The Pleasure Trap
Elizabeth Thornton
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East meets West across time and tradition as three young American women and their Indian immigrant mothers take first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering secrets and sharing joy and tears in Elizabeth Thornton's
The Pleasure Trap

Buy *The Pleasure Trap* by Elizabeth Thornton online

The Pleasure Trap
Elizabeth Thornton
384 pages
July 2007
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Initially appearing to be a standard Regency romance, it becomes clear when reading The Pleasure Trap that there's an element of the paranormal. Our heroine, Eve Dearing, has inherited some of her mother's psychic gifts, although as yet she hasn't trained her abilities. In fact, Eve has tried to ignore them after the death of her mother, knowing that being able to read people's minds doesn't exactly endear her to her peers.

This book is set in the Regency period (the early 1800s), but unfortunately there are a number of historical inaccuracies that meant I couldn't quite be immersed in the story. The characters tend to speak twenty-first-century American - "Let's start over" and that kind of thing. Secondly, the hero and heroine most inappropriately start calling each other by their first names very early in their acquaintance. Bear in mind that some couples in those days called each other "Mrs. Smith" and "Mr. Smith" even after marriage, and first names really weren't appropriate at all for people who met as adults. Thirdly, some of the behavior of our characters just feels wrong for the period.

The story follows Eve and Ash Denison, a Viscount, as they search for the mysterious "Angelo," writer of rather slanderous, barely-disguised histories of important family secrets. How does Angelo find out his secrets? Who is Angelo? When Ash Denison's brother is featured in one of the stories, Ash decides to try to unmask Angelo and find out if there is any truth to the story that Ash's brother Harry was murdered. His only avenue is to see if any of the other authors of that period have the same writing style, and so he meets Eve, an author who goes under the pen name Mrs, Beaumont. Eve is clearly not the author of Angelo's writings, yet Ash decides she can help him with the search.

Lots of the action takes place at a country house where they are all staying, although 'action' is rather misleading as this book rather drags in the middle. We have a couple of brushes with the mysterious Angelo and his murderous thoughts, we meet a young woman, Nell, who has escaped from Bedlam, and Eve and Ash have various naughty dreams about each other, but generally the plot drags and it mostly lost my interest.

The story shifts to Brighton, where Eve and Ash travel to consult Eve's father about her deceased mother's experiences. Of course, eventually Angelo is unmasked and the person who has killed at least four people is identified. However, by this point I really couldn't care, having found the whole story failed to engage me. Even the romance feels rather lightweight, with the attraction between Eve and Ash difficult to understand. There are a great deal of other better Regency romances out there - this story is eminently forgettable.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2007

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