SCANDALOUS LIAISONS by Sylvia Day (formerly published as Bad Boys Ahoy!)

dayPUBLISHING INFO: Kensington, August 2013
ORIGINALLY PUB. AS: Bad Boys Ahoy!, 2006
GENRE: Erotic Historical Romance Anthology
SETTING: British West Indies and England, early 1800′s
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: C

From Publisher: Oh, those naughty rakes. With their wicked winks, sensual smiles, and bad boy habits, you just can t take them out in polite society. But who wants to go out when you can stay in…?

STOLEN PLEASURES
Sebastian Blake, Earl of Merrick, long ago fled the responsibilities of his title to become the infamous pirate, Captain Phoenix. But the booty he’s just captured on a merchant ship is a fierce tempered minx who claims to be a bride…his bride, married to him by proxy on behest of their fathers. He could shame his hated family and return his beautiful wife untouched, but no treasure has ever proved more tempting to Sebastian, and making their marriage a true one-in every sense-is his one urgent desire …

MY THOUGHTS: The story takes place in the British West Indies in 1813 and the story’s 107 pages. This was alright. Sebastian, black hair and blue eyes, and Olivia, blond hair and brown eyes, had chemistry from the start. I don’t know their ages and that bugs me. The sex scenes were graphic and my favorite one is when Sebastian masturbated some with Olivia watching. I also don’t really like that they were already married to each other.

I’m confused about something. He attacked her father’s ship and tied Olivia up, not even knowing she was his wife. What did he plan to do with her?

Graphic sex gets an A, story gets a C.

LUCIEN’S GAMBLE
Lucien Remington s reputation as a debauched libertine who plays by no one s rules-in business or the bedroom-is well deserved. He gets what he wants, social repudiation be damned. But society can keep from him the one thing he truly desires, the untouchable Lady Julienne La Coeur. Until she sneaks into his club dressed as a man and searching for her irresponsible brother. Suddenly she s in Lucien’s grasp, his to take, and his mind is filled with the most wickedly sinful thoughts. A gentleman would walk away from the temptation she presents. But then, Lucien has never claimed to be a gentleman…

MY THOUGHTS: The story takes place in England in 1810 and is about 110 pages. I enjoyed the very graphic sex scenes. The language was more graphic, explicit words were used that weren’t in the previous story and the sex scenes were messier. There were countless oral sex scenes and only one of penile/vaginal sex, right at the end of the story on their wedding night.

Lucien, dark hair and blue eyes, is obsessed with Julienne, who’s got blond hair and ‘dark’ eyes. She’s twenty and I don’t know how old he is. She didn’t seem nearly as into him as he was into her. I know this is a short story but it was too rushed. There was a ‘love’ triangle and stuff involving her brother, almost a full length story jammed into 100 pages. I think Julienne had something to do with my dislike of the story. I can’t put my finger on why I didn’t like her.

I give the story a C and the sex an A.

HER MAD GRACE
Hugh La Coeur never wanted to be the Earl of Montrose. Wine, women, and a hefty wager are preferable to responsibility of any kind. It’s certainly preferable to spending the night in an eerie, neglected mansion owned by a legendary madwoman. The duchess’s companion, the fiercely independent Charlotte, is another matter altogether. Hugh would be happy to spend as many nights in her bed as possible. He knows she’s hiding terrible secrets, but for once in his life, Hugh has the desire to take on someone else’s burden as his own, no matter what the danger…

MY THOUGHTS: This is my least favorite story of the three. Hugh is brother to Julienne, from the previous story. He was a wastrel, a gambler deeply in debt until his brother-in-law bailed him out. Now, three years later, he’s wealthy (how?).  I don’t like that a character like him got his own story. His carriage has an accident and he ends up at Charlotte’s while it’s being fixed. I’m not sure how long he stayed there but it seemed like it was for just a few days or so. The story spans eight months, if you count the epilogue.

