Enchanting Pleasures (Pleasures Trilogy Series #3) [NOOK Book]

Overview

People magazine named Eloisa James' novel Midnight Pleasures “Page Turner of the Week” and raved “Romance writing does not get much better than this.” Now the acclaimed author returns with another sumptuous tale of passion and misadventure in Regency England....

Gabrielle Jerningham cherishes the portrait of her betrothed, the perfect Peter Dewland...until she meets his commanding older brother Quill. But it is Peter to whom she has been ...
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Enchanting Pleasures (Pleasures Trilogy Series #3)

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Overview

People magazine named Eloisa James' novel Midnight Pleasures “Page Turner of the Week” and raved “Romance writing does not get much better than this.” Now the acclaimed author returns with another sumptuous tale of passion and misadventure in Regency England....

Gabrielle Jerningham cherishes the portrait of her betrothed, the perfect Peter Dewland...until she meets his commanding older brother Quill. But it is Peter to whom she has been promised. And how can she possibly transform her voluptuous, outspoken self into the poised gentlewoman Peter requires?

When Gabby’s shocking décolletage plunges to her waist at her first ball, Peter is humiliated. But Quill comes to the rescue, to the peril of his heart. An accident years before has left Quill plagued by headaches--the kind that grows more excruciating with strenuous exercise. Needless to say, this hardly bodes well for siring progeny. But the very sight of Gabby leaves Quill breathless. One forbidden kiss and Quill vows to have her, headaches--and Peter--be damned! But it will take a clever man--and a cleverer woman--to turn the tables on propriety and find their way to true love....

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Eloisa James's Paris in Love.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Lovely lady sets out to cure her new husband's migraines—which improves their sex life to no end—in another winner from Regency-romancer James (Midnight Pleasure, 2000, etc.). A serious riding accident six years ago left Quill Dewland with a limp and excruciating three-day migraines triggered by any rocking motion. Horseback riding is out of the question, and as for sexual congress—well, it's clear to the apoplectic Viscount Dewland that his eldest son may well be unable to provide an heir to the family fortune, even though Quill's shrewd investments in the East India Company have multiplied said fortune many times over. Younger son Peter will have to marry instead, and the conniving viscount has arranged for a suitable young heiress to be delivered to London all the way from India for just that purpose. Peter, however, is a powdered, pomaded, social-climbing fop; one swift look at Lord Jerningham's charmingly disheveled daughter, Gabrielle, makes him wince. Other men may admire her provincial impertinence, glorious bosom, and tawny, tumbling curls, but not Peter. Passionate Gabrielle is momentarily piqued—until she falls into Quill's arms. Darkly handsome, powerfully built, and utterly unlike his finicky brother, he's the man of her virgin dreams and quickly woos and wins her. But the terrible headaches that afflict him after lovemaking trouble her conscience. She searches for a cure, but Quill has other things on his mind, like the political machinations of unscrupulous Englishmen seeking to put a puppet ruler on an Indian throne to increase their own influence and profits. It's whispered that Gabrielle smuggled an Indian princeling into England, a feeble-mindedboy some want dead, although she's determined to protect him. Quill gets to the bottom of that mystery, while Gabrielle consults a Brahman priest, whose secret herbal remedies will either cure her husband . . . or kill him. Delightful heroine, masterful hero, and an ingenious plot: intelligent, sexy fun.
From the Publisher
“Another winner...delightful heroine, masterful hero, and an ingenious plot: intelligent, sexy fun.”
Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307569493
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/2/2009
  • Series: Pleasures Trilogy Series , #3
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 37,869
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Eloisa James
Eloisa James is also the author of the acclaimed novels Potent Pleasures and Midnight Pleasures. She is a professor of English literature who lives with her family in New Jersey.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
St. James's Square, London
1806

Fate had just dealt Viscount Dewland a blow that would have felled a weaker -- or more sympathetic -- man. He gaped silently at his eldest son for a moment, ignoring his wife's twittering commentary. But a happy thought revived him. That same wife had, after all, provided him with two male offspring.

Without further ado he spun on his heel and barked at his younger son, "If your brother can't do his duty in bed, then you'll do it. You can act like a man for once in your life."

