Stacy's Place on Earth
Blog Home Change to Small Font Change to Large Font
Saturday, November 08, 2008:
"The Perils of Pleasure" by Julie Anne Long (2008)

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (January 29, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061341584
ISBN-13: 978-0061341588

A rescued rogue . . .
Scandal has rocked the city of London. Colin Eversea, a handsome, reckless unapologetic rogue is sentenced to hang for murder and, inconveniently for him, the only witness to the crime disappears. Then again, throughout history, the Everseas have always managed to cheat fate in style: Colin is snatched from the gallows by a beautiful, clever mercenary.
A captivating captor. . .
Cool-headed, daring Madeleine Greenway is immune to Colin's vaunted charm. Her mission is not to rescue Colin but to kidnap him, and to be paid handsomely for it. But when it becomes clear that whoever wants Colin alive wants Madeline dead, the two become uneasy allies in a deadly race for truth. Together, they'll face great danger—and a passion neither can resist.

This is my first Julie Anne Long book but I've decided definitely not my last. Michelle Buonfiglio has been raving about her books for a long, long time, and I finally picked up the first book in her Pennyroyal series. Now I'm wondering why I waited so freakin' long.
Colin Eversea is the kind of man everyone loves - he's a cheery sort who always manages to get himself into scrapes but he's so handsome and likable that people love him anyway. Well his latest adventure is not so much fun: he's about to hang for the murder of Roland Tarbell, a relative of the Redmonds, a family the Everseas have been feuding with for generations. Of course he didn't do it, but it's too late for that, as he's now a dead man walking up to the gallows, wearing heavy chains and a feigned look of courage. But as he's lead to his death, a voice whispers to him, uttering a command that he follows, and soon Colin is free, and given into the custody of a woman who takes him away from the danger of being hanged...
But Madeleine Greenway didn't capture Colin to save him. No, she has her own plans for him, mostly to collect the money she was promised when she agreed to kidnap him from the gallows. Only the person who was supposed to pay her doesn't appear; instead someone else shows up and tries to kill her. Now her and Colin are on the run, trying to prove his innocence without getting caught, but Colin's not a guy who blends into the woodwork, so eluding the authorities - and those who covet the bounty on his head - is as challenging as ignoring the incredible attraction between them. Dodging through the city as they uncover clues to proof Colin's innocence, they both grow more and more aware of each other, and definitely like what they discover. But hovering over them is the knowledge that once Colin is released from the charge of murder is the fact that there is another woman in his life, a lovely lady who Colin had every intention of marrying and spending the rest of his days....
"The Perils of Pleasure" started out a little slow for me, but once I got into it, I really began to enjoy the adventure. I still don't understand why it took me a whole week to read it; it certainly wasn't because it was a boring book. I loved Madeleine and her quiet, confident bravery. Here was a woman who'd lost much in her life, and had to alter her way of living to survive. Madeleine is just not existing day by day however. She very much has a plan, and capturing Colin was one way to reach her goal of sailing to America. Things go awry, and the two end up spending much time together as they decide the best course of action is to try and prove Colin's innocence. But that doesn't mean Madeleine is not tempted to turn him in for the substantial reward money. She thinks about it several times over the course of their time together, until she reaches a point where she knows she cannot do it.
And yes, Colin is very likable, yet also smarter than people give him credit for. As Madeleine realizes, he's always noticing things. He's very observant, which can be rather unsettling. Despite his charming, almost rakish ways, Colin's one dream since he was a little boy was to marry Louisa Porter and build their life together on a farm. Going to Newgate prompted his older brother Marcus, who's also always been in love with Louisa, to ask for her hand. Part of Colin's desperation to prove his innocence is to prevent the wedding from happening. But then there's Madeleine, who impresses and fascinates him at every turn. Having experienced the horror of prison and near death, Colin is a very different man than the one who had such simple dreams. Now with his impending innocence, he must make a decision that may alter his entire life.
Together, these two make a dynamic team, working in tandem without words, but more of a flow that comes instinctively. Colin has seen war, and Madeleine has seen hardship, and this experience creates a bond between them. Eventually there comes a point where the two must give in to the simmering desire that races through them, and even in a setting where discovery is a very real possibility, they cannot resist the passion. It takes them both over, and neither regrets giving into it. While usually the idea of having sex while in danger seems really stupid to me, the very real danger and the current circumstances create a very believable scenario that is completely convincing to me. Living on adrenaline and determination, once Colin and Madeleine find themselves in relatively private quarters for the night, their coming together is at this point inevitable. Imminent capture hangs over their heads, and for a brief time, they just let go and let their bodies take over. It's urgent and quick, made more intense by their need to be as quiet as possible. It definitely drove the story forward, and initiated a series of questions in both Madeleine and Colin that now they had to figure out how to answer.
So yes, I liked this book very much. I liked the subtlety of it, how it kind of sneaks up on you and lures you in until you can't help but be caught up in it. I like that it wasn't over the top, and the descriptions were given so clealy that you could hear the crickets in your mind, or smell the scent of the lavendar water Madeleine favors, even as you imagine the musk of slightly unwashed bodies and the scrape of Colin's beard. Such vivid imagery enhances rather than detracts from my enjoyment of their story, and I'm glad I already have the next book, "Like No Other Lover", in my tbr pile. I definitely plan on reading this one over the weekend.
Rating: **** 1/2 out of *****



  1. oooh, ooooh, I love her books. I have read them all so far and love everyone. And I am not a historical reader, but hers I read every time. I am glad you liked her. Three of them are related, Beauty and the Spy is the first, them Ways to be Wicked, then Secret to Seduction.

  2. Thanx Kris! I am glad I have several books of ahead of me that I haven't read - gives me much to look forward to :)

    Are you still blogging? I see you over @ Bookbinge, but your own blog's been quiet. I miss your reviews.

  3. I just posted again last night with pics of the kids. just have been busy.

Post a Comment