Title: The Pleasure of Your Kiss
Author: Teresa Medeiros
Publication: Pocket Star Books, 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I absolutely adore Teresa Medeiros. She’s absolutely everything a romance author should be. Her plots, while uncomplicated, still make the reader feel as though she’s getting more out of the novel than a smut-fest, her characters are wonderful, and I never leave her books without feeling like love truly does conquer all. This is the 10th book I’ve read by her, and I think only one really failed to meet my expectations. She focuses mainly on historical fiction, which is one of my favorite romance sub-genres, but I found her through one of her few time-travel stories, which is my absolute favorite type of romance. I’ll read almost anything you put in front of me.
I think what makes Teresa stand out more than other romance authors is the care she takes with her characters, and I do mean all them. She fleshes out even the most minor of her players, given them individual personalities and motivations. If the person has a name, they have a story, even if it’s just a small one. No character feels useless, and I really, really enjoy that.
The Pleasure of Your Kiss focuses on Clarinda, a Regency heiress on her way across the ocean to be a director of the East India Company. Along the way, her ship is attacked by corsairs, and she and her companion are sold into a sultan’s harem. Desperate to rescue his bride, her fiance, Max, hires his rapscallion brother, Ash, to save Clarinda from the clutches of the lecherous Arab. Ash almost refuses, wanting nothing to do with the woman who broke his heart years before agreeing to marry his brother, but he can’t just sit by and let her waste away in the harem.
During the story, we learn about Ash and Clarinda’s past, discover that the sultan isn’t precisely the ogre he is assumed to be, and Clarinda faces a difficult choice between two men who saved her life and the one man without whom her life has no meaning.
A romance in the most traditional sense, I fell in love with Ash and Clarinda, and I eagerly await Teresa’s next novel, which focuses on Max.
If you’re a romantic at heart but this doesn’t sound *quite* like your cup of tea, I’ll highly recommend my two absolute favorites of Teresa’s books: Breath of Magic, which tells the tale of a Salem witch who travels through time and shows a cold-hearted businessman who doesn’t believe in magic that love is the most powerful spell of all, and The Bride and the Beast, a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast in 1600s Scotland. Both are absolutely fantastic!