Read Master of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle Online

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The greatest divide between a man and a woman is not the one society sets before them but the one they set before themselves... After Miss Leona Olivia Webster had allowed herself to fall in love with a dashing childhood friend who had left her scorned and pregnant, she is done chasing her happily-ever-after. Shunned by society, she dedicates herself to raising her young sThe greatest divide between a man and a woman is not the one society sets before them but the one they set before themselves... After Miss Leona Olivia Webster had allowed herself to fall in love with a dashing childhood friend who had left her scorned and pregnant, she is done chasing her happily-ever-after. Shunned by society, she dedicates herself to raising her young son and putting money in their pockets. She doesn't expect to be drawn to her latest master, a brooding man of hulking presence who carves random messages into walls with his Persian blade as a means of starting a flirtation.Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the earl of Brayton, may have dedicated himself to a life of religious virtue after leaving the monastery due to dark tendencies, but after meeting Leona, he begins to yearn for the life that had never been his. When he meets a retired French courtesan who invites him to embrace what he has long feared, he seizes the opportunity to become the man he always wanted to be. His new mission is clear. He intends to finally serve the one thing he never had: his heart....

Title : Master of Pleasure
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781939912039
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 372 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Master of Pleasure Reviews

  • Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
    2019-05-23 08:30

    I love Delilah Marvelle’s books because she is not afraid to embrace darker themes that are rarely found in traditional historical romance and this book is no exception.The Prologue is very explicit and often brutal but it is essential reading to understand why Malcolm has become the man he is.Malcolm Gregory Thayer, Earl of BraytonThere is something so fascinating and compelling about Malcolm. He is big and gruff but also kind, generous and compassionate…a complete contradiction. There is also a side to him that he has always suppressed – his liking for pain. Only through iron control has he been able to master his darker desires and he has remained celibate fearing what might happen if he ever lets himself fully embrace who he really is. He longs to be “normal”.He’d always yearned to be able to gently kiss a woman’s hand without thinking of nipping or biting it. He’d always yearned to be able to bend a woman backward without breaking her back.Miss Leona Olivia WebsterDespite her reduced circumstances and society’s condemnation, Leona has remained strong and refuses to wallow in self-pity. I admire her for bringing up her son single-handed and her determination to provide a better life for both Jacob and herself. She is a fiercely protective mother with plenty of backbone. I love the scene where she takes on the unscrupulous creditor to retrieve her son’s favourite bear.“Let go or I swear I’ll swing at more than your pea-sized bollocks, you-you…rumpot!”There is nothing sweet and tender about their romance and Malcolm is no charming, tender hero but there is just something about him that is so appealing. He struggles with the need to make Leone understand his darker desires but fears revealing the truth could drive her away. I enjoyed seeing this vulnerable side to him.I thought Ms Marvelle handled Leona’s reactions to Malcolm’s revelations in a realistic way. I could relate to her initial feelings of confusion and disbelief but also her subsequent willingness to understand and accept the man she loves.She already loved him for being so good, so honorable, so gruff, so stupid, so determined and so everything that wasn’t perfect. He didn’t need to be perfect. He was perfect being imperfect.The secondary characters not only add richness but are also an integral part of the story, none more so than Madame de Maitenon who has been a favourite of mine throughout the series. Her life experiences have given her a special gift when it comes to understanding and counselling each of her “students”, just as she does Malcolm…"… it is rather obvious this is merely about teaching yourself to be comfortable with your tendencies. You need to accept them and safely apply them. Nothing more. Once I assist you to fully embrace what you have long denied, I foresee nothing but rainbows in the sky.”We learn more about Prince Nasser, Malcolm’s friend (I think he is certainly worthy of his own story) and Andrew Holbrook, whose house Malcolm shares, adds some light relief to the proceedings. Leona’s six year old son,Jacob, is simply adorable and his scenes with Malcolm are not only delightful but also serve to reveal a surprisingly different side to our hero. The School of Gallantry itself makes only a brief appearance in this book but the scene there is still quite a memorable one!Throughout the series Madame de Maitenon has been instrumental in bringing others happiness so I’m thrilled that, at long last, she will finally be getting her own Happy Ever After in The Duke of Andelot due to be published next year.I have loved all the books in this series whether uproariously funny, deeply touching, intensely emotional, unashamedly romantic, enthralling and emotionally charged or dark and complex. This is a series I can definitely recommend.REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARSSchool of Gallantry series (click on the cover for more details):-due 2015I received a copy of this book from the author via Netgalley in return for an honest review.This review is also posted on my Rakes and Rascals Blog:http://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com/...

  • Delilah Marvelle
    2019-05-03 10:59

    My dearest Reader,Sometimes, what we believe is the worst part of ourselves turns out to be the one thing that introduces us to a whole new way of life, including the love of your life. Meet Malcolm, a dashing rough and gruff soul who never thought he was gentle enough in nature to be able to handle the one thing that does require brute strength: love. Meet Leona, a determined, bright eyed woman who isn't about to settle for less than everything. Of course...she has to learn to compromise. It is my hope you enjoy romping through the glorious scrapes and bruises of true love with Leona and Malcolm.WARNING: This historical romance is cotton candy with a razor on top. Themes include male virginity, BDSM, religion and language you really shouldn't use at home. If you are easily offended by graphic sex and dirty humor, this book is not for you.

  •  ᴍɪᴄs ✖amante de los spoilers✖
    2019-05-18 10:46

    Estoy enojada. Estoy TAN FUCKING enojada en este momento. I can't believe this bullshit. I mean, el libro empezó bien, ellos dos me gustaban como pareja y Malcom parecía un tipo decente. PARECÍA. Hasta que se convierte en un pedazo de mierda. Es el segundo libro que leo de la autora y vuelve a hacer lo mismo, sus personajes femeninos son fuertes e independientes que se terminan enamorando de imbéciles machistas. Malcom es completamente asquerosos, despreciable. No tiene en cuenta los sentimientos de Leona y solo piensa en si mismo y la presiona a hacer cosas que ella no quiere y no esta lista para afrontar. Por ejemplo: Ella tiene miedo de viajar en barco (porque su padre murió navegando) y ¿que hace Malcom?, ¿tiene una conversación con ella y le dice que pueden superarlo juntos y que la va a ayudar? NO. Le da ultimatums diciéndole que es mala porque no quiere viajar en barco con él, que no lo ama, que si el afronto sus miedos ella tiene que hacer lo mismo por él. ¡PERO QUE POCA EMPATÍA, PEDAZO DE MIERDA!. ¡LE ESTA DICIENDO QUE NO PUEDE, QUE ESTA ATERRADA DE VIAJAR EN BARCO y lo que él hace es recriminarle cosas, hacerla sentir mal y culpable!. Es una porquería, una bazofia. LO ODIO.No quiero comparar pero bueno, yo que me enoje con Oliver en The Heiress Effect (uno de mis libros favoritos) por tardar en cambiar, pero, ¿saben cual es la diferencia? que Oliver se da cuenta de sus errores SOLITO -no como este tarado y el del libro anterior que necesitan que otras personas le digan que se están comportando como unos imbéciles- y cambia DE VERDAD -no como estos imbéciles que hablan y hablan pero sus acciones siguen siendo las mismas- . En resumen:

  • Keri
    2019-05-12 06:32

    You are never going to get a "vanilla" romance with DM and I knew this going in. But pain and sex rarely works for me in a romantic setting, so therefore I had a hard time connecting with the hero in our story. I was looking forward to this hero's HEA because we had to wait a LONG time for it to get here. Don't get me wrong, I love DM and will continue to support her work, this just didn't work as well as I wanted it to.

