Pleasured by Candace Camp

April 9, 2015

Och, it's time for Super-hump Sassenach man, ye ken.

I haven't read Candace Camp since days of yore when she was Lisa Gregory, and that's been a long time. The skills of a veteran writer are still very prevalent in Pleasured, but before I
begin with my take on this novel let me talk about Peter Jackson. I promise, I will connect the dots. I'm a big fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Love the adventure, love the story. But, I am not such a big fan of battle scenes, especially digitized synchronized battle scenes that go on and on and on. For all of you who have sat through these movies you will know that the battle sequences are quite lengthy. However, there is the magic of DVD and fast-forwarding, something not available in a theater. It's amazing how short those movies are when one is pressing the fast forward button on a remote control. Why do I do that if I love these movies so much? Well, my answer is, if you've seen one digitized synchronized battle scene with orcs you've seen them all. One can only take so much repetitious flying through the air, rhythmic elves jumping over dwarves before one becomes indifferent to the glut. And, that is what happened in Pleasured.

Of course, I did not have a remote control in my hand, but I did skip. What did I skip? Let me put it this way - Damon, our hero, had one of the busiest Timothy Toads I've seen in a long time. This guy was on alert from the moment he cast eyes on our heroine, Meg, to the very last page. And, when Meg finally caves in, OMG, the whacky-dack just filled the pages. Pages and pages. My eyes glazed over.

I'm one of those people who loves Scottish-based romances; never grow tired of all that brogue. I have to admit that Pleasured is vivid in its portrayal of Scotland. There is a strong sense of what was going on at this time period in Scottish history, especially with the land clearances. One of the things which I found interesting was the rendering of our hero Damon when he's allowed to show something more than how much his Timothy Toad controls him. A lot of English lords in Scottish romances are portrayed as the unknowing landlord. Usually they have an evil steward who has been doing things to the poor Scottish people without his knowledge or his approval. Well, in this book we do have an evil steward; however, Damon has told his steward to clear the land of people and told him to make it a productive land. He of course isn't aware of some of the really loathsome things his steward has been doing. So, it was interesting to watch Damon struggle with his aristocratic rights and what Meg wanted for the Scottish people. Because of the way Ms. Camp portrayed Damon's right-to-the land thought process, the antagonism between Meg and the rest of the Scottish people was a little bit more realistic, not the normal we-hate-you-because-you're-a-Sassenach. I thought the conflict in this story was well thought out.

Speaking of Damon's thought processes, he jumps to a number of wrong conclusions concerning Meg. You see, Meg is a healer who lives by herself. Because she has a nice little cottage, she doesn't seem to be starving and she has no visible means of support, he jumps to the conclusion that she sells herself. Because of his over-active Timothy Toad, he tries to set her up, thinking she will be honored. Not only does Meg not like him because he's kicking people off of the land, but now he offers her dishonorable employment. Which she flings back in his face with relish. They are off to a pretty rocky start. There are sparks that fly off of this couple from the very beginning; it is a constant entity hovering in the background. However, as I've said before, once they act upon their desires the spark or chemistry or blaze was overdone and I lost interest in watching these two maneuver around the bedroom.

A moment of reflection. I wonder why in Romanceland when we have a couple who have extra hot steam, can't keep their hands off of each other, that the first time they act on it, they insist on taking off all of their clothes. I can understand partial clothing. In fact I would prefer a half open shirt and some boots left on occasionally. It just seems to me that they start out in this frenzy, then take the time to remove all of their clothes and since I read mainly historical we are talking a lot of clothes. I would love to see the first time frenzy with the clothes on - just once.

Overall, while there were parts of this book I really liked, for the most part, the story was overwhelmed by all the cavorting conjugation. The characters had possibilities but when they crossed that line the story lost its appeal for me. Sometimes all the spark and sensuality gets lost in redundancy.

Time/Place: 1807 Scotland
Sensuality: Lots, but not sensual

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