"To Pleasure a Prince" by Sabrina Jeffries

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

The Story: Lord Marcus, Viscount Draker, is a social outcast despite his wealth and title but, if his debutante sister is going to have a successful season, he must play nice with the popular Lady Regina. Regina would do anything to help her friend, Marcus's sister Louisa. Even strike a bargain with Marcus to let him court her for a month, but Regina's reputation may not be enough to protect this unlikely couple from scorn and scandal.

My Thoughts: I was a few chapters from the end when I realized the book was pissing me off. Jeffries writes well, and it's a very good idea, and Regina is a decent enough character... but Marcus... Lord Marcus will annoy you to no end. Oh, it'll catch you unawares. You'll be sympathetic at first. Poor little pariah. Then it'll dawn on you--this man is a pigheaded, prideful, self-centered ass.

Granted, the whole premise of the book was this guy's "dragon" temperament, but this was poor execution. I've read several excellent, angst-ridden, heart-wrenching stories where the heroes are not only mean and rough but downright evil. Yet those authors manage to give them subtle vulnerabilities, unexpected kindness, hesitant reform, and genuine affection. Marcus Draker, unfortunately, has a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease and a wealth of self-pity. At one point, our heroine states it perfectly when she says, "Is this what you've been doing all this time, when you should have been apologizing? Drinking down here in this dungeon, working yourself into a fine brooding?"

Now being a proud, card-carrying member of the Spike Rules, Angel Drools Club, we know I can't endorse any brooding. Therefore...

Recommendation: While being deceptively interesting at first, this book is a pass. And the title's misleading, too. So there.

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