  • Heather andrews
    2019-05-24 09:59

    I loved this book and the banter between Malcolm and Leona and their first meeting: "Thank you, sir." She offered a smile. "I must say, I was rather impressed with how you stuffed that banknote up his nose." A satisfied light came into those blue eyes. He inclined his dark head. "I did it with pride." Malcolm sometimes has to tell his woman how it is, "you kissed me, Leona. And I wholeheartedly kissed you, too. That makes you mine. Regardless of whether I ever touch you again, or not, you are mine. And I will not let you walk away." Sometimes to save her man from all the pain coming from his leg from a little accident Leona needs to meet his demands: He gave her a withering look. "What the hell what that? Do you want me to die?" "No, I-" "Make this pain worth my while. Give me your tongue. Lots of it." Even hurt he's a horny man. I really did love Malcolm, "if I could get you to do everything I wanted you to do, we wouldn't be having this conversation. We'd be getting you pregnant right now so Jacob could have a sibling and head to straight to Persia." There was so much humor in this book and I loved it.

  • Eileen Dandashi
    2019-05-05 06:47

    WARNING: This historical romance is cotton candy with a razor on top. If you are easily offended by dirty humor and graphic sex, this book is not for you.After Miss Leona Olivia Webster had allowed herself to fall in love with a dashing childhood friend who had left her scorned and pregnant, she is done chasing her happily-ever-after. Shunned by society, she dedicates herself to raising her young son and putting money in their pockets. She doesn't expect to be drawn to her latest master, a brooding man of hulking presence who carves random messages into walls with his Persian blade as a means of starting a flirtation.Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the earl of Brayton, may have dedicated himself to a life of religious virtue after leaving the monastery due to dark tendencies, but after meeting Leona, he begins to yearn for the life that had never been his. When he meets a retired French courtesan who invites him to embrace what he has long feared, he seizes the opportunity to become the man he always wanted to be. His new mission is clear. He intends to finally serve the one thing he never had: his heart.This quirky, sexy and scandalous Regency/Victorian Historical Romance is part of a series.THE SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY BOOKS:Book 1, Mistress of PleasureBook 2, Lord of PleasureBook 3, Lady of PleasureBook 3.5, Romancing Lady StoneBook 4, Night of PleasureBook 5, Master of PleasureBook 6, The Duke of Andelot not yet releasedA stark feeling Leona spoke to Malcolm:"If you never suffered from a broken heart, my lord, consider yourself lucky. It’s like watching yourself bleed to death, but for some reason, you keep breathing.”My Thoughts: The only other book I’ve read of the author in this series is Night of Pleasure, book 4, with a review posted on Booktalk with Eileen March 27, 2014. http://wp.me/p40XtX-e9The previous one was fluffy as cotton candy, but without the razor as mentioned in the above warning. This book has more grit and heaviness, a much darker side of life is portrayed.Malcolm Gregory Thayer had been fighting his nature all his life. Being half of a twin, he saw the same nature in his brother and stopped seeing his brother because of it. He loved women, perhaps even to worship them, but dare not touch for his violent nature would surely kill them. He dealt with it by doing something painful to his body. He was happiest when in pain for then he felt everything.While in the Abby in France he championed the underdog students. He hated bullies. He was quite compassionate, could be gentle, but had to have pain to feel. With these two natures, he was at war within himself. From thrashings at the abbey and from his own physical harm he was full of scars, sure to scare a gentle woman if she saw them.Nasser, a nobleman from Persia, came to the abbey to read the bible. He was a Muslim and tried to understand if Christianity were different from Islam. Malcolm took up conversation with him one day while eating lunch. Nasser was accosted by one of the boys who threatened him with a razor blade. Either he join him in the washroom or expect to be cut. Malcolm, a massive boy at 19 had no fear to protect Nasser. Malcolm received back thrashings for being involved in the confrontation. When Nasser heard of this, he demanded they stop the beating. Nasser was the King’s son of Persia, and gave Malcolm the opportunity to do more in his life. They left to Persia together.Eleven years later, Malcolm has come to London to do some business for Prince Nasser. He happens upon Miss Leona Olivia Webster who very brazenly is in the street, no gloves, no bonnet, arguing with men who were sent from her creditors. They had removed all from her rooms. She had paid them to have a small bear left for her son who adored it. The men had taken it anyhow. In this scene, we see that Miss Leona has a sharp tongue and will not let the men take advantage of her. She was a poor but well-mannered and intelligent woman. She was also so petite she had little chance to get what she wanted. But she did. Unfortunately, the men wanted more money from her. That’s where Malcolm comes to her rescue. Malcolm hasn’t change in his need to help the down trodden. He saw something special in her. His sheer size and voice along with all his scars intimidated the men and they backed down. He pays them the money they requested and tells them to put everything back into the house.Malcolm is tongue-tied with women. He doesn’t know how to talk. He’s abrupt, gruff and comes off rude. Yet, with all these traits of unsociability, he sees how he can help Miss Leona, and help he does.Leona hasn’t had anyone stand up for her. Her finance broke his engagement with her six years previous. She was left pregnant and was trying to bring up her son as well as possible. The young boy was well-mannered, well dressed and a loving son. He by the way, steals a few scenes. She, on the other hand, had very worn clothing. Something in Malcolm called to her. She had never seen someone so kind and thoughtful to a stranger. She was humbled.There are sparks between the two. Neither know how to handle their feelings, and each need something different in the relationship. Arguments only end in stalemates.The road becomes rockier for Malcolm and Leona as outside forces create greater challenges.This book is not my typical read, and was surprised the direction it took because it is much different from the teasing, naughty spirit of book 4. It was well-written, entertaining in fact, with several very fun, pleasant scenes, lightening the subject matter some, but indeed had its dark moments, some kinky, which might not appeal to every regency romance reader. The story was set just on the cusp of the Victorian era and that era was a much bolder one.

  • Courtney
    2019-05-22 10:34

    Don't you just love coming full circle? The very first book I ever reviewed was by Delilah Marvelle and, unfortunately, I was not a fan. I was also quite green around the gills with reviewing in general and had no idea that ARCs generally came to us reviewers before the last major edits were finished. I thought I was receiving a finished product and was kind of in shock. Only after Delilah Marvelle herself messaged me and explained the entire thing, then very graciously sent me a copy of the actual finished product did I realize my folly. Though the book was still not one of my favorites, it was much better than the first version I read. (Go figure!)That being said, I was excited but hesitant when I received her newest installment in her School of Gallantry series as an ARC. I began reading the book out of a profound sense of obligation to an author that was kind and patient with me as a brand new reviewer and had gone more than the extra mile to help me out even in the face of my slashing and uneducated review. So, imagine my surprise when I absolutely fell in LOVE with this book!! Knock Down, Drag Out LOVE. If you can make it through the prologue, which is quite graphic and occasionally upsetting, the rest of the book is completely worth it. Looking back, after traveling through the entire story, the prologue is both necessary and essential to understanding our hero, Lord Malcolm Gregory Thayer. Because, damn, he is, occasionally, a very difficult man to understand. Sexy as hell, but hard to understand. As someone who can't even stand a bee sting, you would think putting myself into Thayer's mindset would be impossible but Miss Marvelle makes it an emotionally painful but mentally easy transition. For so very many reasons, I absolutely adore Malcolm. He is everything you could want from a hero who also happens to be a good ol' fashion gentleman. If I was going to make a note, it would be on the heavy emphasis on Thayer's religious beliefs. In the beginning we see a man struggling with doubts about his religion, what it all means, and why, then, the next time we see him he is darn near a zealot. His religion is a major part of his character development, though, so I just kind of swooped right on through it.Our heroine, Miss Leona Olivia Webster, is just great. Every time she had the stage, I was a giddy, giggling puddle of girl-power worship. She's tough as nails and when she does question herself and her abilities it isn't for some anemic or insubstantial reason. Her concerns are the same that I would have in her situation and that always makes me curl up more comfortably into a novel. If I can see myself in any of the characters, the book is already working toward the green. So, by 40% we were firmly in the green and working toward 4 stars. If you haven't read any of Delilah Marvelle's books, please take a minute and check her out. HERE is her Goodreads Profile and HERE is a link to her School of Gallantry Series page on Goodreads. It's always nice to find an author who believes so strongly in her work that she reaches out, not only to her fans, but to people who don't like her work. You know what's even better? Finding out her beliefs are well founded. See ya next time, Miss Marvelle!Hero: ★★★★Heroine: ★★★★ 1/2Plot line: ★★★★Steam: ★★★★Overall Rating: ★★★★Favorite Scene: When Malcolm first meets Leona. Knight in shining armor style!Favorite Quote: He searched her face. "I was noting your perfume." She paused. "I'm not wearing any.""You naturally smell like that?""Like what?" she echoed, trying not to be offended."Like sex and cookies."

  • Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks
    2019-05-23 05:49

    A few things you can always count on when one delves into a Delilah Marvelle title, moral conflict and steamy sensuality. I never need to read a blurb or see a cover before I grab one of Ms. Marvelle's reads, I just grab and read, and I am never disappointed. Here we have Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the Earl of Brayton, who after spending time in a monastery to attempt to curb his darker proclivities, comes face to face with temptation itself in the form of the socially shunned Miss Leona Webster. Miss Webster did the unthinkable when she gave her innocence over to the man she thought she loved, but did not return her feelings. He leaves her bereft and with child before breaking it off with Leona in favor of a lady of means. Now Leona lives hand to mouth giving as much to her son as she possibly can, thinking only of him.When the mysterious Malcolm Thayer appears to save the damsel in distress and her smart as a whip son, Leona finds herself drawn to the brooding figure of a man. She is stunned when Malcolm sets in motion, plans for Miss Webster to dig herself out of the hole that has consumed her for years now. In Malcolm, she sees a man who would be a wonderful and caring father as well as a an ardent lover if he would only let go of the misconceptions he has labeled himself with. The more time Malcolm spends in Leona's company, the more her craves for that something that has been out of his reach, the normalcy of a relationship and a family. Leona sees a ray of hope when she looks into the earl's passionate gaze and it takes a French courtesan to make Malcolm see that as long as he owns his emotions and actions, they don't need to be seen as dark and sinful. It takes a ruined Miss with a little boy to give his life meaning and the journey to that feeling happens in Master of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle.Once again I am left with an inane sense of tranquility after reading Master of Pleasure by the clever and awesome, Delilah Marvelle. Yes, it was a bit of a journey to get to that tranquility, as I joined in both Malcolm's and Leona's quest to overcome and surpass the wrongs done to them and done by them in their pasts. It is so wonderful to watch a strong woman like Leona, who has always done her best to keep it together for her son, finally be able to be taken care of by a man as honorable as Malcolm. Malcolm might not consider himself as honorable as Leona does, but that awakening is also part of his passage to finding who he is. As usual, Delilah Marvelle has written a story that will remain with me as all she has written before has and I longingly await for her next work.

  • Ellen
    2019-05-15 07:59

    This series continues to pull away from the School of Gallantry that it is named for. And in this book I felt that was a disservice. Brayton is a close personal friend of Nasser, the Persian prince who would have married Clementine in Night of Pleasure and he is living with Holbrook's brother. Plus the only reason he even went to the School of Gallantry was to help him come to terms with his desire to feel or cause pain during sex. Without this, the only reason that Brayton "gets over" his issues is a quick conversation with his long estranged twin brother.Brayton is bodily scarred all over from whippings he received at the hands of monks and living a chaste life with no intention of ever having sex. To see him recover and embrace his kink so quickly felt disingenuous. Again, especially because there is only one scene from the School of Gallantry where Brayton apparently stands up and asks how to cause himself pain in front of five strange peers with no issues. This book also undermines the secrecy of the School that the other four had established. In this, there are rumours that have accurately pegged Brayton as one of the gentlemen.However, griping aside, I liked Leona and Brayton. I liked Leona, she was strong and refused to settle for less than what she wanted and it was clear that Brayton was smitten the moment he met her. I question the need for Jacob's father to accuse her of financial neglect when during this time period custody defaulted to the father in the way nowadays it defaults to the mother. Much of the dealings with Jacob's father felt a little too touched with modern sensibilities. For instance he had sent essentially child support to Leona (even if she never got it). BUT Leona and Brayton were wonderful together, I just think this story would have worked better as merely a connected or stand alone book than part of the School of Gallantry series.**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.**

  • Nicole Laverdure
    2019-05-19 09:44

    Intense and dark!Master of Pleasure written by Delilah Marvelle! This historical romance is different compared to her other stories in her School of Gallantry series. Even, if it's dark and intense, I enjoyed it very much. The author really touched some very delicate subjects, such as BDSM, sexuality, religion. But each time, she wrote the scenes with finesse and the graphic sex, was very well written. It's the story of Malcolm and Leona. Malcolm had spent time at a monastery because of his dark tendencies. Young Leona, had fell in love with her longtime sweetheart and became pregnant, but the young man left her to marry another woman, leaving her and her son in poor misery. She is in need of a father for her son and Malcolm needs a family to protect. But, he is hiding a dark secret! Will he be able to trust her enough and share his dark tendencies? Will she understand him? When, Ms. Marvelle wrote that Master of Pleasure was a sexy and scandalous read, she was right, it was a real pleasure reading it. Again, I was not disappointed. If you are offended easily, this novel is not for you! You must have an open mind to read this one.

  • Lindsey
    2019-05-14 12:35

    Reading Ms. Marvelle's are like eating a slice of rich cheese cake with a side of chocolate strawberries. They are always rich and decadent. I love a character that fights himself on having true happiness because he feels his own happiness would be too harmful for his partner. Malcolm has been fighting his true nature for years and has not been truly happy. When he meets the vibrant energetic Leona Webster he may be willing to show his true himself to be hers. Leona Webster is not a simpering Miss, nope, she is a strong woman who wants more out of this life and young son, Jacob (who is scene stealer). What I enjoy about Ms. Marvelle's story is they are never cookie cutter and she pushes the boundaries and they are ALWAYS a fantastic read. The romance is hot and sweet and I always look forward to the next book. If you're looking for a story that will make you giggle, sigh and smile this is the book for you. It's a hot read with romantic gestures that you may want to try.

  • Sylvia
    2019-05-07 05:39

    Another Winner! Ms. Delilah Marvelle never disappoints. I love her School of Gallantry Series. Miss Leona Olivia Webster had a very hard life. Her life changed when she met Malcolm. A man with a multitude of kindness and giving. Malcolm Gregory Thayer, Earl of Brayton was mentioned in the other books as a force not to be messed with. I love his stoic personality and the simplicity of his words. His logic that he was not good enough and not normal. The discipline that he had to maintain to remain a virgin at his late age. This gentle giant who associated pain with pleasure. It was amazing how Leona drew Malcolm out of his shell. Can she want the same things he wants? I received a complimentary copy from the Author for an honest review.

