Prior to this, I had only read one other book ‘A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal’ by Meredith Duran and it had literally blown away my mind. Not only was the romance realistic the story line had its own charm. So when I came across At Your Pleasure I was eager for another mind blowing read but unfortunately it quite didn’t live up to my expectations.
Set in 1715, the Jacobean uprising serves as the backdrop of the story and the protagonists are pitted against each other because of their loyalties to their respective causes. Nora, Lady Leonora Towe, is a widow who has been looking after her brother David’s house Hodderby, while he is away in France and plotting an uprising against the new King George. Adrian Ferrers, the Earl of Rivenham is a renounced catholic, and one of the influential people in King George’s court. He’s given the duty to capture David and therefore arrives at Hodderby with his entourage.
Adrian and Nora also happen to have a bit of a back story. They have been former lovers who were separated due to his religion and a huge load of miscommunication. And even if they reconcile now there is a thick wall of loyalties separating them. Nora has been mistreated by her late husband and also misused by her father and brother. As a result of all the ill treatment she wants to be seen as an independent woman. She tries to enjoy and find happiness in small things in life – which is something that I firmly believe in too.
But as soon as Adrian shows up she goes completely irrational in her thoughts. She is all angry and pissed with life and with him. And that is when he is being reasonable and respectful to her, unlike the other men in her life. She holds him in the wrong light almost throughout the book. She questions Adrian’s loyalties and decisions whereas she herself fully supports her brother who ruined her life before and now has run away leaving her in charge of the entire household. Not only that, but David has stored gun powder in the cellar of the house and she stupidly lets him.
As for Adrian, he has his flaws too. He is too bossy (which I have noticed is typical for most of the heroes). He also has misconception regarding Nora and he’s extremely rude to her in the beginning but he lets it go after he learns the truth. Sadly, I just didn’t find any chemistry between the two of them. Yes there’s a lot of sexual attraction but it feels highly misplaced.
Nonetheless I would give 3.5 out of five stars to Meredith Duran for the fabulous writing style. It is a well-crafted story with a good amount of historical detail which is definitely a plus if you, like me, love the extra dose of knowledge.. 🙂