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The House of Pleasure

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This was a delightful romp of a novella where the main characters were like able and the plot was short, sweet and to the point. Thank you so much for the ARC!
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The House of Pleasure by Jess Michaels
The Scandal Sheet #6

Hannah does NOT want to marry the man she believes her father has “sold” her to so decides to make it impossible for the old goat to want her. When a young stud she has spent time with is presented by her father as her intended instead of that old goat she is a bit surprised and so is Duncan. How the two will maneuver themselves into a HEA and what their reasons for doing as they do is what makes this story a fun quick escape. It is not likely but fantasies are to be enjoyed and do not have to be believable. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

4 – 5 Stars
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Oliver needs to marry an heiress to save his estate. He has already picked the person and although no one in his family approves of herm, he knows she is his best option. He attends a party to at last ask the lady for her hand, but starts having doubts, so he hides away in the library where he meets a young lady that peaks his interest. Even though he feels like this woman could be the one for him, he knows that he has to do...until he learns from his family that the woman he met is an heiress in her own right. Learning that she is leaving on a train for Scotland the next day, he decides to catch the train with her and start his courting.

Rayne is happy to get away from New York and to possibly find a husband that doesn't want her only for her money. When she meets Oliver again on the train, she thinks that he might be just the man for her. Their courtship quickly proceeds and Rayne is in love. But what happens when she learns that Oliver is desperately in need of money? Can he convince her that their's is a love match?

I really enjoyed Oliver and Rayne's story! I liked the idea that they were on a train for part of their courtship as that is not a normal setting for a historical romance. I loved that Rayne was not your normal society miss. She was such a free spirit and different from many of that time period. I'm going to have to read all the other books in the Miracle Express series as they appear to all have a component of being on a train!
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Hannah Blankenship reads in the Scandal Sheet that her father has finally succeeded in finding a groom for her, one that will no doubt benefit him more than it will her. She is sure she knows who he has chosen, Viscount Gordon, a man at least 10 years her father’s senior! She knows her father has been using her virtue as a selling point, so she hatches a plan to thwart him!

She attends the Donville Masquerade with the intention of losing her virginity and therefore ruining her father’s plan to marry her off to Viscount Gordon. Almost as soon as she enters, she is approached and finds herself swept on to the dance floor and it is clear that there is something between them, so when he asks her to go in the back with him, she agrees without a second thought.

Duncan Cavendish is at the Donville Masquerade to forget his own troubles when he sees her, one thing leads to another and soon he has her undressed and is well on his way to pleasurable oblivion when he learns the truth – his mystery lover is a virgin! He demands answers and she is completely honest and asks him to finish what they started. He likes her and when they are done, he asks her name, but she says no names and leaves.

When her father announces he has found her a groom, she is prepared to shock him with the news of her lost maidenhead, but she is the one who is shocked when her new groom ends up being her mystery lover!! She tries to dissuade him, but Duncan recognizes her immediately and asks her father if they can be alone. They talk and decide it benefits them both to marry, he to prove to his brother he is mending his wild ways and her to get out from under her father’s thumb. They agree that love will play no part in their marriage and that they will explore the obvious lust that burns between them.

It seems like a great plan, until feelings start to develop and fears and assumptions threaten to derail their HEA before it even begins.

This was a well written, fast-paced novella with wonderful characters, cameos from former “Scandal Sheet” characters, plenty of steamy love scenes and a sweet HEA. This is the sixth and final installment in the series, but it can easily be read as a standalone story with no problems. Of all the installments, I think this might be my favorite – I just loved the chemistry between Duncan and Hannah and would be happy to recommend this title. 

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the Publisher.*
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Deliciously dirty arranged marriage romp!

Yummy Duncan Cavendish has a gift for dirty talk, which he uses to fulfill Hannah's ultimate goal in taking charge of her life.  When they're both unmasked the following day, their subsequent marriage is filled with intense passion even while each one is careful to guard their hearts.  

Steamy?  Oh yes, definitely.  But that's not all this story is.  Duncan and Hannah are wonderfully layered characters, and their romance delicately explores their growing emotional attachment despite the rules they agreed upon in the beginning.  I absolutely loved the way their friends helped them through this time.  For a relatively short novella, this book packs a solid emotional punch and I couldn't have loved it more.  I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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The House of Pleasure is the sixth and last novella (NOOOOOOOOOOO!) in The Scandal Sheet series by Jess Michaels.  I have loved this series and am sorry to see it end.  However, here's hoping her next series consists of novel-length stories.  Pretty please?  

Hannah Blankenship's father wants her to marry for social connections, and he's basically bartering her virginity for same.  When Hannah believes her father has chosen an odious man almost old enough to be her grandfather as her husband, Hannah decides to get rid of the one thing she knows is valued:  her virginity; that will surely turn a potential husband away.  She attends a masked ball in a hell in order to lose that pesky problem.  She meets a handsome man, and they have a passionate and steamy encounter.  Later, when she is introduced to her future husband, it's not the odious old man but Duncan Cavendish, the man she had relations with at the hell!  They decide to marry as a business arrangement; She can escape her father's machinations, and Duncan can prove to his brother he is worthy of his inheritance.  Surely they can keep it as a business arrangement...right?

