07 September 2008

Review: Renee Bernard - A Lady's Pleasure

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Pocket (October 31, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416524207
ISBN-13: 978-1416524205

Seeking revenge, she discovers how delicious a case of mistaken identity can be....
Merriam Everett has always been regarded as a shy, docile creature. But for one night, Merriam the Mouse has become a temptress who will recklessly take her pleasure with the arrogant earl who once slighted her, and then leave him aching with lust. A fine plan, if Merriam had not just seduced the wrong rogue!

Drake Sotherton left England amid dark speculation and has returned to seek vengeance against Julian Clay, the man he believes murdered his wife. Convinced that the masked beauty who seduced him is Julian's pawn, Drake tracks her down and proposes that she become his mistress for the Season. Every sensual desire, every secret longing will be explored...and fulfilled.

But keeping his enemy close is a dangerous game. Merriam is an irresistible mix of innocence and abandon, and each encounter proves more soul-searing than the last. With a passion this wild, this wonderful, one Season will never be enough....


Merriam was always deemed to be a mouse, it is her father whom named her and her late husband never failed to make her feel miserable with the title. When Merriam overhears the Earl of Westleigh tell someone that he has no use for whey-faced widows this was said in context to their previous meeting and it is then that Merriam takes a bold decision. For one night this mouse would become the cat, a temptress pur sang and the Earl would know what a mouse could be!

The night of the masked ball all was set, Merriam was a feline temptress in black and red silk, she knew the costume of Julian Westleigh as she was set out to seduce him and then coolly walk away as though nothing had happened. The Merlin walked in and Merriam send out at servant with a message, as this was whispered in his ear he walked towards her. Everything Madame DeBourcier has taught her was going to ensure pure pleasure of the flesh.

In the alcove passion was all consuming and it left an irrevocable impression on Drake Sotherton and he would not rest until he would learn the identity of this purrrrfect woman. Oh, how the wheels of Fate can turn so unexpected, this is something both Merriam and Drake will learn in the days to come…..

The foundation or what I consider it to be, of the classic written Regency world all apply to A Lady’s Pleasure. We’ve got the rogue in Drake, we’ve got the plain but vivacious lady whom dares to step outside the rules of the Ton in Merriam. We’ve got the rogue’s sidekick whom proves to be equally devilish but is called The Saint in Alex Randall, Madame DeBourcier is the confidant in the physical pleasures of Merriam and an interesting woman all together. Then to spice up the plot we’ve got a man whom wants the truth any means necessary, but in doing so sparks the need for revenge even more. Add to that some hot passionate love scenes and the picture is complete in my book.

Nevertheless, sometimes a scene of a story can set the tone for the rest of the novel and it is Merriam’s moment in the alcove that sets the tone for the plot and romance in A Lady’s Pleasure. It made me eager in wicked anticipation for what was to come and I turned the pages to find out. And what I found where two characters whose attraction towards each other was like a force of nature. Drake was unstoppable to seek her out and the sensual power he possessed made Merriam’s sense for adventure, for truly to be a life and passion to be a part of her step on to new territory.

Merriam and Drake together created the delightful friction between a man and a woman I love to read about, it speaks of a zest for life, strong minds and ultimately the surrender to love. The Regency world with the Ton, the balls and soirees creates a colorful background in all its splendor for Merriam and Drake to shine upon. The plot snug up behind me and caught me by surprise as each character, mostly with Alex, Julian and Madame DeBourcier whom played their part in it all that made this story in the end an intriguing page turner.

It is with characters any reader will feast upon and a surprising plot that Renee Bernard blends betrayal, murder, sultry heat that scorches the pages and a journey to the heart that A Lady’s Pleasure is indeed a true pleasure for all women who love to read a delectable historical romance.

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