By Jess Michaels
Avon, an imprint of harper Collins
I often tell my writing students that if I wanted to give them a really boring assignment, I would assign that they write about the sex act. There is, however, one thing more boring than writing about it – reading about it.
I confess that when I volunteered to review this, I did not know it would be soft porn, a story that is not really a story, just two characters coupling with pages and pages of description of the act.
Some of the description, however, is about silks and bedroom features. It is a regency romance and those authors do description better than any other modern writers.
But I found myself not caring about the bedrooms or the balls or the drawing rooms or the characters that danced through them.
We have Jeremy, who is helping his friends by courting Penelope. She has been making things difficult for men of high society by leading a crusade against the men who debase women. She is critical of those who take mistresses when they should be home with their wives, of those who mistreat their wives and mistresses and those who treat women as objects.
All Jeremy has to do is seduce the lady and then blackmail her. He seduces her over and over again, but to his credit he never gets around to the blackmail. They are having too good a time. He even comes to her sometimes masked as a secret lover.
They fall in love; she discovers his deception and runs to her sister for advice. Jeremy changes his tune and even confronts a wicked friend who has beaten at least one mistress.
Of course, Jeremy and Penelope get together in the end.
If you like soft porn, buy the book and read it. It has some very sexy passages.
I found it a waste of time. The one character that I cared about, Fiona, was not in the book enough. She is a former mistress who takes temporary refuge with Penelope and then goes back to her old way of life. She would have made a great lead character because she had a real story. This is not true of the other characters.