  • Heather
    2019-04-26 06:52

    Master of Pleasure is the fifth of the School of Gallantry series, although it can be read as a standalone novel. It follows the story of Malcolm Thayer, earl of Brayton, as he seeks help to control his pain-seeking personality, and Leona Webster, unwed mother and damsel in distress. Having read previous School of Gallantry novels, I knew that this book was going to be a Regency historical with a twist. I knew to expect sexy times, despite it being anachronistic to the time period. I am a fan of the School of Gallantry plot mechanism overall; I was less a fan of this book specifically.A large portion of the beginning of this book is spent with Malcolm while he resides in a French monastery that serves as a correctional facility for “sexually deviant boys.” Malcolm does not identify as sexually deviant, and it is unclear what he is doing there at all. His time there is catalogued in brutal detail. I think more time is spent here than is spent in the entirety of the romantic relationship in this story. While at the monastery Malcolm meets and befriend Nasser, child of a Persian king who takes Malcolm with him to Persia, where he becomes a member of their family and an admiral in their Navy.While I was able to suspend my disbelief for the bit about Malcolm going to Persia, I had a difficult time understanding exactly what his “issue” was, how it affected him, and what his brother had to do with any of it. He kept mentioning how he needed to be away from his twin, that his twin made him worse, et cetera, but never actually defined what made him different. Even after having finished the book, I cannot tell if he just enjoyed pain overall or if it was specifically a sexual thing. After years of prayer and celibacy fail to cure him of his predilection for pain, Malcolm meets Leona Webster by chance on a street in London one day. She is haranguing creditors about them taking her child’s stuffed bear. I know, it sounds odd when I say it like that, but Leona is a likeable character. At odds with usual Regency heroines, Leona is practical, clever, and straightforward. I had a hard time believing that she was so attracted to Malcolm at their first meeting, however, because she was a “fallen woman.” Her fiancé impregnated her and left her to raise their child alone. First of all – it’s unthinkable for her to have had premarital sex, but it would have been unheard of for her fiancé not to be forced to marry her as soon as she’d discovered her pregnancy. This was one of the areas I feel like the author eschewed the conventions of the era to the book’s detriment. But when, after having been ostracized by society and her family, she almost immediately offers to have sex with Malcolm, I was out. No way would Leona have risked a second child, no matter how lonely she was. I was unable to suspend my disbelief this far. That’s not to say that this book is without merit. I enjoyed Leona, as I said, and I enjoyed her son Jacob a lot. Malcolm was an intriguing character as well. I liked not only the way he thought but also his very honest, often blunt statements. I was fine with his pain fetish, too, actually. There are some entertaining secondary characters as well, and I didn’t feel like the book was a waste of time. I do feel, though, that this book stopped as opposed to ended. The entire relationship between Leona and Malcolm was rushed with dizzying speed. The eight weeks they spend in London together go by in a sentence, we never see them marry, and we never get to follow Leona to Persia and watch her acclimate to the new world. Once they have sex, the book just kind of … stops, with an epilogue thrown in that is clunky and awkward. She is shooting arrows? Why? Huh? We never see how or even whether Leona and Malcolm navigate his particular sexual needs, nor whether Leona has any particular “tastes” of her own. This book was only halfway written. It needs another ten chapters or so to allow the reader to watch the hero and heroine fall in love and navigate tricky waters (both literal and figurative). Favorite Quote:Whipping the rag against the floor, she closed her eyes in anguish and let out a sob that had been burning within her knowing her dream of them being together was cracking down its center. Malcolm was making her choose between hurting herself or hurting him. And she honestly wasn’t ready to do either.

  •  Spanxmcb (Yovanka)
    2019-05-25 11:56

    ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I'll start this off by saying that I have not read the other books in this series and this is the first I've read anything by Delilah Marvelle.I saw it categorized as erotic romance, but it's not really, it has a couple of erotic scenes, but it's largely a historical/regency romance. I certainly didn't know what to expect when I picked this up. I didn't get the impression that I needed to have read any of the other books in the series to get what was happening, so I would say it could be read as a stand alone. The set up for Malcolm's (aka The Earl of Brayton) sexual deviance and resulting frustration, was quite convoluted. Although I got the impression that Malcolm's friends, Holbrooke and Prince Nasser likely have more detailed backgrounds which were likely explored in other books in the series, it wasn't necessary to delve into that, or their histories, to be engaged in Lord Brayton's budding romance with Miss Leona Olivia Webster. The banter between our main characters was witty and intelligent, which was appreciated given all the vapid dialogue that can be found in Regencies, but there wasn't a lot of romance. The set up was so drawn out, the reader doesn't get any tangible sexual tension until about 50% through and then only gets an awkward sex scene based in sadism somewhere around the 75% mark. Closer to the end Leona seems to get the hang of handling Malcolm's "issues" resulting in the requisite HEA. I also found that despite the repressive nature of Victorian society, Leona came across as an open minded, sexually adventurous, anarchist, who barely had a thought for her ruined reputation as the unwed mother to a bastard child. Not that there's a problem with that, but the poor woman barely had time to think once all of Malcolm's proclivities came out. Everything felt rushed after that point. Malcolm doesn't actually explicitly or plainly tell Leona how he is until close to the 90% point! And although Malcolm's sexual urges would have been scandalous and controversial for a member of the peerage, it was handled in a rather 'modern' way, despite the historical context. I also thought the legal issues with Leona and Ryder (her son's father), were a little far fetched and didn't accurately reflect the true threat of a potential custody dispute. Leona would have been finished had Ryder successfully sought custody at that time. Women/mothers didn't have the legal standing they do now. So I felt this was also handled with a very modern mentality despite Lord Brayton's intervention.The School of Gallantry, although providing witty proverb-like advice to open each chapter, barely factored into the story other than a couple of mentions and one seemingly unnecessary scene that involved a pinch of some sort. It seemed Malcolm only really needed one solid conversation with Madame de Maitenon to set him straight which seemed rushed after 10 years of self-admonishment over his sexual urges.The attendance at class seemed to be included so as not to deviate from the series' theme more than being necessary to the plot. This was mildly entertaining as a first read of this author's but perhaps there is a benefit to reading the series in order.

  • Jaci
    2019-05-26 06:50

    First let me say that this is not a traditional historical romance. Thank you Delilah Marvelle for pushing past the boundaries and taking your readers into a story that is unique, powerful, intense, emotional and a joy to read. For most of us we do not associate pleasure and pain as going together. Our hero Malcolm does. Just a warning, the prologue is very graphic and parts obscene, but it is an intricate part of the story and explains why Malcolm feels the way he does. He believes that he cannot never have a normal life with a woman because he is afraid of losing control of his desires and hurting her with obesession with pain. He keeps tight control over himself at all times and even though he has been tempted over the years, he is still a virgin. Then he meets Leona the heroine when he rescues her from a group of ruffians who have confiscated all her belongings to pay a debt. She is an unwed mother who is trying to support herself and her son in a world where she is considered unfit for any employment or way to improve her son's life. She is strong, intelligent, and feisty and will not give up. They seem to be made for each other, except she doesn't understand why he wants her to hurt him during sex. In steps Madame de Maitenon the orginal Mistress of Pleasure sent by a friend to help Malcolm understand and control his dark side. This story is simply an amazing, deeply personal look to into a side of pleasure that few know about and even fewer write about. I have read everything that Delilah has ever written and this series, The School of Gallantry is her best work!!! Do not let the prologue scare you off, the journey that she takes the characters on is one you cannot miss. There is one more book in this series, I am going to so sad to see it end. WAY TO GO GIRL!!!!