Peter Dewland was caught unawares by his father's sudden attack. He had risen to adjust his neckcloth in the drawing-room mirror, thereby avoiding his brother's eyes. Really, what does a man say to that sort of confession? But like his father, Peter recovered quickly from unpredictable assaults.

He walked around the end of the divan and sat down. "I gather you are suggesting that I marry Jerningham's daughter?"

"Of course I am!" the viscount snapped. "Someone has to marry her, and your brother has just declared himself ineligible."

"I beg to differ," Peter remarked with a look of cool distaste. "I have no plans to marry at your whim."

"What in the bloody hell do you mean? Of course you'll marry the girl if I instruct you to do so!"

"I do not plan to marry, Father. Not at your instigation nor at anyone else's."

"Rubbish! Every man marries."

Peter sighed. "Not true."

"You've squired about every beautiful gal that came on the market in the last six years. If you had formed a true attachment, I would not stand in your way. But since you haven't made a move to attach yourself, you will marry Jerningham's girl.

"You shall do as I say, boy," the viscount bellowed. "Your brother can't take on the job, and so you have to do it. I've been lenient with you. You might be in the Seventh Foot at this very moment. Have you thought of that?"

"I'd rather take a pair of colors than a wife," Peter retorted.

"Absolutely not," his father said, reversing himself. "Your brother's been at the point of death for years."

Inside the drawing room, the silence swelled ominously. Peter grimaced at his elder brother, whose muscled body proclaimed his general fitness to the world at large.

Erskine Dewland, who had been staring meditatively at the polished surface of his Hessians, raised his heavy-lidded eyes from his boots to his father's face. "If Peter is determined not to marry, I could take her on." His deep voice fell into the silent room.

"And what's the point of that? You can't do the job properly, and I'm not wedding Jerningham's daughter to ... to ... in that case. I've got principles. The girl's got a right to expect a sound husband, for God's sake."

Quill, as Erskine was known to his intimates, opened his mouth again. And then thought better of it. He could certainly consummate the marriage, but it wouldn't be a very pleasant experience. Any woman deserved more from marriage than he could offer. While he had come to terms with his injuries, especially now that they had ceased to bother his movement, the three-day migraines that followed repetitive motion made his likelihood for marital bliss very slight.

"Can't argue with that, can you?" The viscount looked triumphantly at his eldest son. "I'm not some sort of a caper merchant, passing you off as whole goods when you're not. Mind you, we could. The girl wouldn't know a thing, of course, until it was too late. And her father's turned into such a loose screw that he's not even accompanying her out here.

"Point is," Dewland went on, turning back to his youngest son, "the girl's expecting to marry someone. And if it can't be Quill, it's got to be you. I'll send your picture over on the next boat."

Peter replied through his teeth, each word spaced. "I do not wish to marry, Father."

The viscount's cheeks reddened again. "It's time you stopped gadding about. By God, you will do as I say!"

Peter avoided his father's gaze, seemingly absorbed in flicking the smallest piece of lint from the black velvet collar of his morning coat. Satisfied, he returned to the subject at hand. "You seem to have misunderstood me. I refuse to marry Jerningham's daughter." Only the smallest tremor in his voice betrayed his agitation.

The viscountess broke in before her husband could bellow whatever response he had in mind. "Thurlow, I don't like your color. Perhaps we might continue this conversation at a later time? You know what the doctor said about getting overtaxed!"

"Balderdash!" the viscount protested, although he allowed his wife to pull him back onto a couch. "By George, you had better obey me, Mister Peter Dewland, or you will find yourself out the door." The veins of his forehead were alarmingly swollen.

His wife sent a beseeching glance to her youngest son. His jaw was set in a manner that his father would have recognized, had there been a mirror in the near vicinity.

But before Peter could say a word, his father erupted out of his seat once again. "And just what am I supposed to say to this young girl who's coming all the way over from India? Tell her that you 'prefer not to marry her'? You planning on telling my old friend Jerningham that you decline to marry his gal?"

"That is precisely what I suggest," Peter replied.

"And what about the money Jerningham's lent me over the years, eh? Given it to me without a word of advice -- just sent me over the blunt to do with as I like! If your brother Quill hadn't pulled down a fortune speculating on the East India Company, Jerningham might still be lending me money. As it is, we agreed to consider it a dowry. You will marry the gal, or I'll ... I'll..."

