by Sylvia Day
Sylvia Day is one of those authors I've kind of been avoiding. I kept seeing her name everywhere, kept seeing her book covers everywhere and people recommending her, and I guess I mistakenly assumed she was another one of those authors who became a thing after writing a book that caters to the Fifty Shades of Gray crowd.Summary: Stolen Pleasures --Sebastian Blake, Earl of Merrick, long ago fled the responsibilities of his title to become the infamous pirate, Captain Phoenix. But the booty he’s just captured on a merchant ship is a fierce tempered minx who claims to be a bride…his bride, married to him by proxy on behest of their fathers. He could shame his hated family and return his beautiful wife untouched, but no treasure has ever proved more tempting to Sebastian, and making their marriage a true one–in every sense–is his one urgent desire …
Lucien's Gamble -- Lucien Remington’s reputation as a debauched libertine who plays by no one’s rules–in business or the bedroom–is well deserved. He gets what he wants, social repudiation be damned. But society can keep from him the one thing he truly desires, the untouchable Lady Julienne La Coeur. Until she sneaks into his club dressed as a man and searching for her irresponsible brother. Suddenly she’s in Lucien’s grasp, his to take, and his mind is filled with the most wickedly sinful thoughts. A gentleman would walk away from the temptation she presents. But then, Lucien has never claimed to be a gentleman…
Her Mad Grace -- Hugh La Coeur never wanted to be the Earl of Montrose. Wine, women, and a hefty wager are preferable to responsibility of any kind. It’s certainly preferable to spending the night in an eerie, neglected mansion owned by a legendary madwoman. The duchess’s companion, the fiercely independent Charlotte, is another matter altogether. Hugh would be happy to spend as many nights in her bed as possible. He knows she’s hiding terrible secrets, but for once in his life, Hugh has the desire to take on someone else’s burden as his own, no matter what the danger…
I blame the covers of her books...they're all clearly meant to be reminiscent of FSoG and that appeals to some people, but it didn't to me, instead it had the opposite effect.
Anyway, that's my long and rambling way of saying I misjudged her books. Or, at least, her as an author -- I haven't read any of her other books to know if they'd prove that judgement right. I picked this one up because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and because I hadn't realised she'd written historical romance too.
And, well, I wasn't disappointed by it. I like her writing and it was fun and (mostly) fast-paced book, exactly what I needed to snap me out of my reading slump. I really enjoyed the first two stories (Stolen Pleasures and Lucien's Gamble), they were cute and entertaining -- predictable, but in a good way. The third story was just okay, I didn't enjoy it as much and found the plot and the characters to be a bit too bland and Charlotte/Hugh lacked the spark the other pairings had.
The only real issue I had with the book was that two of the stories were guilty of the kind of thing Julie and I discuss in this post.
I'd rate the book 3 stars out of 5. I enjoyed it enough that I've added some of Sylvia's other books to my to-read list.