Guilty Pleasures is a revamped retelling of the age-old story of The Ugly Duckling. There is the duckling: Daphne Wade, prim and proper in her gold-rimmed glasses, who has an enormous crush on her handsome employer - Anthony the Duke of Tremore, who has a fascinating habit of taking his shirt off to dig on the excavation site on his beautiful estate. Anthony has hired the ever-capable Daphne to restore the priceless treasures that he digs up.
When his sister decides to turn Daphne into a raving beauty, Anthony expresses doubt that such a feat can be accomplished. Unfortunately, Daphne overhears his expression of lack of faith in her prospects for becoming beautiful and is crushed but quickly becomes determined to prove him wrong, for she has fallen passionately in love with the Duke. Once the transformation is complete and the butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis, the question becomes will Anthony now realize the real treasure that has been before his eyes all this time?
Laura Lee Guhrke is talented at describing love scenes which truly place the emphasis on love and not just sex. It is all about seduction; her description of the first kiss between Daphne and Anthony (Daphne’s first kiss ever) is so romantic that is will bring back memories to readers of their own first kiss. That particular scene was much more moving than any graphic sex scene ever would or could be. It is very refreshing to read a writer who can gracefully write a romantic passionate scene.
The plot of the novel is interesting and moves along well. The dialogue is believable for the time the story is set in. The characters are well-drawn so that readers will care what happens to them. Guilty Pleasures is a good way to transport yourself to another world for a little while. Enjoy the trip.