December 1818, Scottish Highlands
Susanna Hunter once ignored Captain Fergus Lamont’s warnings not to marry a fortune hunter –a decision she lived to regret. Three years later and since widowed, she’s surprised by his unexpected invitation to spend Christmas with him in the Highlands. But even more shocking is Fergus’s new proposition: that she pretend to be his fiancée, with all the accompanying pleasures….
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
I have read and enjoyed several of Kaye’s historicals in the past so when she sent me a note asking if I was interested in An Invitation to Pleasure it really didn’t take much for me to say yes. I am glad I did because reading it chased away the blues of really cold weather and a post-holiday Monday. Harlequin Undone is a line of short novellas and I thought this was the perfect length for a quick entertaining read. Susanna and Fergus’ first meeting was rather inauspicious. Fergus was just back from fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, wounded, ill, and suffering from what was probably post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) when he called upon Susanna to warn her about the true character of her betrothed. Susanna a rather young, naive woman felt sorry for Fergus but didn’t appreciate his efforts so she threw him out of the house and married as planned. She ended up regretting the marriage but never blamed Fergus for his warning because it allowed her to see the truth sooner.
During the three years of her marriage both Susanna and Fergus undergo some life changes. Fergus mostly heals and finds a home in the Highlands. Susanna grows up and decides that she is not going to pretend to be a grieving widow but instead will try to live life even though her husband had gone through her entire fortune before he had the decency to die. Susanna’s parents doted on their son-in-law so when she received Fergus’ invitation to spend the holidays with him she eagerly accepted. Then the fun and the story really began. I had an absolute blast watching Fergus deal with his misconceptions about Susanna and her willingness to fall in line with his plan. Susanna and Fergus took turns keeping each other on their toes as their friendship and relationship grew. I will say that I thought the way Fergus’ plan ended was an absolute treat!
I found An Invitation to Pleasure a lot of fun to read. It was short, sweet and spicy all at the same time, which was exactly what I needed. Once again Kaye has demonstrated why I enjoy her work even on a much shorter scale than I am accustomed to seeing from her. She provided a complete story that didn’t feel rushed while including some very fun holiday traditions.
I give An Invitation to Pleasure an A
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