Author: Barabra Palmer
Published by: Berkley
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Maria Lantos is a post grad Yale student researching illicit 18th-century literature. She’s become exceptionally well-versed in the narratives of classic erotic fantasy.
She’s also Claudine, an in-demand escort specializing in sexual role play for an elite clientele. Anonymous. Satisfying. And discreet.
Until the tenuous separation between her worlds starts to crack. It begins with the murder of a stranger. Where it leads is to two men who will test Maria's limits of control and awaken her own sexual desires.
As her private nights bleed into day, Maria will discover the dangerous places that extend beyond the imagination, and secrets no longer consigned to the dark.
When I saw Claudine listed as an erotic thriller, I was curious. After reading the blurb, I knew I needed to read it. What can I say, I love whores. 😉
I tend to have a hit-or-miss track record with the romantic-suspense genre, because it sometimes comes across as cheesy. So I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from this book. I have to say, I was surprised. I actually liked it a lot!
Maria is a post grad student at Yale working on her thesis. She’s also Claudine, a highly sought after courtesan (escort). Wealthy men pay big bucks to spend one night with her, and one night is all she allows. She flies all over Europe and the States, living a very comfortable lifestyle.
Maria’s life becomes a lot more dangerous when a psychopath takes interest in her. A deadly one who knows way too much about her personal life and background. This tends to be the aspect that usually feels cheesy to me in books like this, but the author actually did a great job with it.
Since this is erotica, obviously there is plenty of sex. What I loved about it though, is the sex isn’t just inserted at random parts just to add sex. It was actually something that is part of her life, the way she makes a living – there was substance to it. She isn’t standing on the corner hooking up with any John; her dates can be quite the event, sometimes extravagant.
The sex scenes are very good, it was almost like “watching” a theatrical performance … well, it technically was on a couple of occasions. And whew, did it get hot. What was also cool, was getting to see the different men she encountered, how different they could be and how she dealt with them. The artist was especially interesting, and somewhat touching (pun totally intended). There is also a romantic element to the story too that I liked.
Claudine is a standalone, which I greatly appreciate. So we get a well-balanced, well-thought-out story all wrapped in one package.
Overall, I was impressed with Claudine and enjoyed it quite a bit.