Series: House of Pleasure, Book 6
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*Novel won via giveaway at GoodReads
For more information please visit Kate Pearce's website.
Your most scorching desires come blissfully true at Madame Helene's Pleasure House--an elite brothel in Regency England where passion has no limits. . .
Nothing's More Satisfying Than. . .
Fulfilling Forbidden Passions. . .
Simply Forbidden, the sixth novel in Kate Pearce's scorching House of Pleasure series, is a wickedly delicious novel that will leave you panting for more. Without a doubt this historical romance series explores the naughtier side of Regency England with sinful eloquence creating a world you will want to visit again and again.
The wonderful flowing writing of Pearce is definitely one of the aspects that I truly enjoyed about this novel. With it she recreates the world of the ton, or high society, that is easily stepped in to. With wonderfully eloquent descriptions and scenes, the world of Regency England springs to life creating a masterfully set atmosphere that I was eager to see explored. The rigidity of England's elite mixed with the deeper hidden aspects of society's forbidden desires was a nice contrast as both the elegant balls and the dimmed corners of the Pleasure House were more deeply explored. I love this juxtaposition within society, the dirty little secrets that everyone tried to conceal and the overlying hypocrisy as everyone revels in others' dishonor and misdeeds. It definitely creates a world that is never short on conflict which served to keep me interested and constantly on my toes when I wasn't enthralled by the phenomenal romantic entanglements.
The characters were likable and highly appealing with each having something of a tortured past which served to create a lot of feelings of inadequacy. But, while Lisette is eager to accept herself and her desires unfettered by the constrictions of the ton, Gabriel is determined to keep his head down and his nose clean. His dismal past certainly adds to his tortured appeal as during the war he was held prisoner and upon his return he was labeled as a traitor, but never convicted. But, in society's eyes, a verdict is never needed and he is pretty much ostracized by the upper crust. Each has a richly developed history full of traumatic experiences and past hurts that have gone unhealed which created a wonderfully richness and dimensionality to their characters. They have a great emotional quality that I was easily sucked into as they struggle to understand not only themselves but the feelings that they come to feel for one another. But, while trying to be true to their more atypical and unconventional views on society they also struggle to become what society expects of them being the proper gentleman and lady, reserved and stiff. However, while they may play at being the prim and proper citizen's their stations within society dictate, there is nothing typical about these characters in that they aren't your the usual staunchly repressed society members bent on denying their baser desires no matter what appearances may allude to.
Even while unaware of the other's flaming desires, there is definitely a lot of sexual tension between them as they verbally spar and feel each other out, each driven by their questionable desire for the other. Soon Lisette discovers the secret that the more dominating and stoic Gabriel hides and is shocked to find him falling quickly under her rule with him surrendering to her implicitly and trusting her with his more baser needs. It was definitely interesting watching the dynamic of their relationship constantly shift as they try to understand the other, the supposition of their roles in the relationship leading to much strife and conflict as they each try to become something other then what they are. But, even despite the uneasiness of their relationship their passion is a scorching inferno that leaves little doubt of their compatibility creating scenes that leave you panting for more. Truly, the word 'hot' really does not even come close to describing the deliciously scintillating relationship that these two share.
Really, the only negative thing I have to say about this novel is that the pace wavers towards the end of the story struggling to pull all the threads of the plot back together to form a nice neat little bow. And honestly, I can't even complain too much about that as most of the plot seems to speed by leaving you gasping for breath, not to mention struggling to find your equilibrium as the erotically charged romance will definitely have your head swimming in places out of sheer lust. But, even with the slacking pace, this was still an amazing read with characters that I truly loved seeing evolve throughout.
Overall, this was an amazing read with rich emotionality and an erotically sensual romance that held an edge of realism that kept this from being too fantastically romantic, but more practical and accessible. This was my first time reading anything by this author, but I can safely say that Kate Peace now has a place as one of my favorite romance authors. I will definitely be checking out more volumes of this deliciously erotic series!