I recently reviewed His Lordship’s Mistress by Joan Wolf. It features a young woman who, instead of marrying, decides she will try to sell herself for a short time to earn enough money to pay off the mortgage on her family home. This book prompted commenters to reminisce about their favorite books using the fallen woman, mistress, or courtesan theme. As Moth said, “I know I like it when the heroine isn’t totally squeaky clean.”
So bring on the mistress, courtesan or fallen woman recommendations. Please note if the book features a woman who pretends to be a fallen woman and is not (Bel, from The Duke, I am looking at you).