The viscount's face was purple all over now, and he was unconsciously rubbing his chest.

"Quill could pay back the money," Peter suggested.

"Bloody hell! I've already allowed your brother to turn himself into a merchant, playing around on the Exchange -- I'll be damned if I'll allow him to pay off my debts!"

"I don't see why not," Peter retorted. "He's paid for everything else."

"That's enough! The only reason your brother -- the only reason I allowed Erskine to take on the smell of the market was because -- well, because he's a cripple. But at least he acts his age. You're naught but a fribble, a sprig of fashion!"

As the viscount drew a breath, Quill raised his head and met his younger brother's eyes. In the depths of Quill's silent apology, Peter saw the manacles of marriage looming.

His father was glaring at him with all the frustration of a ruddy, boisterous Englishman whose younger son has proved to be nothing like himself. Peter cast a desperate look at his mother, but there was no help to be found.

He quailed. His stomach churned. He opened his mouth to protest, but could think of nothing to say. And finally, the habits of a lifetime's submission took hold.

"Very well." His voice was hollow.

Kitty Dewland rose and came to give him a grateful kiss on the cheek. "Dear Peter," she said. "You were always my comforting one, my good child. And in truth, darling, you have escorted so many women without making an offer. I'm certain that Jerningham's daughter will be a perfect match for you. His wife was French, you know."

In her son's eyes there was a bleak desolation that Kitty hated to see. "Is there someone else? Is there a woman whom you were hoping to marry, darling?"

Peter shook his head.

"Well, then," Kitty said gaily. "We will be right and tight when this girl -- what's her name, Thurlow? Thurlow!"

When Kitty turned around she had found her husband leaning back and looking rather white. "M'chest doesn't feel so good, Kitty," he mumbled.

And when Kitty flew out of the drawing room, she was far too discomposed to note how odd it was that her beloved butler, Codswallop, was hovering just on the other side of the door.

"Send for Doctor Priscian," she shrieked, and trotted back into the room.

The plump and precise Codswallop couldn't resist taking a curious look at the elder Dewland son before he rang for a footman. It was that hard to believe. Erskine had a physique Codswallop had secretly admired: a body remarkably suited to tight pantaloons and fitted coats, the kind of body housemaids giggled about behind stairs. Must be some sort of injury to his private parts. Codswallop shuddered sympathetically.

Just then Quill turned about and looked Codswallop in the face. His eyes were a curious green-gray, set in a face stamped with lines of pain and deeply tanned. Without moving a muscle, he cast Codswallop a look that scathed him to his bones.

Codswallop scuttled back into the hall and rang for a footman. The viscount was supported off to his bedchamber, followed by his clucking wife. Young Peter bounded out the door looking like murder, followed rather more slowly by Quill, and Codswallop pulled the drawing-room doors closed with a snap.


Some three months later, the whole affair was tied up. Miss Jerningham was due to arrive on the Plassey, a frigate sailing from Calcutta, within the week. There was one last explosion of rage on the part of the viscount when Peter announced, on the day before Miss Jerningham was due to arrive, that he was taking a long sojourn in the country. But by supper on the fifth of September, the sullen bridegroom had taken himself off to his club rather than to Herefordshire, and Viscount Dewland repeated over stewed pigeon that the marriage would be an excellent solution to all their problems. There was an unspoken acknowledgment between Thurlow and his wife that Peter, if left to his own devices, might indeed never marry.

"He'll settle down once the girl arrives," Thurlow declared.

"They will have beautiful children," added Kitty.

Only Quill seemed to have a growing sense of unease about the forthcoming marriage. After his parents left the salon, he walked restlessly to the windows overlooking the gardens. He leaned forward, resting his forehead against the hard curve of his forearm, shifting his weight slightly from his protesting right leg. He was accustomed to the blustery explosion of his father's rage. He had tolerated it for years by listening in silence and then following his own inclination. Peter had ever bent with the wind, and so it was no surprise that ultimately he gave in to the viscount's plans. Surely Peter could not have really thought to escape marriage, once it became clear that he or his son would inherit the title someday.

