willaful's Reviews > Pleasure and Purpose

Pleasure and Purpose by Megan Hart
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's review
Sep 04, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: mmf-fmm, story-novella-or-anthology
Recommended for: openminded fans of thoughtful erotica

4.5 stars. When starting this collection of connected erotic stories, my first thought was “this is going to get old really fast.” A fantasy kingdom in which women, for implausible spiritual reasons, become submissive handmaidens trained to give solace to their clients in pretty much whatever form that takes... well, it seemed like an exercise in wish-fulfillment that was bound to be pretty dull and samish even before the first story ended. Nope -- all three stories were distinctly different and all three worked. And together they formed an effective interconnected narrative.

The story concerns three male friends who deeply love each other, but whose relationships have become damaged; though each falls in love with his handmaiden, the story is also about the healing of their friendships. I was fascinated by the depictions of complicated relationships which are both connected to sexual feelings and apart from them in a way that seemed very balanced and real. I won’t go much into the plot -- but there is one, or rather several, and they’re all interesting. I also really enjoyed the writing: that style of imaginary kingdom formality is hard to do without sounding ridiculous, but it feels just right.

My favorite story is the one I thought I’d like the least, about Cillian, the spoiled wayward Prince who is actually capable of great love and sacrifice. (And surprisingly, since Cillian is devoted to BDSM, it has the least amount of sex in the book... which is actually the point.) It opens with Cillian hoping to replicate Edward’s experience from the first story -- hire a handmaiden who will make his life perfect, give him exactly what he wants, and love him. Instead he gets an exhausted, hungry handmaiden named Honesty, who has her own needs and is feeling doubts about her career. Yet she is exactly what he needs to be able to stop hiding behind his sexual desires and become the person he was meant to be.

Possibly if I’d read more erotica I’d find this much less extraordinary than I did, but this is the first erotic romance I’ve read that really felt like it got it right. My only complaint is that I would have enjoyed more time shown on the development of the love relationships between the three couples. Even so, though I'd classify this as erotica rather than romantica, because more is involved than just monogamous love, my romantic heart was almost perfectly satisfied.
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Reading Progress

September 4, 2011 – Started Reading
September 4, 2011 – Shelved
September 7, 2011 –
page 181
49.18% "Color me shocked, but I think this is really, really good..."
September 7, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Gina (bibliobuff) I like your "recommended for" comment. I really enjoyed this entire series so far. The next book was my favorite, though it made me tearing-out-my-hair angry at times. But I guess that's a sign of a good book, one that conjures a strong emotional response.

willaful Certainly better than one that makes you roll your eyes...

Gina (bibliobuff) Very true. I've had too many of those lately. :/

message 4: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Ahhh you really had me until "erotica rather than romantica, because more is involved than just monogamous love" :-(

willaful Not a threesome gal, eh?

message 6: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Nope, don't like to share my toys :-)

willaful "Hrumph! I'm taking my sexy guy and going home!"

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