By Janet Mullany
3 out of 5 STARS
CALL IT SENSE AND Sensuality... Louisa Connelly, a recently widowed Jane Austen scholar, needs some relief from her stifling world. When a friend calls to offer her a temporary escape from her Montana ranch, she is whisked into a dizzying world of sumptuous food, flowing wine...and endless temptation. She's an honored guest at Paradise Hall, an English resort boasting the full experience of an authentic Georgian country-house weekend. Liveried servants tend to the every need of houseguests clad in meticulous period costume: snug breeches, low-cut silken gowns and negligible undergarments. It's Mac Salazar, a journalist immersing himself fully, deeply, lustily in the naughty pleasures of upstairs-downstairs dalliances, who piques Louisa's curiosity-and libido-most. He's a dilettante straight out of a novel: uninhibited, unapologetic and nearly insatiable. But Lou's not romantic about this much, at least: Paradise Hall is a gorgeous fantasy, nothing more. A lover like Mac is pure fiction. And the real world beckons....
ARC provided by Harlequin.
Release date: August 21st, 2012
Though I enjoyed this enough to read it in just a few sittings, I have mixed thoughts about this book. The main character is Louisa AKA Lou. She is a Jane Austen scholar, 27 years old and widowed. She finally decides to leave behind her ranch in Montana to go on vacation to visit her friends in England.
Peter and Chris purchased a historic property that was rumored to be a place that Jane Austen either lived at or visited. They have let their imagination run wild and have created an Inn where everybody dresses in period clothing, ditches all modern conveniences and gets a little randy with each other.
Mac is a journalist staying at the Inn. He earned the nicknamed Mr. Darcy and though he's there to write an article, he's in the thick of it as far as the sexual escapades go.
We also have Rob. He's 19, about to head off to Cambridge but making some extra money in the meantime as the head footmen at the Inn.
So those are the notable players in this tale. Lou has quite the voyeuristic first encounter with Mac and they soon find themselves pleasuring each other.
The story is so-so. There is a lot of sex in this book with a menage a trois or two thrown in for good measure. Though there was sex aplenty, the scenes were not super graphic nor would each encounter last very long.
The characters are all likable enough but I really didn't have any kind of attachment to any of them. I liked Rob. His encounters with Lou are great and I liked the kink factor with these two. I just felt that overall the character development was lacking a bit. It would have been great to see more character growth before such revelations are made i.e. jealousy, fighting, love.
I definitely recommend it to somebody who likes romance with a slight historical flair. Even though it has some dark/sad moments, I overall think it was a light, quick read.