Teresa Medeiros is a skilled and versatile writer. She’s written about vampires, highland warriors and modern day professors. She writes historical fiction and contemporary romance with the same deft hand, and I’m almost always intrigued by her stories.
So when it comes to The Pleasure of Your Kiss, I have mixed feelings. This particular historical romance centers around a sultan, his harem and the daughter of an English merchant.
In her younger days, Clarinda was completely in love with her neighbor, Ash, but when Ash took off to make something of himself, Clarinda felt as if she had been abandoned. Now, almost a decade later, Clarinda is engaged to Ash’s older brother, Max.
Max is a duke and a successful member of the East India Company. As such, Clarinda has planned to travel to wherever Max is to have her wedding. While she and her best friend, Poppy, are traveling, their ship is attacked, and Clarinda and Poppy end up in a sultan’s harem. After her kidnapping, Max hires his brother, none other than Ash, to save Clarinda.
When Ash finds Clarinda, he discovers that she could actually be enjoying her time with the sultan. The very idea makes Ash’s blood boil, and he realizes that he may have trouble letting his brother marry his former lover.
Before he stops the wedding between Clarinda and Max, Ash must stop the wedding between Clarinda and the sultan and save the British maidens.
I have mixed feelings about this story for a couple reasons. I don’t like that Clarinda is betrothed to so many men, and I don’t like that Ash spends the entire book trying to think of ways to steal his brother’s wife-to-be. I dislike the fact that Ash hooks up with his brother’s fiancée, and I dislike that Clarinda seems to be OK with the fact that she’s engaged to half the world.
But Medeiros is a highly-skilled writer, and for much of the book, she makes the reader forget about the fact that Clarinda is engaged to Ash’s brother. For the most part, I was able to lose myself in the story, enjoy the steamy scenes, and connect with the characters.
In the end though, it came down to brother against brother, fighting for the same woman. Call me ridiculous, but I like my heroes to be above moral reproach, and when Ash slept with his brother’s fiancée, it rubbed me the wrong way — which sucks, because I loved so much of the middle of this story, and I liked Ash a lot. I never really started to love Clarinda, though I did admire her cleverness. I think I definitely connected with the the characters on some level, though I just couldn’t get over the ending of the story.
Sandra Johnson is a long-time freelance writer, a mother of one and an avid sports fan. When she isn't writing, reading, spending time with her daughter or watching sports, you will find her running, biking and swimming.