Several years ago, I was rummaging around for something new—from someone new, to read at the local used book store and stumbled across the book DESIRE NEVER DIES by Jenna Petersen. I remember sorting through the bagful that I’d brought home and for whatever reason chose this book to read first. The other books I’d bought gathered dust for awhile, as after reading this book I went back to the store and bought every book they had by Ms. Petersen that I could find.

So, imagine my surprise and delight, when a few years later—after indulging in a little guilty pleasure with an erotic historical called EVERYTHING FORBIDDEN—I rediscovered Ms. Petersen in the form of her newest incarnation, Jess Michaels. Now my e-book library is just as full of her titles as the book shelves in my office!

A MATTER OF SIN, is the first book in her latest series, The Ladies Book of Pleasure and begins with country house-party designed as a matchmaking effort by Seth’s mother to find him a suitable wife and mother to the future heir of the title he inherited after the passing of his older brother drops the responsibility squarely in his hands.

Scandal between the pages…surrender between the sheets.

The widowed Lady Isabel Avenbury has one remaining younger sister to shepherd into an advantageous marriage, and then she will be free. Free to take a lover to fill her lonely nights—the only option left for a woman on the delicate edge of a certain age.

Except when she chaperones her sister to a country house party, she is taken aback by her sudden, undeniable attraction to the host. And deliciously scandalized when she finds a copy of the notorious, much-gossiped-about Ladies Book of Pleasures in his library.

When Seth Rowland, Marquis Lyndham, notices his book is missing, his interest is piqued as to which of the potential young brides at his party has absconded with it—and he’s shocked to discover it’s Isabel. Though older than the women he’d planned to court, the powerful beauty exudes a sensuality he cannot ignore.

The book inspires them to begin a desperate, passionate affair. But their time together is running out and they must choose. Follow society’s rules, or take a chance at love.

Resigned to doing his duty, but not particularly happy about it, Seth inspects each of the young debutantes his mother had invited without a flicker of interest, until a familiar face from the past arrives as chaperone to her younger sister. Unfortunately, the lovely widow Avenbury does not fit the requirements of youth and fertility that the title needs, but as a man she is all that he could ever desire.

If you are looking for a steamy, sensual and emotionally charged romance to read during these dog days of summer, than this is the one to choose.

Married for more than a decade to a much older gentleman and having had the role of mother to her two younger sisters thrust upon her soon after the marriage, Isabel has decided that as soon as she finds a husband for her youngest sister Serena, she will begin living life for herself, by taking a lover.

Inspired by the rumors she has heard about a scandalous new book taking the Ton by storm, Isabel is anxious for this new passionate aspect of her life to begin and when she finds a copy of “The Ladies Book of Pleasure” it sets in motion an unexpected love affair with Seth that is doomed from the beginning but, destined to last a lifetime.

This was a beautiful story, beautifully written about finding that perfect someone in an imperfect situation and allowing love to overcome the many obstacles designed to keep them apart.

The passionate love scenes play a large role in the story, but they do not dominate in the way that some that are categorized as “Erotica” tend to do, but merely emphasize the level of attraction between this couple. A fine line to maintain and Jess Michaels does it with class and flair.

If you are looking for a steamy, sensual and emotionally charged romance to read during these dog days of summer, than this is the one to choose. And be sure to keep an eye open for the next book in the series, A MOMENT OF PASSION, coming out in October.

Please support the author by purchasing her book:

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.