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Potent Pleasures (Pleasures #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,701 Ratings  ·  282 Reviews
Nothing is more seductive than temptation.

Reckless desire sends Charlotte Daicheston into the garden with a dashing masked stranger. He's powerful, unforgettable, a devastatingly handsome footman who lures her--not against her will--into a grand indiscretion at a masquerade ball. Then he vanishes.

Several years later, after Charlotte has made her dazzling debut in London so
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 9th 2000 by Island Books (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oh, I am so torn. On one hand, I like Ms. James' writing style, the secondary characters are wonderful (I wanted more of Will and Chloe - I wished the book was about them instead of having their romance be secondary) and the heroine is beyond adorable - I'd love to have her in the family.

On the other hand, the hero is an utter fucking temper-driven idiot with trust issues, living with whom would be uncomfortable to the extreme. The main emotion he evoked in me for half the book was sheer rage, e
Nice writing and interesting plot in this deeply emotional romance. However, the hero tops my list of worst heroes ever, since he distrusts and browbeats the heroine repeatedly and she is stupid enough to stay by his side despite the way he treats her. The fact that after hating both protagonists I ended up liking the book despite myself, says a lot about Mrs James writing skills. With heavy editing this could become a keeper, but with a hero like that it is barely finishable.
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 20, 2014 Jacob Proffitt rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, steamy
It's unfortunate that this is the first novel by Eloisa James that I picked up. I'm kind of glad that I had already bought a few eBooks before reading this one because if I hadn't, I may not have come back.

The thing is, the story works out most of the time. Both Alex and Charlotte are charming and I enjoyed their relationship ... until James started manipulating things against them. Indeed, my biggest problem with the novel is that James manipulates so much stupid just to provide problems for Ch
Lori McD
OK, from the date and comments I've read about this book, I'm going to assume this was one of Eloisa James' first attempts at a romance novel. So I can almost forgive her... but not quite.

If you're new to romance novels, please take my advice and DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES. It will put you off Regency romances forever, unless you like stories where men can act like complete and total jerks, expecting wives to be madonnas while secretly wanting them to be whores in the bedroom, but not able to
Jan 31, 2016 Mimi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jedva sam pregurala prvih 200 stranica. Misli likova su zbrkane, izmijesane jedne s drugima pa se vise ni ne zna ko govori/misli. Glavni muski lik je kreten, a glavni zenski lik glupaca. Ruzan opis, ali istinit. Autorica kao da je pokusala da podvali njihovu zaljubljenost, ali kao sto i sami likovi u jednom momentu kazu, bez povjerenja nema nicega. A Aleks definitivno nema povjerenja u svoju zenu ni nakon sto joj obeca da se nece voditi svojim impulsima i da ce joj vjerovati.
Od 200te stranice r
I've given this a C+ for narration and C for content at AAR.

I remember reading the other two books in this trilogy several years ago, but for some reason hadn’t read the first, Potent Pleasures, so listening to this new audiobook version seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, it proved to be a disappointing experience overall, as the story relies too heavily on the fact that the main characters just don’t TALK to each other. The narration also leaves a lot to be desired, because, while there’s
May 25, 2014 Meg rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Meg by: amazon
I love Eloisa James. She's an intelligent, sensuous, witty romance author and her Desperate Duchesses series is up there on my read-and-read-again shelf. So it was with no fear or trepidation that I picked up Potent Pleasures. How wrong I was.

This novel is like a time warp back to the bad old days of Domestic Abuse-Means-Love 1970s romances. It commits more deadly sins of romance writing than most. For example:

1. the novel centres around a conflict that could be solved with a 30 second conversa
Jul 26, 2012 Suri rated it did not like it
My first attempt to read a book by Eloisa James and what bad luck I had to choose this story. I liked the beginning of this... a mistaken identity, unforgettable first for them. Liked it up to that point at the ball of her first come-out. Then everything went downhill for me.

