Review: Pleasure Games by Daire St. Denis

pleasure gamesTitle: Pleasure Games

Author: Daire St. Denis

Mills & Boon imprint: Dare

Year of publication: 2018

The heroine: Jasmine Sweet

The hero: Professional motorcycle rider/Billionaire CEO Luca Legrand

The blurb: After catching her fiancé cheating, Jasmine Sweet is on her Parisian honeymoon alone and she’s determined to have an adventure! But an altercation resulting in temporary amnesia is more the stuff of nightmares. Then she meets a gorgeous stranger, and her time in France becomes a tour de fantasy! Luca shows her desires she never thought to experience – until their sexy dalliances become more than just a game…

Standalone or series: Standalone.

The review: This book made it clear that I need to stop reading Dare books in which the hero is named Luca, because this is the second one and I didn’t enjoy it any better than I did the first (which was The Marriage Clause).

I’ll once again start with the positives: it’s set in Paris, one of my favourite cities in the world. Luca is French (which I did find a bit odd, because Luca is an Italian name, but I guess a Frenchman can be called Luca).

And now, a list of the things that really bugged me:

1. Jasmine is an American who is fleeing to Paris after finding out the night before her wedding that her fiancé is having an affair with his best friend… who is a man. We find this out because Jasmine announces to everyone in first class on her plane that she has been a beard for three years. Parker wanted to go ahead with the wedding so he could continue his affair without his homophobic father finding out, but Jasmine takes off and decides to go on the honeymoon anyway. I’m all for the adventure, but strangers on a plane do not want to hear about it, lady.

2. I didn’t really like either protagonist. I get that Jasmine was hurting and betrayed, and that sucked out loud, but I found her behaviour to be completely irrational. Luca, who runs his family’s champagne business after having an accident which meant he couldn’t ride in the Grand Prix anymore, doesn’t really have any likable qualities, other than he’s French.

3. Jasmine decides to sell her four carat engagement ring so she can fund the ‘sexventure’ her best friend has told her to have, and while she’s looking in a shop it’s robbed. She’s knocked over and before she knows it, she’s in a strange apartment with amnesia. She can’t remember what happened to her and doesn’t have her bag, which was left behind at the robbery. Instead, she’s in an apartment with Luca, who drove past the shop as the robbery was occurring (he was fleeing the paparazzi, who have been chasing him because his ex released a sex tape of them online) and went in to help. In the melee, Jasmine’s engagement ring falls into his boot, so she follows him out of the shop but collapses. Because he doesn’t want to get involved with the police (he’s out on bail for assaulting a reporter) and he doesn’t want to leave Jasmine, he puts her on his bike and takes off with her. Even though the police would have helped her.

4. In the beginning, Jasmine’s name changes from Jasmine to Jazz over and over, which became really distracting. I can understand friends and family calling her Jazz, but it seemed out of place to go back and forth when it was referring to her in the third person.

5. There was at least three places in which Jasmine said, “Who’s” when it should have been “Whose”. I’m surprised an editor did not pick up on that.

6. Jasmine does eventually remember the robbery and what happened to her. She’s in a strange city where she knows absolutely nobody, she has no identification (her wallet and passport were in her bag), and she’s concussed and bruised. Would you not have gone to the police? A hospital? Back to the hotel where you were staying where your belongings were? The American Embassy? Yet, she did none of this. Instead, she stayed with a man who gave her a false name (not that she knew that until the end, of course) because he’s French, hot, and she wants to have sex with him. He could be a serial killer, but eh.

7. The paparazzi find out Luca is staying in the flat, so he decides to flee Paris and go to an estate his family owns a couple of hours outside the city. He wonders how the paps found him and he considers Jasmine a suspect. Given that she thinks he has a different surname and has no idea who he is, why would she tip off the paparazzi?

8. Once they finally decide to get it on at the estate, they spend five whole days doing nothing but eating, sleeping and having sex. By the end of the five days, they’ve had sex a total of twenty times because Luca bought a twenty four pack of condoms and there’s only four left. It’s a wonder that poor Jasmine could walk by the end of it.

9. In one scene, Jasmine is so turned on that, and I quote, “her sweet pussy was weeping tears down the insides of her thighs.” Weeping tears? Someone get this woman a tissue! Ugh. No.

I’m really surprised I didn’t enjoy this book because I’ve read another by Daire St. Denis before – Sweet Seduction – and I really liked it, so I expected to enjoy this one. Alas. Earwax.

Review: Sweet Seduction by Daire St. Denis

sweet seductionTitle: Sweet Seduction

Author: Daire St. Denis

Mills & Boon imprint: Blaze

Year of publication: 2016

The heroine: Baker Daisy Sinclair

The hero: Lawyer Jamie Forsyth

The blurb: Daisy Sinclair knows how to make a guy moan with pleasure – she’s the owner of the best bakery in Chicago! But standing in front of the city’s biggest – and sexiest – food critic in her underwear isn’t the most professional first impression. Especially when he has a wicked glint in his eye…

Jamie Forsythe isn’t a food critic; his twin brother is. One look at Daisy’s delicious curves, and Jamie knows only that he wants to have his cake and Daisy, too. Attraction mixed with deception is a hot and naughty recipe for disaster. And there’s no way Jamie can resist being sent to bed…with Daisy as dessert!

Standalone or series: Standalone

The review: Daisy Sinclair inherited Nana Sin’s bakery from her grandmother, and she lives in the tiny unit above the bakery. Her baked goods are well known amongst the locals and regular patrons of the store, but she has a chance to boost her profile when Colin Forsyth, a well known food critic, drops by unexpectedly to try her goods.

Except it’s not Colin, it’s his twin brother, Jamie. Jamie’s doing the review as a favour to his brother, and the two men couldn’t be more different. When the review comes out and it’s full of praise, Daisy’s bakery is suddenly Chicago’s hot spot. When she encounters the real Colin at a restaurant, she’s floored at the difference in the man… and also notices subtle differences in his appearance. Attending a charity dinner, she finally sees both brothers and realises she’s been duped. Jamie explains he’s actually a lawyer who was helping Colin out, and Daisy forgives him enough to invite him up when he drops her home.

Daisy has other things on her mind: she’s divorcing her cheating ex, and he wants $750,000 as his share of the bakery. Daisy doesn’t have that kind of money and she’s buried her head in the sand about it. She turns up to the lawyer’s office to have another meeting about the divorce… and is stunned to find that her ex’s lawyer’s partner, who is temporarily handling things, is none other than Jamie.

When her best friend finds out how dire the situation is – Daisy will have to sell the bakery and the building it’s in to pay the ex – she organises a fundraiser. It’s a success, but Daisy doesn’t raise enough money and she loses the bakery. What she doesn’t know is that Jamie helped make the fundraiser the success it was. She’s ended the relationship before it ever really got anywhere, and losing everything devastates her.

But she refuses to give up, and after an unexpected boost from her distant mother and the mother’s fiancé, Daisy is back on her feet. But what she really misses is Jamie, and in the end, she decides to go get him. There’s the usual angst and turmoil about whether they can make a relationship work long term, but you know they can. And they do 🙂 I also adore the cover! It’s so cute.