Wednesday, September 11, 2019

#BookReview – “A Well Pleasured Lady” by Christina Dodd


Prim, plain, desperately virtuous Lady Mary Fairchild stared at the seductive gentleman and wondered -- did he remember the elements of the night they met? Surely not. In the ten years since, she had abandoned her youthful impetuousness and transformed herself into a housekeeper -- disguising her beauty beneath a servant's dour clothing determined to conquer the passions of the past.

But Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, did recognize her as a Fairchild, one of his family's bitter enemies. When he demanded her help recovering a stolen diary, she dared not refuse him. When he proposed they masquerade as a betrothed couple, loyalty forced her to agree. And when the restraint between them shattered and pleasure became an obsession, Mary had to trust a powerful man who could send her to the gallows ... or love her through eternity.


In the first book in the Well Pleasured series, Guinevere Mary Fairchild works as a housekeeper for Lady Valery in the Scotland lowlands. Ten years earlier, her father died and her cruel grandfather disowned her and her younger brother, Hadden.
Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, is Lady Valery’s godson, and he’s helping her track down her stolen diary. In the wrong hands, it could spark revolution in England. His investigation leads to Fairchild Manor, and he grudgingly needs Mary’s help in order to get inside. As they work together and navigate the viper nest of the cruel, greedy Fairchild family, they build a tentative trust. Their dark, painful secrets, however, could destroy their relationship before it really begins.
Mary is a sweet, sometimes naïve woman who wants to think the best of everyone, but life has shown her not everyone can be trusted.
Sebastian is a hard, stubborn man the Fairchild family betrayed him years earlier.
Both the H/h are likable with problems, mistrust, and clashing agendas between them. Despite the mistrust and his need for vengeance, their romance progressed quickly. For Mary, losing her inhibitions helped heal the pain in her past. For Sebastian, his trust in Mary, a dreaded Fairchild, healed his battered soul.
I really enjoyed Hadden, Mary’s 19-year-old brother, and her very sexy but illegitimate second cousin Ian. Both were fun, strong characters and were determined to protect Mary from the danger that stalked her. Lady Valery is a wonderfully strong and empowered woman. She’s in her seventies and still has men dropping at their feet to please her. It’s inspiring!
I’ve read quite a few reviews that bashed this book, and even on the author’s website, it’s listed as “politically incorrect.” I don’t understand the big hoopla. Was it because Ian tried to seduce Mary, or the forced seduction scene with Mary and Sebastian (it wasn’t rape, in my opinion)? In either case, I’ve read romance books with H/h cousins and full-on rape scenes waaaaay worse than in this book. To be honest, I was a little disappointed the story didn’t live up to the hype.
I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t like Mary’s decision in regards to her family at the end. It showed both strength and weakness on her part, but cruel people should never be rewarded. On that note, I side with Sebastian and understand his reasons for feeling betrayed.
Other than stray POV shifts, I don’t believe I found any typos. I look forward to reading all about Ian in the next installment.
4 Stars

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