This book served as an excellent reminder of why I don't read "bodice-ripper" romances anymore. When it turned up on my recommendation list (Visual Bookshelf), the premise seemed to be outside the usual dreck. Victoria Talbot is an abandoned wife who leaves her country home for London, seeking a friend who has disappeared. Victoria assumes the identity of "Ria," a courtesan, to try and find her friend who had announced her intention to enter that lifestyle.Well, it fairly quickly turned out to be the usual dreck after Victoria's estranged husband shows up. It was right back to the standard I hate you/I bed you/I love you formula of which I have grown so very tired. Two stars for well-written erotic sections, but the rest was just a story I've read far too many times to count.