Her Husband's Harlot
Her Husband’s Harlot, a 2011 debut by Grace Callaway, is a story you’ve read before: innocent young lady weds a sexually voracious, morally iffy rake. That’s OK–this telling is a good time.
It opens with a disastrous wedding night.
Helena lay there, trying to think of England, but when it hurt, she yelped in pain. Nicholas pulled out and ran as though chased by the hounds of hell. Since then, he’s pretended she doesn’t exist. Helena, however, wants a real marriage and another go between the marital sheets, so, wearing a wig and the trappings of a lady of the night, she tracks her husband down at his favorite house of carnal delights.
She finds him watching an adventurous threesome. Nicholas has been in sexual hell since his marriage. All he can think about is pounding into his genteel wife but is convinced that’s a bad and inappropriate idea given her delicate sensibilities. He believes she wants nothing to do with him. He’s coped by masturbating endlessly while fantasizing his virtuous wife but it’s not enough. He’d come to the Nunnery thinking he’d find relief bedding a whore, but found, much to his despair, he only wants his Helena.
However, when a gorgeous woman runs into him–he’s watching the sexual gymnastics behind a drapery–he’s instantly and overwhelmingly aroused. The minute the trio leaves, Nicholas tosses Helena on the nearest table and the two have the hottest sex of his (and her) life. Helena, afraid he’d be appalled at her bawdy behavior, uses a French accent as she moans. Once finished, Nicholas drops a fifty-pound note on the table and walks away.
Needless to say, Nicholas feels like a horrible human being, having fucked a whore not his wife while fantasizing that she was. Helena, however, wants a great deal more of that kind of passion and is determined to win her husband’s affections.
It’s not easy.
No matter what she does, Nicholas is a jerk. The nicer she is to him, the nastier he is to her. This pisses her off and she isn’t shy telling him he’s behaving even more abysmally than usual. Normally this dynamic would irritate me, but here it works. Nicholas has good reasons for believing he’s not good enough for his wife. The horrors of his childhood and youth have left him deeply shameful and he simply doesn’t know how to overcome his self-loathing.
I liked both Nicholas and Helena. Over time, the two learn to trust and rely on each other in ways that feel real. They do begin to make love and the sex scenes are delightfully graphic and add to their growing intimacy. The romance in this book is a good one and if you like dirty talk and adventurous marital sex in your love stories, I suspect you’ll enjoy this one.
I wasn’t as enthralled with the suspense plot that takes up a great deal of the tale. Some unknown villain is threatening to reveal Nicholas’ past. In addition, there are shady goings on at the shipping company Nicholas owns. Neither of these plots wowed me. I’d much rather have kept reading about Nicholas and Helena.
That said, this is a fun and seriously steamy read and I am fan of both. Her Husband’s Harlot is a light, steamy, enjoyable read and I recommend it.