Dual Review: Chairman of the Whored by Lucy V. Morgan

Filed in 3 Stars , Dual Review , featured , Lucy V. Morgan , Review , The Latin Lover , The Quirky Lover Posted on May 18, 2012 @ 11:00 am 2 comments

Format read: ebook
Release Date: 20 February 2011
Publisher: Lyrical Press Inc.
Series: Book #1  in the Whored series
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Amazon


Dark. Debauched. Delicious.

Is she ready to go under his knife?

Leila Vaughn is a tax lawyer at a prestigious London law firm. And a whore. Leila didn’t take the night job just to pay off her debts–an affair with an older man once stirred a pit of darker desires. Now her year as an escort is almost over, she’s ready to lock up her alter-ego, Charlotte, and be normal once again.

What’s bad is that her colleague, Matt, just caught her out.

What’s worse is that their boss, Joseph, is with him.

Matt wants to rescue Leila. She should want what he does–monogamy and escape from the city–if she’s going to be normal, right? But Joseph is as familiar with the slippery world of escorting as she is, and that makes him hard to resist. In London‘s tightest circles, they call him the Chairman of the Whored. Bold, sharp and ruthless, he’s everything that Leila is trying not to be…so why can’t she say no to him?

Three jobs left before she pays off her debt. Two men playing games she can’t handle. One alter-ego, banging against the mirror. In a dark hotel room, the glass is about to break…

Our Thoughts:

Jackie: Wow. I’m not sure where to even start with this book except maybe to say that I had a love/hate relationship with it. Reading it tested some of my boundaries and, at times, I considered throwing in the towel. I did muster through in the end, but its conclusion still left me with mixed feelings.

Stella: I know what you mean, it started out interestingly, the pages just flew, and then when the emotional mess of Leila’s life got unveiled around half of the book I got stuck and couldn’t force myself to read on for days. It was one of the most taxing reading experiences of my life because I couldn’t not let Leila’s heavy emotional baggage affect me in some way. But let’s start at the beginning.

I’ll admit that as a lawyer I was especially curious to read Lucy V. Morgan’s description of an English law firm, and can say that her portrayal of the law firm and office life was realistic and authentic except for one crucial detail: in a big international law firm we most certainly do not work a 9-5 job, we never leave at 5, work ends at 6/7 if we are lucky, if there is work to be done we stay. So sadly we don’t dispose of our afternoons.

Jackie: I knew you would have the inside scoop on the law aspects in the story, Stella. I found some of the language a bit job specific and maybe just a bit too ‘English’ for me to understand (though I’m usually pretty good with that type of thing). I feel the system that was part of the base of the story could have been explained a bit better for the lay reader. Then again, maybe I just wanted to know more about it in general, having an enquiring mind and all 🙂

Stella: I agree Jackie, the whole structure of how junior lawyers work and become attorneys after graduating and completing their training could have been a bit introduced or explained.

Jackie: This book was rife with metaphors, particularly with references to knives. This was something I was uncomfortable with, to say the least. The redeeming quality in the writing, for me, was the witty dialogue, mostly between Leila and Matt. I enjoyed their easy, fun interactions.

Stella: Funny how when discussing the book while reading it this was both our first comment. Yes, some of the images painted by Lucy V. Morgan were beautiful and poetic

But the day lay slain in the wake of dirty secrets.

but Chairman of the Whored was so full of metaphors and embellishments that at times I was completely lost and confused trying to find the sense in all the blabla Leila was going on.

Also the constant mentioning of knives, especially as metaphors for pleasure, passion, orgasm, sex and how it hurt, cut, eviscerated, etc. made me wince during some of the sex scenes…

I’d never wanted just one person. How could one be everything? Tools are made for varied purpose, and what are human beings if not Swiss army knives? We hide in pockets–a million cuts swell, awaiting–but it is only when we lie in the hands of others that we catch the scent of blood. There, we make our marks. We slice in two. Selling my body was one of the sharpest blades of all.

Stella: What I noticed at almost every single sex scene (and which really frustrated me) was that Leila never used protection (a condom was only mentioned once), and especially in her line of work I find that very worrisome…

Jackie: I found some of the details to be completely overlooked, only to show up again later with a passing mention. A character all of a sudden asking where to put a used condom when no mention was made of it before hand was out of place with the flow of the story.

Stella: Lol, Jackie, that is exactly the only time a condom was mentioned I believe (or twice at most!)

I’m not overly sensitive to name calling but here how Leila and her friends used insults as endearments and nicknames for each other rubbed me the wrong way:

“I knew I could count on you for support. Fag.”
“I’m bi, you retard.”

“Frigid bitch.” She giggled.

Jackie: I’m not sure if this was done as a subtle way of adding some humour to her relationship with her best friend or not. The comments were almost loaded with double meanings. “Frigid bitch” was very far from the truth, after all. All I can say is that it’s nothing something I would do.

Stella: My main reason for wanting to read Chairman of the Whored was because I was curious to see how Lucy V. Morgan could write a sympathetic and likable heroine who works as a prostitute, one the reader can identify with or at least support, feel for. But sadly Leila, our heroine was hands down the character I disliked the most. To put it simply she is really messed up. Not because of the whoring, because it becomes quite obvious early on that she enjoys that part of her life, the excitement, the carnal side, the giving and receiving pleasure and giving in to her basic needs. No, it’s because she is confused, has no idea who she is, what she feels and wants from life. She is quite schizophrenic trying to put the blame for her sexual urges on Charlotte “her evil twin/alter ego” and accepting the immoral decisions, lies, pleasures because “it’s ok, Charlotte took over”.

