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Lord of Pleasure by Erica Ridley Review

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Lord of Pleasure by Erica Ridley Review
Lord of Pleasure by
Series: Series Title #2
Date Published:
Publisher: WebMotion
Language: English
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
ISBN: 9781943794102
Format: Paperback (I got an eARC via Netgalley for an honest review)


Nondescript “good girl” Miss Camellia Grenville only ever opens her mouth when forced to sing at her family’s musicales. That is, until the night she infiltrates the ton’s most scandalous masquerade ball on behalf of her sister, and finds herself in the arms—and the bed—of the one man she’d sworn to hate.

Irresistibly arrogant and unapologetically sensuous, infamous rake Lord Wainwright always gets his way. When he accepts a wager to turn his rakish image respectable in just forty days, he never anticipates falling for an anonymous masked lover...or that discovering her identity would destroy them both.

Review

The synopsis was almost misleading/misguided/ambiguous if you take it word for word. It implied as if Michael Rutland, the earl of Wainwright, was perpetually the bane of Camellia's existence (or what she puts in her head currently). In fact, there was not much going on to actually make Wainwright her object of hate. On that regard, Camellia's sister Dahlia has more reason to hate him (albeit misplaced). If it weren't for the youngest sister Bryony's thirst for misadventures, Camellia would never even cross paths with Wainwright. I was a bit let down with that. I like the notion that the female protagonist has a solid reason for despising her love interest and the ways in which that hate is overcome, that they'd eventually find themselves tumbling on the same bed.

To add, her family's musicales will play a big role in the story but only near the end so don't expect much about it at the beginning. I love the delaying tactic on that part though. I thought that Camellia's singing (or her taste for music) was just nothing but icing on her background but it actually plays out a major heart-tugging for Wainwright.

Meanwhile, the "discovering her identity would destroy them both" on Wainwright's part is nothing but mere speculation. Before I even started reading the book, inspired by Pride and Prejudice, I expected some confrontation with Camellia Grenville's family and Lord Wainwright why the two can't be together or that a third party might be involved (a fiancé). There was nothing solid about that, just the society's judgment.

The synopsis sounds all nice but it's misleading. The only silver lining was that the story turned out much better than what the synopsis let on. Meanwhile, I don't even know how to create an alternative synopsis for the story. What's printed is already all good and it succeeding at making the unsuspecting victim grab a copy of the book.

Oh wait, let me try a poor version of a synopsis.

All her life, Camellia Grenville did her best not to besmirch the family name, to give her younger sisters the chance to be out in the world and offered marriage by being obedient and good. As it turned out, she overdid it. She was so good that she never stood out, a wallflower meant to be forgotten. The clock is ticking for her that at the age of twenty-six, she might enter spinsterhood but not before her parents arrange her marriage to a stranger twice her age. Worse, she must do it fast for her sisters don't stray far from her age, lest they become just like her (no approval of marriage for the rest until the eldest is married).

Enter Lord Wainwright (no, not her fiancé), an infamous rake known for tasting out various flower delicacies in the market (if you know what I mean). Week by week, inaccurate caricatures of him circulate the whole of London on his latest scandal. He never intended to be good and settling down is far from his agenda until his closest friends threw out a wager for him to have his image be respectable for once and not have any material for artists to make a caricature out of him for 40 days.

Taking advantage of the remaining month until her dreaded possible marriage, Camellia tries to be free and true to herself. It wouldn't hurt to be unruly just once when nobody's supposed to recognize her. And so, as Lady X, she meets with Lord X in a tryst of a lifetime, in the private domain of the ducal estate where the rest of Ladies X and Lords X meet every week.

Lord Wainwright is only 29 years old but I can't help but think of Haytham Kenway's suave from Assassin's Creed III.

Lord of Pleasure was a very, very delightful read. It was very, very exciting as if I'm the one attending parties (masquerade in this one). There's a strong tension building for the main characters and having that gradually rewarded (about 70% of the book) was so satisfying as if I'm the one who reached my peak of pleasure. Everything about this book was just greatly pleasing.

Erica Ridley was very articulate with her words. It's not just about her apt usage of dead words but by the way she composes her prose that transports you to 19th century London and the way she'd capture your heart for Lady X's and Lord X's romance. I love her metaphors.

Term I discovered: in flagrante delicto

Oh yeah, lest I forget, the only terrible thing about this book (I'm not counting the synopsis, that was pure marketing genius) is the cover. Sure, the image of the guy is breathtaking (the model is oh-so-swoon-worthy) but he looks too detached from the background. The editing was sloppy at best that it looks like the whole thing was made in Microsoft Paint. Wile the "New York Times Best-Selling Author" plastered was fetching, the publisher could have done better by providing the author a decent artist to do it to match with Erica Ridley's writing ability.

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