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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review: The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

Whenever I feel I need a pick me up, Sabrina Jeffries is one of my few go-to authors for that. I really loved The Pleasures of Passion and the set up for Lord Fulkham’s story. And here's a random thought, doesn't the male cover model look a bit like actor Josh Lucas?

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: June 20, 2007

When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancĂ© brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.

Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with....But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?

What’s it About? Seven years ago Niall Lindsey and Brilliana Trevor fell in love in secret but when Niall killed a man in a duel he expected her to run away with him or at least wait for him until it was safe to return. She does neither and when Niall returns to England after being pardoned he’s a completely different man determined to steer clear of the now widowed Brilliana but the government wants them to work together in order to catch a counterfeiter connected to her father. The plan is to pretend to be engaged in order for Niall to have an easier time with the investigation. Unfortunately spending so much time together forces Niall to confront Brilliana about why she didn’t wait for him and he finds out that she was forced to marry after he left and that she believes him to be a heartless seducer who had no intention of marrying her seven years ago. Working together puts both of them in the position of having to decide if they want to hang on to old hurts or maybe build something new and stronger instead.

Overall reaction to the story? Niall and Brilliana’s story has been hinting at quite the past between them and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I was completely engrossed in the plot and the chemistry between Niall and Brilliana. Sabrina Jeffries has crafted a passionate adventure with The Pleasures of Passion and it is definitely one of my favorites in the Sinful Suitor series!

Describe the hero in five words: Sneaky. Caring. Gentle. Stubborn. Funny.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Niall had already won me over with how much he loved his sister Clarissa and just what he sacrificed to protect her. He was young when he had to leave London and he grew up a lot in seven years but he was still the protective brother when he returned. I loved that about Niall. He was loyal and caring and willing to do anything to take care of his family. At the same time he was a bit jaded and bitter when it came to women *cough* Brilliana *cough* but he still wanted to protect her if he could. Silly guy, he spent a lot of time in denial about her feelings for him but about halfway through he admitted it to himself that he still had feelings for her and then he turned his energy towards convincing Brilliana that what they had in the past was worth fighting for in the present. I liked that playful, seductive side of Niall because it made you see what it was about him that was so irresistible to Brilliana. No one likes a stuffy guy and Niall started out that way. Lol.

Describe the heroine in five words: Caring. Skeptical. Intelligent. Stubborn. Determined.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Brilliana was a dedicated mother to her son without completely losing who she was in the processes. I loved how she didn’t back down from Niall or from the challenge of pretending to be engaged. Brilliana was spirited but not irrational and she contributed her fair share of help when it came to the investigation. To me Brilliana wasn’t going to let anyone treat her like just a pretty thing to be seen on a man’s arm and having survived a disastrous marriage, she wasn’t going to just say “yes” to another one even if she had strong feelings for Niall. I loved that strength that wasn’t immediately obvious until she felt backed into a corner. She was so serious in the beginning though and I liked seeing her lighten up and have some fun. She was so used to taking on everything herself that she had trouble letting someone else help her carry her responsibilities and problems.

Let’s talk about the romance: Is it my imagination or did Jeffries up the heat factor in The Pleasures of Passion because Niall and Brilliana are probably the most combustible couple in the whole series so far. It wasn’t a bad thing either and I would have expected no less of these two who fell in love when they were young, were separated, and then reunited under stressful circumstances. Their preconceived notions about one another brought its own complications to their second chance romance but at the same time I feel it added to the tension between them. They were still attracted to each other even though they believed the worst about the other. I loved the buildup between them, and how despite the years and the resentment, there was still a lot of love between them that survived and it grew with this second chance. To me Niall and Brilliana are tied with Edwin (aka my boyfriend) and Clarissa (she’s just borrowing him) as the most romantic couple in the Sinful Suitor series.

How about that supporting cast? I loved seeing Edwin (Again, my boyfriend) and Clarissa (She’s just borrowing him) again but what I really loved was the meeting the mysterious Lord Fulkham and his sister-in-law Mrs. Vyse. These two were super secretive and Mrs. Vyse was obviously comfortable with subterfuge so she also has me intrigued. I hope she gets her own story too. I know I’m excited for Lord Fulkham to meet his match, especially since he came off as a bit stuffy and in desperate need of someone to shove him out of his comfort zone.

Click It or Skip It? Click It! The Pleasures of Passion had everything I needed to have a good time reading. Niall and Brilliana’s second chance romance was definitely steamier than I’m used to with Sabrina Jeffries’ books but it really worked. I can’t wait for the next book.

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