But an uneasy chill sat on Quill's heart. He remembered the girl's name, even if no one else did: Gabrielle Jerningham. And what would Gabrielle's life be like with Peter as her husband? It would be an urbane life, a sophisticated life. Likely the young couple would share the kind of marriage Quill saw frequently in the ton: cool and friendly.

He straightened, moving into a great arching stretch. His body was outlined by light thrown against the dark glass, every muscle caressed by his clothing. It was a body honed by denial, exercise, and pain: a body whose master knew its every strength and its every weakness. It was not the body of an average gentleman of the London ton in 1806.

Quill shrugged back his hair. Damned if it wasn't getting unfashionably long again. For a moment he froze, struck by a memory of the wind screaming past his face, wrenching his hair back from his scalp as he rode a galloping stallion.

But horses, like sex, had become a delight whose payment was greater than the offered pleasure. The rhythmic motion of horseback riding invariably instigated three days of agony in a darkened room, his body covered in sweat and gripped by nausea, his head clenched in a steel band of pain. And the only advice doctors had offered was that his head injury of six years ago had led to an inability to endure rhythm. Any kind of rhythm.

Quill's jaw hardened and he mentally shrugged off the image of a galloping horse. To his mind there was nothing worse than lamenting what could not be. Women and horses were simply part of his past, and no part of his future.

Then he grinned. The very sports he was mourning -- a hard riding session and a woman's nightly companionship -- were delights that held absolutely no interest for Peter. Lord, but he and his brother were as alike as chalk and cheese.

At any rate, he was probably worrying about Gabrielle and Peter for naught. Peter might not like the idea of marriage, but he did love female companionship. A decorous French miss, with whom Peter could gossip, discuss fashion, and attend balls, might well become his closest friend. And Gabrielle was an elegant name, one that brought to mind a woman versed in the ways of the world. Peter had a great admiration -- nay, a passion -- for beauty. Surely an exquisite young Frenchwoman would be able to coax him into compliance with an unwanted marriage.


Unfortunately, Quill would have abandoned that hope could he have seen the aforementioned exquisite Frenchwoman.

Peter's fiancee was kneeling on the floor of her cabin, looking into the eager face of a young girl who sat before her on a small tuffet. Gabrielle's hair was tumbling about her ears, and her old-fashioned dress was crumpled. The last thing she resembled was a sophisticated French miss from La Belle Assemblee.

"The tiger crept through the tangled jungle." Gabby's voice was a thrilling whisper. "He put one paw softly before the next, barely disturbing the song of the magpies far above. His long tongue licked his chops at the thought of the delicious meal that trotted before him."

Phoebe Pensington, a five-year-old orphan being sent to live with English relatives, shivered as Gabby, whose soft brown eyes had taken on a tigerish glare, continued.

"But when the tiger reached the edge of the forest, he stopped short. The goat was walking along the shore, his white hooves prancing at the very edge of the tumbling azure waves of the Indian Ocean. And the tiger was afraid of water. His stomach urged him to follow, but his heart pounded with fear. He stopped in the speckled shade of a bongo-bongo tree--"

"But Miss Gabby," Phoebe broke in anxiously, "what did the tiger have for supper that night if he didn't eat the goat? Wouldn't he be hungry?"

Gabby's brown eyes lit with amusement. "Perhaps the tiger was so mortified by his own lack of courage that he went to a far-off mountaintop and lived on nothing but fruits and vegetables."

"I don't think so." Phoebe was a very practical little girl. "I think it's more likely that the tiger would have gone after that goat and eaten him up."

"The tiger had a cat's natural abhorrence for water," Gabby said. "He didn't see the beauty of the waves as they danced into shore. To him the curling waves looked like the claws of tiny crabs, reaching out to nibble his bones!"

Phoebe gave a thrilled little shriek just as the door to the cabin swung open, breaking the spell of Gabby's voice.

The black-gowned figure of Eudora Sibbald stared at the scene before her. Miss Gabrielle Jerningham was unaccountably positioned on the floor. As always, her hair was tumbling out of its knot and her dress was rumpled. It wasn't for Mrs. Sibbald to recognize the beauty of Gabby's shining golden-brown hair as it worked loose from pins and combs and assumed its normal position: halfway up and halfway down. No -- what Phoebe's governess saw was a proper hoyden, a young lady whose hair echoed her general demeanor.

