Simply Carnal

( 25 )

Overview

No passion is too decadent and no desire is too exotic at Madame Helene's Pleasure House—an exclusive brothel in Regency England that offers the ultimate in erotic delights. . .

Powerful Seduction

Christian Delornay has observed so many illicit liaisons at his mother's house of pleasure he regards sex as merely an enjoyable pastime, certainly not an act of love. So when a young widow arrives in search of work,...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.15
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$14.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (39) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $1.99   
  • Used (24) from $1.99   
Simply Carnal

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$11.99 List Price

Overview

No passion is too decadent and no desire is too exotic at Madame Helene's Pleasure House—an exclusive brothel in Regency England that offers the ultimate in erotic delights. . .

Powerful Seduction

Christian Delornay has observed so many illicit liaisons at his mother's house of pleasure he regards sex as merely an enjoyable pastime, certainly not an act of love. So when a young widow arrives in search of work, Christian hires her as his assistant with the intention of instructing her in the ways of sensual seduction. . .

Passionate Surrender

Desperate to escape her past, Elizabeth "Smith" is happy to accept Christian's offer of work. She is prepared to serve his every need, yet she refuses to reveal her most intimate desires. But in the hands of a master it is impossible to deny her own wanton yearnings, and she soon succumbs to her secret longing for pure carnal pleasure. . .

"A great historical novel, a touching romance and blistering sex—with a little kink." —Romantic Times (Top Pick!) on Simply Forbidden

"Can you say HOT? Well it doesn't get much hotter than Simply Sexual. From the first scorching page to the last. . .a wild ride of sex and suspense, keeping you guessing until the very end." —Simply Romance Reviews

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758269454
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 314,731
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Pearce was born into a large family of girls in England, and spent much of her childhood living very happily in a dream world. Despite being told that she really needed to 'get with the program', she graduated from the University College of Wales with an honors degree in history.

A move to the USA finally allowed her to fulfill her dreams and sit down and write that novel. Along with being a voracious reader, Kate loves trail riding with her family, 'western style' in the regional parks of Northern California. Kate is a member of RWA and is published by NAL, Kensington Aphrodisia, Ellora's Cave, Cleis Press and Virgin Black Lace/Cheek.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Simply Carnal


By Kate Pearce

APHRODISIA BOOKS

Copyright © 2012 Catherine Duggan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-6945-4


Chapter One

London, England, 1826

"May I speak to you, sir?"

"Of course, Ambrose. What is it?"

Christian Delornay looked up from the accounting book he was studying and considered the worried face of his normally unshakeable aide-de-camp. According to the clock on the mantelpiece, it was already well past midnight, but the noise from the upper floors of the pleasure house had not yet abated.

He directed a frown at Ambrose. "Why are you still here? You are supposed to be off duty."

Ambrose shrugged. "Because there were matters that required my attention. Why are you still here?"

"Because my mother is not, and she's left me with all the monthly bills to pay."

"You like it when she's away. You fight less."

Christian found himself smiling reluctantly at that truth, but Ambrose didn't smile back. "What exactly kept you?"

"There's a woman in the kitchen."

Ambrose's upper-class drawl held a hint of the warmer cadences of his West Indies homeland that emerged only when he was perturbed.

"There are always women in the kitchen." Christian put down his pen. "Should she not be there?"

"She is asking to speak to Madame Helene."

"Did you tell her my mother isn't here?"

Ambrose hesitated and came farther into the room. "I did not. I think you should see her yourself."

"Why?"

"Because she is sorely in need."

"Of what? A man?" Christian grimaced. "Then she hardly needs me. There are plenty of willing guests upstairs for her to choose from no matter what her tastes."

Ambrose shut the door behind him with a definite click and advanced on Christian's desk. "That wasn't the kind of help I had in mind."

"Does she want money, then, or worse, a shoulder to cry on?" Christian's smile wasn't pleasant. "I'm not known for my soft heart. I leave that to my mother and sisters."

Ambrose held his gaze, his warm brown eyes steady. "I would still ask that you see her."

Christian leaned back in his chair. "She obviously had quite an effect on you."

"She ..." Ambrose hesitated. "She reminds me of how I was before you took me off the streets and offered me a job and a home."

"She's a pickpocket and a thief, then?"

Ambrose's smile flashed out, his teeth white against his dark skin. "I doubt it. She seems to be a lady, but there is something in her eyes that reminds me of how it feels when you can see no future for yourself. I'm not sure if she has the will to last another night."

Christian sighed. "A lady you say? I can scarcely fail to help a damsel in distress. Send her in."

