Enchanting Pleasures (Pleasures Trilogy Series #3)

( 73 )

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 ...

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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....

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Another winner...delightful heroine, masterful hero, and an ingenious plot: intelligent, sexy fun.”
Kirkus 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440234586
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Pleasures Trilogy Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 344,377
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.85 (h) x 1.16 (d)

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


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 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. Quill’s 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. d

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.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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