She is completely messed up and scrambled emotionally, and she can’t have a normal relationship, she says so herself that she always cheated on her boyfriends even long before becoming a prostitute.

“Be married. Be with one person. Be around other people you like and not find yourself naked with them.” I couldn’t look at him. “I can’t imagine what that would be like”

Jackie: Yes! She was still young, age wise, but you’d think a certain jadedness would have wound its way into her life. That does tend to make one grow up pretty fast. I guess maybe it’s because she chose to do what she was doing and the found she liked it, for the most part. But what it made me think of was a young girl looking for a father figure, more than anything else. She came across quite submissive.

Stella: Yes, she was a definite sub! Also with all her life experience I would expect her to be mature beyond her years, and instead she often behaved very childishly:

Then he tugged it tight and I gasped and giggled, reaching back to swat at his hands.

I turned to pout at him. “Meanie.”

“I think we need to be a little stricter with the no touching thing,” he said gruffly, stepping away.
I turned to pout at him. “Meanie.”
“Imagine what it will be like though,” he murmured, “when we can.”
I stamped my foot in a mock tantrum. “I suppose I’ll have to.”

We got to see Leila in three different relationships: with Matt his young and innocent, honourable colleague, Joseph his sexy and commandeering boss and Charlie the 40year old man who corrupted her/or through whom Leila discovered corruption herself when she was 18 (their relationship reminded me a lot of Lolita since Leila clearly wasn’t a victim, she was looking forward to and enjoying his advances).

The story spends most of its time shining the spotlight on Leila and Matt’s relationship and that is the reason why I got stuck and had some difficulty getting over it. Matt was a nice boy, and he and Leila were completely unsuited, it was clear from the start that there will be heartbreak and lot of suffering, and it was like a train wreck with lasting emotional damage. ugh. I felt so bad for Matt.

Jackie: Oh, poor Matt! I really wanted things to work out between Leila and Matt. I liked the way there were when they were together. Leila seemed so happy and fun loving then but in the end, she needed that edginess in her life to make it complete and it wasn’t something Matt was able to really cope with.

Stella: Yes, I believe our romantic side rooted for Leila to find her HEA with Matt, but since that wasn’t what she needed it just couldn’t work. And it was quite a painful experience for both of them.

Despite all the background history we were told and what everyone makes of a 40 year old boss seducing his 18 year old intern I got to say that it was her relationship with Charlie which seemed the most harmonious one: no emotional self torturing, she felt at ease being herself with him, no lies or pretensions.

Though the novel is titled after Joseph (he is The Chairman) and he is our second “hero” or rather male main character ,we don’t see him much “on stage”. Leila’s reaction to him and her relationship with him could have been explored more. But with the ending I felt Leila finally passed that self-denial stage and accepted how she felt and what she needed, so after much emotional crucifiction I was satisfied with how Lucy V. Morgan ended the story.

Jackie: I think it was perfect and seemed to be what the author was working towards. Unfortunately, people were hurt along the way and I felt some things were left unresolved (did Matt ever spill the beans? did he find out about Charlie?) but it was a totally fitting ending; not a traditional ‘Happy Ever After’ but still satisfying where Leila is concerned.

Stella: I agree, somehow the ending made everything right or better, I just wish we could have been on the ride and witnessed the evolution of Joseph and Leila’s relationship better.

One character I utterly loved was Aidan! He was hands down my favourite character. Maybe because he was the most fleshed out among all the male characters (even though he was just a supporting character and not one of the “heroes”)

“I’m here, Lei-Lei!” Aidan cried. “The Big Apple, the metropolis, Gotham, the city that never sleeps–except that everyone’s sleeping with everybody–woop woop!”
I winced. “Good flight, hmm?”

“You know what he’s like. All stubborn…” He sighed in adoration. “He’s all honor and virtue, dark and tortured. Like Batman. Mattman!”

His drunk scene with Matt was the highlight of the book for me 😀

Jackie: Aidan was fantastic. He was, for me, a unique character because of his bisexuality. He used both sides of the coin, so to speak, to a humourous advantage. He was a great confidante for Leila, but also helped to keep her in line, I think.


Jackie: It was a curious blend of elements with the “whore” side of Leila being so knowledgeable about how to pleasure people (and herself), while still being thought of highly in her day job as a lawyer. I felt the book dwindled a bit on the lawyer side of the story, focusing more on Leila’s own desires and, really, searching for her own, true identity and ultimately what she wanted out of life. While her choices would not have been mine in those circumstances, she was still a young woman looking for answers and in the end, was able to find them.

I give Chairman of the Whored 3 Stars!



Stella: The more I think about it the more I believe that Chairman of the Whored is a similarly complex and thought-provoking novel as Lolita by Nabokov, one we could discuss and dissect far longer. It most certainly treats controversial topics and pushes boundaries. Leila is a very messed up, confused, and lost young woman who is battling her true nature and tries to confom to society and its expectations.  Don’t expect a romantic erotic story and you won’t be disappointed.  Chairman of the Whored is a dark erotica exploring the doubts and darker sides of the human psyche. Despite no HEA in the romantic sense of the word Lucy V. Morgan managed to end Leila’s struggles on a high note and I was satisfied with the conclusion of the story.

I give Chairman of the Whored 3 Stars!



***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • sienny May 19, 2012 at 4:43 am

    This is one book i’d never read happily. The theme is a bit scary for me, that alone makes me reluctant to pick it up, and after the review the scary factor grow bigger. I’m not sure i’ll ever read this one, or manage to finish reading.

  • aurian May 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I really like joint reviews, so thank you. And this is so not a book for me.

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