I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
When you read historical romance you come to expect a few things from the female leads; usually pure and innocent ladies of high breeding and standing, who learns about her sexuality through her beautiful first love with the more experienced male character...
An infamous, POC prostitute isn't usually what you expect.
Billie is whore. And she has no shame about it, and has no problem telling people what she is, because as far as she is concerned it was something she had to do to survive and live a decent life. Her profession is not overly glamorized; the troubles with that life are plainly seen in the story. Her life story is gritty and what you would expect from a young girl who grew up on the streets by herself at age 10. That is never a pretty story. When we meet her she is in the middle of her "work" with Drew, who is one of her regulars that she has developed strong feelings for, but she wisely keeps that to herself. And that’s how our story starts…and continues one with unwanted pregnancy, a shot gun marriage, murder, Voodoo, kidnapping, and all sorts of excitement. The action was good. The sex scene were good...and mainly I liked that this story held Billie up, despite what she did to live, as someone that deserved love. Billie was a very sex positive character, who didn't fit into the mold of the virginal, modest woman, and whose life was by any standard, rough....and she still got the guy and the baby and white picket fence. And I liked that. No one shames men for visiting whores...but women who offer these services should apparently live in shame for their lives, and be scorned by others...many of whom got into that line of work through desperation, and even if it was fully their choice and they enjoy it...that doesn't make them worthless. That is always a good message to put out there.
And let me say….it is nice to have an author out there writing historical romances with POC characters. I’d like more of this….there are so many Regency romances one can read. Only issue was the style of having multiple points of view that switch back and forth a bit too much. It got a bit jarring. I like when that goes on, so the separation/jump to be plainly shown in the text. Like the next section or character…not next paragraph. But this is a personal taste.