Colin Eversea is facing the gallows. The most charming and handsome Eversea in a long line of rogues and rascals, he cannot believe that he has been found guilty of a murder he did not commit. The mysterious disappearance of the only witness and his family’s inability to delay the trial and death sentence all point to a deliberate plot from a well-placed person. Who wants him dead so badly?
As he prepares to meet his fate, he is rescued by an unlikely mercenary – Madeleine Greenway. It then becomes quite clear that whoever wanted Colin saved also wants Madeleine dead, and the pair set off to discover who paid for the rescue and why the plans have changed.
Colin longs to get back to his home at Pennyroyal Green and stop the wedding between his brother Marcus and Louisa Porter. He has loved Louisa his whole life, and cannot bear the thought of her marrying another Eversea. Madeleine also has plans of her own. The purse for rescuing Colin was going to pay for her passage to America and a plot of land she has purchased. She hopes to start her life over without the memories of her past.
Author Julie Ann Long has paired an unlikely couple together in The Perils of Pleasure. Colin is quite the devil, and his salvation has only brought out the mischievous side of his character. Madeleine is a true enigma, rarely giving away her thoughts, and despairs of keeping a distance between herself and her liberated felon.
For some reason that I cannot quite pinpoint, it took me a long time to become interested in this book. At one point I even wondered if I could finish it. I think that Madeleine’s hesitation to warm up to Colin was so well-written that it kept me from identifying with either character. So I had no interest in what was happening in the story. Luckily, Colin’s charm and Madeleine’s thoughtful nature eventually won me over. I especially enjoyed the second half of the book as they grow ever closer to solving the mystery. By the time the final pages were reached, I was very pleased with the novel.