Pearce, Kate. Simply Sinful. (New York: Aphrodisia, 2008). ISBN – 9780758223555.
Main Characters: Lady Abigail Beecham and Peter Howard
Related Works: This is part of Kate Pearce’s Regency House of Pleasure series.
- Simply Sexual – story of Sara Harrison and Valentin Sokorsky
- Simply Sinful – story of Peter Howard and Lady Abigail Beecham
Description from Book:
A Wicked Proposition . . .
Forced to wed at a young age, Abigail Beecham is tired of living in a sexless marriage. She longs to succumb to the delicious pleasures of pure carnal lust that she has only read about. And if her husband can’t satisfy her erotic needs, she’s ready to find a man who can . . .
A Wild Past . . .
Peter Howard is accustomed to unusual sexual requests. His ten years as a slave in a Turkish brothel left him skilled in sensual delights. But there is little that actually arouses him – until he meets Abigail. Now he longs to tease and torment her until she cries out with pleasure. Maybe then he’ll finally experience that exquisite feeling of bliss he so desperately desires . . .
I got very caught up in the story of Lord Valentin Sokorsky and Sara Harrison in Kate Pearce’s Simply Sexual. In this book, the author introduced us to Peter Howard. Valentin and Peter have a very complicated relationship – having both been slaves in a Turkish brothel. Other refer to them as best friends and business partners, but their is so much more to their relationship. They also have a sexual relationship – although in Simply Sexual one gets the impression that Valentin tries to repress this part of their relationship (unless they are together with his wife Sara). I was very intrigued by the character of Peter Howard – and even more intrigued by the relationship between Peter and Valentin. While Valentin seems to have difficulty accepting his need for sexual contact with Peter, Peter is rather open about the fact that he enjoys sex with both men and women. So, I was looking forward to reading Peter’s story.
At the beginning of Simply Sinful, Peter seems rather out of sorts. He is bored – even while surrounded by the sexual excesses at Madame Helene’s House of Pleasure. Fortunately, Madame Helene has a cure. She introduces Peter to Lord James Beecham, a man who needs Peter’s help. Peter is attracted to James and agrees to help James fix his non-existent sexual relationship with his wife Abigail. Abigail and James had been forced to marry years earlier after James had been discovered having sex with a man. They were also forced to consummate the marriage with painful and humiliating results for Abigail. Years later, she has asked James to give her a child. James is unsure, but feels strongly that he owes Abigail. Peter agrees to help. Thus begins the relationship between Peter and Abby. While Peter does help James and Abby reconnect sexually, James’ sexual needs are too much for either Peter or Abby to meet regularly. James definitely prefers men and needs to be dominated. It is Peter and Abby who grow close and eventually fall in love.
I loved the character of Peter Howard – first in Simply Sexual and then in this book. I enjoyed his story and was happy that he found love with Abby. However, I did find the whole James-Peter-Abby triangle a bit strange. Peter first develops feelings for James – and James for Peter. They are in a semi-relationship before Peter even meets Abby. This relationship between the two men made it a bit difficult for me to accept that Peter ends up in a commited relationship with Abby while James takes off to find a man from his past. According to the story, James can’t stay with either Abby or Peter because neither can give him the pain and domination that he needs in his sexual relationships. I understand the concept and can see this being an issue. However, it seemed as if James just simply turned his off his feelings (especially for Peter).
The other issue that I had with this story centers around the relationship between Valentin and Peter. In this book, their relationship is strained when Valentin tells Peter that he isn’t welcome in Valentin and Sara’s bed any longer. The conversation between the two is brief and awkward. Valentin was a bit short and Peter didn’t give him much of a chance to explain. This strain between the two lasts for most of the book (and I wish it had been resolved more definitively). We found out at some point that Valentin didn’t tell Sara why Peter no longer shared their bed. He let her believe that Peter found her less attractive due to her pregnancy. This irritated me to now end. Peter allowed Sara to continue to believe this – feeding into her hurt feelings. When Valentin and Peter to somewhat resolve their issue, there is some indication that the two might continue to be intimate. But no mention is made of sharing their wives. I don’t really get where the relationships are going. I do not believe that either Valentin or Peter can be sexually satisfied with one, female partner. The bottom line? I wanted more about Peter and Valentin. There has to be some fascinating stuff between the two. They are connected; they will continue to be connected. What is the status of their relationship at the end of Simply Sinful.
None of this means that I didn’t enjoy Simply Sinful. I did. I admit that I was a bit unsatisfied at the end because I felt as if there could have been a better resolution for James, Peter and Abby and for Peter and Valentin. I’m only unsatisfied because I care so much about the characters. I know there is another story in the series – and I am looking forward to it.
Read first October 31, 2008