4.5 out of 5 Licks
The Pleasure Wars, Book 4
It has been a particularly trying day for Olivia Cranfield. Despite her impeccable manners, stylish clothing and posh accent, another protector has detected her lowborn status and rejected her out of hand.
When fellow courtesan Violet invites her to come to Bath to help with the wicked seduction of the scarred, reclusive Earl of Windbury, Olivia jumps at the offer, eager for some excitement and a change of scenery.
The moment Malcolm Graham lays eyes on the delectable woman lurking in the bathhouse alley, he knows she’s a decoy to keep him busy while her friend seduces the earl inside. For a moment, he allows her to play her game…but one touch, and all he can think about is ending the two years of self-denial he’s endured in the name of friendship.
Instant attraction quickly turns into a decidedly erotic affair that makes Olivia question all she’s ever known about passion. But when the truth behind Violet’s assignment comes to light, betrayal threatens to bring everything they’ve built crashing down around Olivia’s broken heart.
Warning: This book overlaps with Beauty and the Earl, so some passages may seem familiar to readers of both. Contains a lady lying for a good cause, a gentleman as loyal to his friends as he is passionate in the bedchamber, and a steamy affair that will change them both forever.
This is a novella and overlaps the previous book, Beauty and the Earl and tells the story of Malcolm (the Earl of Windbury’s best friend) and Olivia (Violet’s best friend). After being let go by yet another protector Olivia decides to go to Bath with her friend and assist her on a mission she has been hired to do by the Earl’s sister, Ava. She distracts Malcolm the Earl’s best friend so that Violet has the opportunity to get close to the Earl. Olivia finds the task an easy one to complete as there is a mutual attraction between her and Malcolm. Will her past and the betrayal she is hiding from Malcolm ruin the love these two never thought possible? I was so happy to hear this book was coming out, I loved Olivia and Malcolm and it was wonderful to hear how they found love and knowing it is worth fighting for. We get a little of Olivia and Malcolm’s previous history, I admit I would have liked even more about their back stories and why they are so fiercely loyal to their friends. This is a wonderful companion to Beauty and the Earl and was a fun, quick read that I didn’t want to end.