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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Take Me to the Good Parts of This Book
Warning: The Good Parts Might Be Explicit

  • First Meeting
  • Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James
Even in a mask, Alex is arrogant and handsome.
  • Kiss
  • Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James
Charlotte is silenced by a warm, strong mouth.
  • Hot Hot Hot
  • Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James
The ground smells like flowers and fresh grass.
  • Sexual Tension
  • Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James
A hot whisper can turn Charlotte rosy pink for an hour.
  • Declaration of Love
  • Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James
She loves Alex so much she will always forgive him.

Now Playing

  • First Meeting
  • Even in a mask, Alex is arrogant and handsome.
  • Kiss
  • Charlotte is silenced by a warm, strong mouth.
  • Hot Hot Hot
  • The ground smells like flowers and fresh grass.
  • Sexual Tension
  • A hot whisper can turn Charlotte rosy pink for an hour.
  • Declaration of Love
  • She loves Alex so much she will always forgive him.

Publisher's Summary

Nothing is more seductive than temptation.

Reckless desire sends Charlotte Daicheston into the garden with a dashing masked stranger. He's powerful and unforgettable, a devastatingly handsome footman who lures her - not against her will - into a grand indiscretion at a masquerade ball. Then he vanishes.

Several years later, after Charlotte has made her dazzling debut in London society, they meet again. But the rogue is no footman. He's rich, titled, and he doesn't remember Charlotte. Worse, he's the subject of some scandalous gossip: Rumor has it that the earl's virility is in question.

Charlotte, who knows all too intimately the power of his passion, is stunned by the gossip that has set society ablaze. At last, there can be a storybook ending... unless, of course, Charlotte's one mad indiscretion had not been with him at all.

©1999 Eloisa James (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    295
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    210
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    80
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    23
  • 1 Stars
    21

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    327
  • 4 Stars
    169
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    275
  • 4 Stars
    164
  • 3 Stars
    84
  • 2 Stars
    28
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    20
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lacks Story Substance


If I had to name the theme of this book it would be "lust".

The story was about Charlotte, a Duke's daughter, who at 17 years of age had no interest in getting married. She was more interested in art than men.

Charlotte was a good girl, always doing what was right, but one night her friend, smitten with a man that wants her to meet him at a ball, convinces Charlotte into going with her. Unknown to Charlotte and her friend the Ball was a Cyprian's Masquerade Ball, where gentlemen go to meet light-skirts. Her friend goes off with her love-interest and leaves Charlotte alone. Charlotte is led into an indiscretion by a man dressed as a coachman, and they fall in lust. This incident lays the foundation for the story that follows. Seven years later, when Charlotte has grown up and developed into a beautiful woman, they meet again.

Susan Duerden draws step by step mental pictures all the way. Susan is a good performer, but her male voices whisper, which was a little distracting for me. She does children's
voices extremely well.

I listened to it from beginning to end, but will not listen to it again. If it was one-half the length, I would have liked it better, and would not feel I missed anything.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Mind "F" in the Best Possible Way

What did you love best about Potent Pleasures?

I loved how multidimensional the characters were. I hated them and loved them and I was way more emotionally involved with these characters than is healthy, I'm sure.

What other book might you compare Potent Pleasures to and why?

I felt it was very similar to Breathless by Anne Stuart and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. All of these novels have kind of scary and (let's admit it) abusive heroes who make you want to punch them in the face but are written so well you're drawn back to them instantly after the slightest resolution. It's akin to being emotionally dragged into the abusive cycle yourself. It's very disturbing, as your rational mind is telling you the relationship is very, very wrong but your emotional side is rooting for the characters to end up together. So disturbing, but also immensely entertaining.

Have you listened to any of Susan Duerden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. Susan Duerden is amazing and she yet again met all my expectations for her narration.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YES!

Any additional comments?

Excellent novel and extremely well written! It's WELL worth the credit!!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Eloisa James is a genius

I was afraid of this book based on reading some reviews. I'm glad I ignored them and listened to this book. I'm also glad this early book of Eloisa's was finally released on audio. It was a great book. Yes, I hated Alex at times. I wanted Charlotte to confront him at times. I got a bit teary-eyed at times. But it's a good writer who can build emotion into her books like James does. The sooner the subsequent books in this series are produced in audio the better.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A little disappointed with E.J.

Would you consider the audio edition of Potent Pleasures to be better than the print version?

Didn't read it and if I had it to read, I would have stopped mid-stream and put it down.

Would you be willing to try another book from Eloisa James? Why or why not?

Yes, because I love most of her books. But this one disappointed me because of the Charlotte character.

What about Susan Duerden’s performance did you like?

Susan is always good.

Any additional comments?

