This time I have the anthology Private Places (Berkley) with steamy historical stories from one of my faves, Robin Schone, as well as Claudia Dain, Allyson James, and Shiloh Walker. James leads things off with 'The Decidedly Devilish Duke' where the widiwed Amelia Lockwood is forced to marry Michael Beaulieu, Duke of Bretherton, the man who broke her heart many years ago. But now he's back and can help her. He just didn't anticipate the erotic turn their marriage would take. Or the lengths their enemies would go to to keep them apart. I liked this one quite a bit, far more than her Jennifer Ashley material. Dain's 'A Night at the Theater' stars two young women attending the theater in London, both with men on their minds. One is a courtesan looking for marriage while a former lover tries to take his revenge, and the other is an actress trying to wreak her own revenge on a rival. Plenty of naughty hook-ups here, but there's not really any romance, I'm afraid. 'Hunter's Mercy' from Walker has Mercy Harper trying to continue on with her life after witnessing horrors no woman should see, and Jack Callahan, friend of her brother's who's always wanted Mercy, and now she needs his help, whether she likes it or not. Not my cup of tea. Then there's 'The Men and Women's Club' from Schone, with Ardelle Dennison and Joseph Manning about to face a court inquiry into their group's meetings, while they recall their shared past, sharing painful details from even further in their separate pasts, and a wicked, wicked night together. My favorite of these stories is the Schone, of course, but I liked the James almost as well. For these two alone, I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows. If I had it to do over, I'd skip the other two stories altogether.
Until next time, happy reading!
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