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The Price of Desire by Jo Goodman
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The Price of Desire

by Jo Goodman

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This was a tough read. Multi-dimensional characters and well-written but this book is much darker than even I'm used to from Jo Goodman. And Jo Goodman loves to create tortured heroines. Unlike other books I've read from her, however, I didn't get closure. Instead I was left with a sense of injustice. The theme of child abuse is explored here so avoid if you're sensitive.
  aznstarlette | Mar 31, 2015 |
First of all, let me just say that despite this being an attractive cover, I think it’s wrong for this book. Don’t panic potential readers! You will most definitely get your steamy lovemaking scenes, just as these two half naked models caressing each other suggest, but there’s so much more to this book than the let’s-get-it-on parts that I think a less bodice-ripper-ish cover would have been appropriate.

Second. The same thing for the title, because “The Price of Desire” sounds way too tacky for this story. I’m sorry but it’s true. I know tacky titles are like a rule in historical romance but, again, for this one…*shakes her head in disapproval*

Now that I got this out of my chest, to the review.

This was an angst read. Angst mixed with more angst, a handful of self-pity, and a pinch of misery. I mean, poor, POOR Olivia! Her story kept making me want to curl up in a corner and cry until dehydration, and it all starts because her brother Alastair, loses a great amount of money gambling and until he pays the debt back, she has to go live with Griffin -the man Alastair owes the money to, as a guarantee. Now, I know that you historical romance enthusiasts are probably clapping your hands with joy and excitement at the prospect, but I can assure you this is the most heartwrenching situation. For the life of me, I couldn’t tell if this book was going to have a happy ending or not, and despite of what it may sound like at first, this isn’t just some funny, lighthearted Guy Buys Girl story, with a couple of silly lead characters -at all-, for there are some pretty dark and shocking themes in this book (child abuse, rape…), and when Olivia is placed in Griffin’s house, I couldn’t decide if I was pleased or sorry with it. Of course, once I realized he had good intentions towards her, my aching heart subsided a little. Nevertheless, Griffin aside, Olivia’s life story got to me like tiny and sharp blades of despair, and how could it not? She’s a young woman alone in a men’s world, who keeps being awfully treated by it, and the worst part is, there’s absolutely nothing she can do about it (-so frustrating!!).

Like I said before, one of the pluses of this book for me...full review at Cuidado com o Dálmata - The Price of Desire ( )
1 vote Jen7waters | Oct 5, 2010 |
The Price of Desire revolves around Olivia Cole and Griffin Wright-Jones. Griffin owns a hell where Olivia's brother, Anthony, has wracked up an enormous debt. When Griffin demands collateral until Anthony can pay the debt, Anthony is forced to give him a family heirloom. Through Anthony's selfishness and scheming Olivia ends up being given to Griffin as a marker. What follows is a journey of Olivia discovering her self-worth and learning how to trust someone.

It's always easier for me to be specific about the things that didn't work for me than the things that made me love a book. Bear with me as I try.

What I love about Jo Goodman's writing is the lyrical quality of the prose. As I read, the flow of the sentences takes on a cadence in my mind and pulls me through chapter after chapter. I find this is especially true in the way she writes dialogue. It has a certain rhythm that makes the pages turn quickly for me.

I'm definitely not an expert in any period of history, so I can't speak with any authority on how authentic everything was. However, I can certainly give my opinion as to how it felt for this reader. Everything felt authentic, especially how the characters spoke. The way they expressed themselves and the way they phrased things felt very antique. I don't mean that in a bad way, it was definitely a plus for me. There was never a moment where I stopped because something seemed weird about how the period was described. That happens to me sometimes. I feel compelled to google a fact because it seems so out of place.

Sometimes in a Romance book I either love the heroine or I love the hero. It rarely happens that I love both. I may like both, but I really only love one. That was not the case here. The way Olivia and Griffin were written made both of them strike a cord in me. I ended up feeling for both and enjoying them equally.

Olivia was such a mix of strength and vulnerability. I loved that about her. She was strong, but it was a quiet strength. She was very levelheaded and thought before she acted. Olivia was very self-contained. There were never any outbursts to give the reader or the characters in the book an obvious indication of how she felt. Because of that the reader and the characters are obliged to watch her and hope for more clues to figure out who she is as a person.

Griffin was more up front than Olivia, so it was easier to see who he was and what his motivations were. I didn't really enjoy his history with marriage, but I certainly understood it. I empathized with his circumstances and found his attitude toward them refreshing. Any character that has had a negative experience that impacted them but doesn't "woe is me" about it automatically earns points with me.

I didn't really enjoy the first love scene between Olivia and Griffin. It actually made me faintly uncomfortable. Having said that, I think the way it was done was spot on in regards to the characters. It gave me a lot of insight into Olivia and Griffin. I appreciate when a love scene actually shows me more about the inner workings of the characters. I enjoyed watching their relationship mature and how they grew together.

I didn't like how things were resolved with Elaine. That was the only part of the book that felt like it took the easy way out. I did however like the situation she left with Griffin. I was interested in what he would choose to do in regards to Nat. That's a hard situation to be in and I can honestly say I have no idea which way I would have gone on it.

I found the resolution, or the lack or resolution, with Olivia's family to be realistic. While I, living in the time I do, may think it is unfair and heinous things should be done to right the wrong, that wouldn't fit here. There isn't always a horrible future for villainous people. Sometimes there is no justice. I also like that Anthony stayed the same immature, selfish person throughout the book. I was glad that Olivia actually acknowledged his faults and learned she really couldn't depend on him. Too often the selfish family member suddenly reforms toward the end of the book for no discernable reason. It's very irritating.

This is a quiet book. We're never given info dumps or shown the character thinking very obvious thoughts like, "I love her/him". Until things are resolved through the characters the reader will have to pay attention to the actions of the characters to gauge their true feelings. Also, this is a very dark book in some aspects. Some readers may be turned off by that, so be warned. ( )
1 vote Catherine331 | Dec 28, 2009 |
I began reading Jo Goodman's books with her 'Compass Club' series about four regency rogues in need of taming. I became quite a fan of her wicked wit and intricate plotting. Her latest book, "The Price of Desire", is just as enthralling.

Olivia never really had a childhood. It was taken from her in a most cruel way and she's learned never to depend on anyone. So why her brother's actions, promising her to the owner of a gaming hell until he's able to pay his debts, hit her so hard is a mystery. But the owner of this gaming hell is a mystery also. He's handsome, even with his scar, and honorable, even as the owner of a hell, and kind, which may be the most frightening thing to Olivia of all.

Griffin is a peer who lives his life as he sees fit while still overseeing the requirements of his station. When Olivia's brother appears to have gone missing, he's not sure what to do. But it doesn't take him long to be fascinated by Olivia, and soon after that he's sure that no debt could equal her value in his life. But there are a few obstacles in his way: her past, his past, and a mystery surrounding a ring.

Goodman's books are almost overflowing with emotion--everything from humor to despair to love. Her stories have both breadth and depth and always leave me smiling. ( )
2 vote jjmachshev | Oct 19, 2008 |
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The debt is £1,000.
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Olivia Cole is devastated to learn that her ne'er-do-well brother has promised her to the operator of a London gaming hall as payment of his debts. Olivia accepts her fate - even if it means that her reputation will suffer from living among rogues and gamblers. But when she meets the sexy and mysterious Griffin Wright-Jones, the Viscount of Breckenridge, Olivia has more than just her good name to worry about - for he rouses in her wanton thoughts she's never dared entertain - until now.… (more)

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