Ambrose paused as he opened the door. "You will be gentle with her, sir?"

"As gentle as I was with you when I caught you picking my pocket all those years ago."

Ambrose chuckled. "You threatened to strangle me and drown me in the Thames."

"Ah, that's right." Christian nodded. "I promise I will listen to what she has to say. Will that satisfy you?"

"I suppose it will have to. I'll go and fetch her from the kitchen."

Christian returned to his account books half hoping that the woman had taken off, preferably without stealing anything too valuable. He was soon engrossed in the complex figures, and it was only when he heard Ambrose gently clear his throat that he remembered to look up again.

The sight that met his eyes wasn't unexpected. Working, as he did, on the less salubrious edge of society, he'd seen plenty of desperate women. But Ambrose was right—she was different, and he'd been trained to notice the smallest details. Her clothes, although soiled, were of high quality, and her skin was as pale and unlined as a lady's. She briefly met his gaze and then raised her chin as if he was beneath her notice and looked beyond him to the window.

Her profile was quite lovely and reminded him of a Titian angel. Christian yearned to stroke a finger down her jawbone and touch the shadowed hollow of her cheek. Her hair was dark and braided tightly to her head. She was far too thin, of course, and probably on the verge of starving.

"Mr. Delornay," Ambrose said. "This is Mrs. Smith."

Christian nodded. "Thank you, Ambrose. I'll call if I need you."

He received another stern look from Ambrose but refused to respond to it, his attention all on the woman in front of him.

"Mrs. Smith, it is a pleasure. How may I assist you?"

Her gaze came back to meet his, and he noticed her eyes were slate gray without a touch of blue to redeem their steel.

"I was expecting to meet Madame Helene."

Her voice was low and cultured with a slight French accent that only underlined her status as a lady.

"My mother isn't here tonight. I'm Mr. Delornay. May I not help you instead?"

She swallowed and brought her hands together into a tight clasp under her breasts. She had no gloves, pelisse, or bonnet. Her only outer garments were a thick woolen shawl and muddied half boots soaked through with filth. She'd probably pawned the rest of her clothing. The question was why? What had brought her to living on the streets?

"I need employment, Mr. Delornay."

Christian sat back and studied her. "And you thought my mother might provide it for you?"

"I was told she might, sir."

"With all due respect, ma'am, you look a little frail to manage a job in either our kitchens or as an above-stairs maid."

She moistened her chapped lips with the tip of her tongue. "I understood that this was a brothel." She glared at him. "Doesn't a brothel always need new flesh?"

Christian slowly raised his eyebrows. "You are a whore?"

"I am whatever I need to be to survive, sir." Christian poured himself a glass of brandy. "But my mother does not run a brothel. She runs an exclusive pleasure house, which is available to the very rich for an extortionate fee, and even then she personally vets every member."

"But surely these men still need women to ... to ..." "Fuck?"

She flinched at the word, and he wondered whether she might run. "If you are indeed a whore, my dear, you should hardly be shocked by my language."

"I've heard that word before, sir. I'm no shy virgin."

"That might be true, but you are scarcely a common trollop either, are you? You look more like a rich man's mistress." He waited but she said nothing. "What happened? Did your lover abandon you?"

Her smile was small and desperate. "Alas, I almost wish that were true."

"Then what is the truth?"

She pressed her lips together and stared at his desk.

"You expect me to employ you without telling me anything?"

"I was widowed. My husband's family was unwilling to support me, so I left."

"You left?" Christian frowned. "What an incredibly stupid thing to do."

"I had no choice, sir."

"I find that hard to believe."

A small choked laugh escaped her and Christian tensed.

"Do you truly believe I would be standing here begging you for the opportunity to sell my body to any man who wants it if I had another choice?"

"As I have already told you, this is not a brothel. No one sells themselves. In truth, they all pay a great deal for the privilege of having sex with anyone they want."

"Why would anyone want to pay for that?"

Christian smiled. "Because they can?"

She shivered and wrapped her arms around her waist. "Then you have nothing to offer me?"

She was shaking now, her whole body swaying like a willow tree in a storm, and he feared she might swoon. "I can offer you a hot meal and a decent bed for the night."

She raised her head to look at him. "Your bed?"

He considered her for a long moment until a faint blush stained her pale cheeks and then he smiled. "In your present pitiful state, I fear you wouldn't survive the night, my dear." "But then you know very little about me, don't you?" She stepped forward until she was almost at his side. "I am quite happy to prove my worth to you."

