Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Pleasure Garden (Anthology)

Authors: Amanda McIntyre, Charlotte Featherstone, Kristi Astor
Publisher: Spice (Harlequin)

Many lifetimes ago, the beautiful MAY QUEEN found exquisite seduction not with her husband, but in the arms of the GREEN MAN—the passionate ruler of all that is warm and light. And thus began the earth’s most torrid love triangle.

Now three women of diverse eras are drawn to the mystical site of the Celtic queen’s tragic demise. Their fiery obsession ignited by BELTANE MAGIC is barely perceived, but erotically felt. With each kiss, their passion would break an ancient curse— and reunite a love most profound…

Driven by an unseen force, the goddess maiden seduces the one man forsaken by law and principle—an Irishman soon for the priesthood…


The future countess of Fairfax House yearns for illicit nights and perfect love in the arms of her betrothed’s cousin…

She inherits a decrepit house and garden that awakens in her a raw sexual awareness, the likes of which she can abide alone no longer…

The Pleasure Garden contains three novellas, each taking place in the same garden, but in a different time.

Sacred Vows is Cara's and Edmund's tale. It takes place during a time when their relationship was forbidden due to the laws in England at the time. I likes this tale the least of the three. I had a hard time believing that Cara could be so caught up in the 'magic' of the garden that she would give up her virginity so easily to a man she met minutes before then be instantly in love with him. I thought Edmund was a wimp for not sticking around despite the laws.

I thought Perfumed Pleasures, Catherine and Joscelyn's tale, was better. He is a fallen war hero who has been wounded and severely scarred. Catherine has always loved him, but is forced to become engaged to his cousin because of family obligation. While I did think that Catherine was a bit weak when it came to standing up to her family, I loved how she was able to see through Joscelyn's scars and see the man he used to be. I liked their HEA.

Rites of Passion, Emmaline and Jack's tale, is the strongest of the three. Both have seen the horrors of war and have deep emotional scars. Their love for one another allows them to heal and find happiness. Their HEA was very sweet.

Overall, it was a good anthology. The loves scenes were well done and very sensual. All three authors can definitely write a love scene. I liked the Green Man theme that ran throughout the book. Was the curse of the Green Man broken? Read the book to find out!


* note: I read an ARC of Pleasure Garden supplied courtesy of Harlequin. I was not compensated in anyway for this review. By receiving a complimentary copy, I am in no way obligated to write a good or bad review. I am an honest reviewer and my reviews are based on my own opinion and only written by me.*

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