A Scarlet Woman

A Scarlet Woman A Scarlet Woman by Lorna Peel

Can an idealistic young doctor and a fallen woman find love when Victorian society believes they should not?

Dublin, Ireland, 1880. Tired of treating rich hypochondriacs, Dr Will Fitzgerald left his father’s medical practice and his home on Merrion Square to live and practice medicine in the Liberties. His parents were appalled and his fiancĂ©e broke off their engagement. But when Will spends a night in a brothel on the eve of his best friend’s wedding, little does he know that the scarred and disgraced young woman he meets there will alter the course of his life.

Isobel Stevens was schooled to be a lady, but a seduction put an end to all her father’s hopes for her. Disowned, she left Co Galway for Dublin and fell into prostitution. On the advice of a handsome young doctor, she leaves the brothel and enters domestic service. But can Isobel escape her past and adapt to life and the chance of love on Merrion Square? Or will she always be seen as a scarlet woman?

Book Review
This was my first read by this author. This story was set in 19th century Ireland. Isobel and Will managed to pull me into their story in the first half of the book. The characters were developed. The story was moved along at a believable and moderate pace. You can fell the despair by Isobel and she kept facing challenges with no end in sight. She and Will had a cute bit of banter going on as well. The relationship was a necessity to Will and you can feel his determination.  The author has spent time or did her research well in regards to Ireland and its scenery and customs. Both were described in vivid detail.
The author brings in several twists and issues into the story including rape, sexually transmitted disease, domestic violence and lots of sex-explicit sex. I think the way these and other topics were introduced caused the story to get away from the author at times. You no longer knew what to expect and it caused the development of the characters to cease. In addition to these elements, the story dealt with betrayal, a touch of romance amid all the sexually explicit scenes and dramatic reactions that didn't seem to quite fit. 
All in all, I think this was an interesting plot that kind of got lost in the second half of the book. If you are over 18 and not easily offended by explicit content (which the book does warn you about), you should read and let me know what you think. 
Note: I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest feedback.

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by KayBee