Charlotte’s alright. She’s Jared’s ex-mistress and caretaker to his seventeen year old daughter. I like that Hugh doesn’t mind that she was a kept woman. I wanted to know more about her life pre-Hugh. The story got real boring during the last 35-40 pages but I did like when Jared showed up near the end.

The sex was very graphic, so that gets an A+. The story gets a C-. I didn’t care for the silly map and buried treasure she was looking for.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

CLOSED/’S.E.C.R.E.T.’ EROTIC CONTEMPORARY NOVEL TRILOGY by L. Marie Adeline GIVEAWAY

Secretcollage

S.E.C.R.E.T.- Cassie Robichaud’s life has been filled with regret and loneliness since the death of her husband. She waits tables at the run-down Cafe Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her cat and solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the cafe, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying ten-step journey through a series of rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately.

Equal parts enticing, liberating, and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where erotic fantasy becomes reality. Broadway Books, 2/2013

S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared- Still wounded from a recent heartbreak over her boss and lover, Will, Cassie Robichaud throws herself into service with S.E.C.R.E.T., the mysterious organization that changed her forever by bringing her deepest sexual fantasies to life, one step at a time. Now, it’s Cassie’s turn to guide the group’s newest candidate, Dauphine Mason, recruiting men to execute a new set of fantasies.

At thirty-one, Dauphine is the proprietor of a New Orleans vintage clothing store. She’s been harboring a crush on Mark Drury, a local rock star, but is too shy to put herself out there with him. She turns to S.E.C.R.E.T. to reignite her sexual flame and find the confidence to risk her heart again with another man.

As Cassie worries that the right time will never come for her and Will, she finds inspiration helping Dauphine in S.E.C.R.E.T. Both women navigate the rocky path between their hearts and their passions, hoping to discover what they truly want in life and in love.” S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared” is a romantic, adventurous, and sexually charged sequel to one of the hottest new series in erotica. Broadway Books, 10/2013

S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed- The only thing that Cassie Robichaud has ever really wanted is Will Foret, the love of her life. But when Will discovers that Cassie is part of S.E.C.R.E.T., an underground group devoted to helping women experience their deepest sexual fantasies, Will breaks it off. Heartbroken, Cassie dries her tears and devotes herself to helping the latest S.E.C.R.E.T. recruit, Solange Faraday. Cassie also reignites her relationship with sexy bad-boy Jesse, even if he can never love her as deeply as Will did.

Meanwhile, beautiful, brilliant Solange, a local news anchor and divorced mom, has a great career but a wilting love life. She rekindles long-lost passions, going deeper and hotter than any other S.E.C.R.E.T. candidate before her. Can Solange find what her heart most desires? And when Will realizes he’s made a tragic mistake, will Cassie be able to forgive him? As both women blossom sexually, they also discover that true love is closer than they ever imagined.

SECRET Revealed is the explosive, sexually-charged finale to the phenomenal S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy. Broadway Books, 5/2014

GIVEAWAY RULES

WINNER: mathlady68

Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
One winner gets a set of 3 print books, which ship from publisher.
Post a comment below. Do not leave your email address in your
comment or you’ll be disqualified.
Giveaway ends April 1  at 11:59 PM Eastern. Winner will be
notified and has 3 days to respond.
Winner will be announced on this post.
Winner chosen by me using random.org

DEATH COMES TO THE VILLAGE by Catherine Lloyd (Kate Pearce)

deathPUBLISHING INFO: Kensington, 11/26/13
GENRE: Historical Mystery
SETTING: England, 1816
SERIES: Kurland St. Mary Mysteries, book 1
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: C

From Publisher: A wounded soldier and a rector’s daughter discover strange goings-on in the sleepy village of Kurland St. Mary in Catherine Lloyd’s charming Regency-set mystery debut.

Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. . .

Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major’s suspicions offers a welcome diversion–but soon presents real danger. Someone is intent on stopping their investigation. And in a place where no one locks their doors, a series of thefts and the disappearance of two young serving girls demands explanation. . .