  • Shannon The Romance Addict!
    2019-05-13 06:53

    Anyone who know my taste knows that Mrs. Delilah Marvelle is one of my all time favorite authors. I have Never been disappointed in any of her books. I love how she writes a love story with a HEA ending but you get plenty of HEAT! I feel so lucky and Happy that I was contacted to review this book for Free in exchange for my honest review. (With a book this good it so easy to give a Great honest review)So lets get started. You have 25 year old Miss Leona Olivia Webster who was engaged to her good friend. They anticipated their vows and unfortunately Leona became pregnant and lost her groom. (he left her and married another Women to further his career.) 6 years later Leona is having financial trouble and is debt.The Debt collector are at her house to take stuff she meets Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the earl of Brayton. She has never felt what she feels for him. He is big, gruff and scarred. He helps her out without any expectations of her repaying him. Malcolm is drawn to her like he has never be before . He offers her a job as his cook/housekeeper (for way over the average rate) This is where the story gets started. Leona Learns things about Malcome that she is not sure her Love for him can overcome......Will she accept him? Will they get their HEA they both deserve? This book was.........Different in the way of sex . Malcolm liked different things during sex which made this a first for me. It in no way messed with the love I had for him. I know he Fake. I know I am Married, but I loved him. He was so broken and tortured. I just wanted to hug him. I loved this book and everything in it Great job Mrs Marvelle !!!!!! Well Done!

  • Julie
    2019-05-08 07:48

    What a very entertaining story, Malcolm, the Earl of Brayton believes that love is not for him, although he may come across as a gentle giant, his darker tendencies are just to dangerous and scary for him to consider a relationship with anyone so he keeps women at a distance to keep them safe. Until he meets Leona Webster, then he wishes he could have more.Miss Leona Webster had loved once and was left alone and pregnant. Never again, she happy now raising her son and working for what she can. Until one day a giant of a man saves her son and offers her a job. She's drawn to him and learns he is deeper than she first realized.Malcolm was a wonderful character, he was so gentle and caring, his other side that he kept to himself, he was a little mixed up there, he needed help with that. Leona was doing great on her own but she would need companionship eventually and a father for her son. The attraction between Malcolm and herself was great but could she tolerate his strange requests.A great romance. I was cheering Malcolm when he took the plunge with Leona, and I was shouting for her to stay with him. I loved it!

  • a &
    2019-05-26 10:57

    Not my favorite book of the series but good nonetheless.

  • Ellen Klock
    2019-05-14 10:59

    I'm not sure how to categorize this book. I'm not even sure how to summarize it. Master of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle is Book 5 of the School of Gallantry series and the first one to deal with sado-masochism.I must admit that the prologue of this book grabbed my attention. The young Maxwell Gregory Thayer is basically a prisoner in a French Monastery specializing in beating abnormal tendencies out of its male "students". Maxwell wonders about the intelligence of corralling all these depraved boys together where their shared tendencies can find an easy outlet, but attraction to the same sex is not Malcolm's problem. He appears amazingly normal as he fends off their unwanted advances and defends the innocence of others. It is only later we discover his vice, an addiction to pain. Somehow doing the right thing always seems to be twisted into a blame game with the reward a sadistic whipping which Malcolm enjoys too much for his own comfort. Yet, he is more than ready to return home to his family when an incident becomes an excuse to keep Malcolm confined against his will for another year, at his father's expense.Enter Nassar, a young Persian prince who has willingly come to the Monestary to study the Bible and Christianity as opposed to the Moslem religion. After being aggressively rescued by Thayer from attack by a determined young man intent on having his way, he witnesses Malcolm's harsh punishment. Nassar pays a ransom so that his new friend can escape further beatings and live with him as an adopted brother at his palace. Thus Malcolm does not return home, but begins life with a new family. It seems Thayer's old family is kind of messed up. When Malcolm's mother died, his father, the Earl of Brayton, feeling a need for penance, sells all his worldly goods, and lives like a pauper with his two sons. Yes, Malcolm has a twin brother who is just as warped, in fact even more so. The only way to tell the difference is from a scar Malcolm received from the forceps which hastened his birth. The two brothers use pain to compete, often to the point of harming themselves.The rest of the book deals with Malcolm coming to terms with who he is and whether he can ever develop a relationship with a woman. At least one which comes close to normalcy.Whereas the sex within this novel is not as graphic as a typical erotic novel, it is at times explicit. The topic can be disturbing and one wonders how many people with such tendencies existed in the aristocratic society during the Regency and Victorian periods. This is also the story of Leona Olivia Webster who is trying to raise her young son, Jacob, while keeping ahead of the creditors, as well as a complication involving her ex-lover who is attempting to "adopt" his son to appease his barren wife. Malcolm, despite his love of pain, cannot bear to see others wronged and feels compelled to help her out of her difficulties, at least while he remains in London on business. After which he must return to his role as Admiral of the Persian Navy leaving Leona to fend for herself.Although the topic is fascinating in a twisted sort of way, there is quite a bit of repetition in Malcolm's thoughts as he obsesses about his problems. The plot kind of bogs down a bit in the middle, and is very abrupt in its resolution. The story, at times, moves along at too quick a pace while at other times it lags a bit. A better balance needs to be maintained. Although Malcolm is well rounded, the other characters, including Leona, could be fleshed out some more. The exploration of a possible love connection between Malcolm and Leona also needs to be further developed. However, a fascinating topic which I'm sure will be explored in Marvelle's new series The Whipping Society.I give this book three stars.I would like to thank Netgalley and the author for allowing me a free download of an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Alice
    2019-05-06 04:54

    A worthy hero with dark issuesAmazingly hard book to write that covers the need for pleasure mixed with pain. Malcolm, Lord Brayden the hero fights his impulses desperately wanting to be normal. He is intrinsically honorable, loyal and fair. Although he's a Earl, he has up till now avoided England and become a Admiral in the Persian Fleet. Forced back to the land of his birth, he not only has to confront his demons but is expected to help his close friend and Prince, including attending the School of Gallantry.

  • BJ
    2019-04-27 06:58

    Did not like the writing, story or characters.

