Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Games of Pleasure by Julia Ross

I commented in my review of Night of Sin about how Ross's lush sensuous writing style reminds me of Judith Ivory a little. I have to say the same again about GoP. The characters are well-drawn and three dimensional and the plot moved right along with Ross's smooth flowing style. Ross tends to write rather purple sex scenes but in this book they seemed to be less so or at least not enough to distract me from the fascinating story line.

In NoS the hero, Jack, was extremely sexually experienced due to his adventures in the Far East and Anne, the heroine, was a rather sheltered innocent virgin. In GoP, though, that scenario is reversed with hero Ryder, Jack's older brother and heir to the Duke of Blackdown, who is sexually inexperienced (although not a virgin) and the heroine, Miracle, a notorious courtesan.

As the story begins, Ryder has just had his marriage proposal rejected by a well-born lady. He is riding along a cliff at the edge of the sea when he spots a dinghy with a seemingly lifeless woman on board floating in the surf heading towards the rocks. He saves the woman and discovers that she has been badly beaten. She gives him a false name and he takes her to a nearby inn where they have the best sex evah, of course. Miracle is hiding a big secret and the next morning she sneeks out on him leaving a note:

My name is Miracle Heather. I am London’s most notorious harlot.

When you found me in the boat, I had just murdered a man.

Thank you for all you have done or offered to do for me, my lord, but you are well rid of me.

Ryder tracks her down and offers to help her clear her name. The mystery is a pretty good one. Ryder is an admirable hero who has lead a responsible virtuous life as heir to a dukedom. He is a good honorable man, but not boring in the least. And far too trusting because Miracle is able to slip away from him several times.

Miracle was the dark character is this story and her past made her sense of worthlessness understandable but when she goes on and on and on about how unworthy she is of him I became annoyed. Most of the time I can deal with that attitude considering the time and the fact that he is an aristocrat and she is a commoner. But when it goes on for almost the entire book I lose my patience. He wants to marry her and she keeps turning him down. I kept thinking "get over yourself". I'm no expert on social attitudes of that time but it seems to me that most commoners would jump at the chance. What do I know, anyway?

Overall, the book was engaging and interesting and I enjoyed it enough to recommmend it.

My grade: B


Tara Marie said...

I'll be adding this to my "To Look For" list. Love her writing voice.

ReneeW said...

Oh, good. Let us know what you think.

ames said...

I always see JR's books at the library but keep putting them back. Now I think I'll give her a shot. Good review!

ReneeW said...

Ames: You should try her. The Seduction is also very good.

Kristie (J) said...

I got half way through this one before I moved onto another book. Can't say why really. I think it was just the mood I was in at the time, you know reading a historical when I felt like RS or something. I really should go back to it since I have loved all her previous books. Ames - you really should give her a try because she is very good!!!

ReneeW said...

Yes, I know what you mean. Sometimes you're not in the right mood for certain things. I have another one by her (The Wicked Lover) that I started twice and never got past the first chapter. But I'm not giving up.

Suisan said...

I tried to read Night of SIn about four times--couldn't get past page 13.

Then I tried it again and it was a great read--although I had a few problems with it that I blogged about.

Been meaning to get Games of Pleasure--thanks for the reminder.

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