In 1850, a storm wrecks the ship Serendipity. Young Victoria Dearbourne, her mom and her pragmatic companion Miss Cammy Scott survive the disaster having been shipwrecked on an Oceania deserted island. Not long afterward, Victoria's mom dies from her injuries. Eight years later, Victoria's grandfather hired Captain Grant Sutherland to learn if any of his relatives survived and if so to bring them home. Nine searches have failed, but on the tenth Grant and crew locate Victoria and a somewhat befuddled Cammy. They bring the marooned pair back to England in triumph. However, after living free in the wild, Victoria struggles to return to the corset lifestyle of Victorian England although falling in love with her heroic rescuer makes it easier to readapt. PRICE OF PLEASURE is an enjoyable Victorian romance due to the antics of the lead female protagonist who is the personification of "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm? (After They've Seen Paree)" though her big city was a island wilderness. The story line is fun to follow due to Victoria's struggle to adapt to polite society. Cammy is an intriguing sidekick and Grant and his main crewmember are solid protagonists. Still this is Victoria's tale, as she must make life choices. Harriet Klausner
I enjoyed the author's first book CAPTAIN OF ALL PLEASURES and looked forward to reading this story. For some reason her hero, Grant Sutherland kept bringing to mind Damien Knight (without the shell-shock) from Gaelen Foley's LORD OF ICE (one of my fave books) in that both were stiff, formal men ruled by a strict code of honor. Honor that is sorely tested by an unconventional, high spirited young woman - in this case castaway Victoria Dearbourne. Second son Grant Sutherland has been a sea captain as well as acting as a stand-in for his elder brother Derek, the Earl of Stanhope, managing his estates for four years until his brother took up his responsibilities. That experience has made Grant yearn for lands of his own, so when the elderly and heir-less Earl of Belmont offers his estate in payment for Grant leading an expedition to locate his long lost granddaughter, Grant accepts his offer. Victoria, her parents and governess Camellia Scott were lost eight years ago in a shipwreck in the South Pacific. Grant is determined to find her and bring her home and claim his reward in due time. When he finally finds her, she is determined not to be caught (she doesn't know his true motives, now does she?) and, until she can figure it out, she leads him on a merry chase across the island eluding and frustrating him. Tori and her companion Cammie have survived by their wits for years and they do not trust this invasion of men into their isolated world. Men have come to the island before after all, and not with the most honorable intentions. While trying to decide whether to trust these newcomers or not, Tori sends them on a wild goose chase all over the island until Sutherland finally finds her and convinces her to come home with him. On the journey home, Grant fights his attraction to her in the face of her determination to woo him! But he's not made of stone and so he eventually gives in to his attraction to her considerable charms. But Tori is having some difficulty adjusting to the restrictive life of a proper young Englishwoman and soon learns that she is not the biddable, proper kind of woman that Grant plans to take to wife. She feels utterly betrayed and decides to move on with her life without Grant. And eventhough all his friends and family think he is an idiot, he sticks to his conviction that Tori is not right for him. But when the truth finally sinks in, can he win her back? A nice story of opposites attracting and of a hero who has to finally set aside some long-held beliefs for love. And Cammie has her own story line that will satisfy readers after all her suffering and adjustment to a proper life in England. Nicole and Derek from COAP return in supporting roles here and wayward cousin Ian Traywick is introduced and will surely star in the author's next story. An enjoyable read that I recommend to those looking for a good adventure story and for a couple that really has to work to be together. Can't wait for Ian's story!
This book was awesome, everything was perfectly done, you have your typical cold Englishman who seems to feel nothing but is secretly and wildly passionate, then you have your heroine, who was stranded for 9 years on an island and finally rescued by the hero who was paid by her grandfather to find her. I found her writing style a bit similar to Brenda Joyce but she has a unique spin in her own right. Don't want to give it all away but it is a worthy read for women who want to travel in time and find a heroine and hero who was worth your precious time.