What a surprise The Perils of Pleasure was! The title isn't very promising, and
the cover is a rather generic picture for a historical romance - a lady falling out of a dress and a man's hand on her thigh. However, the story within the cover
is an excellently written, at-times amusing but also complex and enjoyable story about a man and a woman on the run, trying to clear the man's name so
that he can marry the woman he's loved his whole life.
Colin Eversea has been arrested for murder, but on the way to his hanging someone rescues him - that someone being Madeleine Greenway. It seems, though, that the person who paid Madeleine to rescue Colin is now trying to kill her. Colin and Madeleine work together to find out what's happened, to try to clear Colin's name and to return him to his family in time for him to prevent the marriage of his brother to Louisa, the woman Colin has always loved. Their investigations into the events are hampered by Colin's being a famous criminal with a price on his head and with the paucity of evidence as to what actually happened.
As Colin and Madeleine travel, hide and investigate together, though, they begin to see more in each other than they originally thought.
What makes The Perils of Pleasure outstanding is author Julie Anne Long's writing style.
Her excellent light touch covers deep themes with some well-drawn characterization. Her sense of time and place in history works well in the book, and the plot always keeps the reader interested, even when it gets quite complex. Some surprises as the villain
is revealed are unexpected, and the overall feel is very much one of an enjoyable read with more depth to the plotting than many other stories in this genre.