The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady
Published by Carina Press on November 08, 2010
Genres: Historical, Romance
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One woman in search of passion
Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London season...in duplicate! She's caught the eye of not one but two of England's most eligible bachelors. Both Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, and Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford, are handsome, wealthy and kind, the epitome of proper gentlemen. But Cecilia doesn't want proper, she wants passion. So she issues a challenge to her suitors: a kiss, so that she may choose between them.
Two men in love with the same woman
Friends since childhood, and compatriots on the battlefields of Spain, Jeremy and Richard have found that falling for the same woman has set them at odds and risks destroying their friendship forever. But a surprising invitation to a late-night garden tryst soon sets them on a course that neither of them could have anticipated. And these gentlemen quickly discover that love can take many forms...
This was a rather adorable erotic romance that I was greatly surprised to really enjoy.
I picked up a copy of The Debutante’s Dilemma in 2011 when it was being offered as a free download by Carina Press. I have to admit…the cover really drew me in: it’s gorgeous and so romantic. I ran into my first roadblock when I opened the short and realized it was a love triangle story. Ugh. I hate love triangles with a passion that cannot be denied so I immediately closed the book and put it on the back-burner.
I didn’t give The Debutante’s Dilemma another thought until a friend of mine read and reviewed it recently. She told me it was sweet and nothing like I expected. I got excited and decided to read it asap. And I did. And she was right – The Debutante’s Dilemma is nothing like I expected…I was lead astray by the interior summery.
The Debutante’s Dilemma is really drastically different than I expected. The writing is a bit stilted but in a good way: it really put me in a “historical” space and helped to set the tone. Now that I think about it, stilted isn’t a good word…it was archaic? IDK but I think yall get it. I also ended up loving the heroine when I expected to dislike her: Cecilia is a serious Mary Sue. Cecilia is beautiful, kind, generous, excellently dressed, generously dowered – if this were a Stephanie Laurens novel she would have been called a “diamond of the first water.” I normally am not a fan of Mary Sues but Cecilia worked for me, too.
What really made The Debutante’s Dilemma’s love triangle different for me was the fact that Cecilia wasn’t really in the triangle. Her parents debuted her to the court in order for her to obtain a marriage offer. The men who offered for Cecilia never discussed marriage with her – only her father. The men who offered for Cecilia were extremely passionate about Cecilia…to themselves or each other but never to Cecilia. Cecilia was like a toy being fought over but never played with. She never felt wanted for herself – and this is what made me love her – so Cecilia decided to take matters into her own hands to discover if the gentlemen asking to marry her had any interest in her.
The Debutante’s Dilemma is an erotic romance menage story – and it is like the THIRD menage I’ve read lately with NO DOUBLE PENETRATION. Seriously. Isn’t it a lawful requirement to include DP in every menage or something? Obviously I’m getting atrocious with picking out menage stories cause I only have one rule for menage stories: someone needs to get DP’d.
While I’m still sucking on the sour grapes I discuss above, I do admit that the sex scene is very hot and yet sweet at the same time. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was quite perfect, to be honest. The ending was rather clever and I adored it. I think it really worked for this short but I can’t see it being used again with the same effect.
All in all, this is an adorably sweet menage story and I’m sad it took me so long to get to it.