"Phoebe." Her voice rasped like a rusty gate.

Phoebe scrambled to her feet and bobbed a curtsy.

"Miss Jerningham," Mrs. Sibbald continued, rather as if she were addressing a recalcitrant scullery maid.

Gabby was already on her feet and greeting Mrs. Sibbald with a charming smile. "Do forgive us--" she began.

But Mrs. Sibbald interrupted. "Miss Jerningham, I might have misunderstood you." Her bearing indicated that she never misunderstood anything. "I trust that I did not hear you mention nibbled bones?"

Really, Gabby thought to herself, Sibbald couldn't have entered at a worse moment.

"Oh, no," Gabby said, her voice soothing. "I was merely telling Phoebe an improving tale from the Bible."

Mrs. Sibbald's jaw lengthened. She'd heard what she'd heard, and it didn't sound like any Bible tale to her.

"The story of Jonah and the whale," Gabby added hastily. "You know, Mrs. Sibbald, since my father is a missionary, I find it quite natural to relate stories from the Bible wherever I go."

Mrs. Sibbald's mouth relaxed slightly. "Well, in that case, Miss Jerningham," she allowed. "However, I must beg you not to overexcite the child. Excitement is injurious to the digestion. And where is Master Kasi Rao Holkar?"

"I believe Kasi is taking a nap at the present, Mrs. Sibbald. He mentioned a wish to retire."

"If you'll forgive me for saying so, Miss Jerningham, you coddle that boy. Prince or not, a deserving tale from the Bible would do him some good. After all, he's a native. Lord only knows what sort of influences he had as a child."

"Kasi grew up in my house," Gabby said. "I assure you that he is as Christian as little Phoebe."

"An unfeasible comparison," Mrs. Sibbald announced. "No Indian could be as Christian as an English child.

"It is teatime," she announced. "Miss Jerningham, your hair has fallen again. I advise that your coiffure receive immediate attention." And on that lowering note, Mrs. Sibbald left the cabin.

Gabby sighed and sank into a chair, realizing that there did seem to be a large number of wispy curls hanging about her face. Then she felt a tug on her gown.

"Miss Gabby, she forgot me. Do you think I ought to remind her?" Round blue eyes stared worshipfully at Gabby.

Gabby pulled Phoebe's leggy little body up onto her lap. "I swear you have grown half a head in this trip," she said.

"I know," Phoebe replied, looking with disapproval at the hem of her gown. She stuck out a booted leg. "My dress has become so short that my pantaloons are beginning to show!" Her eyes were round with horror at that idea.

"When you reach England, I'm sure that you will have a new dress."

"Do you think she'll like me?" Phoebe whispered into Gabby's shoulder.

"Will who like you?"

"My new mother."

"How could she not like you? You are the sweetest five-year-old girl aboard this whole ship," Gabby said, rubbing her cheek against Phoebe's soft hair. "In fact, you may well be the sweetest five-year-old who ever sailed from India."

Phoebe pressed closer. "Because when I had to say good-bye to my ayah" -- a farewell that seemed to have traumatized her far more than the untimely deaths of two parents she scarcely recognized -- "my ayah said that I must be very, very good or my new mama will not like me, since I don't have any money to bring her."

Gabby silently cursed Phoebe's ayah -- and not for the first time. "Phoebe," she said as firmly as she could, "money has nothing to do with whether a mother loves her babies or not. Your new mother would love you even if you arrived in your nightdress!"

And she devoutly hoped it was true. From what the captain had told her, there had been no answer to the letter sent to Phoebe's only living relative, her maternal aunt.

"Miss Gabby," Phoebe said, her tone hesitant. "Why did you tell Mrs. Sibbald that your story was of Jonah and the whale? My ayah told me never to tell an untruth -- and especially never to a hired person. And Mrs. Sibbald is a hired person, isn't she? She was hired to accompany me to England."

Gabby gave Phoebe another little hug. "Your ayah was right in the main. But sometimes a fib is permissible if you can make someone feel happy. Mrs. Sibbald would very much like to think that you are learning stories from the Bible. And when I told her you were, she felt happy."

