Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
Chairman of the WhoredChairman of the Whored
By: Lucy V. Morgan
Lyrical Press
ISBN: B007A2N2E2
February 2012

Reviewed By: Jean Roberta

Why would a promising solicitor moonlight as a whore?

I made up a dozen sob stories. None of them were really true. Suffice it to say, the
parents who paid for the education that brought me here--nearing the end of my training at a rather swanky firm, if I say so myself--could never afford it. I could have let the bank take their
house and their lives, if I'd been that kind of girl.

I wasn’t.

Novels that deal with the sex trade tend to be melodramatic. Prostitution is described as a trap from which an essentially innocent heroine needs to be rescued by the man who loves her (the plot of La Dame Aux Camellias), or it is described as the ultimate kink (The Happy Hooker).

This erotic romance with the groan-worthy title avoids the usual clichés while presenting a very traditional triangle: the first-person heroine, Leila, is discovered moonlighting as an upscale escort by her dangerous Alpha Male boss and her brotherly co-worker. Once her secret is out, the boss uses it to secure power over her, while Matt the co-worker offers her a more honest and considerate kind of love.  Leila is tempted by each of them in turn. She confides in her best friend Clemmie and her other co-worker (in an escort agency run by a gay man), the flirtatious, bisexual Aidan, and they give her insightful feedback.

Leila, who could have been shown simply as confused or weak-willed, is realistically complex. She is generous enough to save her parents’ business (holiday cottages for rent in an idyllic setting) and to appreciate the various good qualities of her friends, who honestly wish her well. She enjoys tax law as well as the theatricality of sex scenes with Aidan, performed for a paying audience.

Although Leila’s dilemma (private humiliation from the boss vs. good-natured teasing from Matt, his brother and his mates in a rock band and a rugby team) is one of the staples of romance as a genre, the mix of lifestyles and personality types is unusually well-described. Leila has a history and a believable life in southern England. Even specific references to such things as VAT (Value Added Tax, which Leila and her fellow-solicitors must calculate) give the novel realistic texture instead of alienating non-British readers.

Of course, there is self-consciously witty dialogue between Leila and the colourful secondary characters. (Think of Sex and the City with a different set of accents). Groan. But then, Leila herself groans and apologizes, as though to suggest that she is really a literary heroine trapped in a lightweight, popular genre.

There are a lot of sex scenes, and they are predictably varied (mostly het and vanilla with spice notes of menage, lesbian and mild bondage). The sex is well-described, and the imagery creates powerful motifs that run through the whole book: the smell of lilac as a comforting but overwhelming reminder of the setting of Leila’s childhood, and the metaphorical knives that divide Leila the solicitor from her alter ego, Charlotte the whore. The references to cutting and emotional pain reach a climax in a sex scene which is chilling but restrained, poetic and hypnotic.

This novel seems intended to be the first in a series; not all the loose ends are tied up by the end of this one. The author knows how to structure a novel, and how to involve a reader in the lives of her characters. The complications introduced in this book are worth following in the sequel.