Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Review: Night of Pleasure

by Delilah Marvelle
Rating: 3/5

nightofpleasureAn arranged marriage is daunting, but not as daunting as seducing a spouse whose passions you do not understand...

Derek Charles Holbrook, Viscount Banfield, knew his fate since he was seventeen when his father announced his union to the beautiful but mysterious American girl by the name of Miss Grey.
To protect the troubled estate, Derek submits to his father's wishes, not realizing he's about to entangle himself in a hell of a lot more than marriage.

Miss Clementine Henrietta Grey may be worth millions, but not a single coin has ever bought her a smidge of happiness. When she marries the charismatic and dashing Viscount Banfield, whose only strife in life appears to be the uneven seams in his coat, she finds that siring the heir he wants requires far more than her heart is prepared to give.
Unable to seduce his overly-serious and reluctant wife, Derek realizes his dreams of creating a loving family has turned into a nightmare. But with the unexpected assistance of a retired courtesan and her outrageous school, Derek and Clementine discover that passion is a language spoken not just from the body, but from the mind, heart and soul.

Night of Pleasure is the fourth in the School of Gallantry series. I was offered an ARC copy because I’d previously reviewed a book in the series. This almost stands on it’s own as it is so separated from previous books in the series you  can almost skip the other books.

Derek Hollbrook, Viscount Banfield meets Clementine Gray, an American heiress and falls in love. He comes on very strongly but is adorable. Unfortunately Clementine is 14 not the 16 she looks and so she is intimidated, especially since she associates this with her mother's violent behaviour.
Derek and Clementine are engaged, to unite their families just before Derek's father dies. Derek and Clementine write each other for years with Derek falling further in love and Clementine becoming more determined to get out of the marriage.

Clementine returns to London the week she is due to marry Derek planning to leave him and go to Persia. She plans to go and marry Prince Nasser, the next in line to rule Persia, because he isn't interested in women. Nasser decides that Derek doesn't deserve to be rejected and forces her to marry Derek anyway.
Things are awkward between them, Derek gets suspicious that Clementine plans to cheat on him and basically goes a little crazy. He tracks her all over town while she desperately tries to convince Nasser to take her to Persia anyway.

Madame de Maitenon gets involved and Clementine finally reveals her issues as Derek declares he doesn't want to be married to a woman that hates him and lies constantly, he's going to get a divorce.

My main problem with this story is that Clementine is very difficult to understand and very prickly until you do compared to the adorable and wonderful Derek. She doesn't tell him about anything to the point of appearing to try and make him mad. She didn't want to betray Nasser's confidence fine just tell Derek that neither of you feel that way and that's why you married him. Not a lie and still allaying Derek's feels.

Clementine's backstory comes in way too late and we're given too much of Derek's thoughts and feelings to allow us to sympathize with her feelings. Clementine is frightened of intimacy because of her parents tumultuous relationship. She is also terrified of pregnancy because continually trying to have children is what killed her. Basically I was rooting for Derek all the way and felt annoyed by Clementine's resistance because her reasons just weren't revealed.

I was also disappointed to see that the "School of Gallantry" link was so skipped over. It appeared that Madame de Maitenon was just there to make Clementine open her mouth and talk to Derek, and get Derek to shut up and listen. The only other mention was the 'dildo' incident where Derek is mocked for not wanting to pleasure a woman other than his wife (which was so infuriating) and saying he didn't think he or his wife were ready for dildo's yet.

** I received an ARC copy of this via the author **

Currently Listening: I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift

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