Virtue and Vice by Megan Hart
Pleasure Panel review by Miss Emma MM
When I asked to review Virtue and Vice by Megan Hart I had no idea what it was about. I became a fan of the author, Megan Hart, last year so that was my sole reason for requesting it. Other books of hers that I have read are contemporary. This one is different. When it starts out you may think that it’s just another historical romance (which, don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of) but it’s more than that. It’s actually classified as a Paranormal Romance. This is because, though at first glance it seems to just be set in the past, it’s actually set in an altered version of the past.
“He’d done that to her. Made her that way. Fuckdrunk. He felt that way himself, the world tipping and spinning like he’d overindulged on worm.” -from Virtue and Vice
This book is a part of Megan Hart’s Order of Solace series. It’s my introduction to the series but I look forward to reading the other titles in the future. Virtue and Vice opens with a young kitchen worker named Notsah who is in big trouble. She gets out of it by pleasuring her prince. Though he suffers from a disease that reminds me of chicken pox, she still finds him very attractive and has had a crush on him.
After the opening we are treated to a flash forward 10 years in the future. Notsah is no longer what she was. Her new name is Sister Redemption or Demi. Yes, in this reality there is a religious sect called the Order of Solace. She is a handmaiden to them. You could say it’s their version of a nun, if nuns were also a bit like prostitutes. Her aim, and that of other handmaidens, is to bring solace to a person. This can include having sex with their patrons. That’s not her only task, of course, she also does many other things like serving him food and drink and listening to his troubles.
What is awesome is that she is hired by her former crush, the now King Jarron Bydelay. He doesn’t recognize her and she keeps it that way. Although during the story a former lover of hers who is still a member of the court frequently taunts her about it, sometimes in a sexual manner.
It’s obvious throughout the story that Redemption and Jarron are falling for each other but neither really wants to admit it. He more so than she. When they first meet again he is socially awkward and still feels like the teen with the pock marked face. She helps him gain confidence and rule in a firmer way.
There are many supporting characters in the book who are very well defined, which is always appreciated. One of my favorites is Jarron’s long time friend/tailor, Adam. At first you may think he’s just the gay best friend comic relief. He’s actually an intelligent, multifaceted character.
Aside from the main storyline of Demi and Jarron’s love affair, the concurrent conflict is that a ruler in a neighboring land, Caramin, wants to rule all of the lands, including Jarron’s. Think of it as a less vicious Game of Thrones situation. I greatly enjoyed the first time that Jarron and Demi meet Caramin. She’s so out there. It’s fabulous.
Yes, Jarron and Demi end up having VERY hot sex every which way but even they are astounded by Caramin’s displays. She has naked men who serve food and basically her own handmaiden, a guy on a leash. She loves this image and plays it up. Basically all of the surrounding kingdoms believe that she hosts wild orgies 24/7.
There is another subplot involving the possibility of another usurping the throne from Jarron. Plus there is the constant threat of him finding out Demi’s true identity. They also disagree on a major issue that I will not give away.
I really can’t compare this book to another as it’s so unique. There is a short portion of the book dealing with kingdom matters that isn’t as enthralling as the rest but other than that I loved it!
Thanks again for sending me this book to review,
– Miss Emma MM
Virtue and Vice by Megan Hart (An Order of Solace Novel)
published by the Penguin Group
release date: September 6, 2011