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Simply Forbidden

Simply Forbidden

3.9 59
by Kate Pearce

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Your most scorching desires come blissfully true at Madame Helene's Pleasure House--an elite brothel in Regency England where passion has no limits. . .

Nothing's More Satisfying Than. . .

With an unconventional upbringing and a reputation as a shameless flirt, Lisette Delornay-Ross is not your typical young lady of the ton. Unlike her peers, she is not


Your most scorching desires come blissfully true at Madame Helene's Pleasure House--an elite brothel in Regency England where passion has no limits. . .

Nothing's More Satisfying Than. . .

With an unconventional upbringing and a reputation as a shameless flirt, Lisette Delornay-Ross is not your typical young lady of the ton. Unlike her peers, she is not afraid to follow her desires. And what she desires is Major Lord Gabriel Swanfield. . .

Fulfilling Forbidden Passions. . .

Returned to England after his harrowing ordeal as a war prisoner, Gabriel has shunned society. When Lisette brazenly confronts him, he feels an overwhelming stirring of lust. He's sure she would never entertain the illicit desires he indulges at Madame Helene's. But when he kisses her, he discovers her thirst for pleasure--and adventure--matches his. . .

Praise for Kate Pearce's Simply Sexual

"This book has something for everyone: hot sex scenes, a sexy hero with a tragic past, a smart and compassionate heroine, intrigue, danger and Regency London at its most decadent!"
Romantic Times

"Can you say HOT? Well it doesn't get much hotter than Simply Sexual."
Simply Romance Reviews

Product Details

Publication date:
House of Pleasure Series
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2011 Kate Pearce
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-4139-9

Chapter One

Knowles Hall, England, 1822

"Why on earth did you invite him, Christian?" Lisette Delornay-Ross nudged her twin's arm and nodded at the corner of the sunny breakfast room where Major Lord Gabriel Swanfield read the newspaper and continued to ignore everyone around him.

"I didn't invite him." Christian poured himself more coffee. "Philip did."

Lisette leaned her elbows on the table and contemplated her brother. "But he's nowhere near Father's age, so how do they know each other?"

"I've no idea. Why don't you stop bothering me and go and ask Lord Swanfield himself?"

"Because he'll stare at me as if I'm a worm and then give me a one-word answer that tells me nothing."

"I take it you've already met him then?" Christian smiled. "Is he really that unforthcoming?"

"When I was introduced to him the other night he barely bothered to say a word to me." Lisette stood up. "Perhaps I'll go and ask Father. He'll probably tell me the truth."

Christian leaned back in his chair to study her, his blond hair catching the light, his long, elegant body shown to advantage in his brown coat and black breeches. "The real question is, why are you so interested in Lord Swanfield?"

"Because I hate being ignored?"

"That's certainly true, but there are plenty of other gentlemen here this week eager to flirt with you. Why not go and bother one of them?"

Lisette frowned. "Are you warning me off?"

"As if you would pay any attention to me if I did." Christian shrugged. "As far as I know, he doesn't mix much in society."

"But what you do know of him, you don't like?"

"Don't start, Lis." He sighed. "As I said, if you really want to pry, go and talk to the poor man."

"Perhaps I will."

Determined not to be shown up by her brother, Lisette marched across to where Lord Swanfield sat hidden behind his newspaper and cleared her throat. He lowered the paper the merest inch and studied her over the top of it.


Lisette gave him her sweetest smile. "I just wanted to wish you good morning, my lord. We've scarcely had a chance to speak since your arrival."

The paper came down another three inches, allowing her to look into his eyes. Up close, they were a very dark blue and fringed with long lashes.

"And you are?"

Good Lord, the man didn't even remember being introduced to her! Lisette kept smiling. "I'm Miss Ross, Lord Knowles's eldest daughter. I'm acting as my father's hostess this weekend."

"Ah. A pleasure, ma'am." His fingers twitched on the newspaper as if he intended to flip it back up and dismiss her, but Lisette was quicker. If he intended to be so dismissive of her, she could definitely be a little forward.

"I was wondering what brought you here to Knowles Hall during this particular week. I don't remember your name being on the guest list." She smiled graciously. "Not that you aren't welcome, of course."

His dark brows drew together. "I'm looking for some horses. Your father told me to come down anytime I liked. I didn't realize all this nonsense would be going on."

