Thursday, March 08, 2007

To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries

Bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries pens the sizzling story of one of three half-noble half brothers, who makes a most unwelcome entrance into society...and a most unexpected match.

Beautiful Lady Regina Tremaine has turned down so many suitors that she's called La Belle Dame Sans Merci. The truth: she won't marry because she carries a dark secret. She sees no good reason, however, why her brother shouldn't court the lovely Louisa North — even if the girl's brother, the notorious "Dragon Viscount," objects.

Marcus North, Viscount Draker — bastard son of the Prince of Wales — is rumored to be a monster who holds women captive in his dark castle to have his way with them. He has been exiled from polite society for years. But when Lady Regina makes a plea on her brother's behalf, Marcus proposes an outrageous deal: her brother can court Louisa so long as Marcus can court Regina. Can the beauty and the beast survive a proper courtship when the devastatingly improper passion between them threatens to cause the scandal of the century?

When I finish a book, I add the details to the two spreadsheets I maintain, start a blog post and just write a couple of sentences of my initial thoughts, and then much later down the track (depending on how far behind I am on reviews) I write the actual review. These are the two sentences that I wrote in respect of this book:

Never really got the chemistry between H/H. Dragon thing got a bit old after a while.
The funny thing is that as I sit here 3 weeks after finishing it, I actually think that I really did like it more than I did when I finished it straight away. Sure the dragon thing did still get old, but I do think that maybe I was a little harsh about the chemistry, and I am certainly anxious to get hold of the spin off story that is going to be told in Only a Duke Will Do. Doesn't really make a lot of sense, and is not really all that usual for me to have this kind of delayed reaction.

Lady Regina Tremaine is known as La Belle Sans Merci because of her ruthless attitude towards marriage - there is no way known that she will be marrying, because of the defect that she believes that she has. She is determined that no one will ever get close enough to her to find out the truth about her, and that that is the way it is going to stay. When she goes to visit Viscount Draker alone and unannounced, she does so to ask for Marcus' permission for her brother, Simon Tremaine, to court his younger sister, Louisa. She is currently enjoying her coming out season in London, hosted by Marcus' half brother, the Earl of Iversley, whose story was told in the first book in the series, In the Prince's Bed. At first Marcus is reluctant, but eventually he agrees, but only on the condition that Louisa allows herself to appear to be courted by him.

At first Louisa is mortified...after all, Marcus is known as the "Dragon Viscount", and his appearance and manners could definitely use some improvements, but for the sake of her brother, she accepts. And soon, she realises that he is more than just the Dragon Viscount. He is fiercely protective of his sister, and in particular relation to any rumours about her possible parentage, and he is sure that Simon Tremaine is in league with the Prince of Wales, and not in love with his sister at all.

Eventually Louisa sees beneath the bluster to the man underneath, and he founds out about her condition. I did think that the resolution of this matter was solved far too easily and quickly, but it is certainly a different dilemma for a heroine to have.

The dragon symbolism was overdone in my opinion, particularly towards the end of the novel. I am very interested in reading Louisa's story. And because I need to read in order, that means that I will read the next half brother's story, although I am not terribly excited by the prospect of doing so.

If I was to rate this book today, I would probably rate is as 3.5/5, but at the time that I finished it, I gave it 3/5.

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