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Jacquelyn Frank is easily one of my favorite authors of paranormal romance. At this point I've read everything she's had published to date and I've truly enjoyed all of her offerings so far.
For the most part, Pleasure was no exception. Each book in the Shadowdweller series, in addition to being a romance novel in every sense, clued the reader in to a certain aspect of Shadowdweller society; Ecstasy introduced us to their culture and their world, Rapture shared their religion and their spiritual beliefs, and now Pleasure worked to shed some light on the politics that governed this admittedly unstable world. Ms. Frank's writing is lyrical without being boring, poetic without being trite, and I found the conversations between the characters to easily be my favorite part of the whole story.
That doesn't mean that Pleasure is a perfect book, however. In both stories, there's a definite undercurrent of feeling insecure and inferior, of being unworthy, and of ignoring one's accomplishments in the face of imagined character flaws, and that meant that the train to Angstytown left on a fairly regular basis. Ultimately, those elements were used to make important things happen in the story, which is a definite good thing, because personally I can only read so much of that before I start to lose interest.
There also was, and you don't catch me saying this too often, perhaps a little too much bedroom action in this particular book. I don't have qualms about the quantity or frequency of sex scenes in books like some reviewers out there, but in this particular case I felt like sex scenes were what was going on while we were waiting for actual events that were important to the story line to get around to happening. This was more prevalent in Sagan's story than in Guin and Malaya's, but still.
In spite of all that, I read Pleasure in one sitting and wasn't sorry I'd spent the money to buy the book. I'd recommend this series to anyone who was looking to explore paranormal romance but wasn't sure where to start, and also to anyone who enjoyed PNR but was kind of tired of the vampire/werewolf experience that's so popular right now.
As a side note, it bears mentioning that although there are two stories in this volume, this isn't a story anthology; rather, Pleasure reads more like a play, with Act I featuring Sagan and Act II featuring Guin and Malaya. The stories happen concurrently, but are not separate from each other.
If you're interested in reading Pleasure, I highly recommend starting with the beginning of the series, which starts in Ecstasy. I really don't think the series will make much sense or be much fun if you start with the third installment. The end of Pleasure made it seem like future installments were a possibility; I'd definitely read them if they did happen.
This book contains two mostly separate stories (Sagan and Guin) and they both suffer for it. Sagan's story is more interesting for it's potential ramifications to the Nightwalker universe than for its characters or story. And Guin's tale feels rushed given everything that happens.
It's worth a read if you've been following the Nightwalkers/Shadowdwellers but certainly wouldn't have been strong enough to pull me in as a new reader.
I was somewhat disappointed - two stories and neither were well developed. I really love this series but was left wanting more when I finished the book. Hope the next series reflects the quality of her earlier books.
There are two stories in this book. Sagan's was boring and too short to even care about. Guin's was much better. I would have preferred to see each of them get their own book or to even have the stories intertwined but that didn't happen at all. Quick read but a let down compared to the rest of the books in this series and the Demon series.
This is the third Shadowdweller book--a series that continues the story begun in the Nightwalker series. It is really two stories--Sagan and Valara, and Malaya and Guin. While I would have prefered two full sized novels, I thought it worked fairly well.
In the first story, Sagan has been kidnapped and eventually finds himself in Valara's home. She is a witch, something Sagan's people fear because experiance has taught them that human magic users are evil. But Val is not at all evil, and it isn't long before Sagan finds himself ignoring his priestly vows in order to be with her. In my oppinion, this was a wonderful story, but 92 pages was insufficient to really capture all of the potential romance. As it is we are left with the impression of intense sexual attraction and not much else.
The second and longer of the two focuses on Malaya and her sudden realization that her body guard, Guin, is in love with her. Malaya struggles to reconcile her intense feelings for Guin with her need to do what's right for her people. As queen she is required to marry--and the Senate is pushing for a highborn match. Threatened on all sides, the couple must literally fight to be together. I felt this story was much less rushed--perhaps even slow in a few places. In the end, it was satisfying.
I'd recommend this one if your a fan of the series. If you haven't yet experianced the Nightwalkers, I recommend starting with Jacob--it's an excellent book.