Lady Eliza and Gryffin first meet in a brothel/gaming hall. Such an interesting place for a first time face to face so I thought this book was going to be pretty interesting. As it turns out Gryffin is bored with his wicked ways and wants to travel down a more respectable path. Finding that out kind of dashed my hopes for a lot of naughtiness.
Eliza has followed her wastrel brother to the brothel with hopes of dragging him out before he loses too much more of their money. Eliza is a widow that was left with nothing from her marriage and now has to live with her brother. Her brother, Harry, is a pretty useless sort. He is all about himself and what pleasures he can take from life even if that means running through what little money has been left to them. In order to pay off his debts he has also been shopping his sister around for marriage.
There were some things going on in the book that I didn’t find very interesting or found to be quite odd. For one, both Eliza and Gryffin are passionate about flowers. There is a lot of flower talk going on. Each flower has a different meaning, a different form, a different cause for inspiration and so on. Eliza paints flowers and Gryffin is writing. Gryffin sees Eliza’s work, not knowing it is hers, and offers a commission to the artist to draw for some writings he is having published. Eliza accepts because it will offer her a monetary freedom she desperately needs to leave her brother’s house. This translates into more info about flowers. I think I was all flowered out by the end of this book.
The second odd thing was the characters have a tendency to have long conversations with themselves, out loud. I talk to myself a lot but this was just over the top and it happened all the time. For example:
“I’m not about to waltz across a parquet dance floor in a stylish swirl of satin and lace,” she reminded herself…”I’m going to slog through a muddy field in worn muslin and half boots.”
A sweeping bow to Elf sent him scurrying under the bed.
“Thank you Fair Prince for your company, but I have another admirer waiting to take me into supper,” she said in a high falsetto. “What? You would like another dance after I’ve plied myself with lobster patties and champagne?” She picked up a washcloth and gave it an airy wave. “La, I’m sorry, milord, but my dance card is completely full.”
And that went on for about 2+ pages. It was a lot of nonsense with these characters and their out loud thinking. I don’t think I have ever read anything similar and I didn’t really care for it.
Overall the book didn’t hold my attention too well. The first sexy scene between the main characters was kind of silly. Eliza manages to get herself strapped into Gryffin’s bed by playing with some old-time BDSM contraption Harry had delivered. Even while reading it I couldn’t possible see how it happened. I mean, who accidentally handcuffs themselves to a bed?? Oy. Silly female.
Final Grade: C-
“Well, go on. Is he handsome?”
“As sin,” she confessed. “Tall, with divine muscles and the most beautiful eyes in Creation.” A sigh slipped of its own volition from her lips. “And he has a large dragon-”
“Is that what young people call it these days?” interrupted Augustine. “In my time, some gentlemen referred to their privy parts as Abraham’s Rod.”
Eliza’s eyes widened. “How perfectly dreadful. That does not bode well for him believing a female should enjoy the act, does it?”
An unladylike chortle. Which is one of the reasons she loved her friend.
“It was also called a pizzle, a prick, a potato finger,” confided Augustine. “And a pump handle.”
Oh, she liked that. Haddan had quite a lovely pump handle. One that made her wish that she were a wanton tavern maid, whose duties included frequent trips to the trough in order to fill her bucket….
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