As Robert grapples with his difficult recovery, he and Lucy try to unearth the dark truth lurking within the village shadows, and stop a killer waiting to strike again…

MY THOUGHTS: I was very excited to read this book by Kate Pearce because I’m such a fan of her Simply series. She’s writing in a different genre this time around as Catherine Lloyd. The plot sounded so interesting but the story was incredibly slow and boring, sadly. It was only slightly interesting until around 100 pages in, then the story slowed down even more. On page 170 something involving Lucy happened. That incident should have happened much sooner. Much.

Twenty-five year old brown haired and brown-eyed Lucy and Robert have been friends since they were children. I never once got the feeling that they were true friends. Robert doesn’t seem to really like her and was rude to her at least a few times. I sensed no chemistry of any kind between them. I don’t really like Robert at all. When Lucy told him about an incident involving her he didn’t believe her when he had absolutely no reason to doubt what she’d said. Another time she told him her theory about a stolen item and he thought she was crazy. I just found him to be rude and annoying.

I don’t understand why Robert’s fiancé was added to the story. She was completely unlikeable and she didn’t serve a purpose. I’m just puzzled by why she was added.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

SLOW SURRENDER by Cecilia Tan

SLOWPUBLISHING INFO: Forever, 8/2013
GENRE: Contemporary Erotica
SETTING: New York, USA
SERIES: Struck by Lightening, book 1
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: F

From Publisher: He pushes her sexual boundaries . . .
From the moment waitress Karina meets him in a New York bar, she knows James is different. Daring. Dominating. Though he hides his true identity from her, the mysterious, wealthy businessman anticipates her every desire and fulfills her secret fantasies. Awakened by his touch, Karina discovers a wild side she hadn’t known existed and nothing is off limits. She aches for more . . .

What begins as an erotic game soon escalates to a power play that blurs the line between pleasure and pain. Even as she capitulates to James’s sensual demands, Karina craves more. She wants his heart, his soul. She wants his love . . . and she’ll break all the rules to get it.

MY THOUGHTS: Awful. Truly Awful. I honestly forced myself to finish this. There’s not one part of this story that I liked. James is a mysterious stranger who is instantly attracted to 26 year old grad student Karina Casper. They meet at a bar, where she’s filling in for a friend. At first she thought he was 40ish, then 34, but his age wasn’t given. He’s got blond hair and green eyes. They begin a sexual affair that night that consists mostly of dildos and him preforming oral sex on her, often in the back of a limo. There’s only one scene of actual penile/vaginal penetration.

James tells her who he really is, James Byron LeStrange, a famous reclusive artist who goes by the name J.B. Lester, and the real BS comes at the end when Karina finds out he’s also another famous person, a singer who her roommate Becky just happens to have a crush on. I’d guessed that part before Karina did. Could a story get anymore absurd than this?! Though there’s this mystique surrounding James I just found him to be bland. He ran off crying at the end and it was the biggest WTF moment of the book.

Karina and her 26 year old roommate are both annoying and seem immature to me. Becky calls her Rina and Karina calls her Becks. Both are always saying, ‘Oh, jeez’ and the Asian-American Becky is always eating rice (she was two out of three times.) Karina is the type of woman I can’t stand- one who blabs all of her personal sexual business to her friends an she told Becky everything at the end. Another thing that bugged the crap out of me about Karina is this- Stefan is a foreign man who drives her around everywhere in a limo or some other type of car, at James’ request. She becomes friends with him, wonders about his accent yet never once asks the man where he’s from. I just can’t understand that. Karina has a horrible habit of ending some of her answers with a question mark. Example: James asks her why she wants to take the dildo home with her. She replies, ‘Um, because I miss you when we’re apart and it’ll make me feel like I have a piece of you with me?’.

I didn’t care a thing for either James or Karina. Though the sex was graphic it did nothing for me, this coming from someone who loves filth and porn. There’s not one interesting sex scene. Because I strongly dislike Karina I couldn’t like this book and I won’t be reading the sequel nor will I read anything from this author again.

