I found this an interesting Honora has been forced to work as a courtesan for the past three years, having been kidnapped as a young girl. When Josiah Stanhope, the Earl of Chester, arrives at the brothel, he chooses Honora, only to find himself captivated by Honora. He is puzzled by her, believing that there is more to her story, than she reluctantly shares with him. As they spend time together, the secrets they both hide, threaten to destroy any chance of happiness that they might have. Whilst I found this an interesting storyline, that highlighted a reality for women in this era, I found Honora’s reluctance to reveal her secrets, conflicted. However, given that the reputation of a family could be destroyed by any hint of impropriety, I am sure that this was possible. Honora is a brave young woman, who despite her aloofness, has managed to keep her spirits alive. Josiah presents as a kind and gentle man, yet at times, I wished for him to show a bit more strength of character. Altogether, this made for an interesting read, with a bit of a rush at the end. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Always a Courtesan is definitely a refreshing departure from the world of regency romance. It was common for men of nobility to have mistresses or even visit brothels, but it is rarely the main feature of a novel. The book seems to give a good overview of the poor women locked up in the brothels with almost no chance of freeing themselves from the life, Honora (Hannah) was kidnapped and sold to a brothel despite her titled upbringing. The romance that develops between Josiah, who is fed up with Always a Courtesan is definitely a refreshing departure from the world of regency romance. It was common for men of nobility to have mistresses or even visit brothels, but it is rarely the main feature of a novel. The book seems to give a good overview of the poor women locked up in the brothels with almost no chance of freeing themselves from the life, Honora (Hannah) was kidnapped and sold to a brothel despite her titled upbringing. The romance that develops between Josiah, who is fed up with the silly young girls and pushy mothers of society, is looking for a companion without the strings, so the brothel seems like the perfect place to find such a "relationship". The romance is conflicted and stormy but eventually very steamy and satisfying. However, I thought that the plot was a too optimistic about the prospects of a courtesan, after 3 years, not being infected with venereal diseases and scarred for life. I also got tired of Josiah's waffling about what he wanted and his total obsession with Honora. But, in the end, it was not totally realistic, but still a good, steamy and romantic book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lori D

    To say the least, the hero Josiah, the Earl of Chester was very outspoken about not wanting to marry. He was at his friend William's wedding and he could only think about he wanted simplicity. Like having a mistress. He did not endear himself to me at all and maybe that was the point. To see how he might change. Honora had been taken when she was young and made to work in a brothel. She felt there was no way to escape and her family would not want her now anyway. Then Josiah walked in and there s To say the least, the hero Josiah, the Earl of Chester was very outspoken about not wanting to marry. He was at his friend William's wedding and he could only think about he wanted simplicity. Like having a mistress. He did not endear himself to me at all and maybe that was the point. To see how he might change. Honora had been taken when she was young and made to work in a brothel. She felt there was no way to escape and her family would not want her now anyway. Then Josiah walked in and there she was. He felt something instantly for Honora. It was a sweet courting with Josiah falling in love with "Hannah" and he giving her some hope. I was anxious to see how their journey would evolve and how their happy ending would come about.. Enjoyable and yes, a little different, but that is always a surprise.. Another great addition to this series!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Michael

    What a story Emily E K Murdoch has provided for us to read and enjoy. Lady Honora Lennox disappeared over three years ago and has not been found. Her brothers have search endlessly for her; but have found nothing of her existence. What could have happened and where could she be? Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is tired of the games among the mama’s and girls of the ton. Wanting something else in his life, he decides to go to a brothel and see if he can find a woman to be just listen to him. He What a story Emily E K Murdoch has provided for us to read and enjoy. Lady Honora Lennox disappeared over three years ago and has not been found. Her brothers have search endlessly for her; but have found nothing of her existence. What could have happened and where could she be? Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester, is tired of the games among the mama’s and girls of the ton. Wanting something else in his life, he decides to go to a brothel and see if he can find a woman to be just listen to him. He pays her the fee and spends time getting to know Hannah {Lady Honora Lennox}, hears her story and feelings begin to grow. The characters are very well developed, enjoyable and help the story to grow into an interesting book. This is really a wonderful series and I am so glad to share it with you.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nanna

    I have read three books in this series, Always the Bridesmaid, Always the Courtesan and Always the Chaperone. All the books are a quick and easy read, with good characters that you can understand., These are steamy, entertaining if some what madding stories. For the most part I enjoyed reading them. I read a lot of historical and regency romance and these do not follow the time period. Some of the things the H & H do would just not happen. When you have Dukes, and Earls involved they can get thin I have read three books in this series, Always the Bridesmaid, Always the Courtesan and Always the Chaperone. All the books are a quick and easy read, with good characters that you can understand., These are steamy, entertaining if some what madding stories. For the most part I enjoyed reading them. I read a lot of historical and regency romance and these do not follow the time period. Some of the things the H & H do would just not happen. When you have Dukes, and Earls involved they can get things done others can not. They do not let incidents or crimes against those they love to go unnoticed. They do not bargain with the evil doers of the lower class. You will have to read the series your self to see how you feel about the stories. They are good for a quick read but I need my stories closer to the truth of the time period.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Petula

    Josiah Stanhope, the Earl of Chester is frustrated by the lies and deceit he sees from the marriage minded women of society.  Why can't female company be easy and honest.   "Hannah", Lady Honora Lennox was abducted three years ago and has been forced to work in a brothel ever since. She's given up all hope.  Even if her family still loved her she would bring too much shame to them.   Our hero is a genuinely good man who has a family to think of.  He can't think of a way to solve his problems.   Our Josiah Stanhope, the Earl of Chester is frustrated by the lies and deceit he sees from the marriage minded women of society.  Why can't female company be easy and honest.   "Hannah", Lady Honora Lennox was abducted three years ago and has been forced to work in a brothel ever since. She's given up all hope.  Even if her family still loved her she would bring too much shame to them.   Our hero is a genuinely good man who has a family to think of.  He can't think of a way to solve his problems.   Our down to earth heroine knows how to face facts and put dreams behind her.   A very unusual historical romance that looks impossible to have a happy ending.  It's part of a series of books that can all be read alone.  I have read and thoroughly enjoyed each one.   Great fun.  

