The incomparable Nicole Jordan weaves a seductive tale of passion and betrayal, intrigue and destiny, in her most devastatingly delicious love story yet. . . . THE PRINCE OF PLEASURE He is England's most notorious rake. Known as Dare to his friends, the wicked, outrageously charming Marquess of Wolverton is a consummate pleasure-seeker. But the seductive lifestyle is just his way of burying painful memories of the dazzling actress who once shattered his heart. When treachery threatens the Crown, Dare resolves to use his former beloved to help unmask a deadly traitor.
Lush scenes of lovemaking spice up Jordan's newest Regency-era romance (following Ecstasy), which chronicles the hunt for master criminal and spy Lord Caliban. This time Caliban's adversary is English marquess Dare North, the notorious Prince of Pleasure. After losing his heart many years earlier to a woman whom he thought betrayed him, Dare is generous only with his body in his entanglements with women. But when he discovers his former love, Julienne Laurent, is the breathtaking actress who has London at her feet-and who may have ties to Lord Caliban-Dare decides to mix the business of spying with the pleasure of revenge. Caught by a public exchange of wagers and determined to take her own vengeance for her broken dreams, Julienne defiantly engages Dare in sensual warfare. Mistrust, past hurts and anger form walls around the protagonists' hearts, but as Dare's investigation of Caliban forces the couple to become allies, the walls crumble. Jordan draws out the emotional and sexual tension with skill, never losing sight of Dare's and Julienne's deeper feelings even during the most sizzling of bedroom games. Each one of Jordan's books has been richer than the last, and readers who prefer their historical romances liberally seasoned with fiery passion will jump on her fan wagon. (July 3) Forecast: The saying "you can't judge a book by its cover" certainly applies here. Like a plain brown wrapper, the book's pastel cover gives little indication of the sensual story within, but the title is a red flag for those who like racy reads. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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June 30, 2003
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Excerpt from The Prince of Pleasure by Nicole Jordan
London, March 1814
Flickering firelight cast a golden glow over Dare's nude body as he stood before the bedchamber hearth, yet no flame could warm the chill in his heart. His mind flooded by thoughts of a beautiful, deceptive enchantress, he stared down at the playbill advertising her latest performance at the Drury Lane Theater.
He didn't need the artist's sketch to prod his recollection, for everything about her was burned into his memory. Images of her assaulted him: her exquisite body arched in passion. Her sleek limbs wrapped around him. Her luxurious hair like a mantle of sable fire about her shoulders. Her skin so flawlessly white, it looked like fine porcelain. Her laughter and her smile. Her keen wit. Her dark, luminous eyes with their incredible sensuality.
It was all branded upon his memory with a sharpness and clarity that still seared.
"What a bloody fool you were," he murmured, the accusation hoarse in the quiet of the bedchamber.
Dare locked his jaw, distressed that Julienne's sudden appearance in London had awakened emotions he'd presumed long dead. He'd thought himself over her years ago. Free of the tormenting memories, free of the regrets and loneliness that plagued him.
Yet given the savage pain that lanced through him now, he knew he still hadn't fully recovered from his shattering encounter with Julienne. Apparently the adage was true that a man never forgot his first love.
He hadn't intended to lose his heart to her. He'd been young and hot and full of himself, eminently secure in his powers of seduction. But the girl he set out to conquer had become the woman who taught him about love. About betrayal.
The first time he'd laid eyes on the beautiful French -migr, Dare knew he had to have her. He'd come to Kent in June for a cousin's wedding, putting up at his grandfather's estate of Wolverton Hall near the small seaport of Whitstable, where Julienne's millinery was located. He'd wound up staying for the entire summer, intent on wooing her.
His intense attraction had surprised him. He'd had dozens of women as alluring, in countless affairs that had never touched his heart. Love for him had never been fiery and urgent, as it was with Julienne.