On a lush, secluded island, one passionate adventure leads to another….
Diana Fletcher means business. The beautiful, innocent, reverend’s daughter has traveled all the way to a tropical island off Madagascar on a mission: To find her brother—and to punish the man who drove him to a life of piracy. But when she comes face to face with the enemy in question, the handsome, powerfully seductive man is not at all what Diana expected…
Tristan Kent never intended to harm Diana’s brother. A man of humble origins, Tristan claims he tried to save him from another ruthless captain. Diana is desperate to believe he is telling the truth…and that the intoxicating desire that escalates between them is true as well. But can she trust him? Or is Tristan’s story—and his heart—nothing more than fool’s gold? Amid the haze of sensual delights and soaring ecstasy Tristan has in store for her, all will be revealed…
Tristan Kent is no gentleman. Born into deep poverty, he went to sea an illiterate boy, just looking for some way to survive. Now, years later, he captains the pirate ship Lady Lark, cruising the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and relieving the merchant vessels he encounters of their wealth. If Tristan were to return to his native England, he’d hang.
Still, he’s no villain either. Unlike his crew, he’s never gets drunk. A natural leader, he’s firm but fair with the often desperate and unsavory men he commands, avoiding bloodshed unless there’s no alternative. He’s unfailingly loyal to his friends. Over the years, he has educated himself far better than many of his more fortunate countrymen. He speaks half a dozen languages and reads The Iliad for entertainment.
He’s also stunningly handsome, breathtakingly virile, and has a wicked sense of humor.
Diana Fletcher might be a woman, but she hardly qualifies as the weaker sex. Motherless, brow-beaten by her cold-hearted minister father, Diana has learned to take care of herself, as well as her younger brother Peter. She’s smart, stubborn, outspoken and far more independent-minded than is considered appropriate for females in eighteenth century England. After her father dies, Peter falls into the clutches of a band of pirates. Diana’s ready to do anything to save him. That includes selling her body to her father’s unscrupulous friend Deacon Bishop in return for a ship and men to help her search for her hapless sibling.
Of course, the black-haired, violet-eyed virgin is incredibly beautiful, even when she’s wearing the rough canvas and homespun of a mariner.
When Diana and her crew capture the sleeping Tristan on a tropical beach, he’s more amused than concerned. He turns the tables and takes her prisoner, even as he explains that he has saved rather than enslaved Peter. But truly it is Tristan who has given up his freedom, losing his heart to the feisty preacher’s daughter. He makes up his mind that she’ll be his wife—and somewhat surprisingly, she agrees. Though she hardly trusts him, being wed to a handsome, attentive and sexy pirate is clearly preferable to becoming the mistress of a disgusting, corrupt man who’s her father’s age.
First Comes Desire is labeled as historical erotic romance. I’d consider fantasy erotic romance to be a more appropriate description. The action unfolds on an idyllic tropical island inhabited by a tight-knit community of friendly natives who normally run around half-naked. Her sensuality awakened by Tristan’s expert love-making, Diana soon sheds her modesty. Aside from Tristan’s possessive chauvinism, the attitudes of the characters all seem very modern. There’s little historical detail—in fact, I’m just guessing at the time period, based on Wikipedia’s article about the history of Madagascar.
Not that this really matters. The book is great fun, with its lusty hero and contrary heroine, not to mention several incredibly evil villains. The sex scenes throw off so many sparks they threatened to short out my e-reader, although Ms. Donahue’s choice of terminology struck me as a bit coy at times—especially when the hero introduces his formerly virginal bride to anal sex almost immediately after she surrenders her maidenhead. Never mind. The attraction between Tristan and Diana, sudden though it may be, is the most believable part of the novel. Their love also rings true, developing more gradually as they learn to trust one another.
The plot—not so much. I found many aspects implausible, including the initial premise. In particular, I couldn’t really imagine how a man with Tristan’s experience and intelligence would not have understood the threat posed by his discarded mistress. He also seemed blithely unconcerned about being followed to his island paradise by his murderous crew. I suppose he might have been blinded by love.
Diana’s a delightful character, torn between her conservative upbringing and her freedom she finds, paradoxically, in being bound to Tristan as his wife. There’s a definite BDSM vibe to their relationship that kink-lovers will find arousing. Tristan claims Diana in a very literal way. He insists that she satisfy him sexually however he desires. Not that she protests, of course. Once again, this is a fantasy (with some Gorean overtones), the seductive idea of being owned by your lover.
If you enjoy erotic romance featuring a gorgeous, noble he-man and his devoted woman, willing to give up their lives for one another—while taking frequent breaks for carnal activities—you’ll love First Comes Desire. Just don’t expect much in the way of history!
Tristan advanced so quickly Diana had to step back and ran into the wall.
He pulled her close. “You shan’t have time for a lover. I intend to keep you quite busy.”
His mouth was on hers, his kiss possessive and hard. Not even a moan could have escaped her. He used her fully, with a husband’s right, and pressed his lean hips into hers, making certain she knew his arousal, her duty to satisfy him for as long as he desired.
She yielded. Not from fear but the feelings he stirred. She didn’t want to wound him, nor did she want him to hurt her.
At last, he seemed to understand. His kiss grew tender and exploring, then finally torrid. Their tongues battled to see which one would fill the other’s mouth. She won a few times and so did he, the bawdy sounds they made proving satisfaction.
When they’d finished, he looked sheepish.
Not knowing what to say, she stroked his cheek, careful not to touch the scratches she’d given him.
Smiling, he captured her hand, led her down the hall past numerous rooms, and stopped at the last. He pushed the door open and escorted her inside.
Polished white marble covered the floor, the same as in the hall, the ceilings high, windows large, facing trees and a clearing to show the distant water. It sparkled blue-green, matching the silk sheets on the large mahogany bed.
Never had she witnessed anything as imposing or as inviting. Given what had transpired between her and Tristan in the hall, she had no doubt what would soon happen in here. Their bedchamber for all time.
About the Author
Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Freeing the Beast, Come and Get Your Love, and Wicked Takeover) were Readers' Choice Award winners. Another three (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic contemporary romance, was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, Tina worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.
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