"I don't think Mrs. Sibbald ever feels happy," Phoebe observed, after thinking about it for a time.

"You could be right," Gabby replied. "But in that case, Phoebe, it is even more important not to overset her."

"Do you think that if I told my new mama that I had some money it would make her happy? Would it make her like me?"

Gabby swallowed. "Oh, sweet pea, I am only talking about little fibs. You couldn't say such a thing to your new mother! That's a big untruth, as opposed to a small one. And it is very important not to tell even small untruths to important people like your new mother."

There was an unconvinced silence.

Gabby thought desperately. Really, for all her eagerness to have children, she was beginning to see that it was far more difficult than she had imagined.

"Are you bringing any money to your new husband?" Phoebe's voice was muffled because she had her face pressed to Gabby's shoulder.

"Yes," Gabby said reluctantly. "But that money will not make Peter love me."

Phoebe's face popped up like an inquisitive robin from its nest. "Why not?"

"Peter will love me for myself," Gabby said with quiet conviction. "Just as your mother will love you for yourself."

The little girl hopped onto her feet. "Well, then, why did you tell Mrs. Sibbald that Kasi was in his chamber having a nap? That wasn't true, and it didn't make her happy."

"A different kind of rule," Gabby explained. "My sweet Kasi is frightened to death of Mrs. Sibbald."

"What kind of rule?" Phoebe inquired.

"You have to protect the weak from the strong," Gabby said, and then amended herself. "That's not exactly right, Phoebe. You know what Kasi is like. Handing him to Mrs. Sibbald would be like feeding the goat to the tiger."

There was a slight noise behind the screen protecting the tub from plain sight. The little girl peered around the screen. "Kasi Rao, it's time to get out of there." She put her small hands on her hips. "What would Mrs. Sibbald say if she could see you in the tub with all your clothes on?"

"Let him stay there if he prefers," Gabby called across the room.

But Phoebe shook her head firmly and stated, with a force that Mrs. Sibbald would have admired, "It is time to have tea, Kasi. You needn't worry. I won't let Gabby talk about the tiger again."

A very slender boy with innocent eyes that took up half his face peeked around the corner of the screen and then checked, unwilling to emerge from the safety of the corner.

Phoebe took his hand and tugged. "There is no one here but us, Kasi."

Soft brown eyes darted back and forth between Gabby's smiling face and the hand she held out to him. Kasi wanted to come out, obviously, but it was so far across the room, and the room was so very open.

Phoebe pulled at him impatiently. "Mrs. Sibbald thinks you're napping, so you're quite safe."

"We'll have tea together," Gabby said reassuringly, as Kasi gathered his courage and hurtled himself to her chair, sheltering under her arm like a chick that had strayed from its nest. "Are you hungry, little brother?"

"Kasi isn't your little brother," Phoebe said. "He's a prince!"

"Well, that's true. But his mother was related to my father's first wife. And he grew up with me, so I feel as if he is my brother." Kasi had stopped trembling and was playing with the locket Gabby wore around her neck, humming a tuneless, happy song as he tried to open the catch.

Phoebe came around to the other side of the chair and leaned against Gabby's leg. "May I see the picture of your husband again?"

"Of course you may." Just before they set sail for England, a miniature of her future bridegroom had arrived. Gabby gently took the locket from Kasi's fumbling hands and opened it.

"Is he waiting for you in London, Miss Gabby?"

"Yes," Gabby said firmly. "We shall all be met at the dock, Phoebe love. Your new mother will meet you, and Mrs. Malabright will meet Kasi, won't she, sweetheart?" She looked down into Kasi's pointed little face.

To her satisfaction, he nodded. She had been reminding Kasi every day that Mrs. Malabright was coming to see him when the vessel landed.

"And then what will happen, Kasi?" she prompted.

"Live with Mrs. Malabright," he replied with approval. "I like Mrs. Malabright." A shadow crossed his eyes and he added, "I don't like Mrs. Sibbald."

"Mrs. Malabright will take you to her house, and you needn't ever see Mrs. Sibbald again," Phoebe said, rather bossily. "I will come visit you though. I will visit you secretly, and I won't tell anyone where you are."

"Yes," Kasi said with a contented lilt in his voice. And he returned to playing with Gabby's locket.

