Review: Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase

Posted August 25, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Holly
Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase
Series: Fallen Women #2
Also in this series: Your Scandalous Ways
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 30th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, General
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains.
That's the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she's shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She's a walking scandal, with no hope of a future . . . unless someone can civilize her.
Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor. He's cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women. He charms, seduces, and leaves them—with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears. But good looks, combined with money and rank, makes him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe's risqué reputation . . . if the wayward beauty doesn't lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both.

 

For some reason, books by Loretta Chase are really hard for me to review. I don’t know why that is, exactly, but I’ve had this one sitting here for a month and haven’t been able to finish it. Instead of slaving over it anymore, I’m just going ramble on and see what happens.

One of the things Chase does extremely well is dialogue. There is always excellent dialogue between her characters. Not just between Zoe and Marchmont in this case, but also between Zoe and her maid, her sisters and her father, plus Marchmont with his friends and the members of Zoe’s family. Their quick-witted banter often saved this from becoming long or drawn out.

I really adored Zoe. She was a no-nonsense girl who had grown up in an unconventional world. As a result she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she wants or speak her mind. As this is a historical novel, that was rather refreshing. Even more so since Marchmont didn’t know what to do with her half the time; generally he struggled between wanting to kiss her and wanting to kill her.

Marchmont was harder to pin down. I think the problem with him is that he was a study in contradictions. In the beginninng we’e led to believe he’s a lost, tortured soul. But as the novel progresses he seems more lazy and indolent than anything else. Toward the end Chase tried to bring him back to the darkness of the beginning, but it fell kind of flat for me.

That isn’t to say I didn’t like him. Because I did. Quite a bit, actually. He was sweet and sensitive, and the way he couldn’t resist Zoe was priceless. I just didn’t buy that he was a dark, tortured soul in need of saving. More one who needed to grow up and accept responsibility for his actions.

In that I think Zoe and Marchmont really complimented each other. She was able to give him the push he needed to stand up and do the right thing and he was able to support her and show her that she was safe. I really loved their chemistry and how well they fit together – both in the bedroom and out of it.

The secondary characters really added extra flavor to the story. Zoe’s sisters especially cracked me up. I wouldn’t have wanted to live with them, but reading about their hysterics and theatrics was priceless.

The mystery angle that popped up toward the end just seemed like filler. I honestly don’t think it served a purpose other than adding more conflict to Zoe and Marchmont’s relationship and forcing him to grow up a bit. Otherwise it seemed more over the top than anything. (Though I will say that bathtub scene toward the end really got me.)

Overall I enjoyed the witty banter and sweetness of Zoe and Marchmont’s relationship, though this wasn’t the best Chase has to offer.

3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-half-stars

6 responses to “Review: Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase

  1. C2

    Marchmont didn’t seem tortured to me…just sort of disconnected, you know? Skimming through life.

    The mystery was a waste of space – those pages could have been spent torturing Marchmont, for example. :-p

  2. I adore Loretta Chase, and I bought this book as soon as it came out…and it’s just sitting on my shelf. I’ve read several reviews of it, all about as mixed as yours, all with really positive things to say as well as the meh stuff, but…for some reason your review made me really want to read it! I think it’s your description of Marchmont–I’m a sucker for a guy who acts all tortured but is really just kind of an immature drama queen. (In fiction, anyway. Fortunately I have better taste in real life!)

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting that so many people didn’t see Marchmont as tortured but just as lazy or indolent. Although I had some other problems with the book, I accepted him as indeed tortured and thought that his laziness and indolence were the result of the events in his life. He was in denial about really being the duke, a position that was and still should have belonged to his father or his older brother in his own mind. The wealth and power of the dukedom insulated him from having to deal with life, ironically enough aided by the very servants who took advantage of his detachment. In essence, he was pretending that he really wasn’t the duke. How realistic that could be in a world where a duke is effectively the CEO of a vast business enterprise is another question. Perhaps if it were well-oiled enough, a dukedom could continue to run pretty much on its own for a long period of time, but I don’t really know. I also think the mystery at the end of the book was not just padding but an important piece of the context for how Marchmont had dealt with the tragedies of his life up until the “crisis” of his marriage and then how he dealt with the events set in train by that marriage. He was in many ways a male version of Sleeping Beauty, awakened first by love and then by the realization of the betrayal that his long sleep had allowed.

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