This is not your typical Megan Hart book, or at least not what I've come to expect. It isn't that it's not highly engaging with characters being put in heart wrenching situations. It's that it does not have the page upon page of erotic, explicit encounters, for which I think Megan Hart steals the cake when it comes to mastering those titillating scenes of the flesh and incorporating that into an emotionally compelling read. It is rather mild for over half the book, but what you do get is a building of a friendship between the two main characters, Tranquilla Caden and Gabriel Delessan, as well as between Tranquilla and his staff.
In No Greater Pleasure the sexually charged atmosphere is toned down to a slow and engaging build-up as Tranquilla, the Handmaiden assigned to Delessan, learns her new master and attempts to gain the knowledge she needs to bring him absolute solace. As well as making friends with the staff and earning herself a respectable place in their eyes.
Gabriel Delessan is a dark, mysterious, brooding, unhappy man. His wife is a mad, conniving, deceitful woman. And she makes his life miserable. He'd like to think that when she has moments of clarity that she will remain that way, but she ends up that despicable person once again. So he requests a Handmaiden from the Order of Solace, hoping to find some sort of peace in his very unhappy existence. Yet Gabriel fights and argues with Quilla nearly every step of the way as she tries to sooth him. But what he doesn't realize, is that over the course of the months she's been serving him, she has been breaking through his barriers, on act, one word, one gesture at a time.
But you may be wondering the same as I did, how can this be a romance if Delessan is married and refuses Quilla in any intimate fashion? And that is where Megan Hart's talent as a writer shines, and makes her stories different from the rest. Her characters are put in situations that aren't typical and where there's a will, there's a way, and happiness lies down that road. If ever there was a man who needed some happiness, it's Gabriel Delessan (and what a great name too!) and Quilla the perfect soul to mend his torn and broken heart, giving him perfect Solace.
I enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful addition to the first one, Pleasure and Purpose. But I must say that I was a tad disappointed for the lack of sex. And I only say that because I have come to expect it, especially since the first book was extremely potent, but that's the only place my disappointment lies. This one may have been toned down on the explicitness, but it still tugged on my emotions at the end something fierce. I loved the story and I think the Order of Solace is a grand concept and makes for delightful reads.