A few things you can always count on when one delves into a Delilah Marvelle title, moral conflict and steamy sensuality. I never need to read a blurb or see a cover before I grab one of Ms. Marvelle's reads, I just grab and read, and I am never disappointed.
Here we have Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the Earl of Brayton, who after spending time in a monastery in an attempt to curb his darker proclivities, comes face to face with temptation itself in the form of the socially shunned Miss Leona Webster. Miss Webster did the unthinkable when she gave her innocence over to the man she thought she loved, but did not return her feelings. He leaves her bereft and with child before breaking it off with Leona in favor of a lady of means. Now Leona lives hand to mouth giving as much to her son as she possibly can, thinking only of him.
When the mysterious Malcolm Thayer appears to save the damsel in distress and her smart as a whip son, Leona finds herself drawn to the brooding figure of a man. She is stunned when Malcolm sets in motion, plans for Miss Webster to dig herself out of the hole that has consumed her for years now. In Malcolm, she sees a man who would be a wonderful and caring father as well as a an ardent lover if he would only let go of the misconceptions he has labeled himself with.
The more time Malcolm spends in Leona's company, the more her craves for that something that has been out of his reach, the normalcy of a relationship and a family. Leona sees a ray of hope when she looks into the earl's passionate gaze and it takes a French courtesan to make Malcolm see that as long as he owns his emotions and actions, they don't need to be seen as dark and sinful. It takes a ruined Miss with a little boy to give his life meaning and the journey to that feeling happens in Master of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle.
Once again I am left with an inane sense of tranquility after reading Master of Pleasure by the clever and awesome, Delilah Marvelle. Yes, it was a bit of a journey to get to that tranquility, as I joined in both Malcolm's and Leona's quest to overcome and surpass the wrongs done to them and done by them in their pasts. It is so wonderful to watch a strong woman like Leona, who has always done her best to keep it together for her son, finally be able to be taken care of by a man as honorable as Malcolm. Malcolm might not consider himself as honorable as Leona does, but that awakening is also part of his passage to finding who he is. As usual, Delilah Marvelle has written a story that will remain with me as all she has written before has and I longingly await for her next work.