Top critical review
Storyline fizzled and so did everything else
Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2014
Valentin & Peter were kidnapped at a young age and grew up as sex slaves in a Turkish Brothel until Sara’s dad, Mr. John Harrison, rescued them both and returned them to England. 12 years later Mr. Harrison is financially desperate, and Val gives him money to save his business in exchange for one of his daughters hand in marriage. I liked the beginning of the book, while Val was visiting the family in an attempt to get to know the sister Mr. Harrison offered to him for marriage, he develops an attraction to Sara. Val & Sara instantly have hot & steamy chemistry between them while only sharing kisses and whispers. It seemed very promising but went down from there. I’m totally fine with hot sex scenes, in fact I bought this book because it was under “erotica”. But I don’t think it’s so much erotic or hot/steamy as it is just raunchy. The language used is very guttural, and the erotic sex scenes don’t exist. Most the sex is very short, to the point and very methodical, no sensuality or finesse. It’s like the author was trying to be erotic with word usage to make up for lack of a passionate description.
Again I’m totally fine with hot sex scenes, but I like a good storyline to go with it. I don’t think I got either! This story didn’t develop enough, and the plot was minimal and fizzed out somewhere in the second half. In the beginning you learn about Sara, her family, Val, Peter, etc, but it ends there, they are essentially the same people in the end as they were in the beginning, now they just trust each other enough to be themselves with each other, which trust wasn’t developed, it happens over one night.
This brings us to the night Val, Sara, & Peter spent at Madame’s House. Here the book redeems itself a little. We finally get a real erotic scene, much more sensually written and less vulgar wordage. I also got how much that night meant to them all. Despite all the trauma Val & Peter experience in their formative years, Sara helps them accept that part of themselves and they become more comfortable with who they are because of it. But that night wasn’t enough to show good character growth, and it also raised more questions, like Val acted so possessive of Sara, but allowed several others to participate.
I’m also not buying the description of Madame’s House of Pleasure. The place was discreet & modest in the front, but was apparently huge inside. And there were so many rooms, and so many different things going on inside, it was overwhelming in description! Plus I find it hard to believe so many people of the ton, men & women included would have been there on a regular basis without any word/rumors getting out in the public. And the second time Sara goes there she finds her way around remarkably well for as big as the place is and having been their only once?
The end of the book doesn’t really wrap up, and I get that it’s the first in a series, but this book is about Val, the next is about Peter, so I don’t think the next book will show us enough of how Val & Sara rectified everything. Val was mean and hurt her, even though he realizes this, he leaves her. Then he comes back 3 months later to help her, they have one wildly fantastic night, no one apologizes or acknowledges these issues, it’s just all better cause he’s back now, and they say they love each other, which I didn’t get any feelings like they did, it just tells me they do. I would not recommend this book, especially for the current price.