I don’t understand why this is called Slow Surrender. No one was slow to surrender anything. The story spanned three or four weeks.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

NEVER TRUST A PIRATE by Anne Stuart

never trustPUBLISHING INFO: Montlake Romance, 12/2013
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1869
SERIES: Scandal at the House of Russell, book 2
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: C

From Publisher: Madeleine Russell, the beautiful daughter of a shipping magnate, counted on marrying a wealthy husband. Then her father’s disgrace and death left her with no dowry and no suitor. But Maddy and her sisters fully intend to restore their good name. Their first step: find the villain who framed their family. One of her father’s captains, a notorious former pirate, becomes a prime suspect. When Maddy joins the captain’s household disguised as his newest servant, her dark-eyed, charismatic employer soon develops his own agenda: seduction…

Captain Thomas Morgan spent most of his life amassing vast riches and respectability…and keeping his gypsy roots a secret. Now, he just needs to marry his prim, polished fiancée…and resist his intriguing new housemaid. A pirate never falls in love, he reminds himself. As mutual deception leads Maddy and the captain into uncharted territory, the truth could anchor them to terrible heartache…or to passion beyond their wildest dreams.

MY THOUGHTS: This review contains mild spoilers. I was disappointed in this. It’s too similar to the first in the series. Heroine gets a job in the home of the hero, whom she suspects of being her father’s murderer, hero discovers who she really is but doesn’t let her know, hero makes advances toward heroine which she rebuffs over and over again, ect. Same premise as book one.

Maddy is a twenty-two year old nonvirgin and the hero, Luca, aka Thomas Morgan, is half Romany, half English and is twenty-nine. I didn’t like their unlikely first meeting on the street. I didn’t like that Maddy was being abused a bit by the housekeeper and never told Luca. There was no reason for her not to have told him. I don’t like that he has a huge tattoo down his left side, beginning on his shoulder. Yes, I know people had tattoos back then but please leave them out of historicals.

There’s another bad character in this story too. They’re out to kill Maddy. They sneak aboard the ship that she and Luca are on and almost succeeds in throwing her overboard but Luca comes on the rescue just in time…of course. Him sneaking aboard ship is something I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have done himself. Like previously, he’d have hired someone to do the murder for him. Him throwing her over his shoulder and walking toward the side of the ship where he could be seen by multiple people makes no sense. He brought a bag to put her body in it, should he need to do it, so he should have killed her in the ship’s cabin first, put her body in the bag then thrown the bag overboard. Another problem I have is with Maddy coming to the conclusion after her murder attempt that that person is also the one who murdered her father. Where’d that revelation come from?

The thing that bothers me most is Luca basically grew up on the streets. To make money he and his friend were pickpockets who also prostituted themselves. I wanted to know more about that. I wanted to know what Luca thought of having to do it and how it may have effected him as an adult. It was mentioned and that was it. I feel his character was underdeveloped. Him living on the street and prostituting himself is very interesting to me and I want to know more.

This story only spans about a month or so. I don’t believe their love is genuine. They hardly know each other yet are in love and get married within a really short time? I don’t think so.

I like both Maddy and Luca but the bad outweigh the good in this story. There’s to be one more in this series and hopefully it’ll be better than this one.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

THE BUGHOUSE AFFAIR by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini

bughousePUB. INFO: Forge, January/November 2013
FORMAT: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
GENRE: Historical Mystery
SETTING: California, USA, 1894
SERIES: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery, book 1
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: B

From Publisher: In The Bughouse Affair, the first of a new series of lighthearted historical mysteries set in 1890s San Francisco, former Pinkerton operative Sabina Carpenter and her detective partner, ex-Secret Service agent John Quincannon, undertake what initially appear to be two unrelated investigations. Sabina’s case involves the hunt for a ruthless lady “dip” who uses fiendish means to relieve her victims of their valuables at Chutes Amusement Park and other crowded places.

