My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For the second book in the House of Pleasure series - it was almost a 5 star book for me. Almost.
This one focused on Peter Howard, who we met in book 1. He was also a sex slave in a Turkish bordello, along with Lord Val (from the previous book). At the end of book 1, we see Peter, Val, and his wife Sara involved in occasional threesomes - and all parties are ok with that. While in the bordello, Val was often violent when he was forced to be with male customers, and many times, Peter would step in and take over Val's duties....since Peter had no problem sleeping with men.
So anyway - this book starts with Val telling Peter that Sara is pregnant and he is requesting that Peter stop coming to their bed during this time. Peter takes this to mean that Val and Sara no longer want him, so he storms off without giving Val a chance really explain his request. Shortly after, Peter ends up at the House of Pleasure when he is introduced to Lord Beecham. And they soon have a quick tumble in the sheets and the men part ways. Later on we find out that Lord Beecham is married to sweet Abigail Beecham, and although they have never really had a sexual relationship - she now wants a child. Lord Beecham, knowing of Peter's relationship with Val & Sara, decides that Peter should join him and his wife in bed.....and help the couple come together sexually.
Pretty soon, it's clear that Lord Beecham is falling for Peter - and so is Abigail. On the other hand....Peter finds himself falling for Abigail and Lord Beecham as well. (Though, later on, his feelings do tend to go more to Abigail.)
One of the things I love about this author and this series is that even though it takes place in pre-Victorian England, the language for sexual acts, body parts, etc, and strictly modern. I respect the author's choice to go head first into anachronism-land. I think it's a bold choice for an author to make who is writing a historical romance novel.
The only reason I'm giving this book less than 5 stars is because of this one whole scene/chapter that is all about the sexual slave/master relationship. Granted, it was well written, but it was just a hair outside of my comfort zone. But that being said, the character that is the master does it for a very particular reason - that makes the HEA happen.
All in all - I give this book a solid 4.5 stars. Now....on to book 3.