Oh, my, there was quite the passionate attraction between Hannah and Duncan!  Ms. Michaels is a master of sensual scenes.  They didn't fight their passion for each other, but they do try to deny their true feelings.  Both have family issues that make them hesitant to take the final leap into a true love match.  You'll root for these two to finally have a true marriage.  I am going to miss the Scandal Sheet and all the love it brought about!

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.  I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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Miss Hannah Blankenship cannot believe her father is about to wed her to a man of his choosing.  To make matters worse, he's old enough to be her grandfather.  Desperate to escape her fate, Hannah decides to ruin herself in order to avoid it.  That is how she finds herself at a notorious masquerade.

Duncan Cavendish is enthralled with the virginal woman he meets at the masquerade.  They spend a night of passion in each other's arms, thinking they will never see each other again.  Imagine Duncan's surprise when he learns Hannah is his intended bride.  Maybe an arranged marriage won't be so awful after all.

THE HOUSE OF PLEASURE is the sixth installment in the SCANDAL SHEET series.  Author Jess Michaels has done a great job keeping readers engaged in this captivating series, or at least this reader.  Duncan and Hannah are both in untenable situations, both feeling forced to marry.  Duncan is more resigned to his fate than Hannah, but after getting to know one another, both realize a marriage between them might actually work.  Although not my favorite in the series, THE HOUSE OF PLEASURE is still highly enjoyable.  I give it a 3.5 star rating.
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4.5 stars

I always love the chemistry between the main leads in Jess Michaels’ books. For me, it makes up for the fact that this book felt a little short. I can’t wait for Jess Michaels to write full length novels again because always need more and more. 

Hannah and Duncan are so good for each other. They instantly find a connection and are able to share their burdens. Hannah, trying to get away from her awful father. Duncan, trying to prove that he isn’t a disappointment to his brother. Then both using their marriage as a way to both get what they want and need. Steamy time in bed but no attachment. Of course, that wasn’t going to last. They both find something more in each other but are too scared to come forward with their feelings. When they do, it is just wonderful. I love the premise of the story. Going back to the Donville Masquerade. Seeing old characters. Love it! I can’t wait for the next one.
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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Jess Michaels' series, The Scandal Sheet, always delivers super sexy and perfectly unobjectionable novellas and novels. The House of Pleasure fits comfortably amongst its peers but does not stand out in any particular way. The novel is short, sexy, and complete with a decently engaging plot.

Final review: Three stars
Recommendation: Read it, feel sexy, and move on with your day.
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Miss Hannah Blankenship's awful father has finally done what he's threatened to do for years: arrange a marriage for her. And she's certain she knows the man he's chosen, a disgusting viscount even older than he is. She only knows one way to end this horrible engagement and that is to get rid of the innocence that has been the bartering point. Duncan Cavendish is trying to drink his own trouble away. As the second son of an earl, he has very little control over his future. His brother has demanded he settle down in order to inherit. Duncan & Hannah meet at the Donville Masquerade & spend an evening neither of them will forget. The next morning Hannah’s father informs her that he's negotiated a marriage for her, to say she is shocked that it's Duncan is an understatement. They each recognise each other & decide to marry so that Duncan may get his money and Hannah her freedom. 
A well written novella that I read in a sitting. The sixth in the series & it could easily be read on its own. I loved both Duncan & Hannah who are both afraid to love & then afraid to voice how they feel. Their attraction sizzles but they also spend hours talking & quickly fall in love. However misunderstandings mar the road to their HEA, they need to talk to clear the air before old fears take over. I was drawn in from the first page & held enthralled until the last.
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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Hannah Blankenship's father has been shopping for her husband for years now, looking for the best arrangement for himself of course, not for his daughter, and he's finally done it.  Hannah believes she knows who he's selected, a disgusting viscount old enough to be her grandfather.  The only way out that Hannah can think of is to rid herself of the virtue her father is using as a point of trade, so she goes to a scandalous club in search of a man to ruin her.

Duncan Cavendish happens to be haunting the same club attempting to drink away his own sorrows at the arranged marriage he's just agreed to.  As the second son of an earl, he is only doing what he must to secure his inheritance but that doesn't mean he has to like it.  When he meets a beautiful stranger, she proves a perfect distraction and leaves him wanting more.

But the next day when Hannah meets her intended she is shocked to find it is Duncan, the man from the club.  The two decide to go through with the marriage since it will be beneficial to them both.  Although they agree to have no expectations of deep feelings, they may be inevitable given the passion and connection brewing between them.  Soon Duncan and Hannah must decide if keeping each other at a distance is what they truly want.

Holy chemistry between these two.  They were both afraid of being vulnerable and it was sweet to see them overcome those fears and become stronger together.  This was a great quick, steamy read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This is the last novella in the Scandal Sheet series and it was as quick and enjoyable as the rest. Hannah and Duncan made the most of their arranged marriage and fell in love in the process, too quickly, if I might add. But then that’s a novella for you, everything has to happen within a few chapters, the meeting, the passion, the problems to the falling in love .. all happens too fast and it’s probably the control that Jess Michaels has on this series that it turns out enjoyable and even believable by the end.

