14 January 2015

Simply Pleasure by Kate Pearce

 Experience the illicit passions of Regency England in Kate Pearce’s House of Pleasure series…
Ten years as a sex slave in a Turkish brothel have left Val Sokorvsky a master in the art of erotic seduction. But even as he offered his body, he never offered his heart. Now that he is returning home he wonders what kind of welcome he will find. Only one person understands his pain and Val is helpless to resist the passion he feels for Peter Howard, his English lover…
Peter learned to survive his years as a sex slave by coaxing and teasing his lovers to the heights of sexual ecstasy. But there is only one man he’s ever loved, one man he can never take as his own. Returning to England may save him from captivity but it may also take away Val, the one man to whom he’d willingly give his body and soul…

Simply Pleasure is a quick m/m regency romance that gives the reader a brief look into the lives of Val and Peter after they’ve been liberated from a Turkish brothel and returned to England. Having spent ten years in sexual slavery, being prostituted out to both men and women, it is not surprising that they both have difficulty adjusting to their new lives – but for distinctly different reasons. Val expects his father to reject him and while the reader doesn’t witness all that he does over the course of three years, it appears that Val goes out of his way to give his father every reason to do so. Despite his best efforts to force a self-fulfilling prophecy, Val’s father refuses to turn his back on him and accepts his unsavory behavior because he wants his son’s presence in his life. On the other hand, Peter’s difficulty adjusting is because Val won’t claim him, nor will he let him go. It seems that every time Peter attempts to leave to make his own way in life, Val guilts him into staying with him and offers just enough physical interactions to keep him there. Being so close to the man he loves while Val refuses him most of the time is more than Peter can deal with emotionally, so he begins using opium again to the point that he becomes extremely addicted. When faced with the extent of Peter’s addiction Val takes it upon himself to get Peter off of the drug and make one of the most difficult decisions he’s had to make – to let Peter choose to live his life apart from him or to finally offer Peter the relationship that Peter wants.

As Simply Pleasure is a novella, we are not privy to the forging of the relationship the Val and Peter developed over their ten years together in the brothel. Despite this, Ms. Pearce presents bits and pieces of their past through their dialogues and memories that makes the depth of the bond between the men very apparent (as do the steamy sex scenes). Within the book’s first few scenes, their behaviors are such that it is easy to see the dynamic of their relationship and to understand that Val is both selfish and manipulative, but not necessarily in a bad way. He clearly cares for Peter, but the horrors he has experienced at the brothel prevent him from loving Peter, but he can’t let go of him either. Because Peter loves Val he remains with him after they return to England but his despair at the situation with Peter leads him back to opium in an attempt to numb the pain of living with Val without being with Val. Or at least that is my take on the story as Ms. Pearce writes it in such a way that the reader is left to infer certain things and draw conclusions about their behaviors and motives based on the conversations between the various characters. I really enjoyed the author’s writing and style of presentation as it left me feeling as though I read a full-length novel as opposed to a novella. Simply Pleasure was a great read and I look forward to checking out more of Ms. Pearce’s writing.
This is a simple novella about two young men, Val and Peter. Both lost at sea when pirates raided there ship ten years prior. Both boys (then 8, now 18) ended up in a Turkish brothel. The setting of the book is regency England but unsure of the period or year(s)
We start this story back on a ship heading back to England after the young men have been rescued by a missionary man named John Harrison. Val is having a difficult time coming to terms with the fact he has been rescued and not sure once they reach England that his family will want or except whom he is now, a whore. Peter doesn’t remember anything about his life prior to the ship being raided so has resigned his life/fate that once he sets foot back onto English soil he will just find another brothel and start doing the only thing he knows being a whore. And give up the one man he will always love, Val. 
I found this story enjoyable but wanted more. Maybe because it was only 55 pages, I couldn’t develop a strong connection between the two MC’s? Also the time jump, and the fact that Val just let Peter spiral out of control for three years and yet it only took, a few days to make it right? Knowing during that time, that Peter was doing this because he loved him and Val wouldn’t/couldn’t return the love. I loved the fact that at the end Val did in fact redeem himself, to Peter, and finally get out from under his father’s control.  I would like to read a longer story of Val and Peter the next 10 years.


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