The Perils of Pleasure (Pennyroyal Green Series #1)

The Perils of Pleasure (Pennyroyal Green Series #1)

by Julie Anne Long

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 6 days


A rescued rogue . . .

Scandal has rocked the city of London. Colin Eversea, a handsome, reckless unapologetic rogue is sentenced to hang for murder and, inconveniently for him, the only witness to the crime disappears. Then again, throughout history, the Everseas have always managed to cheat fate in style: Colin is snatched from the gallows by a beautiful, clever mercenary.

A captivating captor. . .

Cool-headed, daring Madeleine Greenway is immune to Colin's vaunted charm. Her mission is not to rescue Colin but to kidnap him, and to be paid handsomely for it. But when it becomes clear that whoever wants Colin alive wants Madeline dead, the two become uneasy allies in a deadly race for truth. Together, they'll face great danger—and a passion neither can resist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061341588
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/29/2008
Series: Pennyroyal Green Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 633,881
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up (and she has the guitars and fringed clothing stuffed in the back of her closet to prove it), but writing was always her first love. Since hanging up her guitar for the computer keyboard, Julie has penned books that frequently top reader and critic polls and have been nominated for numerous awards, including the RITA®, Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice, and the Quill, and reviewers have been known to use words like "dazzling," "brilliant," and "impossible to put down" when describing them. Julie lives in Northern California.

Read an Excerpt

The Perils of Pleasure

Chapter One

Of all the myriad ways Colin Eversea could have met his demise—drowning in the Ouse at the age of six, for instance, or plummeting from the trellis leading up to Lady Malmsey's bedroom window some twenty years later—somehow he'd failed to consider the possibility that he might hang. In fact, when all was said and done (admittedly, there was an awful lot to say and do), Colin had always thought he'd breathe his last breath lying next to the beautiful Louisa Porter of Pennyroyal Green after having been married to her for three or four decades.

Never, never did he imagine he might spend the last few hours of his life in a damp Newgate cell with a flatulent thief called Bad Jack.

And now Colin and Bad Jack sat in the pews of the Newgate chapel while the prison's ordinary railed vividly about the tortures of eternal hellfire awaiting the two of them once their souls had been choked from their bodies. Next their shackles would be struck, their arms bound, and they would be strung up from the scaffold erected outside.

Bad Jack seemed bored as a schoolboy trapped inside on a sunny day at school. He picked his fingernails. He belched, and thumped his sternum with his fist to help the belch out. He even leaned back and yawned grandly, treating the ordinary to a view of his dark and mostly toothless maw. All in all, it was a bravura performance, but it was lost on the audience who had paid for the privilege of watching the condemned tortured by the pregallows sermon.

For it was Colin they had come to see.

They peered over the railings up above the chapel, eager tocompare the actual man with images on the broadsheets rustling in their hands. Mere ink did not do justice to the reality of Colin Eversea, to his height, his loose-limbed grace and vivid eyes and strong elegant features, but myriad lurid images had abounded for weeks in the broadsheets. The English loved nothing more than a criminal with dash, and if he was gorgeous, so much the better.

Colin's brother Ian had brought one of the most popular broadsheets to him: on it he was depicted with Satanic horns and a pointed tail and wielding a ridiculous knife—more a scimitar, really—dripping blood into a pool.

In a rare note of authenticity, the artist had seen fit to sketch him in a Weston-cut coat.

"Looks just like you," Ian had told him. Because that's what brothers were for.

"What bloody nonsense." Colin handed the broadsheet back to Ian. "My horns are considerably more majestic."

Ian began to smile, but it congealed halfway up. Colin knew why: "majestic horns" reminded both them of the first time Colin had pulled down a buck—in Lord Atwater's Wood.

But neither of them said anything aloud. There were too many memories; every one of them, the smallest to largest, was painful as a stab now. Airing just one seemed to somehow give it more importance than the others. They never reminisced.

They exchanged inanities about broadsheets instead.

Colin handed the broadsheet back to his brother. "Will you have this framed? Something in gilt would suit."

He'd said this more for the benefit of the warden, who hovered near him as often as possible to make note of his comments to sell to the broadsheets. Those broadsheets had become both cherished mementos and valuable investments. For Colin Eversea was not only a legend now—he was an industry.

There was even a popular flash ballad, sung in pubs, on street corners, on theater stages, and in amateur musicales:

Oh, if you thought ye'd never see
The death of Colin Eversea
Come along with me, lads, come along with me
For on a summer day he'll swing
The pretty lad was mighty bad
So everybody sing!

Jaunty tune. Before things began to look so grim, back when their confidence had been unshakable, back when the Everseas' petitions for Colin's freedom were still crisp in the hands of the Home Secretary, his brothers had even written their own verses. Most of them concerning his sexual prowess, the size of his manhood or the lack thereof.

Because again, that's what brothers were for.

It was all very ironic, Colin thought, given that he had spent much of his colorful life attempting to stand out from his forest of impressive brothers and earn his father's admiration, even going so far as to join the army. But he'd managed to come home from the war entirely intact, whereas Chase, for instance, came home with a heroic limp, and Ian had been wounded. Then again, his father, Jacob Eversea, had always treated him with a sort of bemused detachment. No doubt because he was the youngest of the boys and had always been by far the biggest handful. Perhaps his father thought it wouldn't pay to become too attached to him, because he'd known he was bound to do himself in inadvertently in a duel or a horse race or plummeting from the trellis of a married countess.

The ironic part was that Colin had at last managed to achieve what no Eversea in history had so far managed to do:

Get caught.

This made him the most legendary Eversea to date. The other irony, of course, was that he was entirely innocent of the crime. Then again, when the Charlies had found him with his hand on the knife protruding from the chest of Roland Tarbell, and when the sole eyewitness to the crime—Horace Peele, the man with the three-legged dog called Snap—had vanished into the ether, and when the only witness to the witness's vanishing claimed fervently to have seen Horace Peele taken away in a fiery winged chariot . . .

Well, in all fairness, it was rather difficult to blame the jury.

The Everseas had found their petitions to the Home Secretary for Colin's freedom mysteriously thwarted at every turn. Even negotiations for transportation instead of execution had been oh, so regretfully denied.

The Perils of Pleasure. Copyright © by Julie Long. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Perils of Pleasure (Pennyroyal Green Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a lot... except that Colin thinks about the woman he "loves" all the time... even while he is with Madeline and making love to her. AND she lets him make love to her, even though he talks about Louisa frequently and in reverence. This bothered me a lot when there were only 50 pages left of the book and he was still "in love" with someone else!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Colin ¿The Satin of Sussex¿ Eversea knows he has done a lot of scandalous things as a rake, but to be convicted for murdering a Redmond cousin seems too ironic to be real to him because he knows he did not kill his family¿s rival. Refusing to show remorse for a crime he swears he never did though rooming with the king of flatulence Bad Jack in Newgate is a form of torture that makes him want to confess to anything just to get away from the odor. However, he knows that short of a miracle he will be hanged for that crime rather soon.------------ Mercenary Madeline Greenway saves Colin from the noose, but not for any altruistic reason. Instead she abducts the charmer planning to obtain ransom money for him. When someone attacks them, she assumes Colin is the target, but quickly realizes her assumption is false someone wants her dead. Teaming up as they fall in love, they try to find the culprits who framed him and are trying to murder her.---------- Gender bending the prisoner romance, Julie Anne Long provides Regency fans with an exhilarating tale, starring two fascinating rogues. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Madeline kidnaps Colin and never slows down as the amateur sleuths follow clues and love to uncover the identity of their adversaries. With a terrific final twist, fans long for more thrillers like THE PERILS OF PLEASURE.---------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the books out of order and started with the last book which I loved. This book was good but not great. It was interesting enough to finish but was lacking in some way.
srbSH More than 1 year ago
As this wonderful story begins, the youngest Eversea son Colin is in Newgate prison awaiting hanging for killing a Redmond relative, a crime he did not commit. But no amount of appeal from his influential family has been effective, and the one witness who could exonerate him has disappeared. It's the hanging of the season in London. As Colin stoically walks up the scaffold steps a whisper in his ear tells him to stumble at the fifth guard. When he does, a major explosion causes pandemonium, under cover of which he is whisked away. His rescuer is a widowed Mrs. Madeleine Greenway. But who wants to save him and who wants to kill her? Many plot twists and turns, near misses, rescues, and revelations as Madeleine and Colin embark on a journey - a rite of passage for each of them - to find the hidden witness who can clear his name, all in time to stop the wedding of Colin's older brother Marcus and the woman both brothers love. Beautiful prose, with descriptive details, and well-developed protagonists (no perils to the pleasure of reading this book!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was expecting more from this book. The story idea was great, but the execution was very slow. The sparks between the hero and heroine took forevere to ignite and then were far and few between.
CLF913 More than 1 year ago
The beginning was torture to me, very slow
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love romance novels. The only thing better, is a really well written romance novel. This book has characters so rich and deep you will keep them in your thoughts well after you have turned the last page. It's wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was okay. The really annoying thing about this book were all of the typos!! Come on now, did they hire a 3rd grader to type out this e-book?!
Beth_R More than 1 year ago
The first in the Pennyroyal Green series, The Perils of Pleasure is a pleasure itself. A rogue of a hero and a non-traditional heroine. You're gonna want to read them all. Each book stands alone, but I always like to read a series in order for the full effect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the secound book i purchased from this author ....i realy enjoy her books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read other books in the Pennyroyal Green series that were a delight, but the first half of this book was pure torture. I found it moving too slow and couldn't get into the characters. I also couldn't get past all the spelling and grammatical errors! Long's books are usually great, so I'm not too disappointed. She must have had writer's block.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I love regency romances! I read this book years ago and liked it. Then I went on to read all of the other books in the series and liked most of them, even loved some. This book had an intriguing premise - condemned prisoner falls for his rescuer. The heroine, Mrs Madeline Greenway, was compelling - beautiful, smart, and courageous, but a bit of a cypher. The hero, Mr Colin Eversea, was also compelling - handsome, aristocratic, and charming, but a bit immature and aimless. They had good chemistry and a bit of sizzle. The storyline was unpredictable and entertaining. Overall, a good start to the series, and it held up on second read.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Great twists and turns, loved the characters. Just plain good!
phyllisd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. The first 200 pages dragged and actually put me to sleep. The author gave little information about the female character and the male character was less than desirable for a romance novel. After all, he was the biggest rake in London though in love since the age of 9 with the girl his upstanding brother was about to marry. A lot of the urgency in this novel is his need to clear his name so he can stop this wedding. It's hard to push through a novel when you have no emotional involvement with the characters. Then the book is pretty good for about 150 pages only to be wrapped up in a convoluted way in the last twenty-five pages with a bomb dropped and overlooked by the impacted characters. And, what money from Mr. Hunt? Truthfully, the whole story made little sense.
rainrunner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really, this is a 3.5 but I bumped it up cause it's JAL. I don't know, I just didn't get even remotely thrilled or come close to sighing blissfully. At the beginning of the book I grinned, for a few minutes, but then it all just fell apart and it seemed there was too much narrative and repetition of events. I found myself skimming through parts and then backing up to make sure I didn't miss something important only to find out I missed nothing important.It was "eh".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the journey.
police6369 More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. As Colin is about to hang for something he didn't do he is recused by a woman by all things!! The someone tries to kill her. Colin and Madeline go on a somewhat adventure to find out why someone wanted him to hang and who tried to kill her. A great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have actually read all of the others except for this one the very first & Lyon's. I don't know why I never purchased the first one til now, but I have to say it is one of my very favorites in this series. & now I'm going to read the very long awaited book about Lyon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a little disappointed. The story never delevred the promise. I was rather bored. Colin was charming. Madelyn was a great planner but for the abduction of colin, she wasnt that impressive. Just wish it could have risen to a great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will be reading more of this series. Purchased the next three books in this series. Can't wait to read them too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
Another fascinating romance by this author!  It was not as traditional a Regency story as others and that made it even more exciting to read, flicking my pages fast to see what was going to happen next.  Colin Eversea cheats the hangman with a daring escape, which was a good thing since he was innocent of the crime that landed him in Newgate Prison.  And that started this race of a romance because of the mystery as to who killed and why…and the escape that was facilitated by a lovely mercenary, Madeleine Greenway.  The many twists and turns in this romp of a romance kept me glued to the story, ignoring other chores I should have been attending to.  It was a wonderful respite from chores and a lovely trip down Pennyroyal’s lanes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She is sexy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And not much money in royalities on 99 cents. story tellers had a hard time getting pennies from the crowd since the illiad made the rounds and no happy ending. No book worth a star unless you read it all and and none worth more than three if you do. Pagecounter