Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Pleasure Me by Monica Burns

Reading Romances August Challenge:
TOPICS:
1) Read a book that has been made into a movie.
2) Read a book with an older Hero or heroine (AT LEAST mid-to-late thirties). <-- I chose this one. THEMES: 3) Read a novel that is classified as “chick-lit” or a light, humorous book about a young single, working woman in an urban setting. 4) Read a book that has a character that is involved in any type of arts (music, dance, literature, etc). SPECIAL EVENTS: 5) Read a book that features a “friendship” as its main storyline. * * *


In romance stories, courtesans are either the central characters who are young and find love or are part of the supporting cast and are about to be discarded because the hero has found love with the heroine. There are also stories where the courtesan or mistress is the source of conflict. Rarely do we see a story that features an older courtesan, even more rarely do we meet one who is experiencing such terrible uncertainty about herself because of her age.

Add to the mix a handsome young lord who exudes an outward air of confidence and authority but suffers an equally debilitating insecurity about his physical deformity.

Such is the story of Pleasure Me by Monica Burns.

Ruth is forty-one years old and has just been cast aside by her protector for a younger woman. Such has been the story of Ruth's life lately -- but she desperately needs to buy herself a little bit more time and needs the support of a new protector in order to secure the future of her project: an orphanage that she has devoted the last fifteen years of her life to.

Garrick, Baron Stratfield, hides a secret shame but he pretends to be confident and indifferent to malicious speculations about his sexuality.

When Ruth first sees Garrick, she is instantly attracted.

He was almost a foot taller than her with hair the color of a moonless night. There was something intense and riveting about him. If Allegra thought she had presence, her friend hadn't met this man. He seemed to dwarf everyone and everything in the entryway. He studied her for what seemed an eternity, yet she knew it was only a few seconds before another man she didn't recognize drew his attention away. But the stranger's look was enough to leave her heart racing.
- pp. 11-12

But Ruth struggles with her low self-esteem: what would this very handsome man need from an aging courtesan like her?

And what would the most beautiful woman in London need from an incomplete man like Garrick Stratfield? Garrick cannot deny the desire that Ruth stirs in him -- tempting him to surrender to his body's wants. It is the first time Garrick has ever wanted a woman so badly that he is willing to let go of his self-control.

But did he desire her enough to risk humiliation?

I love Monica Burns's exploration of the May-December romance. What makes her story so unique and compelling is that our hero and heroine aren't stereotypically perfect: our heroine belongs to the demimonde and isn't a woman of good social standing, which makes her twice as undesirable in the eyes of society and our hero, as handsome and amazing as he is, has a physical impairment.

Burns's story is not just a love story about overcoming the difficulties of the big age gap but is also a love story about overcoming doubt (self-doubt and doubting others) and finding trust (trusting one's self and trusting others) -- Ruth doubts Garrick's devotion to her. Is it authentic? Or is using her to maintain his image in society? Garrick also wonders about Ruth's sincerity -- is her desire real? Or one borne of her profession?

Ruth and Garrick are both very sympathetic characters -- their insecurities make them very human. They are characters that readers can really relate with.

I really enjoyed this story. ^_^

4 comments:

  1. I love Historical Romance! Great Review hon! I think I may add this to my tbr pile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi!

    Thank you for dropping by! Monica Burns's book is worth considering -- and it's currently on sale on Amazon. ^_^

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete

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