The Price of Desire


Author: Jo Goodman

Publisher: Zebra Books (2008)

Pages: 384

Synopsis: Olivia Cole is devastated to learn that her brother has promised her to the operator of a London gaming hall as payment of his debts. Olivia accepts her fate – even if it means that her reputation will suffer from living among rogues and gamblers. But when she meets the sexy and mysterious Griffin Wright-Jones, the Viscount of Breckenridge, Olivia has more than just her good name to worry about – for he rouses in her wanton thoughts she’s never dared entertain – until now…Griffin wears the scars of his life on his striking face. Although he wants Olivia like no other woman before, eh doesn’t force her to share his bed – a difficult task considering how beautiful she is. But with each passing night, Griffin and Olivia’s resolve weakens until finally they take their greatest gamble on one night of reckless pleasure.


First of all, let me just say that despite this being an attractive cover, I think it’s wrong for this book. Don’t panic potential readers! You will most definitely get your steamy lovemaking scenes, just as these two half naked models caressing each other suggest, but there’s so much more to this book than the let’s-get-it-on parts that I think a less bodice-ripper-ish cover would have been appropriate.

Second. The same thing for the title, because “The Price of Desire” sounds way too tacky for this story. I’m sorry but it’s true. I know tacky titles are like a rule in historical romance but, again, for this one…*shakes her head in disapproval*

Now that I got this out of my chest, to the review.

This was an angst read. Angst mixed with more angst, a handful of self-pity, and a pinch of misery. I mean, poor, POOR Olivia! Her story kept making me want to curl up in a corner and cry until dehydration, and it all starts because her brother Alastair, loses a great amount of money gambling and until he pays the debt back, she has to go live with Griffin -the man Alastair owes the money to, as a guarantee. Now, I know that you historical romance enthusiasts are probably clapping your hands with joy and excitement at the prospect, but I can assure you this is the most heartwrenching situation. For the life of me, I couldn’t tell if this book was going to have a happy ending or not, and despite of what it may sound like at first, this isn’t just some funny, lighthearted Guy Buys Girl story, with a couple of silly lead characters -at all-, for there are some pretty dark and shocking themes in this book (child abuse, rape…), and when Olivia is placed in Griffin’s house, I couldn’t decide if I was pleased or sorry with it. Of course, once I realized he had good intentions towards her, my aching heart subsided a little. Nevertheless, Griffin aside, Olivia’s life story got to me like tiny and sharp blades of despair, and how could it not? She’s a young woman alone in a men’s world, who keeps being awfully treated by it, and the worst part is, there’s absolutely nothing she can do about it (-so frustrating!!).

Like I said before, one of the pluses of this book for me were the non-silly characters. You know when a lead couple makes you smile in the same measure they make you want to bang your head in the wall? And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing -it isn’t-, but after this book I found out that historical romance can still be entertaining even if it does not make you get a severe head concussion. I love how Olivia and Griffin are so mature and understand each other in an almost unnatural way -love it, and if I take the bedroom off the equation, I can honestly say they never once play games or act childishly just to provoke and hurt, or compete to see who is the most proud of the two. Never. Around each other they’re simply themselves, and it doesn’t matter what that implies. It was refreshing.

To finish, I want to praise Jo Goodman for her beautiful, classy, and extremely detailed writing style, and say that if I was given the choice, I would only change one tiny little thing in this book: the awkwardness of the couple’s first lovemaking scene. And not even the whole scene, just the beginning of it, for I’m certain that single paragraph embodies the true concept of a “WTH/WTF? Moment” (Olivia…what…are…you…doing…? Stop it! – she has issues).

Rating: 8/10


The Book Depository UK
The Book

8 Responses to “The Price of Desire”

  1. 1 slayra

    So basically I should try this author, yes? ^^ I simply love historical romances for the kind-of-chocolatey-high they give you when you read them (must be the happy ending after all the trials, it gives one hope for a little while, lol).

    • Basically: yes, you should. Shame on me, I forgot to add a little note at the end of the post saying: You should try it slayra! 🙂

      Yeah, I second that. Historicals just make you feel good, even if one can go nuts when the happy ending is difficult to reach 😀

      • 3 slayra

        Lol, I didn’t mean that the way it sounded, really. I meant it seems you really liked it, so I’m totally buying it (we seem to have some similarities in taste). I’m trying out new romance authors so I guess I’ll try this one as well, although I already bought way too many romances last month… I think it’s Autumn coming, makes melancholic and wanting to read sappy stuff. 😀

      • Oh, again: me too. I think I’ll only stop buying books the moment I hit bankruptcy!
        You think it’s because of the Autumn? Mmm, could be…although I also bought a pile of books in the Summer..*sigh* there are just so many good ones out there…so many…and we have to read them all! 😀

      • 5 slayra

        Lol, you bought a pile of romances in the Summer? Well, in the Summer I buy mostly Urban fantasy and general fiction to read in the beach or pool (I still can’t find the courage to read historical romance in public… oh those covers, lol). But in the Winter months I find I like to read sappy stuff. ^^ LOL, depends on my mood.

        Oh, I’m like that too (once I literally bought a pile of books)! I fear I’ll only stop buying books when I don’t have any money left… do you think we need teraphy? O.o LOL

      • I did…although I lack the courage to read most of them in public too (it’s the covers…), but believe it or not, I finish reading The Price of Desire in the bus, I like to think no one noticed the cover *xD*

        Yes, we definitely need that, and maybe join a support group too: Compulsive Book Buyers Anonymous xD Oh but it feels so good to buy a bunch of books…new ones are so shiny and pretty… *.* oh my precious little things…*crazy person* 😀 😀

      • 7 slayra

        I sometimes read them on the bus or train, but I wrap the covers in paper… but generally I think these are the sorts of books one should read when alone, because they’re so fluffy it kinda of spoils the mood if you’re surrounded by people in a bus… lol.

        Lol, a group would be fantastic… I just bought this book and a couple more a few hours ago, from the Book Depository. *sigh* I love to get new books in my mailbox… ^^

      • LOL you wrap them up? that’s funny! I just do my best to hide the cover with my hand ;D

        The Book Depository is the most evil place in the world, and we looove it! 😀 you bought something today? now I’m jealous 😀

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