Wedding Violet (Fair Cyprians of London #4)


No good deed goes unpunished for Max, Lord Belvedere, when he agrees to marry his childhood friend, but ends up jilted at the altar on his wedding day. Later that night he consoles himself in the arms of Violet Lilywhite, a woman who is earning her living at an exclusive brothel in London. Since the loss of her family, Violet’s life has been a series of hard decisions in her struggle to survive. She has resigned herself to being kept by an obsessed repeat customer until a chain of unexpected events opens up possibilities for a brighter future. Together, Violet and Max hatch a plan that they believe will give each of them the freedom they desire. Things do not go as planned. 

In “Wedding Violet”, the lead character refers to herself as pragmatic. That also accurately describes the sensitive ways in which this author acknowledges the horrors of being forced into sex work without becoming bogged down in the angst of it. Violet and Max, and the progression of their relationship, are portrayed with genuine depth and complexity. The pace of this concentrated story is swift without seeming rushed. There are some predictable plot twists and a cliffhanger involving a secondary character that fresh writing spins offset. It works as a stand-alone that entices readers into wanting to pick up all of the other books in the series. Differences in circumstances of social class, the double standards in expectations of sexual virtue between men and women, and poignant moments of levity create an enjoyable read with substance.  

Cardyn Brooks