Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Megan Hart - No Greater Pleasure

No Greater Pleasure
by Megan Hart

October 2009


This is not your typical Megan Hart book, or at least not what I've come to expect. It isn't that it's not highly engaging with characters being put in heart wrenching situations. It's that it does not have the page upon page of erotic, explicit encounters, for which I think Megan Hart steals the cake when it comes to mastering those titillating scenes of the flesh and incorporating that into an emotionally compelling read. It is rather mild for over half the book, but what you do get is a building of a friendship between the two main characters, Tranquilla Caden and Gabriel Delessan, as well as between Tranquilla and his staff.

In No Greater Pleasure the sexually charged atmosphere is toned down to a slow and engaging build-up as Tranquilla, the Handmaiden assigned to Delessan, learns her new master and attempts to gain the knowledge she needs to bring him absolute solace. As well as making friends with the staff and earning herself a respectable place in their eyes.

Gabriel Delessan is a dark, mysterious, brooding, unhappy man. His wife is a mad, conniving, deceitful woman. And she makes his life miserable. He'd like to think that when she has moments of clarity that she will remain that way, but she ends up that despicable person once again. So he requests a Handmaiden from the Order of Solace, hoping to find some sort of peace in his very unhappy existence. Yet Gabriel fights and argues with Quilla nearly every step of the way as she tries to sooth him. But what he doesn't realize, is that over the course of the months she's been serving him, she has been breaking through his barriers, on act, one word, one gesture at a time.

But you may be wondering the same as I did, how can this be a romance if Delessan is married and refuses Quilla in any intimate fashion? And that is where Megan Hart's talent as a writer shines, and makes her stories different from the rest. Her characters are put in situations that aren't typical and where there's a will, there's a way, and happiness lies down that road. If ever there was a man who needed some happiness, it's Gabriel Delessan (and what a great name too!) and Quilla the perfect soul to mend his torn and broken heart, giving him perfect Solace.

I enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful addition to the first one, Pleasure and Purpose. But I must say that I was a tad disappointed for the lack of sex. And I only say that because I have come to expect it, especially since the first book was extremely potent, but that's the only place my disappointment lies. This one may have been toned down on the explicitness, but it still tugged on my emotions at the end something fierce. I loved the story and I think the Order of Solace is a grand concept and makes for delightful reads.


Stacy~ said...

Lovely review Amy. I do love Megan's books, and I've been eyeing this one. She's an amazing talent, and makes you care when you didn't think you could. Might have to add this one to the list.

host said...

Thanks for the review! I've just ordered this books because of it :)

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

I should also try Megan Hart's books. I've heard a lot about her, but haven't gotten one yet!

Blodeuedd said...

Nice review :)
Not enough sex, well I cna live with that cos the story sounds wonderful

Anna said...

I wasn't sure I was gonna like this one either, for the same reasons. But it turned out to be a great read. I hope there will be more from this series.

Eva S said...

Great review! I really enjoyed the first one,and will be looking for this one too. Next year perhaps....

Amy C said...

Hi Stacy,
I hope you do read it. If you haven't read Pleasure and Purpose first, you really don't have to. It just introduces the world and the Order of Solace. It's much steamier than this one though :P.

This one and Pleasure and Purpose certainly had a different tone than her Contemporaries through Spice. I liked the difference.

I actually wrote this review a few months ago and forgot to post it here. I posted it on amazon, but it somehow slipped past me here. Same with the other two that I posted this morning! I don't know how I forgot :).

Amy C said...

Oh, Host! Thank you :). Now I hope you think the book is as good as my review says it is :).

Hey Silver,
Oh definitely read something of hers. I would suggest giving either Stranger or Broken a try. I have mixed feelings with Broken, becuase it was such a tremendously emotional book through parts of it for me!

Hi Blodeuedd,
Yes, there isn't too much sex in it. What is there is pretty steamy, but it's not over the top. I enjoyed the interactions between the two.

Amy C said...

Hey Anna,
Yes, I hope there will be more too. I was happy to see that you enjoyed it also.

Hey Eva,
Thanks! The first one was pretty darn steamy! You'll have to let me know what you think of this one when you read it :).

Cecile said...

Hey Amy!!! I have this one and the next one in my TBR pile. And you know I love me some Megan Hart style books. This one does seem toned down a bit.
Did she have to build the world of what the Handmaiden was? Did that have something to do with it maybe? Because in her novels that we have read so far, they take place in the now... And this series does not... Hummm... but I am glad to see that over all you liked it. I am just like you though... I have come to expect the smut from Ms. Hart... and to have it to that degree makes me wonder!
Hope you are having a great day hon!

Amy C said...

Hey Cecile!
Actually, no, the world building didn't hinder the erotic tone of this book. The Handmaidens and the world they live in is pretty simple. Nothing that someone would find themselves distracted from understanding. The first one, Pleasure and Purpose is pretty darn hot! Like her other Spice books. It was only this one that had less of that spiciness. There's even a menage scene in the first short story in Pleasure and Purpose. I didn't mind though that the sex was less in No Greater Pleasure, I just wasn't expecting it. I enjoyed it, both of them!

Anonymous said...

I have not yet read this author, but I've seen some really good things written about her books. I will have to make sure I read some in the new year.



Lea said...

Wonderful review Amy.

I still have to read Megan Hart but liked the book she co-authored with Lauren Dane.

I've admired the cover art for this book many times. It really draws me for some reason.

I have Stranger on the shelf, and will get to it.

Happy New Year Amy!