Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pleasurably Undone

Pleasurably Undone 628

Seducing a Stranger by Christine Merrill
Victoria Paget believes that her husband's regiment in France was betrayed and thinks that Lieutenant Tom Godfrey must be the culprit as he was the only man to return alive. She goes undercover in a brothel to learn his secrets and he falls for it right away. Tom has been infatuated with Victoria since his captain showed him her picture so finding a twin in a brothel is perfection. When he realizes who she is he offers her marriage so he can take her away from her horrible life. Victoria realizes that she must have the wrong man as Tom is honest and obviously cares for her and wants to do the right thing. Tom tries to find a job with another man in the War Office and when he is turned down, the real spy lands himself right in Tom's lap. Victoria knows she must confess her former suspicions to Tom, and hope that he can forgive her and they can work on capturing the true spy together after they are married.

This story is incredibly short (45 pages) and a good majority of that is absolutely scorching sex. I really had to suspend reality for this one as going undercover in a brothel is just not believable. However, Merrill did a good job with the very small amount of pages she was given, as I quickly grew to like both characters. Tom was strong and wanted to take care of those around him, while Victoria was dedicated and determined to get to the bottom of what had happened to her husband at any cost. I would have preferred a few more pages so that their could have been some angst about her believing him to be a spy, though. I was really excited when they were able to adequately wrap up the spy plot pretty well, although it does end on somewhat of a to be continued in that department. However, the romance, and especially the sex, was great.

The Viking's Forbidden Love Slave
by Michelle Willingham
When Aisling O'Bannon is kidnapped by a Viking warrior, she knows she has much to worry about as the Vikings have been raiding and tormenting her family for years. Tharand is known among his people as fierce but they believe he is dangerous and has no heart. He has kidnapped Aisling in the hopes that he can exchange her to his king Magnus for his young sister Jorja. But he is taken with this fierce woman he finds in his possession and it is certainly difficult for him to keep his hands off of her. Aisling tries desperately to hate her captor but as she realizes why he has kidnapped her it becomes difficult. In one furious standoff with the King the two must use all their skills to save their lives, and that of young Jorja.

Another short story, but it desperately needed ten or so pages as the confrontation at the end was over laughably quickly and everything was tied up far too neatly. I felt like Aisling and Tharand did not really get to know each other and that their attraction/ love was merely a product of close proximity. I really did not go for Aisling being so forgiving of Tharand's people as they really had been making life horrible for hers. It just seemed like there was far too much stacked against them and it was not really explained away. The sex between them was decent and short but no real steam.

Disrobed and Dishonered by Louise Allen
When Sarah Tatton discovers that her fiance molested her maid she decides that she needs to get rid of her virtue, or at least pretend to have gotten rid of it. On a midnight ride she runs into Jonathan Kirkland, who is masquerading as a highwayman and thinks he will be perfect for the job. They go back to an inn and without completely ruining her, Jonathan shows her pleasure before she leaves without telling him her name. He tracks her down for one more night of passion and she realizes that she is in love with him, but now it is her who does not know his name. While she is free from her unlikely marriage she is not happy and misses him and hopes that a weekend at a friend's house party will cheer her up. She is not expected Jonathan to be there as the Earl of Redfield and while upset at first, it does not take her long to discover that Jonathan was not playing with her heart- he is playing for keeps.

Allen really puts to shame authors who stretch this plot out for 400 pages as she does quite a good job in a very short amount of space. Of course she could have used more pages on them getting to know each other after they met as their real selves, but all in all a great effort. Jonathan and Sarah falling in love was very believable as circumstances had forced them to learn a lot about each other in a short amount of time. They have a couple of great moments together when they're lying in bed and he's reflecting on how special she is or when they are discussing what happened between them. I would definitely have liked more sex in this novel- there were three scenes, but the final consummation scene was very short and cramped. I also admire her ability to set up her next novels without making it so amazingly obvious that that is what she is attempted to do.

A Night for Her Pleasure by Terri Brisbon
Simon and Elise's marriage had been arranged by her family who wants his connections to rid the family of the taint of treason. Since the first time they laid eyes on each other, they both knew this would be a special marriage. She was beautiful and innocent and everything Simon had been too scared to want, while Simon was kind and strong and made Elise yearn for something she had never experienced. Each is worried the other will find them lacking so on their wedding night they both try to please the other. However, as the night progresses they each discover that they don't need to worry about anything, as they are both ready for marriage and love.

I did enjoy both of these characters, especially loved how I was really in their head and the story switched back and forth between each of their points of view quite frequently. It seemed like the falling in love and realizing how much they liked each other happened before the book started, but we still got an adequate look at it. They were so genuine and wonderful in their desire to please each other that I quite liked their interactions with each other. The book was steamy throughout as it was basically a big lead up to their marriage bed which did not disappoint.

The Unlacing of Miss Leig
h by Diane Gaston
When Margaret Leigh responds to an add placed in a newspaper for a gentleman's companion she is at first put off when she realizes it is for a mistress, but she eventually agrees to meet him. She is stunned when the man is none other than her childhood crush, Captain Graham Veall. She agrees to a period of two months with him in exchange for an annuity, but she knows that it will be all too easy to fall in love with him. Graham game back from the war horribly scarred and is convinced that no woman will ever want him. It is up to Margaret to convince that he can be, and is, loved and that happiness is within his grasp.

I really enjoyed this story and felt like the characters worked very well together. Their time together is rather rushed, but I could still tell that there was a great connection. I loved the back story and the epilogue added a really nice touch. Graham's feelings about his scar might have been a tad overdone, but Margaret was a perfect heroine to convince him of the truth. The
sex between these two was pretty hot, and did not take up a whole lot of the story. While answering the advertisement seemed an odd way to get two people together, it worked well here and was very well developed and integrated into the story.

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