Another wonderfully decadent piece of historical erotica featuring a very Gothic ménage...
1800: Three years after escaping to London with her bisexual lovers, Bella Rushdale wakes one morning to find their delicate ménage a trois about to shatter. Vaughan, Marquis of Pennerley, has left abruptly and without any explanation. Determined to reclaim him and preserve their relationship, Bella pursues him to his family seat on the Welsh Borders, where she finds herself embroiled in his preparations for a diabolical gothic celebration on All Hallows Eve - a phantasmagoria. Among the shadows and phantoms, Bella and her lovers will peel away the deceits and desires of past and future. The sequel to A Gentleman's Wager.
©2008 Madelynne Ellis (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
“I love all genres of books, however when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
Phantasmagoria is the sequel to a Gentlemen's Wager and takes place three years after Bella ran off with her two lovers. Bella Rushdale lives a decadent lifestyle with her two lovers, the Viscount Lucerne Marlinscar and Vaughan, the Marquis of Pennerley. Lucerne is the more considerate of the two men whereas Vaughan is the brooding type who likes things rough and his way. Everything is about to change when Vaughan simply walks away from them both without any reason.
The trio's scandalous relationship has long since gone past the point of everything that is considered to be normal in the eyes of society. Lucerne wants Bella to be his wife but lusts after Vaughan with a passion. Vaughan is obsessed with Lucerne, the only person he truly loves; even so, he can't let go of Bella. Bella's soul belongs to Vaughan and is willing to do whatever she can to keep him even if that means sacrificing her relationship with Lucerne in the process.
Phantasmagoria pushes the envelope in so many ways. Madelynne Ellis has written a dark gothic tale where sexual perversions are out in the open. This may sound like an uncomfortable read, but I was enthralled and lost in this tale of three people who live for vice but truly do not know what they want or even if they can love one another.
Vaughan may seem to be the villain of the piece, but he is so tortured because his love for Lucerne will never be reciprocated. He knows he can have Bella eating out of the palm of his hand, but he wants what he can't have, and because of that, he almost ruins himself in the process. Bella is the one woman who understands Vaughan and sacrifices herself. She is willing to do whatever she can to make Vaughan happy just so he will give her a piece of his heart. Seems cruel right? But when you figure out what Vaughan is trying to accomplish, his so-called revenge comes together like pieces in a puzzle. Almost every page is filled with talks of sex and the actual sex acts seem a bit depraved in a way.
Phantasmagoria is erotic, tantalizing and one of the best ménage a trois stories I have read in a long time. This story had me hooked from the very first page. Ellis and her skill at writing about taboo topics are really amazing. She really does deserve kudos for writing an erotic gothic that I won't soon forget.
Roxy Isles did an outstanding job with the delivery of the story.
Hated it. First book should have been left to stand on its own.
Won't read this writer again.
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