Book Review: Pleasuring the Lady by Jess Michaels

Pleasuring the Lady by Jess MichaelsTitle: Pleasuring the Lady
Series: The Pleasure Wars, Book 2
Author: Jess Michaels
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: November 19, 2013 by Samhain Publishing

Her mother's madness and her father's and brother's irresponsibility have relegated Lady Portia to the life of a wallflower. The only shining light in her life is her best friend, Ava, who is suffering a rift with her own brother.

Portia's quest to help takes her to the notorious Donville Masquerade in the hells, where behind the safety of a mask she witnesses shocking public acts of sin. And succumbs to the touch of Marquis Miles Weatherfield.

Unfortunately, they're discovered. And now, tainted by scandal, she and Miles are destined for a marriage neither of them want. But Portia makes a bargain that raises even Miles' eyebrows.

In return for saving her mother from the asylum, Portia will do anything Miles wants in bed. Shocked by his driving desire for Portia, Miles agrees. As they explore every wicked desire, every forbidden act that pleases them, they discover something that goes far deeper than flesh. But the lies that brought them together could be the very wedge that drives them apart.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Solid erotic historical romance that had more sex than emotions but was good enough.

The Set Up: Lady Portia is a wallflower due to her mother’s mental instability, her father’s gambling, and her brother’s boorish behavior. She wants to experience desire so goes to a notorious masquerade where she’s caught kissing Miles. Miles’ honor demands they wed and Portia is convinced their marriage of convenience will be cold. What neither counts on is the passion they invoke in each other or that their emotions may get involved.

Why I Read this Book: I revisit historical romance once in a while as it was my first romance genre when I’d sneak them from the public library.

What I Liked: I enjoyed the characters of Portia and Miles. Portia has been sidelined her entire life and I liked that she makes a decision to claim her sexuality and visit the masquerade as a voyeur. Unlike many erotic romances, this one allows Portia to have a sexual awareness as she’d self-explored before and was a willing participant in the couple’s sexual relationship. Miles was a likeable character in that he wanted to bring Portia happiness inside and outside the bedroom and was quite selfless in his desires. Readers will quickly see through Miles’ claim that he can’t allow a connection between he and Portia other than sexual but it was still enjoyable getting past that.

What I Also Liked: This novel doesn’t overreach itself. It’s an erotic romance and that’s it. There isn’t a big villain to vanquish (other than Portia finally telling her brother off) and it doesn’t have a big mystery plot; instead the novel just shows the erotic journey of two people who allow their emotions to enter into their relationship as well.

What I Didn’t Like: This is a solid book but it’s not a wow-me book. The emotional denouement happens suddenly and close to novel’s end and the couple primarily relate on a sexual level up to that point. That’s not bad (of course!) but it also isn’t going to make the book stand out from the nearly 500 that I read in a year.

IMO: Solid enough historical that I may pick up the next in the series.


J9’s Rating:
3 Frogs


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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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