by Regan Allen

April 2005
ISBN: 0-8217-7798-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Temptation in the garden.

Miss Angelica Pruitt was starving and the out-of-work governess was willing to do almost anything to eat. Putting herself on display in the pleasure garden at Vauxhall may have been uncomfortable for the daughter of a reverend, however, if it meant sleeping with a full belly that night, then display she would. There was more than a luscious banquet waiting in the garden that night. Angel met Temptation and her life was forever changed.

Jason Kitterage felt pleasantly surprised with the would-be harlot he met that night in the grotto. Angel was intelligent, an enjoyable companion in the midst of the pretentious lot attending the gathering place. Not only that, but she was beautiful to behold as well. Jason had meant to entice those in attendance with the Mask of Aphrodite. As it turned out, Jason was the one being enticed by the charming Angel.

Jason is injured while trying to help Angel and she feels obligated to care for him while he recuperates. Angel doesnít think her reputation will suffer because of it, after all, she lives in a boardinghouse in Newgate. Sheís learned that when it comes to survival reputation isnít so important. Extra boarding charges incur creative attempts at making money. Unbeknownst to Jason, Angel must take on a myriad of small jobs to pay for his care. Once he realizes that Angel is actually considering accepting an offer for a gentleman protector, he knows he has to act quickly.

Angel doesnít want to become a wealthy manís mistress; however, living hand to mouth is not fun for anyone. A woman Angel tutors makes an appealing case and Angel finds herself unwillingly warming to the idea. When Jason comes up with a plan of his own Angel is surprised. He is a man who needs adventure. Will caring for a mistress put unwanted limits on his lifestyle? Can she resist Temptation?

Jason finds himself agreeing to Angelís terms and conditions. He is probably the only man in England who has a mistress he canít sleep with. If it means having Angel in his life, so be it. Although their arrangement seems improbable, he craves freedom while she craves stability, the two form an alliance based on mutual respect. Each day that passes a new piece is added to the foundation and before long a solid relationship is being formed.

The Pleasure Garden by Regan Allen is truly a gratifying read. It is filled with romance that warms the heart and three-dimensional characters who will steal your heart. Ms. Allenís writing is smooth as well as charming. Her illustrative storytelling abilities enable the reader to understand the characters and their actions. The Pleasure Garden is my first read by Regan Allen but it most certainly will not be my last.

Reviewed in April 2005 by Rho.

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