Secret Pleasure

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Secret Pleasure

Bound Hearts, #13

SECRET PLEASURE is the 13th book in Lora Leigh’s Bound Hearts series and the 6th one since it switched from novella-length stories at Ellora’s Cave to full length books at St. Martin’s Press. Although this has been one of my all-time favorite erotic romance series, I’m heartbroken that this latest book doesn’t even come close to being worthy of the ones that came before it.

SECRET PLEASURE tells how Alyssa Hampstead meets the two loves of her life just as she turns 18, only to have them ripped from her after a perfect three month interlude together, and then all the terrible things that happen to her and them and others before they finally get back together and defeat the villains who have wronged them. Seems pretty straightforward, right? And yet with SECRET PLEASURE we get a plot structure that enrages more than it entertains. It’s nearly impossible to accurately summarize everything that is wrong with this book without revealing major spoilers, but I’ll try.

There are a series of head-snapping time jumps (three months later, eighteen weeks later, six years later, two years later). There are major plot developments that we are only told about in passing after the fact (example chapter title: “[SPOILER]’S FUNERAL FIVE DAYS LATER”). There are characters we only meet on the page at the very moment they are revealed to be a part of the evil conspiracy. Most of the second half of the book (after the six year and two year time jumps, respectively) consists of Alyssa and her men having sex, and then someone trying to kill Alyssa. And then when Alyssa finally realizes who is still trying to kill her, it comes by way of a memory about something we were never shown when it happened, which means there’s no way we could have possibly known who it was.

Even when SECRET PLEASURE included scenes with beloved characters from previous books, all it did was remind me how much better all those books had been and how disappointing this one was. If you’re a fan of this series and you just can’t resist reading this first new book in four years, all I can say is to let go of any expectations that this will be the wonderful follow-up you’ve been waiting for. The next book is apparently going to be the story of the two secondary characters who were also betrayed by the final villain exposed at the end of this story, but I’m out. I’m both sad and angry after reading SECRET PLEASURE and have no intention of putting myself through that again.

Book Blurb for Secret Pleasure

In Secret Pleasure by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh, Sebastian and Shane De Loren were born to love Alyssa Hampstead. No other woman on Earth can burn for them, ignite with passion between them, the way Alyssa does. But after three sensual months of pleasure come to a crashing halt, Sebastian and Shane are left fighting their powerful family, risking it all to have Alyssa one more time...

Alyssa has closed off her heart. A senator's daughter in the political spotlight, she'd rather be quiet and safe than feel the emotional intensity Sebastian and Shane roused within her years ago. But when the sexy cousins blaze their way back into her life, Alyssa cannot help but succumb to the heady pleasures the two men can give her. And as an unknown enemy draws near, Alyssa will need Sebastian and Shane to protect her...and satisfy every forbidden craving...

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2015 2.50