- Carina Press
- Release Date
- December 2011
Erotic Romance, Historical Romance
Invitation to Pleasure
As the wife of the elderly Earl of March, Olivia Covington has never known the intimacies of the bedroom. Though her curiosity is piqued by the shocking whispers of society ladies, she is too wary of causing scandal to indulge in an affair. But Tristan Knightley, Earl of Newcastle, tempts her to throw off propriety.
Tristan wants Olivia for his own, and has sworn off all others until he can rid himself of the obsession. He is sure once he has a taste, he will tire of her, and can return to his rakish existence. Unable to wait to have her in his bed, he invites her for a tryst at Lady Seductress's Ball...
Jan 19, 2012 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
142 people found the following review helpful
Illicit pleasures, secret trysts and masked soirees—this book is pure decadence from beginning to end. Though I wish it had fully explored its characters and plot, the story was well told and quite original.
Olivia Covington was sent to marry the elderly, sickly Earl of March, without ever having known love or passion. Now, trapped in a marriage to a man she can barely stand and suffering from "amorous deficiencies" of her own, Olivia is desperate for an escape. However, she has observed the scandals caused by the extramarital affairs of those around her, and she dares not take a lover of her own—until she meets a man who promises to make her every fantasy come true.
Tristan Knightley, Earl of Newcastle, became obsessed with Olivia at first sight, and has determined to abandon his philandering until he can have her for himself, even if only once. But it only takes a lusty moment alone with the Earl of March's enchanting wife for Tristan to know that a single taste of her will never been enough. But until her husband finally succumbs to his many illnesses, there is no chance for their growing passion—except within the secret confines of the Lady Seductress's Ball. Tristan sends Olivia an invitation to an evening of unending delights—and promises to explore any and all she might desire.
The Ball itself is a world of secrets and seduction, where there are no rules except that all the invitees must arrive masked. All manner of sensual delights are provided for each guest's entertainment, and for someone as hungry as Olivia, the invitation is like her every fantasy comes to life. But when the morning arrives, will anything remain of the spark between them?
LADY SEDUCTRESS'S BALL really does read like a dream compared to the suffocating propriety of Olivia's daily existence. The luxuries and indulgences presented to her were really as eye-opening as they are enticing, and I liked the fact that Tristan was far more concerned about Olivia than anything or anyone else. For all the talk of his rakish behavior, he is completely dedicated to his lady's pleasure, and that earned my respect.
This is a very well written story, and each character is vividly drawn despite the brevity of the story. The tension between Tristan and Olivia was wonderfully sultry, and though the ending did feel too rushed, it came on a very romantic note that left me smiling. I just think that the whole story needed more length to develop the plot, and more time to develop the characters and their relationships more fully. There are hints to Olivia's upbringing and Tristan's past that show how well the author knew her characters, and I would have really enjoyed a chance to get to know them better, as well. I also did take issue with the moral gray-area that the LADY SEDUCTRESS' BALL posed in terms of Olivia's relationship with Tristan and her husband. While the ball is unforgettably heady and wonderfully seductive, I wish the specter of Olivia's husband hadn't been looming in my thoughts while she and Tristan were there.
All in all, while I was left wanting more details and I had to keep reminding myself that Tristan and Olivia were escaping to a world outside morality, I still enjoyed reading this book. I loved the imaginative details that went into creating the Lady Seductress's Ball and its various delights. I'll be checking out more of Eliza Knight's work, as the writing style was very easy to read and the characters very engaging from beginning to end.
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