Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Review - To Taste Temptation

Title: To Taste Temptation
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Publishing Date: May 2008
Genre: Historical
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

To Taste Temptation is the first book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Legend of the Four Soldiers Series. To learn a little more about this series visit my Series Sunday post. Samuel Hartly has made a name for himself by expanding his Uncle's trade business in Boston. He travels to London in the hopes of securing an exclusive partnership with a new pottery company founded by none other than Mr. Wedgwood.

Secretly there is another purpose to Samuel's visit to London. He hopes to find the traitor that caused the slaughter at the battle of Spinners Fall during the French and Indian War. Samuel was a soldier that fought in that battle, which haunts him to this day. In London, he moves in next door to the widowed sister of one of his fallen comrades, Lady Emeline Gordon. Under the pretext of needing Emeline's help to instruct his sister in the proper ways of comportment, he insinuates himself into London Society where he can fox out the traitor.

To Taste Temptation is a story about opposites attracting. Emeline and Samuel are about as different as the come. Emeline is from the upper crust of London Society, was married to an Earl. She at all times expects herself and others to act with the utmost decorum and propriety. She is flabbergasted and annoyed by Samuel the first time she meets him. She thinks him an uncouth barbarian who can barely contain his baser animal urges. Samuel goes out of his way to not conform to society's wishes. He could care less what anyone thinks of him. He feels a man is defined by what he accomplishes, not by how he dresses.

I hate to admit it, but I did not like Emeline. At first I could accept the way she acted, always arguing with Samuel - snipping and griping at him. As the story continued though, I was hoping to see more growth of her character. She had some issues that kept her from allowing people to get close to her - thus her prickly disposition, but towards the end I was hoping for some likability. I never got it. Samuel, on the other hand, was attracted to her sharp edges and that was the biggest reason for him to pursue her. He liked sparing with her and because of it Emeline felt she could be herself. So, in that aspect I felt the attraction was believable.

I really did like that Hoyt did not gloss over the atrocities of war and how they can affect men differently. She explored Samuel's emotional recovery after the effects of the war. This gave quite a bit of depth to Samuel. I would have liked to have seen more of this with Emeline's character. It's possible I would have been more sympathetic to her. Which brings me to the ending. It was rushed. Everything seemed to get wrapped up all to quickly. Emeline who had been so standoffish the whole book finally gets some clarity in the last few pages. It was all to pat for my tastes.

Here is what others had to say:

Royal Reviews
Dear Author
Riley's Reviews
AnimeGirl's Bookshelf
The Book Smugglers
Book Binge
Ramblings on Romance, Etc.

This book can be purchased in print and kindle format from Amazon


Kwana said...

I'm a big Hoyt fan. Thanks for the review.

Mandi said...

I enjoyed this one, but agree a bit with your thoughts on Emmeline. I didn't dislike her, but she wasn't my favorite.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like this one much and it put me off the rest of the series, which was too bad, since I really liked her Princes trilogy!

Lori said...

I didn't care much for her either. I kept wondering what Samuel saw in her, cause I thought he was a great hero. The rest of the series is better, and the last one - to Beguile a Beast, was very very good, but IMO, nothing matches up to the Raven Prince. I'm really looking forward to the last one!

Tracy said...

I have the second one - I need to read this one first though. Sounds good. Thanks.

nath said...

Hmmm, not a big fan of Hoyt, so I didn't pick this one... Seems like it was a good decision for me :D

Marg said...

As much as I love Hoyt's writing, I did struggle with this one, mainly because of Emmeline. The next couple of books are much better IMO.

Jill D. said...

Kwana - Your very welcome. I am a big Hoyt fan too.

Jessica - I read To Beguile a Beast which is the third in this series and I liked it a lot better than this one. Even though I didn't like this one, I still think Hoyt is a talented author. Her books entertain me.

Nath - I think you might like To Beguile a Beast. Do you like kids in books or Beauty and the Beast theme?

Tracy - I really don't think you have to read the books in order, but I can understand your dilligence to try too, especially if you already plan on reading all of the books.

Mandi, Lori and Marg - Looks like we all felt the same about Emmeline. I could have dealt with it if she would have had more growth towards the ending.