Monday, January 26, 2015

Simply Pleasure by Kate Pearce

Simply Pleasure
Simply Pleasure by Kate Pearce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Simply Pleasure by Kate Pearce blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.

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