Secret Pleasures Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1995
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Unraveling the plot of the murder mystery is of course quite interesing especially because Genelle becomes oh so very sexually attracted to Rulan Roak the private detective investigating the murder. Needless to say what develops between Rulan and Genelle is very erotic. I guess it depends on ones point of view whether this was romantic. My own feelings I guess is that if one can find that kind of hot steamy passion in one's life, and if it is erotic, how wonderful.
As they search for the murderer one is taken into the back rooms of the gentlemen's clubs where anyone's wishes can be granted for a price and where the supposed respectable people have more secrets than anyone can imagine.
A very interesting book that I personally could not put down. Maybe my own life has become a bit boring and it was fascinating to escape to a different kind of adventure. Certainly this would not be a book for everyone but I truly enjoyed it and give it a solid five star review.
The 2 biggest problems with this book were: 1--her excessive use of italics. Yes, I understand that it was to denote the central characters thoughts, but I felt it was ineffective because 1-half the novel was italicized, 2-the characters thoughts were also expressed in unitalicized sections, and 3-often they were very fragmented, trailing off (...) without finishing the thought/sentence. 2--genre confusion. Devine starts out with a sexy idea, a woman accidentally stumbles onto a sensual realm she didn't know existed and goes on to discover new sides of her own sexuality. But from that point on, things go south. This novel would have been better served written as erotica because the constraints of the romance genre, e.g. emotional intimacy, only having one sexual partner, etc. limit what could have been a good piece of erotica. The lack of emotional connection between the main characters and scant plot in this book cannot be overcome by sheer number of sexual encounters. If you want explicit sex scenes with good plot, try Susan Johnson, Virginia Henley, and the earlier work of Bertrice Small, but stay away from this book.
The plot is sketchy and convoluted at best. bizarre. And what is with the overuse of the word "ramrod." That's not sexy, not a turn-on. Overall, "Secret Pleasures" is an unsuccessful attempt to combine the erotica and romance genres.
Top international reviews
In the middle of the story there were alot of sex-scenes but as soon as I worked my way through them ;-) .. it got better and better.