Pride and Pleasure
Grade : C

Pride and Pleasure was a really strange book for me. First, it took me months to read. I am the queen of the late-night, get-it-read-before-the-next-morning romance gorge, so it’s very rare that it takes me this long to finish a book. I would pick it up, read twenty pages and put it back down for weeks on end. Second, there is nothing inherently wrong with this book. The writing is good, the plot is plausible, and the characters have personality. But I think this is exactly the problem with the book, which is that everything about it is beige and blah.

Eliza Martin is the quintessential English spinster. She has had her Season and has decided that she wants to spend the rest of her life in relative peace without the complications of a husband. However, because she possesses a fortune, she finds herself dogged by would-be suitors after her money. As the book begins, Eliza has been plagued by a series of “accidents” that sometimes threaten her life. Eliza suspects that these accidents are a ploy being used by a suitor to force her to agree to marriage for protection. Rather than fall for it and pick out a husband, Eliza goes to the authorities.

Jasper Bond is recommended to Eliza as a man who can get the job done. Jasper, a professional thief-taker, fights crime under his own code of action, rather than under that of traditional authority. He has had a difficult childhood and is successful at his job. He feels an instant and compelling attraction for Eliza and immediately becomes dedicated to protecting her from outside threats. Though his only goal is to protect Eliza, the disparity in their social standing remains a huge problem for Jasper throughout most of the book. On the one hand, he is a strong alpha crime fighter, and on the other he is a vulnerable kid from the wrong side of town.

Though the plot may sound compelling, it just isn’t. Through the entire book I kept waiting for something to happen, anything to happen. The book just fell so flat. The only thing that was of any interest were the sex scenes which are long and numerous. But therein lies another problem for me. Eliza is, again, the quintessential virgin, and despite her strong self-bearing outside the bedroom, she is a timid mouse inside the bedroom. This leads to way too much graphic instruction from Jasper and way too much high tension over normal bodily functions. When I read sex scenes I prefer when both partners are adults, rather than pupil and teacher. And if I read, “it’s too big” in one more novel, I’m just going to give up all together.

Despite being well written, the book reads like a history text. There is little novelty and absolutely no suspense. Eliza and Jasper are run-of-the-mill Regency characters who fall into lust and then eventually into love with almost nothing to give them any interest. There are no blatant or offensive mistakes that would shove it over into the really bad book category, so I am giving the book a C. But it is a very boring read.

Reviewed by Jacqueline Owens
Grade : C

Sensuality: Burning

Review Date : June 14, 2011

Publication Date: 2011/01

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Recent Comments …

  1. Yep, that’s the long and short of it – I like her more as a contemporary writer because of this.…

Jacqueline Owens

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