"Do you like your new husband, Miss Gabby?" Phoebe asked.

Even looking at the miniature portrait of Peter, of his soft brown eyes and wavy hair, made Gabby's heart beat faster.

"Yes, I do," she said softly.

Phoebe, who was a true romantic, even at age five, sighed. "I'm sure he already loves you, Miss Gabby. Did you send him a picture of yourself?"

"There wasn't time," Gabby replied. And if there had been, she would not have sent one. The only portrait her father had ever commissioned made her look horribly round in the face.

She tucked the locket away again.

But even as she, Phoebe, and Kasi munched on dry toast, which was the only treat offered now that they had been at sea for weeks and weeks, Gabby couldn't help daydreaming about her betrothed and his gentle eyes. Somehow, by the grace of God, she had been given a fiance who was everything she had dreamed of: a man who looked perfectly capable of carrying on a quiet conversation. He seemed as unlike her cold, ranting father as possible.

Gabby's heart glowed. Peter would obviously be a devoted and loving father. Already she could picture four or five small babes, all with her husband's eyes.

Every day the ship drew farther and farther from India and thus farther and farther from her father's frenzied reproaches: Gabrielle, why can't you put a bridle on your tongue! Once again, Gabrielle, you have embarrassed me with your graceless behavior! And the worst of all: Oh, God above, why have you cursed me with this disgraceful chit, this prattling excuse for a daughter!

Her happiness grew with each ocean league that passed.

Her sense of confidence grew as well. Peter would love her, as her father never did. She felt as if Peter's sweet eyes were already looking into her soul and seeing the Gabby inside: the Gabby who was worth loving, the Gabby who was not merely impetuous and clumsy. The real Gabby.


Yes, a glimpse of Gabrielle Jerningham, along with insight into her dreams, would have shaken Quill to the backbone.

But since Quill was not overly given to the imagination, nor had he ever demonstrated the gift of precognition, he convinced himself that Miss Gabrielle Jerningham would make his younger brother a very good wife indeed. And when he encountered Peter at his club later that evening, he told him so.

Peter was in a tetchy mood, and well on the way to being drunk as a lord. "I don't follow your reasoning."

"Money," his brother replied shortly.

"Money? What money?"

"Her money." Quill had a flash of guilt, talking about Gabrielle as if she were a commodity, although in a sense she was. "With Jerningham's money, you can afford those clothes you love so much."

"I wear the very best clothes now," Peter said loftily, with the smug understanding that he stood at the very pinnacle of London fashion.

"You wear clothes that I pay for," Quill replied.

Peter chewed on his lip. It went against the grain -- and against his fundamentally kindly nature -- to point out that his elder brother's money would all be his someday, unless a miracle cured Quill's migraines.

Yet it would be pleasant to have his own money, no doubt about that.

Quill saw the telltale interest in Peter's eyes and laughed, his heart lighter. He slapped his brother on the back and left the club.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

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(38)

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(20)

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(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2001

    Not her best, but good.

    Gabrielle ('Gabby') Jerningham was sent from her father in India to marry the man due to gain the title of Viscount Dewland. Even though the oldest son was named Erskine ('Quill'), she was to marry the younger son named Peter. Quill had a head injury some years ago and rhythm, for any amount of time (such as making love or horseback riding), caused him to suffer a severe migraine for the next 3-5 days. Therefore, he was considered lame. If a man could not make love to a wife, then he could not have a child, or heir. So Peter would have to marry Gabby. <BR><BR> Peter was considered perfect by the Ton. He found Gabby to be too talkative, have too curvy a figure, and no sense of style. In fact, he disliked everything about her. Quill thought just the opposite of Gabby and was determined to claim her himself! Her love was worth anything, including nauseating migraines! <BR><BR> At the same time, the East India Trading Company and England's Foreign Affairs believed Gabby knew the whereabouts of the missing Indian Prince, Kao Rasi. Kao was only 10 years old and was to be a pawn in the Indian government. Gabby would never reveal she knew where Kao was or her part in his disappearance. <BR><BR> *** No gripping suspense, just a sweet love story. I felt the urge to slap the hero and heroine often though. The co-characters, Lady Sophie and Lady Sylvia, were a delight! I often found myself smiling or chuckling at them. This one is not the author's best work, but still highly enjoyable. ***

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    Game room

    Woooh!~Ree

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  • Posted July 7, 2013

    Enchanting Read

    Loved the entire series. Each book is different, yet related character wise. It's nice for me personally to find out what happens to other characters I really like in the first book. Most enjoyable author. I think I've read almost every book she has written thus far.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Loved the Series

    I loved the whole series. This one made me cry a couple of times. I just wish I knew what happens with Lucien and Emily after they agree to marry.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Not a Page Turner

    This was not a boring book, but it was not a good romance either. I would not recommend it.

