Did Not Finish and Not Sure I Ever Will:
Recommended by:I can’t remember.
From the Back Cover: Ellen Drake has seen firsthand how dangerous scandal can be. Her family was torn apart by an unjust accusation ten years ago, and now, working as a paid companion, Ellen must keep her reputation above reproach. Catching her employer’s betrothed in a sizzling tryst is bad enough; even worse that Ellen should find herself so infernally enthralled by the spectacle! Ellen intends to prevent Alex Marshall, Lord Stanton, from dallying with other women before his wedding day, but the rogue turns the tables—with an invitation to be his paramour. It’s a proposition that is too outrageous, too indecent…and strangely irresistible. With a single touch, Alex opens the door to a secret world of sensual desire, a world Ellen is burning to explore…
Alex intends to be faithful once he’s married, but in the meantime, London offers so many tempting bed partners. Giving the prim Miss Drake a taste of the excitement she clearly craves will be a delightful diversion, nothing more. But their secret dalliance unleashes the vengeance of someone who is plotting revenge, someone whose own erotic pursuits are twisted with madness. And the scandal that destroyed Ellen’s family is about to come calling once again…
My Thoughts: The first few chapters were great. I like Ellen ~ she’s strong and stands up for what she believes in. What she believes is that Alex, who is engaged to her companion Rebecca (who also happens to be his cousin), needs to be faithful until he’s married. She becomes the bain of his existence and catches him at any attempts at dalliances before he can take them further than a mere kiss in the dark. He begins to look over his shoulder everywhere he goes in fear that she’ll be there. And of course, they’re attracted to each other. Of course they are. Their attraction is what made me want to read the book.
Unfortunately, I read past the first few chapters and my interest began to wane. Rebecca is sweet, but naïve. But, she has an older sister, Lydia. Oh my sweet Lord. The woman is hideous. And she’s out to trap a husband ~ so she gets Nicholas, Alex’s younger brother (and also her cousin). Okay, I’m into genealogy so I get that marriages often occurred between first cousins in this time. That didn’t throw me. The fact that Lydia slept with her father (repeatedly) did. I almost threw the book. I really wish I would have.
Ellen’s brother, James, is likeable. He was unjustly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Alex may or may not be a part of that. I don’t know. I haven’t read that far. Not sure I’m going to. James is attracted to Rebecca. Can you say background character romance?
The book is just icking me out now. If it was just Ellen and Alex, maybe. If there were a secondary story between Rebecca and James where I didn’t have to endure Lydia and Nicholas, perhaps. But, I’m not sure anything can get me past the fact that I am now subconsciously counting how many times someone can include prick or cock in a story. I’m down to counting per page. Just ick. And don’t get me started on le petite morte. Ick. Oh, and can we talk about the word phallus? Oh, come on. And really. Is a woman going to yell “Desist!” in the middle of “lovemaking” just as his “phallus is contacting her center”. Even if she was as “dry as an old hag”. (Okay, I admit I did laugh at that).
For now, I’m filing this under Did Not Finish. I may be masochistic enough at some point to finish it, but not now.