Title: The Pleasures of Autumn (Pleasures #3)
Author: Evie Hunter
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Erotica, Romance
Publisher: Penguin Ireland (31st October 2013)
Source: Penguin Ireland
Format: Finished Copy
Passion must have its way . . .
When Sinead O’Sullivan is charged with stealing the Fire of Autumn – a dazzling ruby with a notorious history – investigator Niall Moore is hired to stop her fleeing and to find the jewel. Though Sinead needs to convince Niall of her innocence, telling him everything she knows exposes secrets she is desperate to keep hidden.
Sinead and Niall may not trust each other an inch, but they find it impossible to ignore the fierce carnal heat between them. Niall, an expert interrogator, uses every trick of the trade – and every weapon in his erotic armoury – to get the truth. Sinead, a fast learner, counters his every move with one of her own. Thief and thief-taker fight for dominance and there can be only one winner.
But what happens in their red-hot game of cat-and-mouse when criminals chasing the precious jewel come after Sinead . . . and the stakes become deadly?
Rating: **** (4 stars)
THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN by Evie Hunter is the third book in the PLEASURES series. It tells the story of Sinead O’Sullivan a museum curator who stands accused of stealing the Fire of Autumn, and of Niall Moore who is charged with returning the ruby to the museum it was stolen from. From the beginning things do not look good for Sinead, although she continues to plead her innocence.
Erotica is not a genre I delve into often, but the lovely Catherine at Penguin Ireland promised that THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN was ‘erotic fiction for those who erotic fiction isn’t quite their cup of tea’. That made me curious, and I have to admit that THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN was a really good read and not at all what I expected from an erotic novel. There’s an actual plot to the novel! If you’re looking for a series of sex scenes linked together by a dubious storyline, then I’m afraid that THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN is not for you. However, if you like your porn to have an actual plot then you should definitely pick up this book!!
The plot if the book was quite an interesting one, and fits quite well into the crime genre. As we know from the blurb a rare ruby is stolen and Sinead is the prime suspect – the only suspect. The novel is split between Sinead desperately trying to prove her innocence and keep her secrets, despite some pretty damning evidence; and Niall trying to retrieve the ruby, and keep Sinead out of trouble two jobs which should be relatively simple if Sinead is the guilty party. I liked the way that Hunter split the story so we got to see both characters point of view – it allowed me to empathise with both of them.
The erotica element of the book was on the whole brilliantly done. There was a very strong BDSM theme to it from the beginning, so if it’s not your thing then this probably isn’t the book for you. There was however one sour point for me, and it took the book from a five star book to a good four starts. My issue with the book can be summed up in one word: consent. Because Sinead and Niall never set any boundaries on their sex life, or hell never really discuss it at all, I found a few scenes read more as rape scenes than sex scenes. These rape scenes would have worked for me as sex scenes had I known that Sinead had a word/action that clearly signified she wanted the scene to stop because she didn’t enjoy what was happening. As it was, although Sinead seemingly enjoyed these scenes and never complained about them, reading them left me feeling distinctly uncomfortable about the level of consent.
Overall, THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN is a very enjoyable read and I would certainly be interested in reading the other books in the series. It is an interesting mix of crime novel and erotic fiction. Even if erotic fiction isn’t really your thing, you should definitely consider giving this book a go – but be aware there are some consent issues, at least for me.