The Pleasure Of Your Kiss by Teresa Medeiros

Setting: Pre-Victorian 1834

Summary:

Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he’s hired to rescue his brother’s kidnapped fiancée. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.

The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. Unable to resist temptation, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.

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Review:

It’ll come as no surprise that I love a good harem romance. I mean who doesn’t, really? There’s something about the whole idea that denotes decadent luxury and then there’s the sinful temptation of the whole master-slave thing. Yum! 😉

So when I heard that Ms Medeiros’ latest was a harem romance, I immediately dropped all plans of buying anything else and went out to get this one first. I mean, hadn’t I been waiting to read another harem romance for ages?? And W-O-W, wasn’t it worth the wait! 😀

I simply LOVED this fresh, sexy, fascinating, hilarious story about a couple who had been torn apart due to a misunderstanding and then drawn together in Morroco of all places! She’s been captured and sold to a sultan’s harem and he’s being paid by his brother (also our kidnapped lady’s fiancé) to find her and get her back. Quite a tangled story, no?

I think the best part for me was getting this inside look at harem life and in general, life in a Morrocan palace. I loved the contrast and how different the customs were to the strict British traditions and ideals.  Our hero, Ashton, is shocked to discover the sultan can have as many wives as he pleases! And yet for all their outrageous customs, the harem women are well-treated and follow a strict regime of hygiene that would put the English of that time period to shame!

These fascinating tidbits of history are mingled with a sexy reconciliation story. Ashton is your very much desirable rogue who despite appearances does have a heart and his heroine, Clarinda is beautiful, strong and is revered by the sultan because she is exotic, feisty and witty. The sultan himself is a wonderfully complex character and I found myself quite caught between him and our main hero! He’s not your typical bad guy who keeps Clarinda under lock and key. Aston and Clarinda had amazing chemistry and you’ll enjoy how their love story unfolds.

Besides this, the story was just so funny and had me laughing out loud every few pages at the wit and the hilarious scenes and antics of the characters. I loved how fresh it all was and how unpredictable the author was able to make it.

If you’re looking for a fresh Victorian romance in an unusual location that is light, funny and hugely sexy, look no further! 😀 My first book by Teresa but definitely not my last. Can’t wait for the sequel to The Pleasure Of Your Kiss!

Sensuality Rating: HOT! (Love scenes are long and explicit)

Verdict: History, romance, an exotic location… Two thumbs way up!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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The Surrender of a Lady by Tiffany Clare

Setting: Victorian 1841

Summary:

THE PRICE OF PASSION…
Sold. With one word, Lady Elena Ravenscliffe’s destiny changes forever. Forced into Constantinople’s slave market to pay off her late husband’s debts and save her son, Elena reinvents herself as Jinan—a harem girl adored by the rich lords who bid on her favors. But one man instantly sees through her façade.

…IS COMPLETE SURRENDER

Griffin Summerfield, Marquess of Rothburn, let Elena slip through his fingers years ago. When he recognizes her on the auction block, he pays an outrageous sum to possess her even if it is for a short period of time. But when his deadline looms, Griffin will risk all in a desperate bid to make her his—and his alone…

Click on cover for excerpt and more info!

Review:

This is my first book from this new author and I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. The premise itself was intriguing and fresh (it’s not every day you read a Victorian-era harem romance), and the story started off really well and was completely fascinating but I found the romance to be unromantic, undeveloped and in some ways downright abusive.

I’ll admit I’ve always had a thing for the danger, luxuries and forbidden pleasures of harem romances and that’s what made me pick up this book in a hurry! I totally enjoyed the first part of the book with the initiation into the harem and found the inner workings and the inside look into harem life fascinating! However what ruined it for me was the hero’s utter selfishness and the heroine’s stupidity in falling for such an abusive, controlling bastard! D:

The heroine is sold into the harem and she accepts in order to save her son, and then re-creates herself as Jinan, one of the most popular harem girls. She was pretty likeable at first and her courage and strength for taking up her new life as a harem girl was admirable to say the least. However, I felt her judgement in loving such an abusive hero was very much flawed. She would have been much better off with the guy who owned the harem who treated her much better!

As for the hero, I did not take to him at all. His idea of proving his love to our heroine was kidnapping her from the harem and keeping her till she admits she loves him! Not to mention the semi-rape he enforces on her to make her ‘see sense.’ :O No, not the kind of man one would leave a harem for! Also, there was no real connection between the hero and heroine and the sex scenes were just repetitive and boring as a result.

As for the writing, the author’s style reminded me alot of Anna Campbell’s darkly erotic romances, only not as good. It’s no wonder Anna’a praise is written all over the cover! However, there was way too much internal dislogue and alot of repetitive questioning! I had such a hard time finishing this book, as all it seemed to be was sex, sex and more sex! Where was the romance?

All in all, a very dark, erotic novel with a complete lack of romance and connection between the H and H. Skip if you don’t like your heroes controlling and abusive. If you like your romances focused more in the erotic than the romantic, this one’s for you.

Not sure I’ll be picking up the next book from this author.

Sensuality Rating: Burning up! (Love scenes are long and very explicit)

Verdict: Lack of romance and a controlling hero make this one to skip!

Rating: 2 and a half out of 5 stars

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