Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Delilah Marvelle Productions
Release Date: November 25, 2014
After Miss Leona Olivia Webster had allowed herself to fall in love with a dashing childhood friend who had left her scorned and pregnant, she is done chasing her happily-ever-after. Shunned by society, she dedicates herself to raising her young son and putting money in their pockets. She doesn't expect to be drawn to her latest master, a brooding man of hulking presence who carves random messages into walls with his Persian blade as a means of starting a flirtation.
Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the earl of Brayton, may have dedicated himself to a life of religious virtue after leaving the monastery due to dark tendencies, but after meeting Leona, he begins to yearn for the life that had never been his. When he meets a retired French courtesan who invites him to embrace what he has long feared, he seizes the opportunity to become the man he always wanted to be. His new mission is clear. He intends to finally serve the one thing he never had: his heart.
Come take a walk on the darker side of romance with Delilah Marvelle.
Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the Earl of Brayton lives a lonely life, though he is a titled man with time on his hands, he has sworn to live a life of religious virtue out of fear of his dark tendencies.
After falling in love with the wrong man, ending up pregnant and then being left by said man, Leona Olivia Webster should have run out of hope yet she hasn’t. Struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table, Olivia doesn’t expect a total stranger to come to her rescue with an offer of a job.
From the very beginning, Master of Pleasure ensures that readers understand one thing: Malcolm’s story isn’t going to be an easy one. Beginning with his time in an Abbey that was supposed to “cure” people of sin, Malcolm endures not only physical abuse but mental and psychological torment as well. Years later, he’s still bound by his painful past and that was really his only obstacle, but oh is it a big one. How does someone overcome being conditioned to think or feel a certain way? I do so enjoy when a character is his/her own worst enemy, it makes things more interesting since the “villain” isn’t another person. His strength and inherent kindness towards those he perceives as helpless went against his own opinion of himself and that made him a somewhat tragic figure in the story.
Leona I felt had a different sort of strength than Malcolm that created a balance between the two. She’s a survivor, she had to be but more than that, she’s kept a bit of her girlish optimism even after being lied to, betrayed and left to fend for herself and her son. She had two sides to her that made her more likable than she should have been. She was the light to Malcolm’s dark and together they rescued each other which is something I love.
Master of Pleasure isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea that’s for sure. I’m not a fan of pain in sex scenes at all so that aspect of the book didn’t work for me, BUT the overall story, character development and pace was so well done that I didn’t dwell on it. It didn’t change my admiration for Malcolm or the fact that I was cheering him on so he could have his happy ending. I do wish that as a reader, I had been clued in to Malcolm’s “dark tendencies” early on, that way I would have understood just why he berated himself so much over the course of the book. It wasn’t until about half way through the story that I finally figured out why he was at the Abbey as a teen and why he stayed celibate.
Final Verdict: Master of Pleasure walks the line between pain and pleasure so it won't please everyone. However, the plot, characters and overall romance is very well written.