Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Review: Guilty Pleasures and The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke

Hmmm, I think I've been reading a lot of historicals lately and I'm quite surprised. Seriously, I don't even remember where or when I heard from Laura Lee Guhrke ^^; but it must have been good things since I bought some of her books. Actually, I think I picked up The Marriage Bed at the bookstore on impulse and liked the black burb. Then I discovered that it was part of a series, so I was going wait to find the others. Well I only found Guilty Pleasures... but I went ahead and read the books after reading And then He Kissed Her, cos I enjoyed it, and Kookie's review for Guilty Pleasures.

Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke: 3.5/5
published by Avon in January 2004

When her father dies unexpectedly, Daphne Wade finds herself stranded in foreign lands with very little money. Her only way back to England is via a transport that Anthony Courtland, Duke of Tremore, has arranged for her father who was hired to help in the excavation going on at Anthony's estate. Thus, Daphne goes back and takes her father's place. All goes well, the work is interesting and even more, Daphne enjoys googling at Anthony's shirtless chest while he is working and is rapidly falling in love with him. That is until she hears of what Anthony thinks of her: an unattractive woman that looks like an insect, who is good at her work, but can't put two words together.

Hurt beyond belief, Daphne resigns from her job and take up Viola, Lady Hammond and Anthony's little siter, offer to go to London to enjoy society before looking for work as a governess. This infuriates Anthony since he needs her services and so starts the game of bargain and seduction to keep her with him.
My thoughts: I read this book after reading And Then He Kissed Her and I thought both storylines were very similar with both heroes being employers and falling in love with their employee. However, I think that And Then He Kissed Her was better and more enjoyable. It's not that Guilty Pleasures is bad, far from it, but there was something missing. I guess Anthony and Daphne's chemistry wasn't sparking. I do understand Anthony's disbelief at Daphne's love at first. I mean, the girl doesn't know Anthony at all, so how can she be in love with him. As for Daphne, I found it remarkable that she sets out to prove Anthony wrong, but I didn't like the way she did it. However, I do think it was a very enjoyable book and if you're tired of the typical historical romance, you should try it :D

The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke: 4.25/5
published by Avon in July 2005
Everyone in society knows not to sit Lady and Lord Hammond next to each other at a table... actually, if you could, it'd be even better not to invite them to the same event! However, what most do not know was that for Viola Courtland, it was love at first sight with John Hammond. She truly fell in love with him and they had an idyllic marriage... until she discovered that John did not love her, had married her for her dowry and kept his mistress during the courtship. Angry and humiliated, Viola kicked John out of their bed... After a year, John had turned to his mistresses to entertain himself and appease his needs.

Nine years later, John's best friend/cousin/heir has died from scarlet fever along with his son. Not willing to see his title of viscount be inherited by his other idiotic cousin, John needs an heir and so he comes back to Viola and now has to convince her to share their marriage bed once again.
My thoughts: Well, I really enjoyed this book! For once, I thought the storyline was very original and refreshing for a historical romance! :D John and Viola had a very interesting relationship, that's for sure :D Basically, Viola fell in love with John and married him. She was blissfully happy until she discovered that during their courtship, John still had a mistress and that he didn't mean the words when he told her "I love you." So for the past 9 years, they've been avoiding each other or arguing. Viola has had to put up with John's affairs and gossips, pity and insinuations from society. Despite everything, Viola is still very much in love with her husband.

As for John, well here is when it starts to get interesting. When John married Viola, he perhaps wasn't in love with her, but he liked her, appreciated her and enjoyed her a lot. He truly didn't understand what he did wrong for Viola to be angry at him... I'm pretty convinced that after marrying Viola and before their big fight, John has fallen in love with Viola and just didn't realize... Of course, being a man, he didn't go after Viola and after a year, started having affairs instead... which is another reason Viola was so angry at him. Anyhow, it was really a good book and it was very interesting to see how they were going to resolve their problems. Perhaps one complaint was that at one point, the story did got in circles instead of going forwards, but still, I enjoyed it :D I liked both characters and I think tha Viola was very strong. John was a bit dense, but he's a man so what do you expect? So yeah, I thought the book was quite original and refreshing :D

Hmm, I'm still looking for His Every Kisses... I'll probably order it soon :P
By the way, here is her website: here. Is it me or historical romance authors all have good websites :P


  1. I haven't anything by LLG but I hear some good stuff and some bad stuff about her which has made me really wary of her.

    Hmm, this was a nice post though, very honest, I appreciated it, thanks Nath! =)

  2. I have the Marriage bed. I have not read it yet, though.
    I didn't know it was part of a series.

    Is it easy to read on it's own?

  3. Rowena - well I guess it depends which books you're planning to read :P but I like her... I think that most of her books are quite original and refreshing :D so if you're looking for a different kind of historical romance, definitively give it a try.

    Chantal - I think it is easy to read it on its own. Of course, they do allude to previous characters, but it's pretty much focus on Viola and John, so I don't think you'll have any problem. :D Enjoy!

  4. I did something similar with LLG. I picked up one book, and since it sounded interesting, decided to look for the rest of the series. :P

  5. Catching up with everyone's blog. Can't believe how behind I am and I was only gone 8 days. Congrats on the convocation thingy.

    I just read LLG's latest release and liked it. I've got her on my TBB list for the UBS next visit. Looks like you've been busy reading and reviewing.

    Cute picture by the way!

  6. I hated the one book of hers I had. Couldn't make it pass the first chapter.

  7. Ames - the different though is if I'm not wrong, you still haven't read one of her books right LOL :)

    Rosie - yeah, I can imagine how much posts have been written in the past 8 days. Good luck Rosie :P and yeah, I can't wait for your reviews!

    Mailyn - what book was that? Cos I know that I really wasn't to impress with She's no Princess... but then, every authors have good and not so good books.

  8. I have on coming up soon in my tbr pile ("and then he kissed her")- hope it's good!

  9. Zeek - I liked that one :D and it has gotten good reviews :D So I hope that you like it as well. (by the way, if you want to read my reviews, just go to the archives)

  10. I loved Guilty Pleasures and just finished And Then He Kissed Her last weekend (liked that one too). I have to find The Marriage Bed.

  11. Kris - I hope you'll be able to find it!

  12. Now I regret not picking up a copy of The Marriage Bed when I found one...but then that was before I read Guilty Pleasures and knew about LLG's books. I went back to the bookstore after I read GP and I couldn't find it anymore. Now that I've read your review I wanna get it more than ever. ^.^