Quincannon, meanwhile, is after a slippery housebreaker who targets the homes of wealthy residents, following a trail that leads him from the infamous Barbary Coast to an oyster pirate’s lair to a Tenderloin parlor house known as the Fiddle Dee Dee. The two cases eventually connect in surprising fashion, but not before two murders and assorted other felonies complicate matters even further. And not before the two sleuths are hindered, assisted, and exasperated by the bughouse Sherlock Holmes.

MY THOUGHTS: This was a quick, decent read. I like that there were two mysteries going on that turned out to be connected and John and Sabina each got to work on one and came together at the end to compare notes. Both mysteries were interesting to me and it was a surprise to me who the real killer(s) was/were.

John’s a bit arrogant and normally I like that in the male lead but I didn’t like it in him. He was clearly jealous of Mr. Holmes’ superior detective skills. I’m not sure how I feel about Sabina. With no backstory on them I feel as if I don’t ‘know’ them and feel like I accidentally skipped the first few chapters of the book or something. Hardly any backstory was given on them other than they’ve known each other for three years and that she’s a widow. I need to know all about lead characters. I like that both of them weren’t above illegal activities by breaking into homes to look for clues. It seemed a bit out of character for Sabina to do that.

As for the Sherlock Holmes impostor, I don’t like that the authors added a famous fictional character to their own story. I do like the idea of a meddling detective sticking his nose in their business but they should have created their own original character. Seems like he was in a race with John to solve the murders. John met him at someone’s home. He doesn’t know him at all yet proceeds to tell him all about his findings as an investigator, tells him what he’s learned about the burglar. That’s unprofessional and doesn’t make sense to me. The impostor could have been the culprit for all John knew. That’s like a police detective telling strangers about a case he’s working on or other nondetectives involved in the same case.

I look forward to reading the next in the series, The Spook Lights Affair, and seeing if Sabina ever gives in to John’s advances toward her. It would be nice if this series turns into historical romantic suspense.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

AUTUMN RAIN by Anita Mills

autumn rainPUBLISHING INFO: Onyx, 2/1993
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1807-1814
AUTHOR BIO: link
MY GRADE: B-

From Publisher: When Elinor Ashton’s debt-ridden father forces her into a loveless marriage with the elderly but enormously wealthy Lord Kingsley, she becomes the unhappiest bride of London society… and the property of a man whose jealousy leads him to concoct an unspeakable scheme.

Lucien de Clare is Regency England’s handsomest and most brazen lord, a man whose scandalous behavior had closed the doors of polite society against him, making him the perfect pawn in Kingsley’s despicable plot to secure an heir. But the scenario for deceitful seduction yields to true desire, as Lucien is overcome by Elinor’s beauty and charm… and as Elinor opened her innocent heart to Lucien’s demanding passion, releasing a rush of excitement, terror, and longing. And not even treacherous intrigue and vengeful deeds can temper the power of their hungry kisses… or dampen the fire that makes their love glow…

MY THOUGHTS: This review contains spoilers. Lucien is a hard, unhappy man. He’s got black hair and brown eyes. He’s ten years older than Elinor. He hated his cheating father and has a bit of hatred for his mother, who killed herself when he was younger. He and Elinor have a brief run-in with each other near the beginning of the story and he’s been attracted to her ever since.

Elinor was sold, basically, to Arthur Kingsley when she was 15 by her gambling-addicted father. She’s got red hair and golden eyes. Arthur is 61 and very controlling. He beat her with his cane several times. He even dumped their baby out of her crib once, right onto the bedroom floor. He’s very jealous of her friendship with his grandson Charles, who’s just a few months older than Elinor. Charles ends up falling in love with her and tells her so but she doesn’t feel the same for him. She loves him like a brother.