This book started off great and interesting. Then it made me angry. Midway it became slow and a little boring. I love the way Charlotte's character developed into an interesting,talented, bold and independent woman. However, E.J. turned her into a weakling. I hated the way she did not take up for herself with Alex. I agree that after the wedding the book went downhill. As independent as Charlotte was how could she let Alex shut her down and not allow her to talk. I recognize that E.J. wanted the plot to come full circle, but it could have been done better. I can also appreciate that Alex had issues too because of his first marriage and I could see that he didn't trust women. Okay that's fine. He was mean and insulting, but E.J. could have had Charlotte handle her part differently, stronger. It would have made the book more interesting and exciting.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't Wait to read the Rest of this Trilogy

It really thrills me when I get to start a series that starts out as wonderfully as this one. I picked this up via Audible and spent a lot of my time just riding around to hear more. Had I been reading this, I’m sure I would have never put POTENT PLEASURES down - except to heed natures call - and to get something to eat or drink! Naturally as a fan of Eloisa James, this seems to happen each time I pick up one of her books - they’re just that good!

About to make her debut to society, Charlotte Calverstill the youngest daughter of a duke, was given leave to visit Julia, a school chum. Her mama was busy completing arrangements for Charlotte’s come-out ball. Charlottes friend Julia was a bit foolish and always falling in love and Charlotte was talked into attending a masquerade ball to keep Julia out of trouble. Innocents that they were, neither realized it was a courtesans ball and the lemonade was spiked. Julia didn’t drink her tainted lemonade, Charlotte did. So when a darkly handsome young man swept her into his arms Charlotte went willingly and after he relieved her - not against her wishes - of her virginity Charlotte realized she was ruined.

Years later, when Charlotte and the rouge (Alex Foakes) meet again, the still devastatingly handsome Earl does not remember her, yet he is totally smitten and vows to wed her. Charlotte finally knows who he is, and that he is primarily looking to find a mother for his young daughter so Charlotte planned to lead him a merry chase. However Charlotte couldn’t resist the same sizzle that affected him also affected her.

However, while this sets the stage for the beginning of the tale it is by no means the end of the story. I simply can’t give anymore away. The marriage does take place, and the emotional upheavals, the joys, betrayals, and trust issues are all there, making for both joyous and heartbreaking scenes. I found POTENT PLEASURES to be an emotional roller-coaster ride. Charlotte was so precious, so very innocent even after she had been ruined. Her mother the duchess was so very loving, and at times the dialogs between them were actually hilarious! Just remember the term “floppy poppy” and you’ll understand what I mean.

Alex Foakes, the Earl of Sheffield & Foakes, was a superb hero – a wonderful papa, to his orphaned year old daughter; a consummate lover; and a bit of jerk all at the same time! Ms. James portrayal of the Charlotte and Alex was wonderfully complex and beautifully done. Lessons learned here were how damaging gossip, twisted and turned could ruin lives and cost unnecessary damage.

Bottom line: Eloisa James continues to be tops on my list of authors for remarkable storytelling, her exuberant humor, sensual love making and emotions. At times I would have liked to hit Alex over the head, for his stupidity; and his daughter Pippa will make your heart sing! Excellent read!

Marilyn Rondeau

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Heart Wrenching and Beautiful at the Same Time

Eloisa James is an automatic download for me. I love her writing,however, the reason I didn't give the story 5 stars as I thought the hero very abusive. I wondered at times why the heroine even bothered. Each of her characters have much more depth than a lot of other writers in the genre,though. I cringed sometimes at what the hero would say to the heroine.

Of course, Susan Duerden is fantastic! There are not enough superlatives to say about her voices. I always know when she is changing to another character.

I would definitely use a credit on this book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not for me

Although Eloisa James is my ‘go to’ Regency Romance writer, I can’t recommend this listen. The story was just too convoluted and the conflict was so ridiculous that it became rather annoying. I don’t care for plots where the main conflict or issue could be solved with a simple 30 second conversation. It made me mostly annoyed at the main characters. The first half of the book was great, but then it rapidly went downhill after the wedding. It was mostly a disappointment and I will not continue with the rest of the books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Pleasure is all mine!!

Lets just say it this is a book that pulls you in from the start. With a major twist at the start of the story and the consequences that follow. This is a series I plan to continue, and well worth the credit!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fab Romance

Though the hero is an idiot; the heroine has communication issues. This book is a lovely story that evokes extraordinary emotion.
The desire and intimacy between the main characters is something I believe all married couples aspire to. However, communication skills are a must for a happy marriage!!!
Susan Duerdan did yet another remarkable job with the character voices. She is in a class above most. Definitely on my re-read list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I couldn't finish it

I found the narration bland and the story just see-sawed from ridiculousness to annoying. I just couldn't take another chapter with conflict based on a character's unwillingness to actually speak to the other protagonist.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful