Berkley, Mar 1 2011, $15.00
In 1897 London, Marston kindly tells his mistress forty-one years old Lady Ruth Attwood that he has formed a tender with Ernestina Fitzgerald. Ruth knows he is being kind as the tendre is because Ernestine is much younger than her until she asks for the money he promised her. He becomes a sanctimonious pig telling her to sell the jewelry he gave her; she knows that will bring in a paltry sum considering her loyal servants Simmons and Dolores and the orphans at St. Agnes she funds. She knows her career as a prime choice courtesan is over.
Considered a stud Baron Garrick Stratfield learns like the rest of the Ton that Marston cut off Ruth. Being the son of a mother who abandoned him and his sister and a father who committed suicide masculine Garrick is extremely discreet. However even after bashing in a lord who insulted his sister, he has a secret that has left him a virgin. Garrick hires Ruth to teach him how to make love with a woman. As they begin their tryst, they shockingly begin to fall in love though he is so much younger than she. However, a serpent wanting to blackmail one of them and bury the other begins using insider knowledge to tell lies.
Pleasure Me is a refreshing late Victorian erotic romance starring two unlikely lovers in a May-September relationship. Ruth is a rare protagonist as an experienced woman “passed” her prime falling in love; Garrick is as rare male lead as a virgin. Although the villain’s actions detract from a profound gender bending character study, historical romance readers will appreciate the love story of the older courtesan and the very virile virgin.