This book is from 1993 but is more like one from the 70′s and 80′s. I love that about it. It’s aggravating that the hero and heroine don’t become a couple until the very end. This story could have been so much better had they begun their affair sooner. The story sort of drags on and I wish it had been shorter. One thing that irritated me was once before Elinor and Lucien got together she was thinking to herself that she may be in love with him. Up until that point the reader was given absolutely no indication that she felt that way. She seemed to not be able to stand him and now she’s in love with him? I’m not buying it. Later on when they begin a relationship together so that she can get pregnant and give the now 65 year old Arthur his heir, I can see how she’s developed feelings for him and has fallen in love with him.

NEVER KISS A RAKE by Anne Stuart

never kiss a rakePUBLISHING INFO: Montlake Romance, 8/2013
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1869
SERIES: Scandal at the House of Russell, book 1
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: A

From Publisher: Bryony Russell and her two sisters are left destitute by the disgrace and unexpected death of their father, a wealthy shipping magnate. He left a cryptic note, and Bryony is determined to find the real villain and clear her father’s name. In disguise as a servant, Bryony infiltrates the home of her father’s business partner to find proof of his guilt…or innocence. It’s not just clues that Bryony finds, but temptation too…

Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, immediately suspects there is something not quite right about his new housekeeper. The brooding, irresistible rake plays along because he has his own guilty secrets, and his venal, scheming wife holds the key to them, trapping him in a hate-filled marriage. But against his will he’s fascinated by Bryony, seeing past the scars on her face to show her the beauty she never knew she had. Bryony must uncover the truth and attempt to preserve her father’s legacy, before things go too far and she falls in love with a man who might very well be her worst enemy.

MY THOUGHTS: This is the first book in a trilogy involving the three Russell sisters. All three books are connected by them trying to find out all the facts about their father’s murder and who stole his money. I don’t see this as straight up historical romance but more as romantic suspense.

The Irish hero, Adrian, has golden hair and green eyes. Someone’s out to frame him for murder and embezzlement. Adrian has been married for almost ten years to Cecily, a woman he despises. He was involved with a bombing that killed people years ago. She knows he’s behind it and is using that information against him. Cecily herself is a terrible person, it turns out, and there’s a mystery involving her whereabouts. We don’t see much of her in the book.

I like Adrian a lot. He’s taken a liking to Bryony and let’s her know he’s interested, even after he discovers who she really is. She wants nothing to do with him in that way since she suspects he’s killed her father and has stolen lots of money from his business, Russell Shipping. He tries to seduce her constantly. There are three sex scenes with them. I found the way he kept after her funny and entertaining.

There’s a bad male character in this book who’s out to murder Bryony for a really stupid reason. He’s got a grudge against her because he thinks her father stole his family home, Renwick, when in actuality he won it fair and square. This character’s behind a lot of bad happenings. I like him anyway. He’s not very bright, lurking around the Bruton home knowing he might be seen by the servants.

I wasn’t surprised to find out who was behind the stuff involving her father and the disappearance of Cecily. I wish the author could have been a bit more creative in that regard. I’d have liked to have known more about him and how he met Cecily in the first place.

I don’t know Adrian or Bryony’s ages and I don’t know anything about Adrian’s background either. No background information on hero and heroine is a huge no-no!

I enjoyed this book as much as I’d hoped I would and I’m anxious to read the next in the series, Never Trust a Pirate.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

TO CAPTURE A RAKE by Lori Brighton

capture a rakePUBLISHING INFO: Montlake Romance, 6/2013
GENRE: Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1869
SERIES: Seduction, book 2
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: B

From Publisher: In all his time as a prostitute at Lavender Hills, Gideon Drake has never been hired out, never been allowed to leave the gilded cage in which he pleasures the well-heeled wives of London. So when a young widow convinces Lady Lavender to release her prize stud for a week-long seduction at a country estate, Gideon spies his chance for escape. It is the perfect plan — until his beautiful client reawakens a passion he thought long dead…

After her husband’s death, Elizabeth Ashton knows she must remarry, but not just any man will do. She must find Lord Ashton’s long-lost bastard nephew and convince him to wed, cementing his claim to the family fortune. Of course, rescuing herself from certain ruin means venturing into Lavender Hills and putting her life into the hands of a dark, handsome rogue as notorious for his cold heart as he is for his sexual expertise. Somehow, Elizabeth must convince him to love her, to marry her, and ultimately to save her.

