cover image The Pleasure of Your Kiss

The Pleasure of Your Kiss

Teresa Medeiros. Pocket Star, $7.99 mass market (506p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5789-3

Bestseller Medeiros (The Devil Wears Plaid) conjures up a Victorian Orientalist fantasy of the Near East. In 1834, Clarinda Cardew is traveling from England to Burma to be married. When her ship is captured by pirates, Clarinda is sold to a Moroccan sultan. Her betrothed asks his “greedy soldier of fortune” brother, the devastatingly handsome Capt. Sir Ashton Burke, to rescue her, not knowing that Ashton and Clarinda have long been in love. In an entertaining twist, Ashton soon discovers that the sultan is his old classmate from Eton. Despite the sultan’s Western education, the imperial harem is highly sexualized: children are banned, nudity is routine, and cucumbers are carnal teaching tools. This ahistorical setting permits sensual shenanigans that reignite the flame between Ashton and Clarinda, even at the risk of death. A heavy reliance on the exoticized locale and stereotypical side characters diminishes an otherwise enjoyable story. Agent: Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.)