"Or else you wouldn't have come."

He met her gaze properly for the first time, a hint of wary surprise in his. "Exactly."

Beneath the careful upper-class cadences of his voice there was a slight northern burr, which deepened his tone and made it rougher and far more interesting.

"Well, I'm sorry that we are spoiling your quiet week in the countryside."

"Thank you."

She couldn't decide whether he was incapable of detecting her sarcasm or really quite rude. She suspected the latter. "You think us frivolous and unworthy of your interest then, my lord?"

He started to fold the paper and she caught sight of the deep parallel scars on his left cheek that disappeared below his high collar. "I didn't say that."

"But you obviously think so. I don't believe you've spoken a single word to anyone since you walked into this room."

He raised his eyebrows. "I've spoken to you."

She stared at him for a long moment as she struggled to control her tongue. "Are you going out with the shooting party this morning?"

A shudder of something that looked like revulsion passed over his face. "No, Miss Ross, I'm not."

"Then would you like to join me and some of the other ladies for a walk around the estate?" She wasn't quite sure why she made the offer when he was being so objectionable, but she refused to be defeated by any man.

"Unfortunately, I'm already engaged. Your father has found someone to show me around the stables."

"Which is why you came here in the first place."


He stood up and dropped the newspaper onto the table. She found she had to look up at him, which was unnerving. She'd only viewed him from above last night when her father had brought him into the great hall. At five foot eight, she was tall for a woman, but he topped her by at least five inches. He was as lean and elegant as a greyhound, his shoulders accentuated by the confines of his black coat and his long thighs encased in clinging buckskin. He inclined his head the barest inch.

"Good morning, Miss Ross."

She dropped him a quick curtsey. "Good morning, my lord."

He nodded and strolled away, stopped to talk to one of the footmen positioned by the door, and was directed on his way.

"Well," Lisette huffed as her half sister, Emily, and her friends came up beside her. "What an incredibly rude man."

"What did he say to you?" Emily inquired, her face flushed and her blue eyes eager.

"He said that he didn't want to be here, and that he'd only come to look at a horse."

"He didn't!"

Lisette smiled at her younger sister's indignant expression. "He most certainly did. I suspect he wishes us all to the devil."

Emily's two friends giggled and whispered at Lisette's language and she reminded herself to be more careful. At eighteen, Emily's prospects for an excellent marriage were much on her mind. Lisette didn't want to spoil anything for Emily by drawing the ton's attention to her less than reputable half sister.

"I wonder if he will attend the ball on Friday."

Lisette sighed at the hopeful gleam in Emily's eyes. What was it about dark-haired brooding men that sent all young girls into a flutter? In her experience, good-looking men did not make good husbands or lovers, being far too concerned with their own appearance to care about a woman's feelings.

"I'm not sure if he'll be staying the full week, Emily. Once he's decided on a horse, he'll probably be off."

"Oh." There was a wealth of regret in Emily's response that Lisette tried to ignore. She was very fond of her sister, but frequently amazed at the differences between them. Emily had been protected by their father all her life, whereas Lisette had only met him three years ago. Emily's safe, romantic view of the world had never been Lisette's and never would.

"If he does stay, I'm sure he'll dance with you." Lisette patted Emily's shoulder. "He can hardly say no." She paused to consider her words. "Well, he probably could, but I'm sure Papa can persuade him to change his mind."

Emily pouted. "But I don't want him to ask me out of duty. I want him to ask me because he can't bear not to dance with me. He is an earl, Lisette!"

Lisette struggled not to smile. "Then make yourself pleasant to him over the next few days, and I'm sure he'll come around and ask you to dance. Why wouldn't he?"

"He'd probably rather ask you. What man wouldn't?" Emily looked glum.

Lisette chuckled, remembering the complete lack of interest in Lord Swanfield's rather fine eyes. "After the way he just spoke to me, I doubt that."

Emily grabbed her hand. "Oh, shall we have a wager to see who can get him to ask us to dance first? Wouldn't that be fun, Lisette?"

"But I don't want him to dance with me."

"Then you'll let me win, won't you?" Emily smiled at her companions and the three of them disappeared in the direction of the gardens, still whispering and giggling.

