Title: Master of Pleasure, book 5, The School of Gallantry Series
Author: Delilah Marvelle
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Story Setting: The Abbey of Lagrasse, France, 1819; London, England, Spring of 1830
Published By: Delilah Marvelle Productions, LLC
Published Date: November 25, 2014
Pages: 221 |
WARNING: This historical romance is cotton candy with a razor on top. If you are easily offended by dirty humor and graphic sex, this book is not for you.
After Miss Leona Olivia Webster had allowed herself to fall in love with a dashing childhood friend who had left her scorned and pregnant, she is done chasing her happily-ever-after. Shunned by society, she dedicates herself to raising her young son and putting money in their pockets. She doesn’t expect to be drawn to her latest master, a brooding man of hulking presence who carves random messages into walls with his Persian blade as a means of starting a flirtation.
Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the earl of Brayton, may have dedicated himself to a life of religious virtue after leaving the monastery due to dark tendencies, but after meeting Leona, he begins to yearn for the life that had never been his. When he meets a retired French courtesan who invites him to embrace what he has long feared, he seizes the opportunity to become the man he always wanted to be. His new mission is clear. He intends to finally serve the one thing he never had: his heart.
This quirky, sexy and scandalous Regency/Victorian Historical Romance is part of a series.
THE SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY BOOKS:
Book 1, Mistress of Pleasure
Book 2, Lord of Pleasure
Book 3, Lady of Pleasure
Book 3.5, Romancing Lady Stone
Book 4, Night of Pleasure
Book 5, Master of Pleasure
Book 6, The Duke of Andelot not yet released
A stark feeling Leona spoke to Malcolm:
“If you never suffered from a broken heart, my lord, consider yourself lucky. It’s like watching yourself bleed to death, but for some reason, you keep breathing.”
My Thoughts: The only other book I’ve read of the author in this series is Night of Pleasure, book 4, with a review posted on Booktalk with Eileen March 27, 2014. http://wp.me/p40XtX-e9
The previous one was fluffy as cotton candy, but without the razor as mentioned in the above warning. This book has more grit and heaviness, a much darker side of life is portrayed.
Malcolm Gregory Thayer had been fighting his nature all his life. Being half of a twin, he saw the same nature in his brother and stopped seeing his brother because of it. He loved women, perhaps even to worship them, but dare not touch for his violent nature would surely kill them. He dealt with it by doing something painful to his body. He was happiest when in pain for then he felt everything.
While in the Abby in France he championed the underdog students. He hated bullies. He was quite compassionate, could be gentle, but had to have pain to feel. With these two natures, he was at war within himself. From thrashings at the abbey and from his own physical harm he was full of scars, sure to scare a gentle woman if she saw them.
Nasser, a nobleman from Persia, came to the abbey to read the bible. He was a Muslim and tried to understand if Christianity were different from Islam. Malcolm took up conversation with him one day while eating lunch. Nasser was accosted by one of the boys who threatened him with a razor blade. Either he join him in the washroom or expect to be cut. Malcolm, a massive boy at 19 had no fear to protect Nasser. Malcolm received back thrashings for being involved in the confrontation. When Nasser heard of this, he demanded they stop the beating. Nasser was the King’s son of Persia, and gave Malcolm the opportunity to do more in his life. They left to Persia together.
Eleven years later, Malcolm has come to London to do some business for Prince Nasser. He happens upon Miss Leona Olivia Webster who very brazenly is in the street, no gloves, no bonnet, arguing with men who were sent from her creditors. They had removed all from her rooms. She had paid them to have a small bear left for her son who adored it. The men had taken it anyhow. In this scene, we see that Miss Leona has a sharp tongue and will not let the men take advantage of her. She was a poor but well-mannered and intelligent woman. She was also so petite she had little chance to get what she wanted. But she did. Unfortunately, the men wanted more money from her. That’s where Malcolm comes to her rescue. Malcolm hasn’t change in his need to help the down trodden. He saw something special in her. His sheer size and voice along with all his scars intimidated the men and they backed down. He pays them the money they requested and tells them to put everything back into the house.
Malcolm is tongue-tied with women. He doesn’t know how to talk. He’s abrupt, gruff and comes off rude. Yet, with all these traits of unsociability, he sees how he can help Miss Leona, and help he does.
Leona hasn’t had anyone stand up for her. Her finance broke his engagement with her six years previous. She was left pregnant and was trying to bring up her son as well as possible. The young boy was well-mannered, well dressed and a loving son. He by the way, steals a few scenes. She, on the other hand, had very worn clothing. Something in Malcolm called to her. She had never seen someone so kind and thoughtful to a stranger. She was humbled.
There are sparks between the two. Neither know how to handle their feelings, and each need something different in the relationship. Arguments only end in stalemates.The road becomes rockier for Malcolm and Leona as outside forces create greater challenges.
This book is not my typical read, and was surprised the direction it took because it is much different from the teasing, naughty spirit of book 4. It was well-written, entertaining in fact, with several very fun, pleasant scenes, lightening the subject matter some, but indeed had its dark moments, some kinky, which might not appeal to every regency romance reader. The story was set just on the cusp of the Victorian era and that era was a much bolder one.
In the Author’s Words: Bio data at GoodReads “I spent my youth studying various languages, reading voraciously, and playing the pianoforte. I confess that here ends the extent of my gentle breeding. I was a naughty child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to my room on many occasions due to these misadventures, I soon discovered the quill and its amazing power. I scribed endless stories that almost invariably surrounded the topic of love, for I felt an inane need to be rescued from a family that did not understand my lust for life. In my mind, King Arthur became my true love and I waited for the day when he would come riding upon his steed and invite me to sit at his round table, not as his queen, but as his knight. To my distress, King Arthur was never to be found anywhere except for in the tip of my quill. And so I led an imaginary life for many, many years. When I finally came of age, my family was further horrified to discover that I had fallen in love with an American. An American King Arthur who became my knight, my husband, my all. I have been blessed beyond reason and am grateful for each day I have with him. What is equally amazing is that I now have the opportunity to share my passion for stories with the public. The reason why I write romance is because it allows me to touch upon the subject of love on a much deeper, more intimate level. Many of the stories I write, many of the stories I will continue to write, will always evolve around love. And yes, gentle readers, it will also evolve around sex as I have no intention of becoming my parents and restraining my characters from what it is they truly desire to do. I challenge you, my readers, to let loose of those corsets that have been strung too tightly due to convention and enjoy 1830 to its fullest.”
For some fun facts about Delilah, check out this link to her website. http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/#!meet-delilah/cte7