The Fighter and the Fallen Woman Book Review *Pamela Cayne*
Synopsis: In twelve years as a bangtail, Lady has never feared a man’s kiss. Owned by the ruthless Hannibal Adams, the “Earl of the East End,” she’s draped in jewels and dead inside. Lady learns fear, however, when she kisses Mr. Adams’s best fighter for luck—for King sees the real woman locked away behind finery and falsity.
King’s life is made of fists and scars, the only things that have ever felt real to him. Even his name came from the man who owns him—the man who turned him into a champion. From the moment Lady’s kiss sends him reeling, King resists wanting what he can’t have. Mr. Adams never gives up what he owns.
When Lady is sent to nurse King through the tournament, she finds a new strength through the one man who’s never treated her like a whore. King discovers that the woman who shares his dark world might also be the one to lead him out. And as the tournament comes to a violent finale, Lady and King must decide—stay spoiled and shackled, or break free and risk what happens when fear and dreams collide.
I’ve been anxious to read more Victorian romances, and The Fighter and the Fallen Woman by Pamela Cayne hits the spot. This is a no holds barred, gritty and raw romance that will engage your emotions. I could practically taste the sweat and blood, as well as the deep pain, Lady endures at the hands of her protector, a monster of a man who treats her like his prized possession but has no qualms abusing her whenever he wants. This isn’t a light and fluffy romance, and has a feel of an epic romance.
Lady became a whore at a very young age. She was installed at a brothel, and now years later she is the mistress (or rather the possession) of Hannibal Adams, a brute of a man who is all about flash, style and having a beautiful woman on his arm like Lady. In public he treats Lady like gold, but behind closed doors he terrorizes her whenever he feels like it. He has given Lady a life so many women of her status would die for. She has her own house, clothes and jewelry, but she pays a steep price. She lets Adams do whatever he wants to her. She always puts on an act to keep him happy and not anger him. One wrong move on her part and she’ll end up with bruises. Adams is into fighting matches, and thinks he has a winner with King, a man of the streets who acts like he’s a devoted employee to Adams. King adores Lady and hates seeing her so empty and hallow, suffering at the hands of Adams. He and Lady dream of escape. Lady wants to live on a farm in a small town (Why do heroines like Lady always want to live on some farm in some small town? It’s become a strange trope in historical romance with courtesan or prostitute heroines). Lady is close to making her dream a reality but she has to be very careful because one wrong move and she’ll end up in a grave like Adams’ last mistress.
We slowly see King and Lady bond and then become lovers in a very touching and sweet way. Their love scenes are beautiful and counteracts the horrors Lady endures by Adams. There is one scene where Adams assaults Lady in such a way that will have the reader in tears because they way Lady describes it to King is heart-wrenching. King becomes Lady’s Knight in Shining Armor, and she his Princess.
The ending isn’t surprising and pretty much what you would expect in a historical romance. I would say it’s the weakest section of the story. But The Fight and the Fallen Woman gets high marks from me for a heart stopping, on the edge of your seat romance.
Fans of historical romance with an incredible emotional storyline should read this one. (Carina Press)
Finale Grade: B+
A few other The Fighter and the Fallen Woman reviews: