A mistress should never be foolish enough to fall in love with her protector, nor trust him with her financial future.
Unfortunately, Mariah Desmond did both and now, after the death of her protector, she has been left with nothing. He had promised to protect her but that was clearly a lie when all she is given is one thousand pounds and six months to live in the house he had set up for her. Now Mariah has no choice but to seek out a new protector. She uses a party given by her friend, Vivien Manning, to find a new man.
John Rycroft is bored with life. He has always been bored but lately something has caused it to be worse. When he attends Manning’s party and finds Mariah, his best friend’s mistress, there, something snaps. He has always wanted her but kept an acceptable distance so nobody would suspect his true feelings. Now when faced with the reality that Mariah is searching for someone new he is very angry but knows he can do nothing about it. He is not the type of man who can be anyone’s protector.
Unable to stay away from Mariah, John proposes a deal. They can be lovers while she is in the process of finding someone new. He will not stand in her way of a new protector but he will offer her pleasures untold in the meantime. This will serve twofold because maybe John will be able to get her out his system.
Things don’t really work out how John had planned though. Instead of becoming bored with her, like he eventually does with everything, he becomes more and more infatuated with her. Enter John’s father into the picture, a ruthless and brutal man who will stop at nothing to get his way. He wants John back under his thumb and threatens Mariah in order to get him there. John has long been estranged from his father but it seems that he never really got out from under him. John’s father has spies in many places and hurts Mariah to set an example of what he can do.
John and Mariah must work through the conflict of a past that has scarred John. With his father back in the picture his ability to love and feel strong emotion is brought back into question. John had just began to see and feel happiness with Mariah when it is abruptly put in danger.
Jess Michaels writes some extremely steamy historical romance novels. I would say they tip over into erotica which is rare for a historical romance. For Desire Alone is a good book but I had a couple of minor issues with it. The first time John and Miranda have sex he pulls out and finishes on her back. Anytime after that first time he finishes inside her. I don’t know what causes the difference in where he finished but they weren’t using any type of protection, at least none that I saw mentioned. I guess the heat of the moment took over the rest of the book.
The other thing that bugged me was John proposed marriage to Mariah to protect her from his father. He clearly had feelings for her but didn’t want to come out and say it. I always think it is the coward’s way out to not admit the real reason they would like to marry. I want the truth. I think it adds more to the story if there is not a big misunderstanding as to why they are together.
Overall it was a good book. It is very sexy and the characters are likable. Mariah was too innocent to be a believable courtesan but that added to the story instead of took away. Final grade- B-
He wanted her. Now. He wanted her all night. Every night for a week. A month. Maybe even a year.
He sank down in a chair beside the fire and rubbed his eyes. “I’m in trouble,” he muttered.