She started to descend to the floor. Christian reached forward and grasped her by the elbows, bringing her back to her feet. He kept hold of her and stared into her gray eyes. Ambrose was right. There was no hope there, only desolation and desperation.

"I'll keep your generous offer in mind. When did you last eat?"

She blinked at him. "What does that have to do with anything?"

"I can scarcely throw you out on the street in this condition. My mother's reputation would be ruined."

"Not yours?"

"Mine is already beyond redemption." He patted her shoulder and moved away from her to ring the bell. "We will talk again when you are rested."

While he waited for Ambrose to reappear, Christian retreated behind his desk and picked up his pen again. His visitor was visibly shivering now, one hand gripping the back of her chair as if she would fall without the support. He kept a wary eye on her until he heard Ambrose's welcome footsteps in the hall.

"Yes, Mr. Delornay?" Ambrose asked.

"Would you provide Mrs. Smith with a warm meal and a bed in the servants' quarters? I will see her again when she is restored to health."

Ambrose bowed. "Of course, sir." He smiled encouragingly at the woman. "I would be delighted to assist you."

Mrs. Smith continued to stare at Christian. "I'm not sure why you are being so kind to me, sir."

"I'm not being kind. As I said, you appear to be at death's door. I cannot afford to cast you out and have your lifeless corpse found anywhere near my mother's pleasure house. It would be bad for business."

She nodded and Ambrose took her by the elbow to lead her gently out of the room. Christian sat back in his chair and contemplated the silence. Mrs. Smith, and somehow he doubted that was her real name, was a mass of contradictions. Her blunt offer to sexually service him had confounded his previous opinion that she was a well-brought-up woman down on her luck.

And he didn't like being wrong.

He found himself smiling. As Mrs. Smith said, desperation made a hard master, but he wasn't sure how he could help her within the confines of the pleasure house. Luckily, his circle of acquaintance was extremely wide, and he was certain he would be able to find her some form of employment if he couldn't persuade her to rejoin her family.

The thought of trying to convince her of anything made him smile again. Despite her bedraggled state, he'd sensed a core of steel that had impressed even his cynical, cold heart. For the first time in a long while, he was looking forward to meeting someone again and matching his wits with theirs.

"Mrs. Smith? Are you well?"

Elizabeth struggled to focus on the anxious face hovering over her. The struggle not to swoon in front of the obnoxiously handsome and silver-tongued Mr. Delornay had used up the last of her meager resources. He'd seemed far too perfect to be real—until he'd revealed a dark sense of humor that she'd been unable to deflect in her present state. Now all she wanted to do was lie down in the nearest gutter and give up.

"I am quite well, Mr. Ambrose."

He guided her down onto a bench in the warm kitchen where she'd accosted him earlier. The smell of baking bread and pastries curled around her, and she was suddenly nauseous. There was no sign of any of the staff she'd seen before, and she was glad not to be observed.

"Call me Ambrose. I don't have another name. Now bide here while I fetch you something to eat."

That stirred her interest, but she didn't have the resources or the energy to question him now. She folded her hands on the solid pine table and stared down at them. Her nails were ragged, and despite her best efforts, her skin was never quite clean. She'd never considered water a luxury until she'd been forced to do without it.

"Here you are, ma'am."

Ambrose slid a bowl of porridge topped with brown sugar and milk in front of her. Elizabeth swallowed convulsively as he handed her a spoon.

"Take it slow, ma'am, and you'll be fine."

"I'm not sure if I can eat anything anymore."

Ambrose took the seat opposite her and smiled. "Yes, you can. Your stomach is probably the size of a walnut, but you can at least manage a few spoonfuls."

Her eyes filled with tears at his unexpected kindness. "How do you know that?"

"Because I've been starved myself." His smile died. "If it hadn't been for Mr. Delornay, I would've died on the streets."

Elizabeth licked the rough brown sugar from the spoon and some of the porridge and wanted to moan at the influx of rich tastes against her tongue.

"Does Mr. Delornay make a habit of rescuing waifs and strays?"

"Despite what he might claim, he follows his mother in that respect. No one is ever turned away from the pleasure house without a crust or a coin."

"Or a bed for the night in my case." Elizabeth ate two whole spoons of porridge, and for the first time in weeks she felt warm inside. "I am very grateful for that." She glanced across at Ambrose. "I had no more coin to pay my rent, and my landlord took all my remaining possessions until I could come up with the money."

"We can probably get them back for you."

"I'm not sure how." Elizabeth sighed and ate another spoonful of porridge. "I still have no money."

