My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Robin Schone is one of those erotica authors I’ve been meaning to read for a loooong time. This month I just felt like it and A Lady’s Pleasure seemed just the type of story to begin with. I have to say I enjoyed the storyline and liked the characters. However, I did have some issues with the writing style at first.
Lady Abigail, the sister of an Earl, has just arrived to a faraway seaside cottage to spend some alone time. She’s turning 30 in a couple of weeks, which means she has to say goodbye to her hopes and dreams of being married. She’d become a complete on-the-shelf spinster. But in Abigail, there beats a passionate heart. It’s not like she never wanted marriage but she never found the type of man she always wanted; wild and passionate who’d not be ashamed of her own curiosity about sex. Abigail reads erotica, plenty of them. She has a good, if not practical, knowledge of what goes on between a man and a woman. But her dreams would never come true, and so she has resigned to her fate.
On that stormy night, a stranger comes knocking on her door... or rather barges in when he finds the doors unlocked. He seemed to have injured one leg and lost his horse. Abigail at first, very naturally, is frightened. She was indulging in the reading of an edition of ‘The Pearl’ before going to bed. But now, she’s afraid because she has never been this close or this alone with such a big, virile man. He introduces himself as Colonel Coally, or Robert, and asks for shelter from the weather. At least, for this night.
Despite her doubts, Abigail can’t help but be aware of the Colonel in a very different way. She also can’t turn him away; the weather is rather terrible with the incessant rain and thunderstorms, for which Robert is absolutely grateful. But he’s more grateful to find himself in the close proximity of an attractive woman.
Since he joined the army, Robert hasn’t known much of a woman’s soft touch, apart from the occasional whores and camp followers. Life hasn’t been pleasant and the visions of war and other gruesome episodes, like the men he’d killed, have never stopped haunting him. Robert has PTSD and on a night such as this, he just wanted to forget. But his journey to the nearest village ends in a disaster, which led him to this nearby cottage. How can Robert keep his hands to himself and not take this woman who reminds him of everything he has ever wanted, yet will never have?
Same thoughts were swirling inside Abigail’s mind too. Then innocuous talks turn intimate, when Robert finds The Pearl... and other things among Abigail’s possessions. This interesting turn of events unfold a new possibility. Fantasies knock on the door for both Abigail and Robert. Apparently some things are meant to be. And it can be as beautiful and passionate as they’ve always dreamed of.
But the question is, when the morning inevitably comes, where would this interlude lead them to?
The story in itself was rather steamy but I would’ve loved some backstory on both Robert and Abigail because I found them very interesting. Robert was very intense and possessive. Abigail was as passionate about things as him, so I never thought their intimacy was out of place. What bugged me the most was the writing style, at least the first few pages, as I’m not fond of fragmented sentences. Also, the times when they’d talk during sex; seemed way too much talking to me. And the reading of a journal when something of that proportion is going inside you? *SMH*. Unbelievable! The misunderstanding seemed rather silly and I found it mind-boggling when they finally see each-other again, neither Robert, nor Abigail questioned what-the-hell?. I don’t know, it seemed odd because both were quite hurt after that misunderstanding.
3.5 stars but I would’ve rated better. I’m very much interested in the Lover series, which I’ll read sometimes later.
This novella was originally published in the anthology Captivated (1999).