Advanced Reading Copy
Published: October 31, 2013, Penguin Books (UK)
My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️
Museum curator, Sinead O'Sullivan has to hide her more playful persona during the day, under shapeless clothes and a colourless appearance, to better suit her newly secured position at the prestigeous Rheinbach Museum in Geneva. She misses leaving her burlesque dancing alter ego, Lottie, behind, but can't risk being found out and perhaps losing her new job. But when the Fire of Autumn, a priceless ruby on loan to the museum and under her care, is stolen, it looks like she may not have a job to concern herself with after all. Somehow she is being charged with its theft!
Hired by both the museum and Sinead's uncle who posted her bail, investigator Niall Moore is to make sure Sinead doesn't take off to parts unknown and to recover the priceless stone. Her uncle may be convinced of Sinead's innocence, but the police and security at the museum have ample evidence to indicate otherwise and Niall can't deny the proof in front of him. Regardless of the confusingly aroused state the buttoned up little curator has him in. He can tell she is holding something back.
This isn't the first time Sinead has encountered Niall, but he doesn't know it and if it's up to Sinead, he won't find out. She has a suspicion who might be behind the theft at the museum, but has absolutely no evidence and nothing she says or does to try and convince Niall has any effect. The only effect is that fuelled by mutual frustration the sexual tension between them is impossible to contain and Sinead's normally subdued little seductrice starts making appearances, while Niall's repressed Dom is fighting to reign her in.
Desperate to find answers, Sinead discovers rather forcefully, that they are not the only ones on a quest for the Fire of Autumn, nor is Niall alone in thinking she has the jewel. Niall's job has now become even more difficult, aside from keeping Sinead close and finding the stone, he has to keep her safe as well. While in the interim he is battling his ever conflicting feelings around the little thief. Time to pull in every resource he has, and that includes using every toy in his play-kit, to tease a confession out of Sinead.
But when the confession finally comes, it isn't one he was expecting and the realization that his fantasy and reality are one and the same takes the wind right out of his sails.....
As near perfection as I think a Suspense/Romance/Erotic/BDSM novel could EVER get!!! Kudos to Evie Hunter, who is able to give us a fantastic story for each of the afore-mentioned categories in its own right, all balanced perfectly in one complete book! Absolutely DELECTABLE!!!
Even the dialogue and the banter, with the hints of dry humour, slight sarcasm and irreverence are perfectly in place and make for an intelligent and 'smexy' read! (Finally I get to use that word.)
I picked up the book and never put it down......laughing out loud in places, and squirming in my seat in others.
Sensuality dripping off the pages in the first chapter already..... And then we meet Sinead and the contrast she presents. Love her, messed up as she might be, I love that she has found a way to express this other side of her in a way that worked for her, at least for a while. How lucky she is to have found someone like Niall who can appreciate all those parts of her, even the irreverent ones!!
Niall.....cripes.....One here, please!!! That Dom side of him is scrumptious, dunno what else to say. All capable, all alpha, a sense of humor, a bit of baggage (maybe a backpack full), and a delightfully playful side that he can bring into the sandbox with me any day!! He definitely needs to work on his trust issues, but I guess in his line of work suspicion is almost expected. Good that he needed to work for his girl a bit though, it's not good for hot Doms to always have things fall in their laps.....a little ego check is a healthy thing.
Evie's writing is so easy to take in, not too descriptive or drawn out, just enough to give us context and presented in an every day language for which we don't need a thesaurus!! Her cast of characters was very colourful and entertaining although the focus remains mostly on Niall and Sinead. A pleasure to read.
I would venture to say that if you are interested in any one of the genres that I mentioned above, you will find what you like in THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN.
✨A succulent, taunting and combustible thrillride!✨
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Penguin Books (UK) in return for an honest review.**