Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Book Review: Pleasure For Pleasure

I used to count Eloisa James as one of my favorite authors, probably because I really enjoyed the first couple of her books that I read. And also because I read the blog she keeps with other romance writers and I think that she just sounds like a very interesting, fun person. But I wasn't crazy about her last book, but since it was third in a serious of four, the first two of which I really liked, I still picked up Pleasure for Pleasure when it came out. But about 100 pages in I almost quit reading it.

I think I've mentioned before that I don't like large age gaps between the hero and heroine in a book. And even though this is a historical romance set in the Regency Era in England, something about a man being 16 years older than the woman doesn't sit well with me. The characters in this book were not new to me either, because both of were frequent players in the other books in the series, the hero especially. He is a notorious rake that has seduced countless women. The hero is an eighteen year old girl in her first season in London. She is also the youngest of four sisters, and other three books in the serious were about her older sisters. It just so happens that the hero, the Earl of Mayne, was previously engaged to the oldest sister, a potential prospect for the second, and a potential lover for the third.

Now, maybe I'm strange, and I know I live in modern times. But there is no way in hell I would have anything to do with a guy that was previously involved with my sister. In fact, a guy that she "went out with" in high school for less than 48 hours was once interested in me in college, but those 48 hours years ago were enough to make me want to have nothing to do with him romantically. So it kind of blew my mind that Josie, the heroine, would be interested in Maybe. It was also kind of gross that they knew each other when she was fifteen. Fifteen!

Also, I never really liked Mayne. But apparently everyone else loves him (I also read Eloisa James's website.) I even skipped most of the parts with him in the other books because it was a second storyline. Maybe that's why I don't like him as much as everyone else. Hmm... I should also note that it was not clear from the back of the book or for a while in the beginning of the book itself who Josie would end up with. When I figured out that Mayne was indeed the hero, I set the book down out of protest and almost wasn't going to finish it. But of course, I picked it up again.

And darn if Eloisa didn't make it work! She is a great writer, although kind of perplexing for me. In real life she's a professor of Shakepearean literature, and so her books always have a very intellectual and academic feel to them. And sometimes its too much for me and I don't like it. But she's a crafty one, that Eloisa, because even when I don't like the main characters in one of her books, she will have a second storyline going on that I love (like in Taming of the Duke or Fool For Love). When I'm really lucky, I will love both (like in Duchess In Love). I loved the secondary storyline in this one a whole bunch.

So even though I still didn't like the age difference between the characters, Eloisa wrote about them in a way that was fun and interesting to read. I ended up liking both characters much better at the end of the book, more than I expected to. It was a fun read. I enjoyed it. A nice end to a good series.

Lindsey's Grade: A

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