Simply Scandalous should not be read as a standalone. If you really wanted to, you could figure everything out as you go b
Rating: C ... Heat: Sizzling
Simply Scandalous should not be read as a standalone. If you really wanted to, you could figure everything out as you go but, as I discovered, it isn’t terribly easy. I spent the first 30% of this book thinking, ‘Huh?’ and ‘Who?’ and ‘What?’ Which made it difficult to simply immerse myself in. But, eventually, it all began to make sense and I was able to really sink into the House of Pleasure world.
The first character we meet is Richard Ross, a former spy now enjoying the retired life. So much so that his family thinks him... dull. And in a family where his father is married to the former proprietress of London's most exclusive house of pleasure—which his half brother now runs—being called boring rubs him the wrong way. He itches to prove to them he isn’t the dullard they think. And when he gets dragged into a new assignment, his life becomes more exciting than he bargained for. And brings him face to face with a ghost from his past.
Violet LeNy, in hiding and now known to the ton as Vincent Lennox, was also a spy. Knowing that Richard won’t forgive her for faking her death, she also knows he’s the only one that can help her and her twin brother, Jack. Desperate to save her and her brother’s life, Violet will do anything to get Richard to trust her again.
And I do mean anything. And by anything, I’m talking anything sexual. Richard Ross is quite creative in that regard, let me tell you. Wow. Watching those two get reacquainted was seriously steamy and creatively kinky.
Though Richard and Violet may be the main hero and heroine, I think they are outshined by Emily Ross and Ambrose.
Emily, Richard’s younger sister, is sheltered and protected. And, when most of her family spends their days in a house of ill repute, that probably isn’t a bad thing. But no matter their best intentions, Emily finds herself in love with the pleasure palace’s manager—a freed slave named Ambrose. And she spends her days trying to convince (and tease and torment) him to risk it all for her.
Ambrose has had a rough life and doesn’t ever want to be homeless or at anyone else’s mercy. And even though he pines for Emily, he doesn’t feel worthy of her. He also doesn’t want to risk his relationship with Emily’s half brother, Christian. But all his protests prove fruitless when Emily begins her one woman campaign to seduce him. And seduce him she does.
Simply Scandalous is not your run of the mill historical romance, that is for sure. These characters are like... hedonists. Pleasure for one and all, with no reservations. And the sex—it is sinfully erotic and kinky. We're talking back door play, male on male, and even some creative use of antique sex toys... And, not gonna lie, I loved it all. So much so that I wish there was more of it and less of the espionage aspect. I just couldn't get into it at all. I guess spy games aren’t my thing.
But my thing is definitely heroes and heroines who behave badly—the more lascivious and bawdy, the better! I can’t wait to go back and read Christian’s book, Simply Carnal. And I’m really hoping Jack Lennox’s book is next because it will be wild. Miz Pearce has truly created something special here with her House of Pleasure series.
With a groan, he kissed his way down to her taut nipple and drew it deep into his mouth, sucking and licking it until she was panting. His hand covered her mound, his middle finger sliding easily into the thick wetness to find the swell of her bud. He circled her there until she met every demand with a roll of her hips, until she was clutching at his shoulders, demanding her due, seeking her pleasure from his fingers.