Hannah and Duncan were real characters who came across each other under certain circumstances and pressures and throughout this short novella they make the most of where they are. She by making a choice about her life; who and when to gift her virginity to, and he adjusting to his new one quite effortlessly; finding himself married to mone other than the one he helped at a certain ‘pleasure house’.

I do so enjoy novellas, in between huge books and Ii will miss this series all the novellas of which I immensely enjoyed.
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4.5 stars 
Another great short story full of steamy moments, chemistry and a marriage of convenience turned into a real one with a well deserved happily ever after or at least happy for now. Same writing style, same fast-paced story with great characters. I would’ve liked to read it more like a full novel and get more backgrounds on both of them as well as their moments and different situations that they need to overcome together.
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It's always a pleasure to read a book by this very accomplished author, how she always manages to fit a whole story into so very little words, it astounds me everytime. This book is no exception as it fulfilled my every desire, it's a romance that has a good background with characters you can connect with and a plot that takes your imagination into a world of fantasy and wonder. This was a very satisfying read and for me my favorite of The Scandal Sheet series.
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Miss Hannah Blankenship lives in fear of who her awful father has signed a marriage contract with. She thinks it's a man old enough to be her grandfather and she does the only thing she can think of to sabotage the contract--she gives away her virginity. That sex scene is a bit graphic with Duncan Cavendish who is nursing his own plight of an arranged marriage. When Hannah finds out it's actually a marriage contract with Duncan, she is shocked, but delighted to be paired with him.

Ms. Michaels does a fabulous job of exploring both Hannah's and Duncan's feelings, first about the marriage and then their doubts it could last. This is a steamy novella that is thoroughly enjoyable.
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While a good novella, I am definitely ready for a full length series from one of my favorite romance authors. The story of Hannah and Duncan was satisfactory but more background on family dynamics and depth in the marriage of convenience would have taken it over the top.
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First off, what a pleasure to see Marcus again if only for a brief moment. All I can say is I am in awe of Ms. Michaels’ storytelling. She conveys in a novella what some authors cannot convey in a full-length book. From the beginning of the story to the end I was riveted by Duncan and Hannah’s story. Their love grows quickly and smolders. I was a little worried at one point in the story but Duncan’s appearance in Hannah’s room and his and her honesty gives their relationship the leg up it needed to overcome their “agreement” to leave love out of the equation. Just lovely. I could gush and gush over the story for paragraphs but just let me say that if you have not read this author before try her stories. Any story. They are all heartfelt.
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My first story from the Scandal Sheet Series, and I loved it. Two young people hurt by their parents, afraid to love. It is well written, and I came to really care about Duncan and Hannah.
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Hannah Blankenship’s father has been threatening to arrange a marriage for her that would financially benefit him, without any regards to her feelings. Well, he finally did it. Hannah is afraid that it is to the older, leering viscount  and decides to take matters into her own hands. She visits a hell in order to lose her innocence which she believes will void the marriage contract. Once there she runs into Duncan Cavendish and has a wonderful evening. You can imagine their surprise when Hannah is introduced to Duncan as his fiancé. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this was a novella. I would have loved to see this imaginative plot last longer than 100 pages.
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Series: The Scandal Sheet #6
Publication Date: 11/12/19
Number of Pages: 79

This was a lovely, romantic, steamy, short novella with lovely, lovely characters. It is a well-written and satisfying read.

As one does, Miss Hannah Blankenship attended the Donville Masquerade with the express purpose of losing her virginity. No, she’s not a wonton miss, she is just trying to do whatever she can to prevent her father from forcing her to marry the odious Viscount Hiram Gordon who is ten years her father’s senior. He is a letch with blackened teeth and foul breath and she knew she’d never be able to stomach being married to him – letting him touch her. She knew he’d refuse the marriage if she wasn’t chaste – so – she wouldn’t be chaste.

Duncan Cavendish’s brother, the Earl of Wilding, has been more and more dissatisfied with Duncan’s lifestyle of late. He has finally told Duncan that he must either straighten out his life, settle down or he’ll be cut off from his inheritance. So, Duncan has been busily betrothing himself to a young lady with a social-climbing father. He’s never met the woman, but she meets all of his requirements, so he’d bite the bullet and marry her. First, though, he is going to spend a night at the Donville Masquerade for a night of pleasure before committing himself for life.

Although everyone at the Masquerade was masked, there was an immediate, undeniable attraction between Hannah and Duncan as soon as they locked eyes across the room. Duncan headed straight for the beautiful, alluring woman he sees across the room and she’s smiling at him. They dance, they retire to a back room and he eventually makes a very shocking discovery.

When the man her father has betrothed her to arrives the next day, Hannah is shocked to find that it is Duncan. She recognizes him immediately even though they were both masked the previous night. He also recognizes her, but neither of them acknowledges that fact.

It was lovely to see two individuals who were rabidly afraid of love, trust and commitment grow to love each other – although they had both agreed that they would keep their relationship to a physical one – no emotions involved.

It was an entertaining, though short, read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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