Review: The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long

perils of pleasureReviewed by Jen

Why did I wait so long to read this book??? I jumped into the Pennyroyal Green series somewhere around book 5. I loved it right off the bat. I went back and checked out some of the earlier installments but missed the first two. What a mistake that was! This book is mentioned throughout the entire series.

In just about every book we get references to Colin Eversea and his near-miss at the gallows. This is his story! Colin is the most charming of the Eversea sons. Just about everyone likes him… except, of course, the rival Redmond family. As the story begins, Colin is accused of killing a distant Redmond cousin. He is set to hang. In fact he gets all the way to the point where he is walking to the noose, when he is spirited away in an amazing rescue. It turns out a beautiful mercenary named Madeleine is his savior.

Unfortunately for her, the person who hired Madeleine to do the job decided not only to withhold her fee, but to try and kill her for her trouble. As a result, she and Colin and up having to work together to clear his name and get him back to the family that could give her the money she earned.

Madeleine is a wonderful enigma through much of the story. She is incredibly capable and smart, but she also shows glimpses of femininity, gentleness, and wit. Colin is so used to turning heads with his charm, he doesn’t know how to deal with someone he can affect so little. It makes him work even harder to pierce her tough exterior.  He’s not exactly trying to win her heart, though. On the contrary, he wants to get home to stop his sweetheart, Louisa, from marrying his brother.

There were so many things I liked about the story.  Colin and Madeleine were such great characters. I loved learning them as the author peeled back their layers. Seeing what’s behind Madeleine’s stoicism and Colin’s charm. I loved the back and forth between them and seeing the dynamic between them change from reluctant associates to something like friends, then lovers.  I really liked the mystery and the adventure — and how it kept me guessing all the way to the big surprising reveal.

It was kind of a bummer, though, that Colin was still planning to marry Louisa all the way through the book.  It made it hard to let myself go all-in on his feelings for Madeleine.  I guess I would have enjoyed feeling a bit more for her from him before the very last minute.

Overall, though, I did enjoy the book and would definitely recommend this series to any fans of historical romance. They just get better and better.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Perils of Pleasure
by Julie Anne Long
Release Date: January 29, 2008
Publisher: Avon

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