To Taste Temptation – Elizabeth Hoyt

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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.


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.

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…

Emeline knows all the rules of the English society and she abides by them. But then she meets Samuel, a man unfamiliar with refined manners who does exactly as he pleases. He is a man who is dangerous to her feelings, the feelings she has always kept hidden deep inside and never showed anyone. She is sharp-tongued and quick-minded but hides it behind a façade of being a sweet and respectable widow of the ton. Samuel is the only one who sees through this, he recognizes and accepts her and makes her forget all the rules she has set for herself. He triggers something in her that makes her want to relinquish the control over her emotions to him. She tries to fight it but it’s too strong and Samuel is too determined and alluring.
Samuel’s feelings have been numbed by a massacre of his regiment in the War. His only goal is to seek out the traitor responsible for the betrayal and the subsequent massacre. When he uses Emeline and her contacts in the ton to find this traitor he discovers she is the only woman who can make him forget his self-doubt and guilt. Her intelligence and fierceness warms his heart and the voyage to England brings him more than just closure to the trauma of the massacre. He finds a real and passionate love in a woman who couldn’t be farther from his reach.

It had been a while since I read something by Elizabeth Hoyt (I read THE SERPENT PRINCE, the last book of the PRINCE TRILOGY, in the summer of 2007) and after closing this book I realize how much I missed her wonderful stories and compelling, intricate characters and romances.
She has proved with this book once again for me why she is one of my favorite authors of Regency historicals. She masters the talent to bring a two people together who seemingly have absolutely nothing in common and who are terribly mismatched. This time Emeline and Samuel being on opposite sides of the society’s scope. She is a sophisticated and refined lady of the ton. Samuel is an unpolished self-made man of the Colonies.

Like in the PRINCE trilogy every chapter starts with part of a fairytale. This one is called “The Legend of the Four Soldiers” and this book tells the part of “Iron Heart” The fairytale shows parallels with the actual main story. I love this in Elizabeth Hoyt’s books.

I love her characters because they are contrary to the stereotype heroes and heroines. They have something special that appeals to me as a reader and her writing style is so refreshingly down-to-earth and pure, raw in comparison with the many sweet and flowery romances in this genre. It’s this refreshing and unique writing style that has Elizabeth Hoyt on my auto-buy list. She combines simplicity with emotional depth in her characterization making them uncomplicated yet intriguing at the same time.

The buildup of this particular book was just perfect in my eyes. The story and romance developed slowly and compelling, building up an intense romance, spiked with a mystery plot.
She introduced future main characters in the series without taking away the attention from Emeline and Samuel’s story. And the romance and love scenes were amazing. She worked up the developing feelings and sexual tension between Samuel and Emeline to an explosive and very erotic first love scene. I truly didn’t mind having to wait for it until well into the second half of the book.
Hoyt found the perfect the pace needed for this story: Not fast-paced but not slow either. The exact blend of plot and romance to keep me enthralled.

All I can say is sit back, relax and indulge in this delightful, passionate story that rises above the genre to offer an emotional read that shines in its intensity and simplicity.

He shoved her bodily against the wall and pinned her there like some unfortunate moth. Then he bent his head and, avoiding her mouth, bit her neck, just under her ear. And her body –her idiot, traitorous body– responded, going all soft and warm.

Samuel: “I was cold without you, Emeline. You’re the light that keeps me warm inside. If I left you, I think I’d freeze into a solid block of ice.”

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2 thoughts on “To Taste Temptation – Elizabeth Hoyt

  1. Wow. I’d seen this book in bookstores but have frequently passed it by, but now I’m intrigued lol. I’ll have to go out and get it…thanks again Pearl! :)Always,Cherie

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