"a sensual treat for historical romance fans"
Miracle Heather, a beautiful courtesan, harbors a
terrifying secret. When Lord Ryderbourne, better known as
Ryder, first encounters Miracle, she is unconscious and
floating along in a dinghy, at the mercy of the sea. After
a difficult rescue, Ryder takes Miracle to an inn and
insists on caring for her, despite her initial stubborn
refusal of his help. Miracle is grateful to Ryder for all
his assistance, but she hesitates to involve the future
Duke of Ryderbourne in her predicament. Instead, she
repays his kindness with a night of passion then sneaks
out before he awakens, leaving behind a note to explain
her identity and her secret: She is a London courtesan who
recently murdered a man.
Ryder is stunned by the note and furious at Miracle's
defection. Despite the scandal involved, he vows to track
down Miracle and to keep her safe from Lord Hanley, a
villainous earl who wants to silence Miracle to maintain
his own dark secret. Along the way, Ryder and Miracle
participate as actors in a Shakespearean play, elude
robbers and Lord Hanley, and share a growing passion that
will ultimately lead to a great love affair.
GAMES OF PLEASURE is a sensual treat for historical
romance fans. This is the first Julia Ross book that I've
read, and I was impressed by her skillful handling of an
unconventional romance character. Although courtesans are
not traditional romance heroines, I enjoyed Miracle's role
and applauded her pluck and bravery. Ross's book may be a
historical romance with all the lush historical details,
but it is also a realistic depiction of the conflicts
between a woman who is unashamed of her sexual history and
the man who cherishes and defends that woman, regardless
of the rest of society's reaction.
Reviewed by Sara Freeze
Posted July 18, 2007
The Heir to Wyldshay::
Desired, envied, intimidating, only his handful of real friends know him as Ryder: Lord Ryderbourne, heir of the Duke of Blackdown. Power, wealth, and duty define his life. Yet Ryder's younger brother, Jack, has adventured to the ends of the earth, while Ryder stayed home to take care of the family estates at Wyldshay Castle in Dorset. Why shouldn't Ryder cure his own restlessness by flirting one last time with danger?
She's beautiful, seductive, and almost naked, and someone has cast her adrift in a dinghy. She's in danger of drowning, when Ryder plunges into the sea to rescue her. Unfortunately, Miracle Heather doesn't wish to be rescued, especially by the most darkly handsome and eligible bachelor in Regency England.
Any gentleman would insist on helping a damsel in distress, but Miracle is no ordinary damsel and she's hiding a terrible secret. Without clothes, she must allow Ryder to wrap her in his cloak and carry her off to a nearby inn. Yet when he won't let her leave unless she tells him who abandoned her to die, she knows of only one way to distract his insistence on honor: in bed.
Games of Pleasure:
Ryder may be easy enough to seduce, but, alas, duke's sons aren't so easy to abandon! When Miracle escapes him, Ryder comes after her. They make a pact to adventure through England together, traveling on the byways until Heather can find safety. Yet safety is not what awaits them! Can a man of honor and a lady of the night defeat both their enemies and their own scruples to forge a lasting new way to love?