  • FV Angela
    2019-05-26 12:49

    Review originally posted at http://fictionvixen.com/review-master...I like Delilah Marvelle historical romances because they aren’t the usual run of the mill regency love stories. There’s always something just a little bit more sensual, just a little bit darker and this author I not afraid to embrace out of the norm themes. As soon as I opened Master of Pleasure and read the prologue I knew this might just be one of the darkest of hers I’ve read.Master of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #5) by Delilah Marvelle The hero of this story is Malcolm Thayer, the Earl of Brayton, friend and companion of Nasser from Night of Pleasure. While I knew Malcolm would be a complex character I don’t think I had any inkling just how complex he would turn out to be right from the beginning. When the story opens he is a young man who has shut himself away at a monastery hoping that they will help him with his very dark sexual desires. Instead he is subjected to whippings and beatings and is forced to witness many varied forms of depravity. But this is also where he meets Nasser, a Persian prince who has traveled to the monastery from his homeland because he wants to cure himself of his love for other men. The two strike up a once in a lifetime friendship and after Nasser rescues Malcolm from yet another punishment, they travel together back to Nasser’s homeland. From then on our hero lives a chaste life based on his religious beliefs and never lets his need for pain with his pleasure out again.Leona Webster is a down on her luck unwed, single mother just trying to get through life and raise her son into a good man. Malcolm blows into her world when he steps in as she is being hassled by a creditor in the process of repossessing all her worldly goods. Her hero is big and scarred and tough, but he’s also kind and protective. He offers her a job as a housekeeper for an amount of money that will secure her future and enable her to move her young son out of the city. She really doesn’t know what to think about his offer. Or him for that matter. On one hand he keeps rescuing her and they seem to have a connection, however he’s confusing and keeps giving her mixed signals and pushing her away. What exactly is it that he wants?Hmmm…. I took me a while to figure out exactly how I felt about this romance. First off, it moves fast. And when I say fast I mean that while I think the timeline goes on for a couple of weeks, most of that time is off page with only a few days at a time on of actual interaction between this couple. Secondly, this is no ordinary a little bit of pain with their pleasure romance. It takes some serious hurt to get Malcolm off. There is one scene that just a little bit crazy, although I was strangely riveted to the page while reading. At that point I HAD to keep reading to figure out how in he world these two would work out their sexual differences. It’s not until Madame de Maitenon, founder of The School of Gallantry, steps in and teaches Malcolm to embrace his desires that things start to move forward between he and Leona.Leona has sexual experience, but no idea about the kind of pleasure that mixes blood and pain with sex. Malcolm likes to both give and receive pain to achieve maximum enjoyment, but he hates that side of himself and has refrained from indulging in it for his entire adult life. He falls for Leona pretty quickly, and his desires come roaring to the surface when he realize she would like nothing better than to fall into bed with him. There is a big chasm that they have to cross to find out if they will suit and the small matter of Leona’s son and Malcolm wanting them to go with him to Persia to be a family. Malcolm is just as confused about how to make it work as Leona is about what exactly he wants and why he wants it. I think what ended up making this work for me in the end is Malcolm’s intense desire to embrace himself and Leona’s willingness to understand and accept him. Malcolm is sweet and someone you can’t help but root for and Leona is strong, extremely protective of her son and completely believable in her emotions as she is trying to understand she situation she currently finds herself in. I liked the way Ms. Marvelle brought these two together in the end.The secondary characters (especially Nasser) add richness and vibrancy to the storyline. I find myself hoping Ms. Marvelle will tell his story in full as I would really love for this wonderful, supportive man to find a gentleman worthy of his affections and fall in love. Final Grade- B-Favorite Quote:““If you stay,” he rasped into her ear, “I won’t sleep. Especially after hearing you say what you just did. Because now I… I only want to think of all the ways that I can get you to love me. Because I want you to, Leon. I want you to love me so fucking much, you’d be willing to accept what I am. Can’t you? Won’t you?”

  • Tin
    2019-05-17 12:35

    Disclosure: I received this review copy from the author. Thank you to Delilah Marvelle for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.* * *The review copy I received stated that it was an uncorrected proof and that there might be changes to it when it is finally published. I'm very curious about those changes, because, as I read my copy, I could see the "rough draft-ness" to it, but I could also tell that this book has a lot of potential.Malcolm has a very dark backstory: he was sent away by his father to a monastery to cleanse him of his degenerate tendencies. Except that it isn't Malcolm who needed such help: it was his twin brother, James. Delilah Marvelle delves into Malcolm's very complicated family history: of his hyper-religious father, of his dangerously-abusive/sexually-deviant twin brother, and of his own sexual issues. I had the impression that Malcolm was at odds with his family and had expected this book to be about how our hero would confront his brother and his past, which made me wonder how/where Marvelle would introduce the romantic element to this story."... We Thayers are crazy like that. Once we get attached to a person, it takes a knife." Malcolm let out an exasperated breath. "You have no idea what it's like having a twin. My brother touched a finger to my heart long before I even had one. Despite hating this monastery, it's been a blessing. It's allowed me to become my own person. Life away from my brother is certainly quieter. And tame. Very, very tame."- loc 234When Nasser arrives at the monastery, there was a part of me that thought he might be a female pretending to be male, but I was mistaken. Nasser and Malcolm end up lifelong friends and it is Nasser who will introduce our hero to the School of Gallantry.Malcolm's heroine is Miss Leona Olivia Webster, an unmarried mother to a six-year-old boy, Jacob, who happens to be very interested in Christianity at the moment. Leona's situation is complicated: Jacob's father is trying to gain guardianship over their son and is using Leona's poverty as the reason. There's a class difference between Leona and Malcolm, he's titled and she's working class, and it's one of the reasons why Leona is a bit wary of Malcolm. "You and I both know your level of standing would never find its way down to mine. You're an earl and I'm nothing more than the daughter of a deceased plantation owner whose finances went bankrupt. I also have a six-year-old. I'm not exactly a good investment for a man like you."- loc 842I had a problem with time in this story and the quickness in which the conflict is presented and then resolved. A huge chunk of the first part of the book focuses on Malcolm, which left Malcolm and Leona very little time and space to develop their own love story. The remaining chunk of the book actually happens during one instance: during the first two hours of Leona's first day at work. During that time:1. Malcolm's friend, Andrew (Holborn) and Leona's son (Jacob) are sent to the water pump to get fresh water.2. Leona initiates a kiss and Malcolm bites her tongue hard, intentionally. It starts a conversation where:- They talk about Malcolm's unusual sexual preference- Malcolm announces that they must marry and return to Persia- Leona informs Malcolm that she doesn't want to travel by sea and won't go with him to Persia3. Madame de Maitenon arrives and talks with Malcolm about his concernsThen, after two hours:1. Jacob and Andrew return with water and Jacob proceeds to play pirate with a real dagger. Jacob stumbles and embeds the dagger into Malcolm's thigh.2. Andrew and Jacob leave to find a doctor, leaving Malcolm and Leona to further discuss and explore Malcolm's dark needs.It's a lot of information to sift through and I didn't think there was enough time to develop a meaningful relationship between our hero and heroine. From what I could see, the central conflict is Malcolm's dark/morbid sexual tastes and how he could introduce Leona to this. There is a reflection about normal/abnormal and this is something that Malcolm really struggles with. It's part of his tragedy -- he is at odds with himself and with the world. He sees Leona as the bridge between himself and everyone else, but he doesn't know how she fits into his life or how he would fit into his. Madame de Maitenon and the School of Gallantry act as guide, helping them navigate through the waters of their unusual courtship.Delilah Marvelle is known for her frank and direct approach to sex in historical romance and I have to admire her for her boldness in telling Malcolm's story. Master of Pleasure has a very different tone from the other books in the series, but, this is about the School of Gallantry and this new angle is a good addition.