One touch will ignite the flame of their passion. One kiss will prove this liaison unlike the others. Bound by desire and need, only together are they strong enough to face down their enemies — and to claim the promise of love.

MY THOUGHTS: Red-haired and green-eyed widowed Elizabeth has ulterior motives for seeking Gideon out. He doesn’t know it but she knows who he really is and wants to give him things that belong to him, things regarding her estate. I don’t know why she didn’t just contact Gideon and explain some things to him right from the start.

I really like Gideon. He’s about thirty. He’s got a proverbial hard shell built all around him. He’s so full of anger towards everyone and is very callous. He’s an unhappy prostitute to women and has been for almost fourteen years. I like Elizabeth too. She’s a really good person. She’s raising her dead sister’s children while passing them off as her own. Her staff is all or mostly made up of people who were once in bad situations themselves and she’d do anything for any of them.

I’m really irritated that we’re told Lady Lavender, the French owner of the brothel he works at, knows his terrible secret, that’s what she’s blackmailing him with, but we aren’t told how on earth it’s possible for her to know. There’s no possible way she could know his secret. This doesn’t sit well with me at all. An incident happened to her years ago involving his father and she seems to be taking her hatred of his father out on him. But that doesn’t explain how she knows his secret.

There’s also a mystery going on in this story that was interesting. Someone’s out to kill Elizabeth. There was no mention of why they let that person go after they’d murdered a member of their staff and attempted to murder Elizabeth.

Even though there are some things in the story that need explaining and to be expanded upon I did find the whole story interesting.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

THE SINNERS CLUB by Kate Pearce

PUBLISHING INFO: Aphrodisia, 12/31/2013
GENRE: Historical Erotic Fiction
SETTING: England, 1827
SERIES: The Sinners Club, book 1
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: A

From Publisher: It’s known as the Sinners Club…a private gentlemen’s club whose members have mysterious pasts and secret fantasies too hot to reveal…

Unsure of his reception, Jack Lennox adopts the guise of his own secretary upon returning to his ancestral home to claim his father’s earldom. When he arrives, he’s stunned to discover the previous earl’s lovely young widow, a woman of beguiling curves and sensual smiles, warming the bed…

Mary Lennox is determined to remain in Pinchbeck Hall and a mere secretary isn’t going to tell her otherwise. But Jack Smith is a man of many talents and soon she’s succumbing to his erotic games of pleasure. Only Mary may have underestimated the intensity of her wanton longings and the depths of Jack’s dark desires…

Author’s Note: This book is about Jack Lennox who you met first in Simply Scandalous (House of Pleasure, book 9).

MY THOUGHTS: I should start by saying that I don’t feel this should be marketed as romance. I loved it for what it was- erotica, predominately m/m, which is the type of erotica I like best. This book is the start of a new series that’s a lot like her previous House of Pleasure series. The novel is chock full of dark and graphic sexual goodness that practically oozes off the pages. There are more than ten sex scenes and only a few of them are m/f. Most of the sex is between them.

I liked the plot line a lot. It certainly held my interest, even without the sex. Mary and Simon are as close as almost life-long friends can be. They’ve been through a whole lot together and they’re still going through stuff when they meet Jack. Jack’s put a wrench in their plans, uncovers lies and things start to take a downward turn for them. He uncovers who they really are, learns of their not so great past, and it’s very interesting, especially the bit near the end involving Mary. It’s a WTF moment and I loved it!

Things about his dead uncle, who is Mary’s husband, come to light and it ain’t pretty folks. I can’t wait to read more about all three of them in future books, assuming they’ll be in them.

There’s an ebook-only prequel to this book called The First Sinners. Same review here.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

sinners club purple

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