A Lady's Pleasure Mass Market Paperback – Oct 31 2006
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"I savored every word!"
-- Sherrilyn Kenyon
About the Author
Renee Bernard is a freelance writer for Romantic Times Bookclub magazine. A Lady's Pleasure is her first novel. She has also written a story, "Mischief's Holiday," for the anthology The School for Heiresses. Renee lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. Visit her website at ReneeBernardAuthor.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Drake, the Duke of Sussex is out for revenge for the death of his adulterous wife and Merriam, the shy plain faced widow is caught in the middle of the his scheme unwittingly. She mistakenly seduces him at a masked ball in which she determined to bring another rake to his knees (literally) and leave him hanging with her new found sexual confidence. So it is the Duke she seduces and later is unable to resist the tension between them and becomes his mistress. But what will happen when the Duke discovers that he has lost heart to the one women he was wrong about and betrayed?
This is ONE HOT BOOK! I'm pretty jaded when it comes to love scenes. Most historical romances contain the same 'scenes' at nauseum, but not here! I've never read a book with SO MANY love scenes and they were well written too. Unfortunately, I feel that the 'romance' part suffered a bit because of this. You really don't feel the emotional side of the characters, rather its more of a primative or lusting-type love. There is essentially no buildup since the encounters are so frequent and start VERY early in the book. Its a different approach to writing (although not neccessarily worse), but it lead me to care less for the characters than if the tension was strung-out a bit.
I know this is Bernards first work and I have to commend her on her bold statement, but I have to mention a few irritating points. I agree with another reviewer, the description of time period (regency? victorian?) is sorely lacking. Sometimes the writing was jumpy (a fault of the editors) and I found scenes abruptly ending and new ones begining practically within the same paragraph. And the repetition of 'Oh my! and 'Your incorrigible' was annoying.
That being said, I really did enjoy the book and I have hopes that Bernard will improve in her next novel (how can anyone resist a book about a Madames Deception?)
So if you like lots of explicit love scenes (Kleypas and Jeffries watch out!) with two likeable characters and don't mind the lack of emotional build-up and the decidedly weak revenge plot, this ones for you.
The hero of this tale, Drake, is back in Town from a self-inflicted exile to seek revenge on his wife's supposed murderer and lover, Lord Westleigh. Once best friends, each is out to ruin the other.
Merriam, the once meek little mouse is also set on revenge against Lord Westleigh for calling her a "whey-faced widow". Her plan: get him hot and bothered then leave him wanting more. Things don't go as planned when Drake is the one she inadvertantly seduces instead.
What follows is some explicit and creative love scenes that will leave you breathless. Merriam and Drake were insatiable, but because the scenes were so well written and different I didn't skim a single one.
There is also hero-jealousy as Drake intends to use Merriam as 'bait` to lure Julian, Lord Westleigh into his web.
**The mystery gets tied up rather quickly in the last two chapters but the rest of the book was so good it is hard to mark off for that.
I do not profess to be an expert of "ye merry ol' England," but after years of reading romance I do know one thing--an earl would never be introduced as a plain mister (see page 49). Although this is not the first naming error, it's the most egregious. Normally, I'm not a stickler for this sort of thing. Actually, anachronisms fly right by me most of the time, but errors as blatent as those in this book kept pulling me out of the story.
Also, the story contained continuity problems. For example, the story starts off with the heroine not knowing the identity of the hero. Then, he gives her his card (which should have his name on it), but even after seeing the card she asks the hero who he is. BEFORE he tells her, she calls him "my grace." Huh? Do you know him or not?
For the most part, I'm going to chalk the problems in this book up to atrocious editting and recommend that Pocket retrain whoever allowed this book to go to print as is. My recommendation for the reader: wait to buy Bernard's next book and hope that the writing stays consistent and the editting improves.
Like everyone has said...it is VERY steamy! I am used to such love scenes but not so many in one book. Not that I am complaining ;-)
Although her story isn't as captivating as Judith McNaught, Lisa Kleypas, or Julia Quinn (my all time favs), it was very entertaining AND, most importantly, it was unique. I LOVE regency romance and it is hard to find any new plots. But the story of one daring night and how Merriam thought to tease one man but thoroughly seduced another was ingenious and amusing. Ms. Bernard's writing was such that I pictured myself in Merriam's position and could feel what she was feeling: shock, embarrassment, humiliation, fear, etc. And I was also so proud of how she gradually learned to stand up for herself and have self confidence after years of being degraded.
Both characters were very well written, although Drake is a bit meloncholy for me...very Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre (another fav of mine) and their romance and passion was well written.
The only real complaint I have is that the 2nd characters were a bit confusing. I kept mixing up Drake's best friend and the other prominant male character (forgetting his name). Also, the relationship between Drake and his "evil" ex-best friend is never really explained as well as I would have liked. I can't imagine being great friends with someone who tries to steal everything I have?
I have bought Ms. Bernard's next 2 books in this series and greatly look forward to beginning book #2. Ya! for a new regency author to add to my collection!