Review of MISTRESS OF PLEASURE by Delilah Marvelle (see her website)
Zebra, September 2008
Maybelle de Maitenon has a simple plan. She'll seduce a stranger. Once she's lost her virginity, she won't have to worry about any man wanting to hold her, compromise her independence. Then she'll head to Egypt to engage in archeological expeditions--assuming she can find a way to keep her grandmother from going completely nuts with her idea of a school for seduction for London's young bucks. Edmund, sexy Duke of Rutherford, looks like just the thing--and he's got a reputation, so she doesn't have to worry about entanglements. The plan seems perfect.
It seemed like a simple seduction in the garden, but when Edmund realizes he's just deflowered a virgin, everything changes. Things change even more when his mother demands that he do the right thing, marry the girl--even though she's the granddaughter of a famous courtesan and can hardly do his tarnished reputation any good. Still, Maybelle fascinates Edmund. Perhaps if he can enroll in her school, he'll have some great opportunities to explore the attraction without any emotional entanglements. It turns out the one thing he and Maybelle agree upon is that emotional entanglements are bound to destroy their dreams.
Author Delilah Marvelle creates a sparkling debut with MISTRESS OF PLEASURE. Maybelle is charmingly different from the standard Regency/Victorian heroine with her family background and French ancestory. Edmund has everything he needs to be the fantasy hero--wealth, looks, a deep injury that can only be healed by the right woman's love. Marvelle puts the two together, cementing the relationship with sizzling sex and clever scenes within the 'school for scandal.' If anything, a couple of the other 'students' in the school threaten to steal Edmund's thunder. I'll definitely be looking forward to learning how the others make out in their attempts to resolve their own issues. You are writing those books, aren't you, Delilah?
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