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Standefer

    Josiah Stanhope is fed up with society women. Unable to find someone he can talk to with some substance he decides that he will live a simpler life. Finding a mistress to satisfy needs is his first stop. When he picks “Hannah” for the night he finds all he wants to do is talk to someone who will talk back and be honest, no deceit no lies. Hannah is really Lady Honora Lennox who was kidnapped and forced to become a courtesan. Unable to return home and ruin her family Honora has resigned herself t Josiah Stanhope is fed up with society women. Unable to find someone he can talk to with some substance he decides that he will live a simpler life. Finding a mistress to satisfy needs is his first stop. When he picks “Hannah” for the night he finds all he wants to do is talk to someone who will talk back and be honest, no deceit no lies. Hannah is really Lady Honora Lennox who was kidnapped and forced to become a courtesan. Unable to return home and ruin her family Honora has resigned herself to her current life. Josiah is a wonderful and sweet man who wants a companion in his life that he can talk to and Honora fits that person. Definitely a different romance than the norm, something you will definitely want to read! You will fall in love with Josiah and Honora.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    A young lady with a secret. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester is tired of the endless chatter and manipulating mama's looking for a husband. The endless social engagements have no appeal. He's looking for something simplistic, so he ends up at a brothel and meets a beautiful young lady, a courtesan. Lady Honora Lennox was kidnapped at sixteen and taken to a brothel. Three years have passed and she's given up hope of being rescued, until a young gentleman steals her heart. Would society accept a c A young lady with a secret. Josiah Stanhope, Earl of Chester is tired of the endless chatter and manipulating mama's looking for a husband. The endless social engagements have no appeal. He's looking for something simplistic, so he ends up at a brothel and meets a beautiful young lady, a courtesan. Lady Honora Lennox was kidnapped at sixteen and taken to a brothel. Three years have passed and she's given up hope of being rescued, until a young gentleman steals her heart. Would society accept a courtesan as the wife of an Earl? A complex love story of two souls finding each other. Connecting characters from the previous books make an interesting series. I still consider these standalone books since I've read them out of order.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Brown

    Hannah aka Lady Honora Lennox was kidnapped three years ago and takin to a brothel where she’s been working waiting for her brother to rescue her. Josiah Chester does something he rarely does, goes to a brothel, tired of scheming mothers trying to marry their daughters on him. He picks Hannah for a simple uncomplicated relationship, but love slowly bloom and he doesn’t know what to do. He can’t marry a courtesan or can he. He’s torn between his love for Hannah and his duty to his family. The tru Hannah aka Lady Honora Lennox was kidnapped three years ago and takin to a brothel where she’s been working waiting for her brother to rescue her. Josiah Chester does something he rarely does, goes to a brothel, tired of scheming mothers trying to marry their daughters on him. He picks Hannah for a simple uncomplicated relationship, but love slowly bloom and he doesn’t know what to do. He can’t marry a courtesan or can he. He’s torn between his love for Hannah and his duty to his family. The truth always has a way out and when her family discovers her future is changed forever. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    DENISE I.

    I always find it amazing, the hypocrisy of the regency era. A woman, through no fault of her own is kidnapped, forced into a life of whoredom and servitude cannot be freed. When she is, she’s an outcast. I’m a little too ticked off to say I enjoyed the book. Not sure why I finished it but I was hoping the girls got out and the “ho-keeper”, “the lady pimp” got hers. In my mind, if I wouldn’t read the book again (which in this case I won’t), then it can’t have more than 3 stars. AND WHAT HAPPENED I always find it amazing, the hypocrisy of the regency era. A woman, through no fault of her own is kidnapped, forced into a life of whoredom and servitude cannot be freed. When she is, she’s an outcast. I’m a little too ticked off to say I enjoyed the book. Not sure why I finished it but I was hoping the girls got out and the “ho-keeper”, “the lady pimp” got hers. In my mind, if I wouldn’t read the book again (which in this case I won’t), then it can’t have more than 3 stars. AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MINOR CHARACTERS? Well I guess I was looking for revenge or something more....

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Kalthoff

    Sweet romantic story. I thought it was a very sweet love story. I adored the 2 main characters. Halfway through the book I was like just tell each other who you are already. I loved when honoria and William found each other after being estranged as Brother and sister for so many years. I didn’t like the madame. Really liked Josiah the main character and how he was a gentleman.plus I liked how they gave you insight into the life of a courtesan.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara "Cookie" Serfaty Williams

    Always there Courtesan (Never the Bride Book 3) The love story of Josiah and Honora. Honora has been missing for three years. She was kidnap on het want hone and sold into prostitution. Now she met Josiah who want her. He is friend of Jer brother and he does not know her as Honora but as Hannah. Will she be rescue, will Josiah learn the true or will love lost? Great story?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Betty J H

    Totally Different Emily K Murdoch takes this story in a totally different direction than the usual HEA. Lady Honora has been give a blow by fate but still manages to believe in herself and others. Josiah is tired of the lies and deceit, how life throws them together and brings them to a happy ending is a story worth reading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Honors has been kidnapped and turned into a courtesan. Josiah comes to find someone he can be with without complications. However he walks into a mass of complications. Now what? It is a study in unimaginable decisions for them all. I was fascinated by the study each character had to make of themselves.

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