The Pleasures Trilogy is the first of Eloisa James’ novels. The cast of characters is numerous and continues through each book, while adding a new one here and there.
In Potent Pleasures, we have the story of Charlotte, a woman on the verge of her first season who meets a mysterious man at a ball. Their rendezvous in the garden leaves Charlotte turning from the excitement of her first season to painting, knowing she is perhaps destined to be alone. As Charlotte heads into her 3rd season, wiser, more flirtatious and the talk of the ton , she becomes acquainted with Alex, an Earl who has scandalous rumors spread around town in regards to his virility. They marry, but all hopes for a happy union are dashed as Alex believes his wife’s innocence was taken by his twin brother, Patrick. Alex is a monster at times, cruel and heartless, but he is lovable. Only when he comes to terms with his own demons can he finally see the truth behind his own marriage, and his garden girl.
In Midnight Pleasures we have the story of Sophie, best friend to Charlotte, and another talk of the ton. With her friend married most of the male attention directs itself to her and her daring French-styled gowns. She catches the eye of Patrick, twin brother to Alex, Charlotte’s husband. Patrick believes Sophie only wants to marry for a title, but is persuaded to think otherwise one evening at midnight when he comes to steal her away for his friend and her fiance. Their passions ignite, and it is the two of them getting married. Patrick has his own demons, and when he learns his wife is expecting, the marriage becomes strained as he struggles with his fears from childhood.
Enchanting Pleasures was by far my favorite of the set. Gabby travels from India, happy to be away from her father to marry what she believes is the son of a business partner of her father’s, and a future viscount. Quill is the future Viscount, but due to a riding injury that left him almost unable to walk, his father believes he will be unfit to provide an heir, and has led his India business partner to believe that his second son Peter is the future viscount and they arrange a marriage between the two. On Gabby’s arrival, Peter realizes he can’t marry the plump and unpolished Gabby, and she agrees. Quill is more than willing to marry her! He is captivated by her, and vows to have her. An interesting turn of events, almost tragic at one point makes this book a delight to read.
All three books have a side story of India origin, with the twins and Quill being involved. Each character has a part in each novel, with the exception of Gabby, who appears in the final piece. I recommend these books to everyone. Despite Enchanting Pleasures being my favorite, all the novels are a joy to read, both heart-wrenching and hilarious at the same time! I enjoyed the continuous characters and was glad to see them all have their happy ending.
Of note, these are harder to find in print than some, as they are her first, so if you wish to read these, I suggest you find them on-line.