To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Legend of the Four Soldiers #1
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: May 1st 2008
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EVEN THE MOST REFINED LADY
Lady Emeline Gordon is the model of sophistication in London's elite social circles, always fashionable and flawlessly appropriate. As such, she is the perfect chaperone for Rebecca, the young sister of a successful Boston businessman and former Colonial soldier.
CRAVES AN UNTAMED MAN
Samuel Hartley may be wealthy, but his manners are as uncivilized as the American wilderness he was raised in. Who wears moccasins to a grand ball? His arrogant disregard for propriety infuriates Emeline, even as his boldness excites her.
TO RELEASE HER PASSION . . .
But beneath Samuel's rakish manner, he is haunted by tragedy. He has come to London to settle a score, not to fall in love. And as desperately as Emeline longs to feel this shameless man's hands upon her, to taste those same lips he uses to tease her, she must restrain herself. She is not free. But some things are beyond a lady's control . . .
To Taste Temptation is the first book in Elizabeth Hoyt‘s Legend of the Four Soldiers series.
I was first introduced to Elizabeth Hoyt by Sybil, who told me I had to read The Serpent Prince, the third book in her Princes trilogy. I adored it. Then I read her first contemporary, Hot, written as Julia Harper and adored that as well. So when I found out she was beginning a new series, I couldn’t wait to read it.
I think Elizabeth Hoyt really excels at writing extremely well drawn, complex, three dimensional characters. How they appear on the surface rarely reflects the depth and complexity of them. These characters are no exception.
I was at first a bit put off by the back blurb of this novel because it clearly states Lady Emeline, the heroine of the story, is engaged to one man whilst conducting an affair with another. There are few things that turn me off a novel more than an affair when one is already committed to another.
In this case, however, the plot, characters and dialogue had me hooked from the first and I had no time to dwell on the fact that she was engaged. I also think it played a key role in the story and though I’m loathe to admit it, worked extremely well.
Emeline is my favorite type of heroine: Sarcastic, a little bit mean and completely without patience. There’s something terribly satisfying, IMO, about a woman who refuses to settle for what she should want and one who pursues what she does want. She was just such a heroine. Though she did have vulnerabilities.
Samuel was just a man. All the way around, he was a man. He had demons of his own to battle, and thoughts and feelings to sort through, but in the end he was the quintessential man. These are, admittedly, one of my favorite kinds of heroes. He puzzled over the why of things Emeline did, considered ways to get her into bed, and stalked and pursued her when she would have turned him away. But he also listened to her, laughed with her and truly understood the woman she was. Fabulous.
I almost immediately figured out who the villain was(Casee: I’m shocked). Therefore the mystery part of the plot wasn’t as interesting as the developing relationships, but still, it was well written. To clarify, I almost always figure out who the villain is right away (to the frustration of Casee, who never figures it out) so don’t think it’s easy or unoriginal. It wasn’t.
The secondary characters – Emeline’s fiance, Samuel’s sister, Emeline’s best friend, some of the servants, Emeline’s son – all enriched the story and provided much levity.
I did have a few issues, though, mainly with the way the heroine constantly pushed the hero away. Although her reasons for doing so made sense, I was impatient for her to realize she was being a ninny.
Also, I was very disappointed in the growth of the relationship between Samuel and his sister, Rebecca. If I’m not mistaken she will be featured in one of the upcoming books, yet I was disappointed in the lack of development between them in this one. She idolizes Samuel and wants a closer relationship with him, and while there was some forward progress, I don’t think there was enough.
Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.
4.5 out of 5