I had thought he would be pining for Charlotte until they met again. But no, he got married and had a child.
My second dislike is there's a child involved. I always stay away from romances involving widows/ers with kids. Aar
Feb 06, 2013 Giedre rated it did not like it
This book made me so damn angry, specifically the asshat hero. Oh yes. And the heroine, who starts out as someone who could be called interesting and on her road to independency, but then is turned into this human-shaped doormat. She calls the hero a "madman", yet tells him that she loves him and will keep forgiving him. I just can't. I felt so angry throughout the book. I kept hoping for some kind of a payoff, but it just didn't happen. Just lots of anger. And once I finished it, I felt tired a ...more
Lita Bouquard
Nov 03, 2013 Lita Bouquard rated it it was ok
Wow, How many times can you be called a ho and accept it? There were several things that bothered me about this historical romance and that was the corker of them all. I also disliked:
A LOT of time spent detailing the friendship of Charlette and Josie(?) I forgot the BF's name already because after the initial mundane preferences of both characters, ex: one liked dancing the other didn't, one sat straight , the other lounged, she is dropped like a hot rock.
Whyyyyyyyyy? I want best friends to be
Jan 02, 2013 Huong rated it it was ok
Started off interesting. Story definitely unfolded very differently from what I expected. Charlotte is good heroine. Strong minded. Alex, on the other hand, was despicable. It was lust lust lust, "WHORE!" followed by more lust lust lust and then branding his wife a whore again. He basically ruined the whole book for me.
Tracy's Place
I have incredibly mixed feelings about this. When Charlotte and Alex were good they were very good. When they were bad it was SO bad I was shocked at how bad it was. Alex wasn't a complete ass all of the time but when he let his asshole ways shine through he really went off the deep end. How many times can you call your wife a whore and expect to be forgiven? The fact that Charlotte kept forgiving him boggled my mind. He said several times that he didn't deserve Charlotte. Damn right he didn't! ...more
AmyS Schmid
Sep 09, 2015 AmyS Schmid rated it it was ok
The heroine didn't get the memo that the hero has to WORK for your forgiveness when he screws up HUGE...Love doesn't make up for all acts of jackassery.
Neus Cámara gutiérrez
Dec 03, 2015 Neus Cámara gutiérrez rated it did not like it
No. Definitivamente no.
Este es el típico libro que metemos en la sección de romántica y que leído superficialmente pues aceptamos como maravilloso y bonito, porque está bien escrito y los personajes están bien. Te atrapa.
Ahora bien, si somos realistas y leemos REALMENTE el libro, éste libro es el ejemplo perfecto de 'marido-celoso-maltratador-psciológico' que es un idiota temperamental que a la mínima duda tilda a su mujer de zorra, puta y vete tú a saber cuantas cosas más. Y ella, en lugar de e
Kit Lau
Mar 18, 2015 Kit Lau rated it liked it
I agree with a lot of the other reviewers of this book that found it frustrating — a lot of it went downhill after the wedding and I couldn't believe for a second that the main heroine couldn't find the nerve to confront Alex about what really happened. The relationship seemed really emotionally taxing especially with Alex's crazy temper. I get it, he is hot, he is an earl, but you just can't get away with that kind of abuse and still forgive him! I get that back in Georgian period, women are ve ...more
Katherine 黄爱芬
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2009 Farrah rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
Eloisa James does a wonderful job on Potent Pleasures. Can you imagine being so “touched” from a “one night stand”(using today’s terms) that no future matches could really compare? Then imagine “falling” into them three years later and being just as enchanted. James writes about this very thing in the first book of her Pleasures trilogy (Potent Pleasures, Midnight Pleasures, Enchanting Pleasures) yet only one remembers the other even though both remember the moment. The Earl is a devestatingly h ...more
2.5 - 3 stars. (Sorry Gabriela, don't kill me!)

One of my friends lent me her copy of this book as she knows I enjoy reading romance novels and this was the first romance novel she ever read and it holds a soft place in her heart so she lent it to me to try.

+ I liked the characters -especially Charlotte and her mother who *gasp* actually cared about her daughter and her happiness
+ The 1 year-old daughter (Pippa?) was adorable.
+ Paintings! I loved that Charlotte painted people including her
Nov 03, 2013 Teresa rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Petty
Feb 25, 2010 Heather Petty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, ebook
This was my first romance novel.

And, to be honest, I probably never would have looked twice at this book, if it weren't for my agent. She and I were talking about something in my manuscript, and she said I should read Eloisa James to see what I could learn from her.