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  • Posted June 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This was a very fun book with some very likable characters. True

    This was a very fun book with some very likable characters. True, it does take some liberties with history, but I'm generally not reading romance novels for the historical accuracies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Amazing

    Hands down, my favorite EJ novel!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Loved it

    This was a wonderful book. I could not put it down. I read until two am. I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Best Of The Group

    This was probably my favorite of the three books in this series. I liked both Quill and Gabby. The side story of Lucien was a nice throw in as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    Enchanting Pleasures

    It is always a pleasure to read Eloisa James

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What a Pleasure!!!

    Eloisa amazes me over and over again, all her books are amazing, and each one has a life of its own. She is one of the best writers today, her imagination and the ability to put it in writing is very special.
    I'm doing some recommendations but have it in mind that all her books are great!
    Don't forget to visit her website!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2006

    It was Okay

    This is my frist book by Eloisa James and it was Okay but not great. I recommend it to people who l ike this kind of romance right now I'm reading anthor of her books and will see how it is it's The taming of a duke. hopefully you enjoy enchanting pleasures more than I did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    VERY ENJOYABLE!!

    Set in 1806, England. It was never planned that Quill & Gabby should marry, but eventually they did. This story not as good as the first pleasure book, 'Potent Pleasures' but still good. I liked Gabby, she said what was on her mind and was honest about how she felt about things. She was real. I enjoyed the book very much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2001

    The GREATEST Pleasure!

    I loved, loved, LOVED this book! I read the first two pleasures books and liked them alot, but this book is the funniest by far. Gabby is fabulous and the scene where she gives her husband a headache drug -- you have to read it to see what I mean -- is the sexist scene I've read all year. And I read a lot of romance!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    enchanting tale

    In 1806 London, Viscount Dewland informs his younger child Peter that since his older son Quill is disabled and incapable of having a wife, Peter will marry the daughter of his friend Lord Jerningham. Peter refuses, insisting he will never marry. However, the Viscount turns ill as he explodes with anger because he owes his friend who lent him money without any cause or collateral except friendship. Gabrielle will be coming from India to marry Peter or else. Peter reluctantly agrees due to his father¿s perilous health, but plans to escape his fate. <P> After receiving a picture of her fiancé, Gabby looks forward to marrying the gorgeous Peter. However, she fears that she will never attain the level of deployment Peter expects from a wife and activities in London soon prove her correct. Then there is also Quill, who sends her heart aflutter every time she sees him. He, in turn, decides he will marry Gabby regardless of his severe headaches or his younger sibling. <P>As expected from Eloisa James, ENCHANTING PLEASURES lives up to its title as fans of regency romance will receive much pleasure from this enchanting tale. The story line is fresh, but it is the characters who make the tale so crisp. Gabby is an innocent original while the two brothers are the type of male protagonists female readers want in their literature (and in their boudoir). Ms. James is a fabulous talent and her ¿pleasure¿ novels continually prove that she is heading to genre greatness. <P>Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2001

    The Peak of Pleasure!

    Eloisa James brings us another delightful tale of love. Gabby is by far her best heroine. Devoted, romantic and pleasingly real. This not-so-perfect gem stole my heart right off. Her notions of loyalty and romance make her an admirable heroine. Quill, all man, is as perfect as Gabby is not, and the combination is engaging. As usual Ms. James brings in an extraordinary cast of secondary characters who will enchant you with their antics and lead you on a merry chase through the pages of this book. Nothing pleases me more than to meet previous characters in new books, like Lucien (WOW!) and Sophie and Patrick. This book will go with the others on my keeper shelf, surely to be read again when I need a smile!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews

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