Lisette smiled lovingly at Emily and went to talk to the other guests. The house party wasn't large and was mainly for Emily's benefit as she was going up to London for the Season later in the month. Philip had decided to introduce Emily to some of the other girls who were making their curtsey to the Polite World so that she would feel more comfortable during her debut.


Lisette stopped at the table to look at Christian who was grinning up at her. "Well, what?"

"Did Lord Swanfield tell you why he was here?" Christian asked.

"He did, thank you." She made as to go past him and he caught her hand.

"Don't tell me: he's looking for a wife."

"How amusing, Christian. However did you guess?"

His hazel eyes narrowed. "He's not after Emily, is he?"

Lisette disengaged herself from his grasp. "Of course not, although she seems to have developed quite a tendre for him."

"But he's only been here for a few hours!"

"That's all it takes, brother mine—think of Romeo and Juliet."

Christian laughed and rose to his feet. "And think how happily that ended." He reclaimed Lisette's hand and tucked it into the crook of his arm. They walked to the door and into the shadowed hallway beyond. "You weren't as silly as Emily when you were eighteen."

"Thank goodness. But there was scarcely an opportunity for me to be silly in a convent-run orphanage, was there?"

"That's true, but since we moved to live with Maman you've certainly made up for it."

There was an edge to Christian's words that made Lisette pause. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"You've gained a reputation, sister mine, a reputation that won't help Emily at all."

Lisette stopped walking completely. "Are you suggesting I'm too 'fast' to associate with my own half sister?"

He regarded her steadily, his long body aligned with hers as he leaned in close. "Yes, I think I am."

"And since when did Emily's well-being and comfort become more important to you than my own?" Lisette was surprised at how much Christian's defection hurt. They'd always had each other. Were things about to change?

Christian sighed. "Lis, that's not what I meant, and you know it. I'll always put you first."

"Obviously not, and, for what it's worth, your reputation is far worse than mine."

He shrugged. "And I'm a man, so it doesn't matter as much. You might not like it, but that's the way of the world."

Lisette realized she was a breath away from losing her temper. Dealing with obstinate males one after the other was extremely trying. "What do you think I should do? Find a husband and make myself respectable enough to please everyone?"

His smile was wicked. "You could always start with Lord Swanfield. I believe I said he was looking for a wife."

Before Lisette could retaliate, Christian was gone, his laughter echoing down the long hallway to the back of the house. She stared after him, her lower lip caught between her teeth. How dare he suggest that she was somehow at fault? She'd been more than polite to Lord Swanfield, endlessly kind to Emily, and was being the perfect hostess for her father. What more could she do to ensure the house party went off well? Remove herself from it?

But Christian had implied she should do just that and distance herself from Emily. Lisette set off to the kitchens to meet with the cook, her thoughts in turmoil. Perhaps she shouldn't have volunteered to help out this week and should've stayed in London with her mother. Philip had already found an elderly relative to chaperone Emily through her first London Season. Helene, Lisette's mother, was hardly a suitable candidate for the job, being the proprietor of a pleasure house.

Lisette sighed as she fixed a smile on her face. It was too late to change anything now. She would make sure Emily was protected from any hint of scandal, even if it meant staying in the background for once and behaving herself. Perhaps she should simply sit beside Lord Swanfield and be ignored. She could scarcely get into any trouble with him.

Gabriel Swanfield admired the twenty-stall stables and the large barn beside them and wished he had something half as grand at his property in Cheshire. Not that he ever went there, not that he cared whether the place thrived or rotted to the ground ...

"My lord?"

He turned to attend to the head coachman who had been assigned to be his guide. "I do apologize, Mr. Green, what were you saying?"

"I was just mentioning that the current Lord Knowles has spent the last few years improving the stables, the facilities, and the breeding stock, sir. We have several very promising colts to show you."

"Excellent. I'm also looking for at least one four-year-old to ride now, and a couple of youngsters to bring on."

"Well, we'll be happy to help you, sir. Would you care to walk down to the main paddock?"

Gabriel followed behind the older man and admired the greenness of the fields, the wilderness areas, and the maze spreading out around the mellow Elizabethan manor house. In the near-distance he could just see the colorful skirts of the young ladies on the terrace, no doubt getting ready to go for their walk.

He imagined Miss Ross taking charge of them and knew that like a good sergeant at arms, she would have no trouble controlling her troops. She'd startled him that morning with her directness, the way she'd taken him on and left him in the dust. Despite himself, he'd also admired her hazel eyes and light brown hair, the high arch of her eyebrows, and the determined angle of her chin.

For a chit not long out of the schoolroom, she was indeed a formidable opponent. She seemed more assured than most of her contemporaries and far more aware of her effect on a man. It had been difficult not to stare at her as she flitted back and forth between all the gentlemen, her smile bright, her eyes far too knowing.

He glanced back at the huddle of ladies and realized they were meandering down toward the stables. He quickened his step and caught up with Mr. Green and enjoyed the sight of the young foals kicking up their heels in the pasture. He pointed at a young black horse.

"That's the one I'd pick."

"You have a good eye, sir. That's Thunderbolt, his lordship's pride and joy."

"Then I doubt he'll be selling him." Gabriel searched the other horses. "What about the gray?"

"That's Shadow. He's a three-year-old and also very promising. I'm sure his lordship would be more than happy to tell you all about him."

"Good." With one eye on the rapidly approaching ladies, Gabriel gestured back at the stables. "Shall we go and look at the older horses?"

"Yes, sir."

Gabriel managed to avoid the chattering women and took his time peering into all the stalls as Mr. Green told him about each horse. At the end of the second row, he found a horse he liked, a big chestnut-colored gelding. He nodded his approval at Mr. Green.

"Is it all right if I go into his stall and take a good look at him?"

"Of course, sir. That's Wellington. He's got a nice temperament, that one; he's not scared of much." Mr. Green unlocked the door. "Take your time, sir, and if you want me to get him saddled up for you, just give me a shout." He gave a heavy sigh. "I need to go and be civil to the ladies and stop them scaring my horses with all that squeaking they like to do."

Gabriel went into the small stall and put one hand on Wellington's rump so that the horse knew he was there and hopefully wouldn't kick out. He walked around the flank of the horse, noticed the way its ears flicked toward him with interest but without fear. He ran his hand along the horse's withers and up his long neck until he reached his face.

"You're a nice lad, Wellington, aren't you?" The horse whickered back and appeared to nod his head. Gabriel scratched under the horse's chin, produced a carrot top Mr. Green had given him, and held it out on his palm. "Here you go, boy."

Nice manners, a soft mouth, and an intelligent face. Gabriel slid his hand down the horse's front leg and checked his tendons, and finally his hoof. Then he repeated the process on the three other legs. As he crouched down in the straw, he heard girlish laughter and stayed where he was. Hopefully the ladies would pass by without noticing him.

To his dismay, they seemed to stop right outside the stall door.

"I'm sure Mr. Green said Lord Swanfield was around here somewhere. I wonder where he has gotten to?"

"If he has any sense, he's probably running back to the house as fast as he can. No man wishes to encounter a large group of ladies while he's talking horseflesh."

Ah, Gabriel recognized that second voice, the slight hint of a French accent, the sharp intelligence behind every word. It was Miss Ross, but who was she talking to?

"Well, I'm disappointed. I wanted to begin my campaign to get him to ask me to dance at the ball."


Excerpted from SIMPLY FORBIDDEN by KATE PEARCE Copyright © 2011 by Kate Pearce. 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.

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.