  • Book Gannet
    2019-05-22 11:57

    This book surprised me – in very good ways. Considering how dark some of the themes it starts with are – Malcolm being sent to a brutal French convent for sexually deviant boys, the pain-inflicting relationship he has with his twin – there were several moments at the start of this book that made me laugh. A lot. The humour is pretty dark, but undeniable.Then things move forward and along comes Leona, and the humour continues – the bit with the bear and young Jacob shouting that he wants Jesus cracked me up – when again it could have been a dark and miserable situation. But that’s what I really loved about this book, the way that the characters deal with difficult or unusual things. Leona’s life isn’t an easy one – raising a son on her own with no hint of a husband in sight – while Malcolm has a strong penchant for pain and has spent his life denying who he is in order to control it.I really liked both of them. Leona is strong and capable, because that’s what she has to be. She’s trying to raise her son the best way she can, but she never sells herself short. She knows she’s a good person and special in her own way, even if the world refuses to acknowledge it. Malcolm, on the other hand, is extraordinary. A true gentleman, he’s kind, considerate, willing to make immense sacrifices for those he loves, strong in his faith, and his body, and his mind. He’s also a man with a strong lust for violence and pain – oh, and he’s a virgin, because his protective instinct outweigh his carnal needs. He’s such a wonderful contradiction, I couldn’t help but love him.Surprisingly there isn’t actually that much sex in this book, and the BDSM level is fairly mild. Malcolm does enjoy pain, though, and it is a big part of who he is. However, he spends most of the story struggling over it and not knowing how to approach Leona with the truth. As much as I appreciated the time taken to establish his issues and lay the groundwork for the relationship between him and Leona, it did leave very little time towards the end for them to resolve their differences. As such I felt a few things were discarded a bit too easily – particularly some of Leona’s fears – and the way a few earlier plot strands are tied up was too convenient and a little silly. Which is why this book loses a star.Since the action in this book occurs concurrently with the other stories, you really don’t need to have read any of the series to fully enjoy this. I’ve only read one so far and I don’t feel like I missed anything. In fact the School of Gallantry itself plays a fairly small part, and not until close to the end, in helping Malcolm address who he really is and how to learn to accept it. Also, the historical details are pretty sketchy in parts – an earl is not one step down from a duke, that’s a marquis, and could an earl really sell of everything? Isn’t that what entails were designed to prevent? – so if that’s a deal breaker for you, then avoid.Mostly this book is fun with a darker edge, sensual undertones and an amazing hero with a worthy heroine. I loved the slow-build of their relationship, the humour and the assertion that everyone has their own levels of normal, just so long as everyone respects boundaries and establishes consent. There is no place for judgement in this tale, it’s all about acceptance, and hidden levels of sweetness. I just wish the last few chapters had been given as much time to unfurl as the rest of the book. Nevertheless, I intend to catch up with the rest of the series soon.(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

  • Cerian
    2019-04-25 09:43

    Originally published at Rookie Romance.Woohoo, it's Brayton's story! This mysterious man has appeared in the previous School of Gallantry books, and is one of the characters whose story I was most curious to read.The story starts with a young Malcolm in a monastery as a punishment for a moral crime that he didn't commit, but he accepted this punishment to try and save his brother from himself. It's quite clear that Malcolm doesn't belong at the monastery, he's honourable and kind whereas most of the other boys are depraved and cruel. Fast forward and Malcolm is a strong, brave man serving as an admiral in the Persian navy. I thought Malcolm was a thoroughly intriguing and unusual hero, with an adorable gruffness that was irresistible. He has an affinity for pain, something he's ashamed of and tries very hard to hide, which has also led to him avoiding women all his life. He's an attractive, rough-hewn guy with a quiet sense of honour that leads to his meeting with Leona.Leona is a pretty great heroine, she's courageous and a fiercely protective mother. She's trying to save money so she can leave London and give her young son a better life. When Malcolm helps her in a tricky situation, he follows with a generous job offer as a housekeeper during his stay in London.Malcolm is drawn to helping those in need, but as he talks with Leona he realises that the attraction between them is powerful and only increases as he spends time with her. I loved the development of their relationship. Malcolm starts off as being perfect in Leona's eyes, he basically saves her and her son, instantly gaining her admiration. As they grow closer, Malcolm starts to let her know more about his issues which makes him less 'perfect' but also more vulnerable. Whilst Leona and Malcolm love each other, they have a lot of issues that they need to overcome. Malcolm can be a bit blunt and domineering, and Leona certainly doesn't appreciate it when he tries to take charge off her life without consulting her on her wishes. Then there's Malcolm's problems with controlling and accepting his need for pain, which he tries to resolve through the School of Gallantry.They have a great chemistry, even as Malcolm uses his impressive self control to try to keep his physical distance from Leona. I loved that even when Leona is unsure about Malcolm's darker inclinations, she still tries to understand. I was a little disappointed that the resolution of this conflict between them seemed to happen quickly at the end of the book, it just felt like a lot of build up that ended a bit abruptly. There were also some things that were skimmed over or ignored that I would have liked to read about, like Leona's fear of water and how that played out in the end.Overall though, this is another terrific example of how Delilah Marvelle writes unique historical romances that don't shy away from the darker side of her characters. Malcolm is certainly nothing like the rakish heroes books are full of, and he stands out all the better for it. I've loved the previous books in this series I've read and we still have one more to go before the end, so I'm definitely looking forward to Madame de Maitenon's story!*I received a review copy from the author for my honest opinion. Thank you!

  • Eva
    2019-05-01 08:45

    I got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. So thanks Netgalley for giving me the chance to read this book. I LOVED IT! This story is so different that it sucks you in within the first couple of pages, at least it happened to me. “Master of Pleasure” is the 5th book the “School of Gallantry” series by Delilah Marvelle. Before that I read “All I want for Christmas is a Duke” and enjoyed it. So this story starts already differently. We are in a convent in France where we meet Malcom. He’s the older brother of a set of twins. He loves the pain – not only to feel it but also to give it. His brother is even more extreme that’s why Malcom is in the convent right now. But this is a rather long and complicated story, let’s keep it short – he stepped in for his brother because he did something to a young woman which never really happened. In this convent he meets a Persian prince who helps him escape this tortures – he didn’t get enough food or anything. The leader of the convent only tortures him for things he didn’t even do. Years later he’s admiral in the Persian navy. He doesn’t have relationships with woman, he doesn’t touch them or anything. Walking through London he sees how a young woman runs after some men, who brought boxes out of her place – debt collectors. She asks them to leave the teddy of her son behind, she even gave them 2 schillings for this item to leave it behind. But they are only cruel and ask her for other ways to pay for the bear. Malcom – a very tall and bulky guy – steps in and gives them the money she owes. She’s surprised. She doesn’t know what to say for a moment but invited him into her place. Miss Leona Webster is mother of a 6 year old boy, unmarried and living with her aunt’s cousin. They nearly have no money and it seems like the boy’s father doesn’t give a damn about the kid. Malcom really tries to stay away from her but very quickly he kisses her. Very quickly he offers her a position in his house for the next 8 weeks before he has to leave for Persia again. Very quickly he has a relationship to Leona’s boy, who adores him and isn’t afraid of him at all. Of course this story isn’t the usual easy read. It is darker and you, in my opinion, get drawn further into it. Malcom loves to receive pain and in his younger years he wouldn’t eve care to break bones of a female underneath him. But with Leona he knows that he has to act differently and he is willing to chance. Just this development is fascinating. He really tries to push her away but she isn’t the type who you push away. There are moments in which you think she may leave but she never does because she falls in love with him without realizing in the beginning – mostly because she cared about her boy and didn’t give a damn that she had him outside wedlock. Eventually there are elements which complicate the story and make everything happen within eight weeks. Why I liked this book? I like dark sex stories when they written well and have a plot. I don’t like pwp stories. Plus you have to like Malcom and Leona because they are unique. It doesn’t happen very often that I like both main leads equally. So: 5 stars!

