I am normally a huge Sylvia Day fan, but this book just did not do it for me. Pride and Pleasure by Sylvia Day has the steamy love scenes I’m familiar with from this master of romantic erotica, but the plot is meandering and did not captivate my interest.

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The summary, from Amazon:

A thief-taker is out to steal the heart of a bluestocking heiress in this sexy Regency romance by the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

London, 1818. There are disadvantages to being an heiress, as Eliza Martin knows well. Fortune hunters corner her, friends become opportunistic, and lately, someone is engineering “accidents” designed to propel her into marriage. But Eliza is too smart to be bullied. To find the culprit, she just needs the right man to infiltrate the nest of suitors—and none comes more highly recommended than thief-taker Jasper Bond.

One look at the devastatingly handsome Jasper and Eliza knows he’s the wrong man for the job.  No one will believe an intellectual like her could be matched with a man of action like him. But Jasper is determined to change her mind. The intriguing mystery—and the undeniable attraction they share—makes this a case he can’t resist. For Jasper, client satisfaction is a point of pride. And it’s his pleasure to prove he’s just the man Eliza needs.

50 Romance Novel Reading Challenge

I chose this book for my 50 Romance Novel Reading Challenge, created by Love, Sawyer. The prompt was Week 9: Super Steamy. All of Sylvia Day’s novels are super steamy with loads of tension and multiple sex scenes. (Though I far prefer my previous reads from her, The Stranger I Married and Seven Years to Sin.)

A to Z Reading Challenge

I chose this book for my 2021 AtoZ Challenge, created by Bookstacks n Golden Moms. This qualified for “P”.

Buy Pride and Pleasure here.

I’m a big fan of Sylvia Day’s writing from my previous reading experience with her books, but Pride and Pleasure just did not do it for me. While I liked the characters, the plot was just all over the place, as were their motivations. In the end, everything is wrapped up, but Day includes another chapter or two to explain all of the factors that have been driving the characters for the entire book in detail rather than peppering this information throughout the pages.

As always, Day’s sex scenes are on point. Pride and Pleasure wasn’t as steamy as some of my other reads by her, but still had multiple love scenes. Honestly, I was just sticking with this book for the porn aspect, because I know this author never disappoints.

I was not a fan of the fact that the book ends with Eliza and Jasper headed off to his plantation. I had a problem with this in Seven Years to Sin too, but at least in that book there’s an acknowledgement that slavery is a horrible institution and the heroine intends to change the way the plantation is run. I just feel icky rooting for a hero and heroine who knowingly profit off of slavery.

Honestly, because I went into Pride and Pleasure with such high expectations, this was a 2 star read for me. Additionally, I want to say that I normally hate low Goodreads reviews where readers are irritated that they are reading a “porn book” but I sort of get why I saw a few of those on this book. The title seems purposefully misleading… There really is no similarity to Pride and Prejudice other than the time period.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

Pride and PleasurePride and Pleasure by Sylvia Day
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Gosh, this is just not Day’s best work and I struggled through it. The steamy scenes are as great as always but the plot meanders all over the place. I’ll still read other books by her but this one did nothing for me.

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Book Club Questions

  1. How does Eliza’s mother, though deceased, impact the way Eliza approaches love, sexuality, and marriage?
  2. How do Jasper’s parents similarly impact him?
  3. Explain the dynamic between Eliza and Jasper. Who holds the power in their relationship? Is there a balance?

Interested? Buy Pride and Pleasure.
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