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Simply Forbidden 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Joanna_Terrero More than 1 year ago
When Lisette Delornay-Ross meets Lord Gabriel Swanfield among other members of the London aristocracy, neither of them suspect the other true sexual proclivities, although the mutual attraction is inevitable. Unlike the previous books in the House of Pleasure series, Simply Forbidden starts as any romantic Regency historical. What makes it stand out is Kate Pearce's talent to show the strongly emotional and tumultuous inner nature of all the characters, including the secondary ones. We get to know Lisette and Gabriel simultaneously as they discover each other's real selves. And it's an unrestrained sultry path. Simply Forbidden includes some of the most sexually explicit scenes I'd ever read. And I'd read many. Lisette is the daughter of Philip Ross, an aristocrat and Madame Helene Delornay, whose exclusive House of Pleasure caters London society's erotic cravings. Philip and Helene story is told in Simply Shameless. Lisette and her twin brother, Christian, grew up away from their parents in a Paris orphanage. While Christian expresses his rancor openly, Lisette lives a double life, being the respectable lady of the ton whose wild life is rumored, and secretly enjoying the pleasures her mother's establishment offers. Gabriel found a way to fulfill his sexual needs at the House of Pleasure. Although he does it in a restrained way until he meets Lisette. Who turns his world upside down and force him to face the life that, inside and out of the House of Pleasure, he avoided before. Being the heir of a duke, who raped one of his maids, Gabriel has suffered by the actions of his evil father, so he decided that none of his possible children would be a bastard, and is determined to never marry, but if he ever does, he would be faithful. Naive thinking from someone with his sexual appetites. Being both born out of wedlock and later misunderstood for their behavior, Gabriel and Lisette realize they match in more ways than the BDSM games they play. What I like the most about this book is its realism. The author brilliantly takes on a delicate subject a few writers flirted with, but never dare to express as elaborated as Kate Pearce does - the bisexuality of a hero. I read books where the sex is explicit, while the emotions are never revealed. I was surprised by the extent of Gabriel's inner thoughts. Yes, Gabriel is bisexual, and his sexual preferences are part of his inner conflicts. Besides the fear of public exposure, Gabriel truly prefers women. At least, this is what he tells his best friend Paul. With who he shares a strong bond developed while they were tortured and imprisoned during the war. When they saved each other's lives and became lovers. Back in England, Paul is Gabriel's emotional support, and unconditional accomplice. I like Paul's loyalty to Gabriel, in spite of their relationship changing from lovers to unrequited passion. Of course, Paul ignores Gabriel is fighting his lingering emotions for him, while making efforts to be faithful to Lisette. I would love to read Paul's story, and also Christian's book. Gabriel's reaction surprises even Lisette, when he turns around and become the perfect gentlemanlike husband. One who isn't the man she fell in love with, but the one he thinks she would be proud of. The real conflict of Simply Forbidden is their journey as a couple, the quest to find their perfect balance while remaining true to themselves.
writebelle More than 1 year ago
The characters were, in my opinion, very unlikeable. The male 'hero' was was whiney and he just annoyed me through out the book. The female was simply unlikeable in my opinion. These were two characters that I didn't want to sit down with. On top of this book was NOT her best writing. I have loved a few of her other books in both writing and characterization (and I'm aware that she makes all of her characters flawed, which I think is realistic---but there is flawed and then there's just annoying). I would pass on this book and read one of her other Simply books. She seems to be a toss up, either her books are fantastic or horrible. No in between.
iluvbooks81 More than 1 year ago
Kate Pearce did an amazing job with this sweet love story. This book is another great addition to the house of pleasure series. I loved that two people who over came such horrific events growing up,find love, forgiveness and future together. Oh and lets not forget about all the pleasure and passion they find in between the sheets. What a perfectly dirty romance book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Major Gabriel Swanfield returns home to England after spending time in prison in France. He does not come home to a hero's welcome as everyone assumes he gave away military secrets to the enemy and they believe that is why he was freed. His avaricious uncle controlled Gabe's estate while his nephew served in the military during the Napoleonic War and became a POW; he continues to run Swanfield as his battle fatigued nephew fails to fight back. Lisette Delornay sees Gabe enters Madame Helene's Pleasure House; she decides she wants him and she gets what she wants. He is attracted to her but assumes she cannot give him the satisfaction he obtains at Madame Helene's Pleasure House. The daughter of Madame Helene, although convent raised, plans to prove him wrong. The latest House of Pleasure Regency romance (see Simply Shameless and Simply Insatiable) is a great entry due to the hero who suffers from Post traumatic Stress Disorder made worse by the unwelcome response of family and friends who consider him a traitor. Lisette has her issues too being the daughter of the notorious Madame Helene. Men expect sexual favors from her. As this pair fails in love, he vows to prove his innocence and regain control of his estate while she pledges to have his back and other parts of his body. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant stop reading this seres
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first time reading this author. It just seems that the main male character had to many issues to get over. I'm okay with 1 scene of M/M, but there was a lot of it. I didn't even finish reading this book.
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lilygirl0 More than 1 year ago
This was really a yummy book. Both main characters come a bit damaged but manage to forge a relationship that is deep and real if sexually unconventional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read!!!!!! The sex scenes were good and the story itself enhanced the drama and emotion. This is my first time reading this author but rest assured, it will not be my last!!!!!!!!!
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