  • Adria (Musings and Reviews)
    2019-05-04 07:55

    * I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Originally posted on Adria's Romance ReviewsCome take a walk on the darker side of romance with Delilah Marvelle.Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the Earl of Brayton lives a lonely life, though he is a titled man with time on his hands, he has sworn to live a life of religious virtue out of fear of his dark tendencies.After falling in love with the wrong man, ending up pregnant and then being left by said man, Leona Olivia Webster should have run out of hope yet she hasn’t. Struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table, Olivia doesn’t expect a total stranger to come to her rescue with an offer of a job.From the very beginning, Master of Pleasure ensures that readers understand one thing: Malcolm’s story isn’t going to be an easy one. Beginning with his time in an Abbey that was supposed to “cure” people of sin, Malcolm endures not only physical abuse but mental and psychological torment as well. Years later, he’s still bound by his painful past and that was really his only obstacle, but oh is it a big one. How does someone overcome being conditioned to think or feel a certain way? I do so enjoy when a character is his/her own worst enemy, it makes things more interesting since the “villain” isn’t another person. His strength and inherent kindness towards those he perceives as helpless went against his own opinion of himself and that made him a somewhat tragic figure in the story.Leona I felt had a different sort of strength than Malcolm that created a balance between the two. She’s a survivor, she had to be but more than that, she’s kept a bit of her girlish optimism even after being lied to, betrayed and left to fend for herself and her son. She had two sides to her that made her more likable than she should have been. She was the light to Malcolm’s dark and together they rescued each other which is something I love.Master of Pleasure isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea that’s for sure. I’m not a fan of pain in sex scenes at all so that aspect of the book didn’t work for me, BUT the overall story, character development and pace was so well done that I didn’t dwell on it. It didn’t change my admiration for Malcolm or the fact that I was cheering him on so he could have his happy ending. I do wish that as a reader, I had been clued in to Malcolm’s “dark tendencies” early on, that way I would have understood just why he berated himself so much over the course of the book. It wasn’t until about half way through the story that I finally figured out why he was at the Abbey as a teen and why he stayed celibate.Final Verdict: Master of Pleasure walks the line between pain and pleasure so it won't please everyone. However, the plot, characters and overall romance is very well written.

  • Kiltsandswords
    2019-05-02 05:39

    Master of Pleasure (School of Gallantry Book #5) by Delilah MarvelleWhew! This book was STEAMY! It’s the first book I have read in this series, but it can definitely stand alone. This story is really about Malcolm and his journey to self-discovery.We meet Malcolm doing penance for a religious crime he didn’t commit in a monastery in France. Corporal punishment is a regular occurrence for him, but it is his attitude towards pain that is fascinating. He is a man with two very deep sides. On one side, he is compassionate and selfless, to the point that he protects many whom most would deem unworthy. On the other side is the brutal man who not only delights in dishing out violence, but likes the feeling pain brings him.We learn how this dynamic came to be through his traumatic childhood. He has kept himself locked away from the world and his responsibilities as an Earl for over thirteen years. He feels emotion through pain. He seeks it out, he needs it and it feeds his soul. Yet at the same time, he is a devout Christian. It’s these dualities that make him so fascinating.He meets Leona on one of the worst days of her life. Creditors are stripping her of all her meager possessions. She is an unwed mother to an adorable little boy, Jacob. Malcolm steps in and saves her from the realities of her life. Although she was raised well, she trusted her fiancé with her virtue and he ran off with another woman. She does the best she can, sacrifices all for the wellbeing of Jacob, yet she never seems to be able to get ahead.She is a woman who calls to Malcolm. He likes her. For a man who has avoided women for almost all of his life, this is a startling revelation. He is unwilling to leave her alone. He has found his woman and wants to be with her.The rest of the book is dealing with his ‘beast’ inside of him. He doesn’t know how to be with her sexually without hurting her. His need for pleasure with pain is a need he can’t force upon her, yet he needs her to understand him. The sex scenes are unlike anything I have read in a historical romance novel before. They are torrid and explosive. Raw and gritty, this is not a gentle wooing of a timid lady, rather a vicious claiming. Smoking hot and very visceral. The secondary characters in the story add perspective and comedy. His roommate Andrew was a funny character who provided a laugh with his foul words and self-absorption. Malcom’s twin brother was mostly a character from his memories, but when they reconnect, he is the key to Malcolm’s evolution. This is a story about the man Malcolm wants to become and the life he has been desperate to find for himself. I enjoyed reading about his evolution. Even when he was being demanding and heavy handed, there was something so compelling about him and I adored how Leona stood up to him and made him face his deepest fears to build a union worthy of them both.Reviewed for www.kiltsandswords.com

  • Farrah
    2019-05-19 08:46

    Master of Pleasure was a steamy, emotionally deep, and very enjoyable book. It was definitely different in a way that made it unique and a cut away from standard romances. I thought it was great and I really liked it.Leona was a lovely heroine. Strong and determined to take care of her son above all else, she definitely wasn't a wilting flower. She was slightly oblivious because, despite all the hints that Malcolm was trying to give about his desires, she was still shocked when he out and told her. But, that's understandable given the time period. Overall, I thought she was a great character.Malcolm was definitely interesting. Right from the start, we get a deep look into his mind and his fears. His desire for pain and his fear that his desire was wrong. A fear so deep that he maintained a life of chastity to avoid the temptation in a Herculean show of self control. He saw himself negatively because of his fears but, to everyone else, he was unquestionably a hero. He couldn't leave behind a person in need and asked for nothing in return from all the people he helped. He was very sweet, if a little gruff, and just wonderful in general. I absolutely adored him.The romance was both sweet and steamy. The chemistry between Leona and Malcolm was definitely hot and, when they gave in to their desires, it was hot off that charts. I was a little iffy about the romance overall though and I can't quite put my finger on why. They closest I can get is that it seemed like their relationship became so focused on Malcolm's ability to accept himself and then Leona's ability to accept him that it took away from the deeper relationship, if that makes any sense. I wanted a greater sense of connection and getting to know each other than I did. It wasn't a deal breaker, but I wish that there had been greater balance. However, I still thought they were a lovely couple.The plot moved quickly and kept me interested all the way through. There were a couple of inconsistencies that distracted me. For example, if Malcolm was planning to live in Persia, what exactly was he going to do about his earldom and all the responsibility that went with it? Also, I wish we had gotten to see what happened with Nasser and his conflict in the end. But, overall, I really enjoyed the story and I liked the ending.Master of Pleasure was an enjoyable historical romance. Emotional, sweet, and steamy, it was a great book that I liked. Romance lovers, if you want something a little different, then you'll want to check this book out.*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  • Katie Michaels
    2019-05-15 04:40

    I need to start by sharing two important truths that will absolutely color this review. Truth One: I adore Delilah Marvelle. Lady of Pleasure was a 5-star read and even though I didn’t love Night of Pleasure, I left that book truly excited for Brayton’s story. Truth Two: I do not enjoy any elements of BDSM. At all. In fact, I actively avoid books with these themes. Unfortunately, it’s a prominent part of this book. It’s not in the blurb, but the hero’s sadomasochism is the primary conflict. And had I known, I would have never picked it up.So why didn’t I quit when I realized this? See Truth One. It’s Delilah Marvelle. I hoped that would make it more palatable. After all, Brayton has some really attractive qualities going on early in the book. He is gruff and intense. He is a clearly a good man. Plus, he is a scarred virgin hero. All of these things made me hold out for great things. It just wasn’t enough.Brayton is so wrapped up in his need for pain, he forces himself to stay away from all women. But there is something about Leona that makes him break his own rules. She is a single mother, focused entirely on caring for her son. She has been wronged by the people she trusted most, and now her ex-fiance is back, trying to take their child away. Brayton comes upon her by happenstance, but sees the lioness in her shine through. When he steps in to help her, she treats him like no other woman has. She is not worried about his title or his scars. She sees only the man. He hires her to become a housekeeper and vows to protect her and her child.Things move really, really fast here. They’re talking about marriage in days. And Brayton expects Leona to accept a lot. Not just his penchant for pain, but his demand to uproot her life and move to Persia, despite her debilitating fear of boats and the fact that she would never be able to leave the house without him. He hurts her. He wants her to hurt him. And he expects her to accept it almost immediately. It was a huge turnoff for me. People need what they need. I get that. But the way he simply expected her to be down with it (not only the pain but the Persia thing) was not cool.There were some sexy times and, in moments, I could definitely see why Leona would want things to work with Brayton. But overall this did not work for me. If you’re down with sadomasochism (no judgement!), maybe it will be better for you.*ARC provided by author for review