"I'm sure Mr. Delornay will have some ideas about that, too, when you talk to him."

Elizabeth put down her spoon as her appetite deserted her. "He said I was too weak to work here in a menial capacity and that he didn't employ whores."

"With all due respect, ma'am, he does have a point. You are indisputably a lady."

"And ladies whore in different ways, don't they?" she whispered. "They are sold into marriage and cannot deny their husbands sexual congress." She stared at him. "I think I'd rather whore myself and at least receive some financial compensation in return for my efforts."

Ambrose stood and came around the table to her. "I think you should go to bed, ma'am. I will escort you."

She took his proffered hand and looked up into his face. She reckoned they were of a similar age. "If you are just Ambrose, will you call me Elizabeth?"

"If that is your wish, I would be honored." He kissed her hand. "And now let's get you somewhere safe and warm to sleep. If you leave your clothing outside the door, I will arrange for it to be laundered and returned to you tomorrow."

"Safe ..." Elizabeth sighed as he walked ahead of her. Mr. Delornay was right. She'd been a fool to run away without taking the things she valued the most. Getting them back seemed impossible now—unless she could truly earn enough money to return. She swallowed down another inconvenient wave of tears. It was impossible to think in her current state, but at least she didn't have to worry about anything until the morning.

Chapter Two

"Maman ..."

Christian tried to interrupt his mother again, but she was in full flow and quite unstoppable. Not that she looked old enough to be anyone's mother as she paced the space in front of his desk, her face flushed, her hands eloquently emphasizing each point. He sat back and just admired the sight, his irritation dying.

Helene stopped and stared at him. "Why are you smiling at me? Were we not fighting?"

He shrugged. "We were, but I was struck anew by your magnificence, and I decided to hold my tongue and save my arguments for something I really care about."

"You do not care about the future of the pleasure house?"

"Maman, we are hardly discussing its demise. You still have ten applicants for every place and our coffers are full."

"I know that." Helene resumed her pacing, the blue silk panels of her dress kicking out behind her as if she were a sailing ship in a gale. "But we have always prided ourselves on offering something more to our clients, and I fear we are no longer doing so."

"Because you've left the general management to me?" Christian sat up, his good humor evaporating. "I am quite capable of running the business and turning a profit, ma'am."

"I do not doubt that, but ..." She hesitated and Christian tensed. "I'm not sure if you have the soul to truly understand this place."

"The soul?" Christian laughed. "Whatever you choose to call the pleasure house, it's a high-class brothel, Maman, and I could run it blindfolded."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce Copyright © 2012 by Catherine Duggan. Excerpted by permission of APHRODISIA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended

    So far in the House of Pleasure series, this is my fav. Nicely inventive, some twists and turns, new bold characters, old characters re-introduced, and of course scorching hot sex scenes that have the power to make you blush like only Kate Pearce can do. I adore how much thought the author puts in this series on how different sexual preferences that may seem foreign and even depraved or perverted to some, can be complex passion, pleasure, or love for others. At the risk of sounding like a silly housewife, this series has done wonders for my own understanding of sexuality and sensuality. While of course, this is "just" a romance novel; Simply Carnal has struck me on a personal level that was unexpected. I loved it and hope others do too. Can't wait for Paul's story in the next book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Great read

    Loved the intrigue and mystery woven into a romantic story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 19, 2012

    Loved this one too. Christian and Elizabeth get a great story an

    Loved this one too. Christian and Elizabeth get a great story and great sex too. I do love that Ms. Pearce's characters' personalities affect their sexual encounters just as they do in real life. Another winner.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 20, 2012

    not one of her best

    not one of her best books. the other in the series are much better.

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

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Ladybug1

    Hot and Dirty Fun, Just Read!!! Christian and Elizabeth make one SEXY Couple with all that happens between them while they explore their passions together!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2012

    Glad Christian got his own Story

    That being said: Christian's story was not as in depth nor were the characters as well developed as in previous installments. This might be due to the author wrapping this series up but I just felt it was kind of forced and predictable. The hot and steamy was really hot and steamy!

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

    Posted February 10, 2012

    HMMM!

    This was okay!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Five naughty stars

    This is an amazing story that pushed my boundries of what I find erotic. Plan & simple I found this to be another addition to the house of pleasure series. Kate Pearce is one of my favorite authors. She knows how to write a story that is romantic, creative , & hot as hell. Like the house of pleasure she knows what her fans want & always delivers. Cant wait for Pauls story. Enjoy:)

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

    Posted March 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)