shamelessPUBLISHING INFO: Aphrodisia, 2009
GENRE: Historical Erotic Romance
SETTING: England, 1819
SERIES: House of Pleasure, #3

FROM PUBLISHER: One forbidden weekend years ago, Helene Delornay found herself stranded with a total stranger. Bold, virile, and well-schooled in the erotic arts, Philip Ross opened Helene's eyes to a world of sexual delight she never knew existed. Now proprietress of London's most exclusive house of pleasure, Helene never forgot the carnal bliss she shared with Philip—and she never found another man who could satisfy the insatiable cravings he awakened within her...

When Philip suddenly returns to Helene's life, the physical attraction they share is far too strong for either to deny. Now as they explore their fantasies and take them beyond the limit, Helene discovers that her feelings for Philip run far deeper than that of just a lover...

MY THOUGHTS: This was awful. Nothing at all made sense to me. Helene is French and blonde with blue eyes. When she was a teen her family was captured during the French Revolution. In order for her life to be spared, she had to become a prostitute and service the soldiers. She was not quite fourteen and had a daughter, Marguerite, the following year.

Eighteen years after the prologue she's thirty-six and co-owns a 'pleasure house' with two male ex-prisoners of war that she helped escape when she was a teen. Members pay a yearly fee to have sex there with other members.

She's the mother of a twenty-one year old daughter and mother of eighteen-year old twins, Lisette and Christian. She's a terrible mother. When the twins were one, all the children were sent away to school in Normandy. She lied to them about her occupation and never even gave them her address! I don't think they ever visited her. She seems uncaring and doesn't understand why the twins don't seem to like her, especially Christian.

Philip is someone she'd met eighteen years before, right before she became involved with the pleasure house. They'd only known each other for one sex-filled weekend. He's around forty now, has blond hair and brown-hazel eyes. He's got a nasty attitude and is uptight. Coincidentally he came back into her life. They both said, at different times, that she 'left him' eighteen years before, as if they'd been in a relationship with each other. That comment is so puzzling to me.

There was an unbelievably outrageous sexual incident that happened between Philip, his wife, and her lover years before that had me rolling my eyes, is was that ridiculous. She died after years of declining health but we were never told what was ailing her. Their marriage was a sham and the story behind it was ridiculous and not at all believable.

One thing I didn't understand and found annoying was when her oldest daughter got married without telling her, Helene hired people to track her down. I don't know why the daughter was even brought into the story or why what went down with her husband happened at all. Both were useless characters that didn't do anything for the story.

George, one of Helene's business partners, is obsessed with marrying her, even though he's already married. It was discovered by Philip, who now co-owns the place too, that George has been stealing money from the business. When Helene finds out about it she's not mad and offers to help him out financially!

I really don't have anything positive to say about this book other than the sex scenes were explicit, just how I like them, and there were at least six of them, two of which involved Philip and a man named Adam, which I liked best. The characters were emotionless, except for Christian, and the whole novel just didn't make sense.

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