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Games of Pleasure by Julia Ross
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Games of Pleasure (2005)

by Julia Ross

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The characters are well-drawn and three dimensional and the plot moved right along with Ross's smooth flowing style. Ross tends to write rather purple sex scenes but in this book they seemed to be less so or at least not enough to distract me from the fascinating story line.

As the story begins, Ryder has just had his marriage proposal rejected by a well-born lady. He is riding along a cliff at the edge of the sea when he spots a dinghy with a seemingly lifeless woman on board floating in the surf heading towards the rocks. He saves the woman and discovers that she has been badly beaten. She gives him a false name and he takes her to a nearby inn where they have the best sex evah, of course. Miracle is hiding a big secret and the next morning she sneeks out on him leaving a note:

My name is Miracle Heather. I am London’s most notorious harlot.

When you found me in the boat, I had just murdered a man.

Thank you for all you have done or offered to do for me, my lord, but you are well rid of me.

Ryder tracks her down and offers to help her clear her name. The mystery is a pretty good one. Ryder is an admirable hero who has lead a responsible virtuous life as heir to a dukedom. He is a good honorable man, but not boring in the least. And far too trusting because Miracle is able to slip away from him several times.

Miracle was the dark character is this story and her past made her sense of worthlessness understandable but when she goes on and on and on about how unworthy she is of him I became annoyed. Most of the time I can deal with that attitude considering the time and the fact that he is an aristocrat and she is a commoner. But when it goes on for almost the entire book I lose my patience. He wants to marry her and she keeps turning him down. I kept thinking "get over yourself". I'm no expert on social attitudes of that time but it seems to me that most commoners would jump at the chance. What do I know, anyway?

Overall, the book was engaging and interesting and I enjoyed it enough to recommmend it. (Grade: B) ( )
  reneebooks | Sep 6, 2009 |
I'm only docking this one ½ star because the language is a bit flowery, and one of the problems got glossed over at the end. Instead of the usual virginal heroine, she's a courtesan. He's a duke's heir. Much personal growth, and duty vs. desire, and conflicting desires. ( )
  Darla | Apr 6, 2006 |
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Book description
Hiding a terrible secret, Miracle Heather has no desire to be rescued--especially by a virile young aristocrat. Yet upon seeing Miracle in a foundering boat, Lord Ryderbourne drags her to shore and carries her to a nearby inn, where he insists on taking care of her. A skilled courtesan, she knows of only one way to repay his gallantry, and Ryder is helpless to resist her seduction. The ensuing night of passion shakes them both to the core. No honorable future is possible for a duke's son and a lady of the night, so they agree to travel north together on England's hidden byways as comrades, not lovers. Yet even as their journey leads them both into the unknown, desire threatens to defeat principle.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425205657, Paperback)

Experience the bestselling author whose books "have a vein of eroticism, and plots and character traits that push the boundaries of the genre and make for not-to-be-missed reads."*

Hiding a terrible secret, Miracle Heather has no desire to be rescued--especially by a virile young aristocrat. Yet upon seeing Miracle in a foundering boat, Lord Ryderbourne drags her to shore and carries her to a nearby inn, where he insists on taking care of her. A skilled courtesan, she knows of only one way to repay his gallantry, and Ryder is helpless to resist her seduction. The ensuing night of passion shakes them both to the core. No honorable future is possible for a duke's son and a lady of the night, so they agree to travel north together on England's hidden byways as comrades, not lovers. Yet even as their journey leads them both into the unknown, desire threatens to defeat principle.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:46 -0400)

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