Simply Forbidden by Kate Pearce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love this series so much, I'm not sure why I ever doubt that I'm going to enjoy one of the books in it. (Especially after I could get through - and COMPLETELY LOVE, I might add - the book about the hated Lorn Minshom.) But this one, featuring Helene's youngest daughter Lisette....I'll admit, I didn't think I would be too keen on. Like I said, why do I have to doubt? LOL
The book starts out with Lisette wondering about the quite Lord Gabriel Swanfield. He's at her father's house to discuss horses, and seems perfectly content to keep to himself. Lisette, ever the curious one, strikes up a conversation with the handsome Lord and is somewhat taken aback by his lack of interest in her. (Or so she thinks!)
Eventually, the two strike up a sort of friendship when Gabriel offers to teach (or reteach) Lisette how to ride a horse. They meet up a few mornings for lessons, and one day after their lessons are over, Gabriel grabs her and kisses her passionately and eventually that leads to an orgasm, although they don't have sex. While the scene was totally hot - I couldn't help but think....."Ewww! They both probably smell like sweaty horses!" But anyway.....
Through their sort of "love to hate you" relationship, Gabriel tells Lisette that he will not bed her because he doesn't want to get married. Being the daughter of Madame Helene of the Pleasure House - sex before marriage isn't exactly a problem for Lisette. Besides, she isn't a virgin anyway. But Gabriel won't budge. He refuses to have sex with her because he absolutely doesn't want to have children out of wedlock.
Lisette knows there is more to Gabriel than meets the eye. Something about his unwillingness to have sex just doesn't sit well with her. After she learns from her twin, Chrisian, that Gabriel often frequents the Pleasure House - Lisette decides to investigate. She goes to the Pleasure House (disguised, of course) to see for herself what kinds of things that Gabriel enjoys. She finds him in the role of a servant and he allows various people to touch him and pleasure him, although she does find out later that he doesn’t have actual sex with anyone at the House.
To get back at Gabriel, she decides to request him for a private session in which she has him masturbate to climax in front of her. (He doesn’t know who she is.) And during another similar session, Lisette actually gives him a blow job and right as he’s climaxing, she reveals who she is as she’s running out the door. (Always the lady, that one.)
Oddly enough (or not) this little event seems to sort of bring them closer together. She feels bad for playing the prank, he feels more comfortable with her because obviously she is just as freaky-deaky as he is when it comes to bedroom fun.
As their psudo-relationship continues down it’s sorrid little path, we learn why Gabriel is so opposed to having bastard children. We also learn that Gabriel has, on occasion, batted for the other team. (Starting when he was a prisoner during the war.....and it most often occurred with his friend/cellmate, Paul.)
Sidenote: We learn during casual conversation that my hated/loved Lord Minshom did indeed have more children - TWIN GIRLS!
Lisette and Gabriel continue along their “no sex that can get Lis pregnant” relationship until one night in the pleasure house. They have a hot night of buttsecks and end up falling asleep together. Lisette wakes up to the sound of some very noisy fireworks and gets out of bed and finds Gabriel huddled in a corner - obviously having some flashback to war. As she’s trying to comfort him, he grabs her and they have sex - you know, like vagina sex. At first Lisette isn’t sure if he even knows that he’s having sex with her, but he calls her name and then has sex with her again. After which he tells her that he will speak to her father and ask for her hand in marriage. (Whoa, there, buddy!)
Lisette is very taken with Gabriel, but she isn’t sure that she wants to get married.....even if their one night of sex might have resulted in a pregnancy. But Gabriel is very insistent. So much so that he ends up sort of kidnapping her and tries to take her to Scotland to elope. Initially, she fights him, but the reality of it is.....she’s fallen for Lord Gabriel and when she has the chance to leave his side, she doesn’t take it.
Lisette and Gabriel do end up coming back to London without getting married, but only because she has agreed to marry him and wants to do so in front of her family. This is done very quickly - like the next day.....I think.....and come to find out, her family was sort of in on the whole elopement thing. This infuriates Lisette because she thinks her family either wants to get rid of her or they don’t trust her enough to make her own decisions. Oddly enough, she isn’t all that upset with Gabriel.
The newlyweds try to settle into married life, but they’re finding it difficult given their “supposed” place in society.....their mutual affinity for kinky bedroom sexy times.....his family troubles.....their iffy reputations, etc. But if you’ve read any of the books in this series, you know the hero and heroine are gonna work it out....even when it seems impossible.
Dear Lord, how much do I love this series. Like I said earlier, even when I think the characters aren’t going to interest me....I’m proven wrong. (And I love to be proven wrong about a book!) I love that these are essentially period pieces but the characters are SO sexual and downright dirty! As I’ve said in another review, those Regency Brits were a randy bunch! And I love it. And by saying that, I’m not implying that this book has just enough story to be able to move sex scene to sex scene. That’s not true for any book in this series. There is a very rich world built in this series, and yes, it does all revolve take place in and around the Pleasure House, but it’s not just just sex that drives this series - it’s the characters and their stories. And if part of their story just happens to involve jade dildos and buttsecks, well, that’s ok too.
And PS - I know the next book is Christian's story. I'm predicting he ends up with Paul. There SO needs to be a M/M HEA in this series!