It was like my nightmare, being assigned a romance novel and then told to read an author who only writes REGENCY ROMANCE. *headdesk* The worst, possible scenario. I walked by her books a few times in the book store, wincing away fro
Patricia Burroughs
I could point out some specific issues with this book, but bottom line, I think the biggest issue is the omnipotent point of view. I felt removed from the characters and didn't really experience the cracktastic angst-fest this could have been.
Camille Azarcon
Aug 09, 2012 Camille Azarcon rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I started reading this novel with high hopes since there's a review by booklist that says this novel brings to mind the best of Judith McNaught (who is my fave author). And yes, it did remind me of JM's works. :) Alex and Patrick Foakes reminded me of Clayton and Stephen Westmoreland. Also, I felt like I was the one hurting when Alex misjudged Charlotte, which usually just happens when I read a JM novel. I'm so happy this book didn't disappoint me and I'm looking forw ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Susanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I borrowed a brand new MP3CD of this from my library to pass the time on my commute, then found myself scratching my head over its looooong, painfully contorted and improbable plot. I'd read Eloisa James' regency romances before and generally found them witty and well constructed. What a relief to discover this is a re-issue of her FIRST book, originally released in 1999. Why don't book jackets/audio covers ADMIT this? I might not write the author off entirely now . . .

This particular version is
May 17, 2015 Chelsea rated it did not like it
What? No. Just no. I usually love Eloisa James, but this... The hero is a complete asshole who didn't deserve the heroine; Charlotte should have dropped Alex like a hot potato. He didn't trust her, verbally and emotionally abused her, and came close to physical abuse, and yet somehow everything ends up tied up in a pretty ribbon? I don't think so.
Jul 13, 2011 Aviva rated it it was ok
While I liked parts of this book, I hate that it seems to suggest that if a man is properly apologetic or has an emotional trauma in his past, a woman should forgive his verbal abuse and other humiliations. I can see perhaps forgiving a solitary incident, but a second? No way. I read trashy novels like this as an entertaining diversion from real life.
Sep 21, 2010 Rennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eloisa-james
mau kasih 5* tapi cowoknya bego sangat jadi 4* ajalah
Marilyn Rondeau
Nov 01, 2015 Marilyn Rondeau rated it it was amazing
It really thrills me when I get to start a series that starts out as wonderfully as this one. I picked this up via Audible and spent a lot of my time just riding around to hear more. Had I been reading this, I’m sure I would have never put POTENT PLEASURES down - except to heed natures call - and to get something to eat or drink! Naturally as a fan of Eloisa James, this seems to happen each time I pick up one of her books - they’re just that good!

About to make her debut to society, Charlotte Cal
Jan 14, 2012 Thenia rated it really liked it
Very dramatic, realistic and heartbreaking story. Alex is a thickheaded fool for parts of it and it really makes me wonder at his stupidity (really, how stupid can you possibly be?!), but he realizes he's wrong and tries to atone, so we have no choice but to forgive him.

Charlotte made a mistake when she was younger and it has cost her dearly. She grew up abruptly and saw the world through jaded eyes, but still, she manages to get on with her life and let herself love.

I found it a little annoying
The hero was such an idiot!!! Ugh like the story was a good one but the hero I repeat is an idiot! I am not going to write proper review for this because some parts annoyed the hell out of me. The fact that the story had a good plot and amazingly written characters is probably the reason why I finished it and rated a solid three stars.
The heroine to me was your typical wishy washy type. One moment a strong and stubborn resolve. The next no back bone. Cause if some man would of said the things t
Jun 07, 2015 Nadine rated it it was ok
I like her writing but the female character is so passive here.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #170-172 Pleasures series by Eloisa James 1 2 Sep 05, 2015 09:17AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 10, 2015 07:56AM  
  • A Dangerous Beauty (Widows Club, #1)
  • The Perfect Stranger (The Merridew Sisters, #3)
  • Don't Tempt Me (Fallen Women, #2)
  • Lady Anne’s Lover
  • Twice Tempted by a Rogue  (Stud Club, #2)
  • How To Be A Scottish Mistress
  • His Wicked Ways (MacKay, #1)
  • One With the Shadows (Companion, #5)
  • An Invitation to Sin (Griffin Family, #2)
  • Lord of Ice (Knight Miscellany, #3)
  • Sleepless at Midnight (Mayhem in Mayfair, #1)
  • The Ruthless Charmer (Rogues of Regent Street, # 2)
  • The Devil's Necklace (Necklace Trilogy, #2)
  • Impostress
  • The Wedding Trap (The Trap Trilogy, #3)
  • Married to the Viscount (Swanlea Spinsters, #5)
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeat ...more
More about Eloisa James...

Other Books in the Series

Pleasures (3 books)
  • Midnight Pleasures (Pleasures, #2)
  • Enchanting Pleasures (Pleasures, #3)

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“Men are different,” Sophie retorted. “You can see that easily enough, Charlotte. Women may love one man, but men simply love the person they see before them. That old chestnut, absence makes the heart grow fonder, doesn’t work for men. They are like children with toys: They move on to the next shiny object if you take the old one out of their hands.” 0 likes
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