(The Ladies’ Book of Pleasure, Book 1)
I absolutely can’t say how excited I was when I heard Jess was beginning a new series. Yes it was sad when she ended her Pleasure Wars series but I’m excited for this new one!
So we have Lady Isabel Avenbury, who is considering the idea of taking lover after she’s left widowed by her two or three times her senior husband. She shares this information with her two best friends and they agree, somewhat with her plans and hope for the best. But she has to marry off her youngest sister Serena first before she acts upon anything to damage her sister’s chances at true love and marriage. So off they went to a country house hosted by the Marquise of Lyndham playing chaperone to her sister. But of course she didn’t intend to have an attraction to the marquis, although she has noticed him for years she has never actually been introduced to him or been up this close to him. But when she finds the scandalous Ladies Book of Pleasures in his library, she didn’t know she’ll be so naughty as to take it, read it, use it, and be tempted by the marquis. It wasn’t so bad until the marquis started to play the guilt game on her for taking his book that she began to fall into sin.
As for Seth, he only hosted this house party to search for a wife and a young one at that. With the death of his elder brother he had to come to terms with being the head of the house and holding a title that needed to be full filled. Not just that but to bear an heir for their next generation. But as the doors open and guests pour into his hall, he didn’t intend to be captivated by a chaperone of a young lady, and one that is not of “supposedly” child bearing age. Plus, he has been captivated by her before, way long before she has even gotten married during her coming out ball and he was still just a young lad getting his thrill of life. But then when his scandalous little book goes missing, and Isabel was the only person in his library where the book was last seen, he begins to see a new side of the proper and quiet Isabel. Plus, he wasn’t sure if it really was Isabel who took the book until she thrust it to him one night after he and his friend played a game to guilt trip the perpetrator. And when he took a kiss from her, he wasn’t sure if he could stay away and choose one of the little misses at his house party as his bride. But now she’s a widow but society won’t tolerate her being his wife, so what does he do? Propose a preposition and take her as his lover for the time being.
I really enjoyed this book! Isabel was a very likable heroine and I found her very hilarious when it came down to simple matters of desire. Yes, she’s the proper one and stuff and it was very understanding from where she was coming from but I just thought it funny. She was very passionate and also very open in some instants, mostly to Seth way before they even started their “affair”. She can be naive at times which was okay with me due to her marriage with her older husband. They had a mutual relationship, their was love there but not the deep passionate and desire kind, so she’s still fairly very new to love, romance and sex.
Seth on the other hand I adored! I was surprised to find him very intact to his feelings and found him to be very open to me, as a reader. His thoughts aren’t hidden like some of the other heroes I’ve rad and I really liked that about this book. Seth’s very family-ish. He cares very much for his family and for his family name and the next generation, which is why he’s in need of a wife. And I have to say that I love it that he’s close with his mother. The back story of his family and of his mother is very warmhearted and touching. His mother would actually save a couple of hours a day for “talk” time; like if anyone needed to talk or wanted someone to listen to them his mother was all ears. And I found that bonding between their family very loving. But moving away from that Seth can also be seen as tortured. Not in the tortured tortured kind of way like others that went through war and has PTSD, but in the form of being born the second son and having no real upbringing of becoming a Marquis because that was held and meant to be for his elder brother but then because of tragedy now befell to him. So, he was at a lost and not in tune with how he felt of hold that title. Plus, he changed himself to take up that role so he wasn’t being truly himself. But can I say he’s very honorable and a gentleman all the way!
And if you’ve read Jess Michaels’ other works, The Pleasure Wars, Mistress Matchmaker…., you know that the sex is going to be super hot. Just so Hot! I’m not going into detail, but you know it is hot. It is hot. Can I call this Erotic Historical??? Not really, it’s not like her previous series but I guess that really depends on the reader.
So yeah, these two just get along perfectly! Right from the start there were already attraction flaring and these two really have some heart to heart conversations. Like they know what they want in life but because of both their desires for one another it made it hard but all in all, they fought through it, worked around some things and made it work to get them to their HEA. It was a really nice journey to follow them through and really made you feel hopeful for people who who is stuck between doing something they should do for a right thing and doing something right for you. But you know, in here, it worked out.
But anyways, if you want a good start into this series, this is the place to start. Might even be a place to start into Jess Michales’ works if you haven’t grab her up yet, so go for it! Totally recommend it. What can I say, I’m a sucker for adorable heroes, naughty heroines that didn’t know they can be naughty, fabulous secondary characters and just amazing love scenes!
Rating: 4.5 out 5