Most helpful critical review
on 5 November 2012
An adult erotic novel set in gaslit London, where a governess fallen on hard times has sold everything but her innocence and is driven to making that sacrifice.
Two French orphan boys, Gabriel and Michael, were sold into prostitution and harm. Now adults, known as the Angels, they run a bordello in London and Gabriel awaits a chance to get revenge on his enemies. Victoria, dismissed from her post and unable to make ends meet, is driven to offering her virginity to the highest bidder and considers that she would be safer as well as better paid in a privately run house than on the street, where she would gain only five pounds. Gabriel decides to outbid the other men, paying handsomely because he suspects that Victoria has been sent as an assassin. He's wrong about her, but some other people in the story end up dead and distributed among baskets, in keeping with the brutality of the times. Meanwhile Gabriel finds that Victoria is dangerous to him in other ways, for she is making him break his somewhat strange vow to himself never to enjoy a woman.
The male characters are hard to identify with, Gabriel's paranoia and thirst for revenge dominating his personality, but Victoria is definitely a sympathetic individual and her education lifts her above the women of the streets. Those who enjoy adult erotica or who want to try an unusual historical romance will find this an interesting read, though the style of writing, placing a few words in each sentence and each sentence a new paragraph, can get tedious.