I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Erotic Romance, Historical Romance
Series: The Pleasure Wars #2
Published by Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: November 19th 2013
Find on Goodreads
Once the game begins, there is no tearing your gaze away.
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.
n 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.
Warning: This book contains wicked encounters, erotic voyeurism, lies, a brief threesome, and unexpected kindnesses.
Pleasuring the Lady is the second book in the Pleasure Wars Series. We met Lady Portia in Taken by the Duke (my review) and Miles Weatherfield in An Introduction to Pleasure (Goodreads). Initially, I thought Portia and Liam would pair off but it was not to be. I was a little bit disappointed but after reading Pleasuring the Lady and reading how Miles and Portia fell in love, I changed my mind. I know now that Portia and Liam would not be a good match.
The story starts after Ava has married Christian with Liam not talking to his sister Ava. Ava, worried about her brother mentions this to her best friend Portia. Because Ava helped Portia before, Portia agrees to look for him. Having heard that Liam was last seen at the notorious Donville Masquerade, Portia decides to go.
At the masquerade, Marquis Miles Weatherfield spots a masked beauty and is instantly drawn to her. Portia tries to avoid him because she is afraid that he would recognize her since Miles was her brother’s mate years ago although they aren’t friends anymore. She doesn’t have any luck at finding Liam so she returns to the Masquerade. She ends up getting saved by Miles from a drunk gentleman at the party then they get caught by Portia’s brother in a very compromising situation. To save her reputation, Miles decides to marry her.
Before the wedding, we find out that Portia’s mother has a form of alzheimer’s dementia (although it is not mentioned in the book but it does seem like it) and that her brother is threatening to commit her to an asylum. Portia strikes up a bargain with Miles that she would do anything he wanted or demanded in bed just so her mother would not be committed. Unbeknownst to her, Miles had already thought of supporting Portia and her mother but he agrees to Portia’s bargain anyway.
Once they are married, both of them can’t keep their hands off each other and they start to fall in love. Miles, scarred by a previous experience is scared of history repeating itself and does not open to Portia as much. He also tries to set her up with someone else of his choosing to hide his insecurities. In the end, he is able to overcome his fears and open his heart to Portia.
I love Portia and Miles’ story. I thought Portia was the perfect woman to save Miles from his depravity. With Portia being so innocent, I felt it was the perfect fit for Miles. I also loved Portia’s transformation from being timid and shy to a strong woman worthy of Miles’ love.
I recommend this story to those who love erotic romance, redemption, and strong heroines.
Pleasuring the Lady is the second book in the Pleasure Wars Series, can you tell us a little bit about the book?
Sure! If you’ve read the first book, TAKEN BY THE DUKE (July 2013), you know that although Ava and Christian have found love, her brother, Liam is still torn apart by her decision to marry his greatest enemy. In fact, this is the only thing that mars her happiness. Her best friend, Portia, also knows this and takes it upon herself to try to find Liam in a notorious masquerade in the underground. Instead, she finds her old friend Miles (who was in An Introduction to Pleasure) and her disguise allows her some stolen pleasure in his arms. But when they are discovered, a very real marriage must follow, but can the two of them overcome their beginning and their misgivings about each other and make something real?
What was the inspiration of The Pleasure Wars Series?
I really liked the idea of a Montagues and Capulets type Romeo and Juliet story. Two families at war is just such a fun idea and the consequences of their long-held hatreds were a lot of fun to explore. And sexy!
In the first book, Taken by the Duke, it was hinted that Portia and Liam would pair off, what made you decide to write about Portia and Miles instead?
Well, Portia has always had a bit of a crush on Liam, mostly because he was one of a few men who actually paid attention to her (for reasons fully explored in Pleasuring the Lady). I did toy with the idea of matching them together at the beginning, but the more I thought of it, the more I knew that Liam would need a very different kind of woman and Portia deserved a different kind of man. Miles from An Introduction to Pleasure had been in my head for a long time and I realized in a burst that he would be PERFECT for her. He would really SEE her, which is what she needed more than anything. So their story unfolded from there. I know some people really wanted Portia and Liam, but I promise you, what I have in store for Liam really is exactly what he needs. And I hope they’ll fall in love with the story Portia and Miles tell in their book.
Now that we have Pleasuring the Lady, what can we expect in the third book of the series?
Finally, Liam will come face to face with the past and be dragged into the future. Ava is going to arrange a deception of epic proportions, starring a beautiful courtesan named Violet who will turn Liam upside down and make him want to live again. Everything you’ve been waiting for with Ava and Liam, with Christian and Liam, with Liam finding love will all happen in Beauty and the Earl, which comes out April 15. And then I have a special surprise for everyone after that that I can’t tell right now, but it has to do with this series and just a little more sexy fun for the readers. A great place to keep up with that news and find out all about my secret project will be my newsletter, which readers can join here: http://www.authorjessmichaels.com/join-the-jess-michaels-newsletter/
What is your favorite beverage?
I drink so much Vanilla Coke Zero. I may have replaced some portion of my blood with it.
What is your favorite reading genre besides erotic historical romance?
I love reading just about anything, honestly. Right now I’m reading a biography of the Queen Mum, an erotic contemporary with rock stars, a relationship book and a horror novel… all on my Kindle. If it looks interesting, I’ll try it!
What is your favorite period movie?
Pride and Prejudice, the BBC version with Colin Firth. I refuse to acknowledge any other. It’s just… perfect. I’m also a fan of Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility.