Pleasure for Pleasure (Essex Sisters Series #4)

Pleasure for Pleasure (Essex Sisters Series #4)

by Eloisa James

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060781927
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/28/2006
Series: Essex Sisters Series , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 263,373
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

A New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James is a professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is a honest to goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa's website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence.

Read an Excerpt

Pleasure for Pleasure

By Eloisa James

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Eloisa James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060781920

Chapter One

An extract from the widely proclaimed memoir:
The Earl of Hellgate,
or Night Scenes Amongst the Ton

Dear Reader,

As I would loathe to shock and dismay you, I must beg all ladies of a delicate disposition to put down this volume on the moment.

I have lived a life of Immoderate Passion, and have been persuaded to share the particulars in the hopes of keeping any susceptible gentlepersons from following in my steps . . .

Oh Reader, Beware!

May 24, 1818
15 Grosvenor Square
London residence of the Duke of Holbrook

There was no way to introduce the subject with delicacy, at least none that Josie could imagine. "None of the novels I've read elaborate on the wedding night," she told her sisters.

"I should hope not!" her eldest sister Tess said, not even looking at her.

"So if we're going to discuss Imogen's wedding night, I'm not leaving."

"It wouldn't be appropriate for you to join us," Tess said, with the rather wearied air of someone who has said the same on two former occasions. After all, of the four Essex sisters, Tess, Annabel, Imogen, and Josie, there was only one left unmarried: Josie.

"We'll give you all the details you need on the eve of your marriage," Imogen put in. "I don't need the talk. I am a widow, after all."

They were seated around a small table in the nursery, having a light supper. Josie's chaperone, Lady Griselda, was technically dining with them as well, but since she had spent most of the evening huddled in an armchair reading the Earl of Hellgate's memoirs, she hadn't taken more than a bite, nor contributed to the conversation a whit.

They were eating by themselves because Imogen had heard it might cause misfortune to see her groom on the night before the wedding, and since Imogen was marrying their guardian, the Duke of Holbrook, they couldn't eat in the dining room. Technically, Annabel's son Samuel was a member of the party, but since he was all of four months old and dreaming of a red shiny ball, an occasional longing snort were his only contributions.

"If my season continues as it's begun," Josie said, "I shan't be married at all. One can hardly obtain one's entire education in the ways of men and women from the pages of novels."

"Tess, did you know that Josie has made a list of efficacious ways to catch a husband?" Annabel asked, taking a final bite of syllabub.

"Based on our examples?" Tess said, raising an eyebrow.

"That would be a remarkably short list," Josie said. "Lady is compromised, gentleman is forced to marry her, marriage ensues."

"I was not compromised by my husband," Tess said, but she was laughing.

"You married Lucius only after the Earl of Mayne jilted you at the altar," Josie said. "It wasn't precisely a long courtship period. All of ten minutes, as I recall."

The smile in Tess's eyes suggested that those ten minutes had been sweet, and Josie didn't want to think about that because it made her feel jealous. If she, Josie, were jilted at the altar, there'd be no secondary candidate waiting in the next room. In fact, given her disastrous performance on the marriage market, the altar was likely a prospect she should discard.

"It's true that I was compromised," Annabel said, "but Imogen is marrying Rafe for pure love and after a long courtship."

"I suggested we elope," Imogen said, grinning, "but Rafe said he'd be damned if he'd follow in Draven's footsteps and allow me to direct all the wedding traffic to Scotland."

"He was right," Tess said. "You're going to be a duchess. You couldn't marry in such a hurly-burly fashion."

"Yes, we could have."

"But think of all the pleasure you would have denied the ton," Josie said. "The prime enjoyment of the season so far has been watching Rafe stare at you longingly from the side of the ballroom. Now, are we going to discuss your wedding night, or not? Because there are marked gaps in my knowledge."

"There are no gaps in my knowledge," Imogen said, "so--"

"I knew it!" Josie said. "You and Rafe anticipated the night, didn't you? Oh, the shame!" She threw a dramatic hand up to her brow. "My sister lies prostrate under her guardian."

"Josephine Essex!" Tess said, suddenly turning into the eldest sister who'd raised them all. "If I hear you say such a coarse thing in the future, I shall--I shall swat you!"

Josie grinned. "I was merely demonstrating that the gaps in my knowledge do not have to do with mechanics."

"Anything else will have to be learned on the fly, darling," Annabel said. She had gone over to the crib and scooped up Samuel. Now she was comfortably snuggled into a deep chair, feet up and casually crossed at her slender ankles, cuddling the baby. He was used to such manhandling and slept on.

Josie knew that she should do a better job at curbing the wild flares of jealousy that periodically gripped her. Yet all she had to do was look from one to another of her three sisters to feel the pinch as sharply as frozen toes while skating. All three of them were slim. Well, Annabel wasn't precisely slim, but she carried her curves splendidly. All of them were (or soon would be) happily married. Two of them married titles, and if Tess's husband didn't have a title, he was the richest man in England and anyone with common sense would agree that such wealth trumped a coronet.

"I'm serious," Josie said, pulling her mind back to the subject at hand. "Annabel, you're only here for the wedding, and Imogen is leaving on her marriage trip directly. What if I have to marry quickly? You won't be here to give me advice."


Excerpted from Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James Copyright © 2006 by Eloisa James. Excerpted by permission.
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.

Table of Contents

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Pleasure for Pleasure 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
When the Essex sisters came to London the four were unmarried now in 1818 there is only one, Josephine as her siblings have found their mates. However, her chances are slim, a most misfortunate word as her nickname amidst the Ton is the ¿Scottish Sausage¿, which she was dubbed because of a corset and a friend of a rejected suitor. While her sisters and her guardian are distracted by love and are off on honeymoons, Josie discards the corset, which in turn frees her beautiful body from its imprisonment. Though his engagement is falling apart as his fiancée Sylvie does not seem to want to marry him, Lord Garret Langham gets involved with protecting his family friend, the not so little Josie, from an angry attacker. When she rejects the failed assaulter Thurman¿s forced proposal, Garret offers marriage too. She accepts his as she knows she loves him. However, as she learns what love is, Josie knows she must free her beloved Garret so he can be with his Sylvie. --- The fourth Essex sister Regency romance is a delightful tale of love and hate amongst the Ton. The love is not obvious to comprehend as readers will agree with Josie that Garret wants Sylvie not her the hate is easier to spot as Thurman blames his failures as a witty name caller on Josie. Readers will obtain plenty of pleasure from Eloisa James¿ final Essex saga. --- Harriet Klausner
naomiloves More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book, better the any other in the series, because it has all my favorite ingredients. A transformed rake, a curvy heroine, meddling family, self esteem issues and of course scandal. Watching Josie, finally tame the Earl of Mayne is worth reading and I promise you will fall in love with this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
READ IT !!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book I read when I can't decide what to read. This book just keeps me comin back. Top 5... must have
Tracy_St_Davids More than 1 year ago
I've read this book many times because I just love it. Josie is a wonderful heroine. The book has humor, drama, bad guys and retribution, twists and turns. Read it!
Daphsmomma More than 1 year ago
I have read every book that Eloisa James has written. And this is my absolute favorite of them all. I loved Josie and Mayne. The whole series was wonderful but I could identify w/ Josie the most. (for I'm a very curvy woman) I loved that she ended up w/ Mayne and most of the ending.. The best ending in any romance book that I have ever read!!!! You must read this whole series. Don't think that you can just pick this one up w/o reading the first 3. That's just silly!! My 2 favorite character's from all 4 books.. Lot's of twists in here that I didn't see coming.. And to find out who wrote that blasted book.. ha ha! This is a must read if you love E. James's books you have to read this one..
theshadowknows on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Entirely forgettable book. Pleasure for Pleasure is about the youngest Essex sister Josie's insecurity over her weight - she's supposedly fat and undesirable, a social pariah and the brunt of cruel jokes perpetrated by the mean spirited members of the ton. All this changes overnight (literally!) when she visits a modiste who gives her magic dresses that show her true beauty and ta da. She's no longer fat, she's the sexiest, curviest woman alive and everyone loves her. Not to sound insensitive, but her self-image issues were so superficial and insincere that I found them more frustrating than endearing (or whatever it is they were supposed to be.) Josie has no personality in this story. She just whines about being ugly and fat, when she is clearly neither. Her delusions are also handy for a those big misunderstandings that are so good at destroying any modicum of pleasure I might have derived from this book - she can't believe Mayne loves her, it's inconceivable! This in turns leads to some confusing, bizarre high jinks that just leave me scratching my head and wishing the book was over already. In addition to shoddy character development, there is minimal romance in Pleasure for Pleasure - Josie has no chemistry with Garret, the earl of Mayne, who's been an interesting character up to date. But all his appeal and charm is washed out here. He's engaged to another woman at the start of the book, but the author isn't fooling anyone into thinking that there's any feeling between the two. Theirs is a self-defeating relationship transparently set up to fail, to prove what "real love" is like (we have Mayne and Josie to show us what love is, of course), and to reflect very badly on the poor other woman, who is clearly so very wrong in who she is and what she feels. She's sabotaged as a character (because she started out kind of interesting,) and all for nothing, because Josie and Mayne's relationship certainly doesn't convince me of any genuine love between the two of them either. Pleasure for Pleasure is also just plain messy. It's full of random events that never go anywhere, plot threads that sprawl all over the place, distracting and incoherent. Even if there was anything of substance between Josie and Mayne, the reader is never given a chance to find it out because there's so much else that crowds around and interferes with their romance. In previous books, Eloisa James has skillfully balanced an ensemble cast of characters, and while the hero and heroine did have to share the stage a lot, these other characters and relationships enhanced the book and didn't detract from the romance. James seems to have lost that talent here. I did not enjoy this book. It had none of the wit or vivacity of the first two books in this series, and you wouldn¿t miss anything if you passed it up.
Anniik on LibraryThing 11 months ago
"Pleasure for Pleasure" is the last book in the Essex sisters series. It concerns Josie, the youngest sister, who we find out at the opening of the book has been nicknamed "The Scottish Sausage" because she happens to be a bit plump and curvy. This moniker of course makes it difficult for her to find a husband - nobody wants the ridicule of being known as the man who danced with the Sausage. Enter the Earl of Mayne. A friend of Rafe's and an acquaintance of the Essex sisters since the first novel, he's horrified by what's being done to Josie, and encourages her to get rid of her corsets and embrace herself in all her curvy, feminine glory. Josie finds herself falling a bit for Mayne. The problem? He's engaged to a perfect little French girl who he seemingly adores.This is an enjoyable read. I'd loved Mayne since I met him in "Your Wicked Ways," and it's really nice to finally see him settle down and be happy. Josie is a wonderful character - opinionated, brassy, and not a size zero - the kind of woman a lot of us can relate to! The problem? Well, because of Sophie (Mayne's french fiancee), there's not really all that much time for the relationship between Josie and Mayne to build. It kind of comes out of nowhere and blindsides you. One minute he's waxing poetic about how much he adores Sophie, and the next minute he's in love with Josie. Perhaps he had a revelation, but if so, it doesn't really show it to us very clearly. We know he's fond of her - he's practically like an older brother to her in the other books - but it's a long jump to go from "fond" to "in love." In fact, during the scene on their wedding night, I was convinced for a long time that he actually was going to try to annul their marriage! And again, James makes the fatal mistake of spending too much time on a secondary love story. Griselda's a nice character. If you want to do something with her, give her a book of her own. I don't want to read that when I'm dying to see what happens with Mayne and Josie!
kayceel on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This one was a lot of fun. I pretty much adore James' books - her heroines are smart, witty and strong-willed, while her heroes are sexy and smart enough to adore their smart loves.Josie is a very full-figured young woman, and has had the misfortune of taking the advice of a seamstress who's crammed Josie into a ridiculous corset, earning (and keeping) the unpleasant nickname, the Scottish Sausage. Josie's brothers-in-law are well-meaning as they urge their friends to dance with her at balls, but it's not until a family friend, the Earl of Mayne, convinces her she's beautiful without the stupid corset that she begins to come into her own.The characters in this are charming and winning, and though I found it annoying that Josie's figure is described as very full, but with a surprisingly tiny waist (of course it is. Sigh.), the story was fun. And thank God the conflict wasn't dragged out forever to heighten tension!Funny, sweet and sexy - Recommended!
jeffersonsambrosia on LibraryThing 11 months ago
The final chapter in the Essex sister story is a grand one. It has a little bit of everything you would expect to see in it. And I have to say that few books ever make me laugh out loud, and yet this book at several points made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to cry.The beginning starts out a bit sad, poor Josie the youngest of the sisters hates her body, and has been dubbed the Scottish sausage which is a horrible nickname. And of course there for the Ton all avoid her, no young men her age will ask her to dance and only the older men her sisters or chaperone can rustle up will dance with her. The biggest crime is that she sees herself as fat. And Josie is anything but. She¿s not fat; she is beautiful like a real woman.It¿s a horrid corset she wears that makes her appear stuffed. Well, enter Garrett the Earl of Mayne. I loved him in the other books when he popped up. He is a rakehell who isn¿t feeling like much of a rakehell anymore. He is engaged but none the less he kisses Josie, and shows her what its like to be a real woman. She taking his teaching well gets rid of the corset and indeed becomes a woman who leaves young men slavering after her. She has the body of a Madonna, and she has just a fun personality.Follow this story is a true romp of fun, and finding love where you would least expect it. Mayne has had a little dabble in with all of the Essex¿s sisters in one form or another. Who would have guessed that he would have one with Josie as well? There is a particularly funny scene in which Mayne believing Josie has been ravished picks her up while she is asleep. Josie wakes and proceeds to slug him, giving him a black eye. What a fine way to say hello to a gentleman.But Mayne can have a good laugh too as Josie¿s expense including a time in which he dumps a glass of water over his head and startles Josie into thinking he is a ghost. The romance is there as well, and there is love to be found for everyone. Even Griselda whom who have followed as a widow through it all does indeed find her own happy ending. If you have enjoyed the other books in this series, you must read this one. And if you haven¿t read the others, I recommend you do so you can read this one as well. You will not be sorry in the least. You will laugh, cry and enjoy it.
crashingwaves38 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This is my first Eloisa James book, and I have to say that I think she's a fun author. I enjoyed reading every bit of this novel. The characters were fun and fresh, and they were different from the characters that show up in a lot of other novels (ie, different from the Cynsters). And I loved that the main female and a few of the other females were truly curvy women, not "petite" women or "with subtle curves." No, these were real women, and that's so often hard to find in romances. In fact, the only complaint (and I use that word loosely) is that the illustration on the cover was not of a curvy woman. Other than that slight pet peeve, I loved the book. There were so many different personalities on display, so many different venues, so many different ways the story went. It was fantastic. It was wonderful to see Josie's transition from the "Scottish Sausage" to a woman who is proud of her curves and the affect they have on men. She really accepts herself by the end of the story, dimples and all, and it was fantastic to read.Of course, the side plots were interesting too. Where Sylvie ends up, Darlington and Griselda, Thurman, Gemima, and more...all was on display. I love that multi-faceted aspect of novels.All in all, a great read, particularly if you're looking for something with a bit of spunk.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eloise James is hit and miss for me. Sometimes it takes me forever to get into her books, sometimes the skimming starts early. However her good books are really good, so I persevere in the hope htat this one is a good one. And P4P is a good one. I enjoyed the characters, suspended my sense of disbelief (what is it with all these women having sex with no protection and no fear of pregnancy?) and while I found Josie occassionally annoying she was only 19 (or, as the text said later, 18) so she'll grow out of it. Mayne was a very good hero.
SeriouslySaoirse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable read. Mayne is a wonderfully troubled leading man who is stunned to find himself a relatively redeemable sort, even after dealing with a troublesome French woman and becoming entangled with yet another one of the wards of his best friend, Rafe. Josie is a wonderful character whose literary "education" and attitudes set her apart from many of the regular Regency-styled reads.
phyllisd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth and final book in the Essex Sister series and also my favorite. Josie is a fascinating character full of contradictions: excellent with horses but afraid to ride, young and innocent but wise, self-concious of her looks but bold in her speech. An unexpected yet perfect countess for the damaged Earl of Mayne.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of Ms. James' most vulnerable heroines. I've read this one again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Josie is the last of the Essex sisters series so of course her story had to be the best in my opinon. Her story is quite funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites in this series! Lighthearted yet very dramatic! Another win fot Eloisa.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good ensemble of characters, fairly bland storyline.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love series where you get a more in depth knowledge of the characters as they interact through the various story lines.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago