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claudine book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

In order to help pay for her Yale graduate education, Maria Lantos chooses a career that is very profitable, but not respectable in society. Maria moonlights as a high profile, high class escort named Claudine. Claudine is well-known, talented, sexy, highly sought after and gorgeous. Her clients love her, reward her with huge sums of money, travel opportunities and spread the word of her charms. Maria is able to afford not only her Ivy League education, but also enjoys an affluent lifestyle complete with a full time assistant, Lillian, a luxury apartment in New York and personal bodyguard, Andrei. Living and working as Claudine has proven to be very successful for Maria over the years but her life soon takes a frightening turn after a young woman, who looks strikingly like her, is found brutally murdered.

The murder of the young prostitute reeks of warnings to Claudine (and Maria) yet Maria at first refuses to put her professional life on hold due to threats, even though they are very real and very dangerous. Against the urgings of Lillian and Andrei, Claudine will continue. When the threats begin to manifest on Claudine’s travels and hit close to home, Maria begins to question every client and connection. Maria’s horrific past, time spent in a Russian orphanage and her estranged relationship with her ice cold adoptive mother all seem to play a part, but she is unable to initially make the connection to her tormenter. Maria soon sees that she cannot keep her life as Claudine in the shadows anymore or remain untouchable as she once thought herself to be.

Claudine is an exciting adult novel; it is risqué, exotic and full of suspense and intrigue. Author Barbara Palmer, who writes under a pen name, spins a sexy, scandalous and engaging story. The relationships highlighted in the story, particularly between Maria and Andrei are relatable and intense; the conversations in the story flow just as well as the suspense. Fans of erotic fiction and suspense fans alike will be placed under Claudine’s spell like so many of her clients. The story will keep the reader guessing until the very end and the twists and turns will truly seduce throughout the novel.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.