Ripe for Pleasure by Isobel Carr

May 11, 2011

Well, I'm torn
I have been impatiently waiting the arrival of the first in the series of The League of the Second Sons, Ripe for Pleasure by Isobel Carr. You remember Ms. Carr - she used to be Kalen Hughes and let me tell you I was pretty upset when she was shafted by her publishing company. Of course, she wasn't the only author to be shafted, but luckily she's one who found another publisher. (I still have my fingers crossed for some other authors.) Anyway, I've been waiting and waiting for this one to come out. Which is why I'm torn.

This book had a number of things I liked a lot... but there were some things that I didn't like so much. Which to do first? Let's go with the good things. I loved the time period, Georgian, with all the clothing, hoops, flue-flue, wigs; it's such a lush period. It's lush in clothing and in morals, and Ms. Carr does a fine job of exploring that time period. The secondary characters were all intriguing and developed pretty well for the amount of time they were in the book. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Beau (Leo's sister) in the next book. And, the hero's (Leo) friends, the second sons - I kept hearing "hunka-hunka men" in my mind while reading this story. All of his friends had different interesting personalities, they were not just a group of manly sequels. I loved the hero's family: they were funny, eccentric and hopefully we will see more of them. The heroine, Viola, wasn't a virgin - oh no my dears, she's a courtesan and she's not a pretend courtesan either. Nope, she's had numerous men in her boudoir and she's writing her memoirs, so, she's been at it for awhile. So, those parts of the story were very intriguing.

Where I was disappointed was in the development of the love story itself. Oh, there was lots and lots and lots of really hot sex, in all kinds of places, all kinds of ways, but even with all of that sex, I didn't feel any chemistry between the two main characters. Neither Viola or Leo had any personality, at least when they were with each other. I saw a spark of personality when Leo was with his friends and I thought Viola's interaction with Leo's mother was wonderful, but when they were together all that they had was the sex, and that wasn't enough. (Speaking of sex - and there was tons of it in this book - their first time together was missing. At least I couldn't find it and I went back and reread the passage because I thought I'd missed it. So, that was a little puzzling.) The villain was another piece that was odd. We know from the beginning that he's the villain, he even gets shot but still he's around causing trouble. No one seems to keep an eye on him, and he keeps showing up like a bad penny. Once a villain's down, he shouldn't rise again. That's my motto.

So, as I said earlier, I'm torn with this book. I like some of the characters, just not the main ones; love the time/place and am looking forward to the next in the series. I just wish this one had lived up to my expectations.

Time/Place: Georgian England
Sensuality Rating: Scorcher


Tracy said...

Their first time together was missing? That IS puzzling.

That's too bad about the lack of chemistry as the story sounds great otherwise. I'll have to check this one out. Although...I hate when the sex tries to make up for the lack of romance. Hmmm...

SidneyKay said...

Tracy: It was a Huh moment. It wasn't as if they hadn't done any heavy hanky-panky or exploding...spoiler...but it was mentioned almost in passing of him visiting her bed for the last two nights. I guess I'm just used to being present for the first time, even when neither one of them are virginal. I've always felt the first time is important to the development of both characters.

SidneyKay said...

Well, I noticed my comment did not make it back after the Blogger oops last week...I of course do not remember what I said...sorry Tracy, I think it was about missing the first time together scene how important that scene is to romance books.

Melanie said...

Hey Kay!
OK! So I have this book on my TBR for RRAH review site and I already read some weird reviews! I'm really dreading it, and pushing it for later...

BTW! I'm having Grace Burrowes on my blog. Have you read her debut The Heir? She's giving away 3 signed copies so stop by, K?

I read a few of the excerpts from her upcoming new books and I'm liking it.


SidneyKay said...

Melanie...I haven't read Grace Burrows yet...however, I have been keeping an eye on her. And, good luck with Ripe for Pleasure

Melanie said...


Now I recolect it;))