When Sophie becomes the new housekeeper at Pendleton Manor, she has no idea that the residents of the manor, Ash and Adam Pendleton, and their friends, Rachel, Nora and James regularly participate in ménages. Sophie’s grim faced employer Adrian Pendleton, does not get involved. He is still mourning the death of his wife, Nicole who died the previous year.
This novel has shades of Daphne De Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’, as the shadow of Nicole’s death hangs over the manor and taints the relationship that Adrian has with his cousins Ash and Adam. Adrian he knows that Nicole was having an affair and he believes her death was no accident. He is convinced that Nicole’s murderer resides under his roof.
Sophie soon gets involved with Adrian, but for me it seemed to be an unequal relationship. He’s her employer and while he makes it clear that she is welcome to participate in the ongoing sexcapades, she is subordinate to him in every way.
I admit to being more engaged by the mystery of what happened to Nicole Pendleton, than by the erotica.
Haunted by memories of her beloved daughter, Sophie Turner leaves Arizona for a new position in Maine as housekeeper in Pendelton Manor. Arriving late, she walks in on a threesome between her boss’s cousin and two friends. Embarrassed, she hides while peering in on the group and growing more turned on by the sight. Sophie wonders if she should announce her arrival or run back the way she came. Soon, however, the trio discovers her and makes their introductions while Sophie tries to hide her mortification at getting caught watching the orgy.
Her first meeting with her boss, widower Adrian Pendelton, leaves her with a feeling of empathy and arousal for this cold, brooding man who has clearly suffered the pain of loss as she has. Not wanting to give up on the new position and the excitement of living in a new town, Sophie decides to give the housekeeping position a try, though she is quite leery about the people who inhabit the manor and their wicked ways.
Soon, Sophie gets to know the family members of Pendelton Manor and the scandal that rocked the foundation of the household. Adrian suspects someone had been having an affair with his wife shortly before her suspicious death. Sophie cannot believe any of the wonderful people she's met would be responsible for it, but does her best to stay out of it.
Sophie soon finds her self-enforced celibacy coming to an end when she is lured into the sexually deviant parties held by Adrian, his cousins and the women who hang around them. Discovering her wild-side, it brings her closer to confronting Adrian with her growing desire for him.
Can Sophie warm up the cold-hearted Adrian? Will he see her as more than a housekeeper and as an actual eye-catching woman? Can they solve Adrian's wife's death while distracted by their carnal attraction?