Thursday, May 22, 2008
To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt
I waited anxiously for this book- I had enjoyed her others so much that I wrote the release date on my calendar so as not to forget! I was not disappointed. Elizabeth Hoyt's novels always have snippets of fairy-tales and children's stories at the beginning of each chapter, as shown in the Prince trilogy, and this is no exception. Here we learn the story of Iron Heart, which is more than just a bedtime story.
Lady Emeline Gordon, widow with a young son, is a high society fixture, known for her proper manners and excellent chaperonage of the younger beauties of the ton. She is well known to have the ability to craft a girl into the model of propriety, and ending with an excellent marriage. To have the patronage of Lady Emeline was something. Emeline is quickly introduced to her new neighbor, Samuel Hartley, and instant flames come to life. Sam is a wealthy American, with Native roots as shown by his odd stockings and the moccasins he wears proudly wherever he goes. He also has a sister, Rebecca, that he wishes to have Emeline sponsor while he is off gathering his information on a long ago battle where Emeline's brother lost his own life. Emeline, intrigued by the savage, yet gentlemanly man, agrees, despite her anger of his lack of propriety towards society.
Sam has a haunted past; being used as a tracker for the British during the French and Indian War (put your history caps on kids!) he was witness to an ambush where several soldiers, including Emeline's brother, lost their lives. He has traveled to London to investigate those officers who escaped death, trying to learn if the horrifying ambush was planned by a rogue officer. Sam has a stake in this as well; having left the scene of the ambush to get help, he was branded a coward, when in reality he was running to fetch help. Sam knows Emeline does not know the truth of her brother's death, and finds an unlikely ally in the Lady. She is interested in finding out what happened to her brother and his regiment as well.
Their attraction is immediate, but Emeline is not free; she is engaged to a man whom Sam fought with in America. That however does not stop the two of them from coming together, in more ways than one. Bring on the bodice ripping- literally! These two fight at every opportunity, but they are drawn to each other despite their differences. They both need each other; Emeline needs someone like Sam, who loves her completely with wild abandon, and not the casual friendly relationship she has with her fiance; Sam just needs Emeline. She is a part of him, and he can't live without her. Even Emeline's young son, Daniel, loves Samuel. The consequences of Sam's investigation into the ambush lead a dangerous man to come calling at the Hartley house, and Sam's love for Emeline is proven by force, and an engagement is broken.
This was such a good book, and there's so much more to it than what I wrote about here. I just love Elizabeth Hoyt's style of writing- she draws the characters out so well, and you can feel their emotions coming off the page. However, at the same time, she is wickedly funny and that humor makes the book very enjoyable. Definitely worth a read!