Lady Bliss Danser is a curious young thing. Well not really so young, she’s twenty two but oh so innocent. Her parents even kept her locked up when the stallions were in heat. Bliss was happy to be free of men, until her brother Geoffrey, the Marquess of Swanston (The subject of Mastering the Marquess, Book One of the Bound and Determined series), decided it was time she get married. So now she has until the end of the season to find a malleable husband who will let her to continue to do as she pleases or be forced to marry her neighbor, Stephan Andrew James Perth, Earl of Duldon.
It’s not that Bliss isn’t attracted to the man, but he is so domineering. They had been playmates as children despite their eight year age difference. She had even proposed to him once, as he carelessly reminds her, when she was twelve. Yet still she resists, there was that time he had inadvertently hurt her and now she is ready to return the favor.
However, despite her doubts, Lord Duldon is certain that Bliss is the one mate for him. Of course, he will have to leave behind his kinky need for dominating in the bedroom and meting out punishments. This is to be a proper marriage. Yet, it’s hard for a leopard to change it’s spots. Someone needs to teach Bliss about male/female relationships, and he’s the best choice – the only acceptable choice. Plus the object of his desire is so willing to explore her sensual side that he soon finds the line between proper and improper quite fuzzy.
Of course, there are obstacles – Matchmaker Lady Perse, Stephan’s aunt, for one. She has made Bliss promise to stay away from her nephew. That means Bliss has only one night to satisfy her curiosity. Then there is Bliss’ own personality. She’s the one who likes to be in charge. Can Lord Duldon convince her that he’s the boss, especially in the bedroom?
The plot is simple, but the majority of Bound by Bliss by Lavinia Kent consists of erotica as the two lovers explore each other’s bodies and do everything but consummate the relationship. The inquisitive Bliss has so many questions and Stephan is all too ready to give her the answers. They both agree that the best method is to show, not tell, so the reader should be ready to be titillated as the two “contemplate” their bodies and their reactions to the feelings of touch. Stephan patiently, sometimes to the point of Sainthood, “explains the process” detail by excruciating detail as Bliss explores and searches for the answers to her curiosity.
Their sexual exploits, taking place during the Regency era, are conducted at Madame Rouge’s House for Gentlemen of Taste (the subject of the novella, Revealing Ruby). Ruby knows of Lord Duldon’s proclivities, but must keep her doubts about his tactics to herself. We get a view of some of the activities found in the hidden chambers of the brothel via a peephole as Bliss begins the learning process. She quickly discovers the feeling of orgasm and the joy that a simple touch can bring between two willing partners.
Fans of erotica will definitely “enjoy” Bliss’ education in sensuality and perhaps learn a new technique or two to enhance their own lovemaking. There’s not much to the story, but who cares when a book is filled with passionate delights. I wouldn’t call this a BDSM novel despite Lord Duldan’s need to control the lovemaking and provide a rare punishment. Most of Stephan’s focus is on pleasing Bliss which brings them both great sexual satisfaction.
Lavinia Kent is our Queen and we readers are her loyal subjects, waiting for her to deign us with the next novel in the series. Four stars.
A thank you to Loveswept and Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a honest review.