NOTHING DENIED by Jess Michaels

nothingPUBLISHING INFO: Avon Red, 2/2010
GENRE: Erotic Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1800's (I guess)
SERIES: Albright Sisters, #3

FROM PUBLISHER: Entering her seventh unsuccessful season, Beatrice Albright is beginning to realize that her beauty cannot compensate for her shrewish ways. A desperate woman whom no one wants, she must seek a man whom no one else will marry: the despised and mysterious Marquis of Highcroft, Gareth Berenger. Rumor has it he is a killer, but Beatrice is far more terrified of spinsterhood and the company of her mother than she is of Berenger's dark reputation.

But Gareth, while intrigued by the alluring hellion's proposal, has a proposition of his own. A man of particular tastes, he will wed no woman unwilling to satisfy them. His bride must be adventurous, afraid of nothing, and eager to experience any passion and pleasure he can devise, no matter how shocking and taboo. If Beatrice agrees to a trial affair if she can happily shed all her inhibitions in the end they will be wed.

And so the die is cast as Beatrice and Gareth embark on an erotic path where danger awaits them at every turn, en route to a world of exquisite ecstasy where there is nothing forbidden...nothing denied.

MY THOUGHTS: I feel this story is underdeveloped and a touch lightweight. It took place within two weeks, not counting the epilogue that jumps ahead five years. We didn't learn anything about Beatrice's or Gareth's childhoods. I don't even know how old they are or what year this took place. I guess she's twenty-three, since girls had their first 'season' at sixteen. This novel is fairly short, 260 pages, but there was still room to fully develop the characters.

I liked Beatrice at first, until she got rude with a servant. She's direct and didn't hesitate to go after what she wanted, in this case, Gareth. She's got jealously issues and feels like her family has pushed her aside in order to find her sisters' husbands. She's gotten tired of it so took matters into her own hands out of pure desperation. I still don't understand why no one would marry her. Having a 'bad attitude' doesn't seem reason enough to keep men away from an attractive woman.

The widowed Gareth is looking for a wife he's sexually compatible with, since he wasn't with his first wife. Their relationship turned real sour. She did something terrible and I'm not sure I understand why and there's no sense in trying to figure a fictional character out. I don't really have an opinion on Gareth. He and Beatrice embark on a two week sexual relationship to see if they're compatible and if they are, they're to get married. I liked that the sex was graphic but was turned off by the mild bondage. That never does anything for me. I was glad the author used the P word, as most tend to say 'cunt' instead. There was also anal sex, which was a nice change. You don't get that a whole lot in historicals.

There was a mystery thrown in right near the end that was solved just as quick as it came. That should have happened sooner in the story and should have taken longer to solve.

Overall, I liked the story up until the later part when her sister and brother in law made and appearance and the mystery at the end. Same review here.

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