SIMPLY FORBIDDEN by Kate Pearce
Simply Forbidden by Kate Pearce
House of Pleasure, Book 6
Reviewed by Shayna
At Madame Helene’s House of Pleasure, nothing is forbidden. In the social world of London’s ton, almost everything is, provided you’re an unmarried woman. Lisette Delornay-Ross is both part and apart of both societies. She’s the daughter of the infamous Madame Helene, and, when she was younger, acted out by enjoying the world of the pleasure house. However, now that her younger, “legitimate” half-sister is coming out into society, Lisette is attempting to be the model of propriety. Neither total abandon nor formidable strictures suit her, so Lisette lives a sort of half-life…until she meets Major Lord Gabriel Swanfield.
Gabriel’s upbringing has also been atypical, but unlike Lisette, the result of his past is that he has a very conventional view on women and marriage. The problem is, Gabriel’s desires don’t fit his definition of “ordinary” and the fiery Lisette only heightens his illicit cravings. One kiss, one taste, one touch is all it takes for Gabriel to question the path he has chosen to take. But in trying to give Lisette what he thinks she wants, will he ruin their chance at a love, while unconventional, could make them both happier than they have ever been?
Get ready for the first truly spectacular book of 2011! Simply Forbidden dazzles with its rich characterization, sexy-as-sin eroticism, and beautiful romance.
Lisette charmed me from the first in her parents’ story, Simply Shameless, and I’ve been looking forward ever since to her romance. She’s an extraordinary heroine, filled with life, intelligence, and kindness, but there’s hidden vulnerabilities in her that she doesn’t always recognize. She grew up in a French convent and wasn’t aware of her mother’s business until she was a teenager. She also had no idea who her father was until that time. Though she now has her family all together, Lisette has never trusted anyone not to abandon her, save her twin, Christian, and he has pulled away from her as well. Lisette tugged at my heartstrings and I could see why she felt alone in a crowd. Gabriel’s history also has left him with abandonment issues and the two are well-matched in that regard. They strengthen each other, help one another learn to trust, to take a chance and open their heart. Both Lisette and Gabriel make plenty of mistakes as they fall in love, but they learn and grow from them, their relationship coming out stronger because of it.
Simply Forbidden is the sixth book in Kate Pearce’s House of Pleasure series but it can be read as a standalone. Fans of the series will rejoice that many of the characters from the previous books (Simply Sexual, Simply Sinful, Simply Shameless, Simply Wicked, and Simply Insatiable) are at least mentioned, and as one might expect, Lisette’s parents play strong supporting roles in Simply Forbidden. It delighted me that Ms. Pearce weaved in cameos or passing mentions of prior protagonists I’ve come to love while seamlessly adding in new characters to capture the heart. She does this all while never taking the focus off of Lisette and Gabriel for a moment. There is only one problem I had with Simply Forbidden, and it’s a problem of a greedy reader: I want more! More House of Pleasure books and more of the Delornay-Ross family, in particular a certain sensual blond. I’ve been dying for Christian’s story and with Simply Forbidden Ms. Pearce only left me with more questions about Lisette’s enigmatic twin.
Ms. Pearce packs heat and heart into all of her books in the most wonderful way, which is why so many of her novels land on my “favorites” shelf. Simply Forbidden will be on said shelf as soon as I can stop re-reading it. I Joyfully Recommend Simply Forbidden – it’s simply fantastic!