Tuesday, May 27, 2008

To Taste Temptation - Elizabeth Hoyt


To Taste Temptation
The Legend of the Four Soldiers
Elizabeth Hoyt
Grand Central

Historical Romance

Samuel Hartley arrives in London in 1764 with his 19-year-old sister, Rebecca. The two were born and raised in the colonies, and Sam is now one of the richest men in Boston. That fact does not exactly impress members of the London ton, who view Sam with varying degrees of amusement and scorn. His habit of wearing leather leggings and moccasins on nearly all occasions – even while wearing a coat and vest – does nothing to dispel the notion that he is not worthy of Society. But Sam isn’t in London to join the elite; he’s trying to find out what – or who – really caused the massacre of the 28th Regiment.

Lady Emeline Gordon’s beloved brother, Reynaud, was one of the soldiers killed during that massacre. When Sam asks her to take on his sister and introduce her into Society, Emeline is reluctant until Sam tells her that he was a friend of Reynaud’s. It isn’t until later that she discovers Sam’s true reason for being in London. As a widow with a young son and a thriving hobby as a chaperone, Emeline has no need to become involved with an untitled man from the colonies; nevertheless, something draws her to him. But Sam’s suspicions about the true cause of the massacre may destroy everything for both of them.

Elizabeth Hoyt has an amazing knack for bringing her characters to life. Emeline and her Tante Cristelle are both the crustiest of the upper crust, but each has an inner life that shines through quite clearly. In the society of the time, it’s completely reasonable that Emeline would be reluctant to associate with Sam; rich in Boston hardly equates to titled gentry in London. Sam’s background is expertly woven into the story and is essential to understanding who he is and why he acts the way he does. Both main characters are intelligent grown-ups; it’s great fun to watch their interactions.

As with previous books (THE RAVEN PRINCE, THE LEOPARD PRINCE) this one is told in parallel with the story/fairy tale of four soldiers; begun in the prologue and continued in each chapter heading. I hope there are three more stories coming from this very talented author.

Rating: 7 ½
May 2008
ISBN# 0-446-40691-0 (paperback)

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