Thursday, November 4, 2010


Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Date published: December 7, 2010
ISBN: 978-0425239186
Historical Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Publisher

Phillip Dubois and his charming sister, Clarinda, are back for another foray into the love lives of an unsuspecting couple. This time it is spinster Lilly Lambert and John Middleton, the Earl of Penworth.

An unsuspecting John found himself as the guardian of twins Miranda and Melanie Newton. The eighteen year old wards look sweetly innocent, and for the most part have hidden their peccadilloes from John. Not that it was too difficult to do so. John basically has little use for women, not because he doesn’t like them but he refuses to be led into debauchery in the footsteps of his mother and step-brother, Edward. To that end after searching high and low, investigating the best candidate, he has become engaged to Violet, a simpering eighteen year old with a stellar pedigree. John isn’t marrying Violet because of any great passion. It is, in the norm of the times, a business arrangement.

Lilly comes to her interview as companion to the twins and Violet with the most stellar of recommendations; each one written by Lilly herself. She hasn’t had an easy time finding a position. After having to turn down advances from some rather lascivious employers, she seeks a sedate and secure position. John’s stringent propriety is well known, or at least she thought so.

Moments after meeting the twins, Lilly knows the position is not for her, but John will not take no for an answer. Lilly goes along with his plans but at the same time seeks a way out of her predicament. When she encounters Phillip and Clarinda, despite her incredulity at their Spinster’s Cure love potion, she still hopes for the best and picks a likely candidate to be her one true love. Unfortunately for Lilly, not once, but twice, John positions himself between Lilly and her intended. Before the couple can begin to explore their growing attraction the twins attempt to put an end to Lilly and John has no idea where she is.

I thoroughly enjoyed PROMISE OF PLEASURE and TASTE OF TEMPTATION in Cheryl Holt’s Novel of Sensual Destiny series and was eager to dig into PROMISE OF PLEASURE. While not nearly as good as the first two books in this series, PROMISE OF PLEASURE was an enjoyable read. After the third time of reading John’s mother has been away for thirty years, the repetition of the phrase “three decades” became a bit tedious. The copy I read was an ARC and perhaps during the final edits the phrase was changed or omitted. Lilly was introduced towards the end of TASTE OF TEMPTATION when she purchased her first bottle of the Spinster’s Cure from Phillip. When the segment comes up in PROMISE OF PLEASURE it seemed disjointed with no real sense of continuity. There were a few other areas where continuity seemed to be lacking, almost an “it happened because I said it did” situation rather than the reader being included.

As I neared the end of the book I looked over the publisher’s site and a few other venues to see if there would be more books in the series because I have enjoyed it. With Phillip and Clarinda’s machinations bringing couples together I can only imagine the trouble they could get other characters in to. I hold out hope for more because of what happens with Phillip at the end of the story. It would be a true sense of justice for Clarinda and Phillip to meet their own matches. They are fun secondary characters and a wonderful common thread between the stories.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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