Noah Jordan misses the life he once led as a spy so when he’s asked by his former superior to head to the countryside and investigate a potential murder, he jumps at the chance. He doesn’t expect to meet Marion Hawthorne, a young woman his suspected murderer is interested in taking as his wife.
In an effort to help her… and to get closer to the fascinating lady, Noah asks for her help in his investigation. But as they grow closer, their desire grows and suddenly Noah has a harder and harder time remembering any duty, any promise or any future he ever imagined without her.
Title: THE TEMPTATION OF A GENTLEMAN
Author: Jenna Petersen
Series: The Jordans, book 2
Genre: Historical Romance
Year of release: 2011, September 26
Source: Received an e-ARC from the author for review
“Get your mind out of the game and into the parlor, Woodbury,” Noah Jordan admonished himself as he paced the sitting room of the Ives family.
– the scene where Noah tells Marion he’s a spy > awesome! Both Marion’s reaction to it and Noah’s shock at that reaction.
– Marion’s escape > breathtaking
– The reunion scene > can’t divulge what reunion for spoiler reasons but it was heartbreaking and moving
Marion Hawthorne is a merchant’s daughter. She’s a real spitfire, direct, outspoken and spontaneous. She’s also perceptive, vivacious and bold. The life she’s led hasn’t been easy and though her father belittles her and treats her like she’s a commodity she never loses her zest for life.
Noah Jordan is the new Marquis of Woodbury after his father’s demise and has a hard time filling his father’s shoes. At least, in his own eyes. He’s flirtatious and seductive yet honorable. But he’s also adventuresome, passionate and proud. Noah loves challenges and Marion definitely proves to be one.
After a year away from active duty, Noah is asked to go back to the spy business for one last assignment: solve a murder in his shire (Woodsbury). While doing that he stumbles upon Marion who is there with her father for some business. It turns out Marion’s father’s business is to marry her off to the murder suspect (in Noah’s case) in order to be cleared of his debt to the man.
The secondary characters in this second installment of The Jordans series is not big in numbers but they are all crucial to the plot and the romance in some way or form. I really liked the glimpse I got of Audrey and Griffin (main couple from book 1).
Every time I read a Jenna Petersen historical romance I’m amazed at the vileness of some of her secondary characters and how unlikeable they are. Mostly they are family members and in THE TEMPTATION OF A GENTLEMAN Walter Hawthorne and Josiah Lucas took the prize. They were once again proof that Jenna Petersen knows how to write her villains.
Though I didn’t like Tabitha Jordan, Noah’s mother, in the first book of this trilogy very much, in this book she has definitely been redeemed. A sad event has made her more tolerant and supportive towards her children and their (love-)lives and that made her so much more likeable to me. The way she advised, reprimanded and accepted was a welcome change compared to her behavior in THE SECRETS OF A LADY.
I really love Jenna Petersen’s writing. She balances plot, romance and humor perfectly and once I start reading I don’t want to stop as she has the uncanny talent to hook you with both plot and romance. Her characters are lively and have depth to them and she also has the emotional rollercoaster down pat.
THE TEMPTATION OF A GENTLEMAN is a captivating combination of danger and romance with a suspicious death and a potential forced marriage on the side. It was fast-paced with an excellent plot and the romance was heartfelt and though complicated there was no unnecessary drama! I utterly enjoyed this middle book of the Jordans Trilogy!
“Well…” She placed a fingertip on her chin as if in deep thought. “Do you promise not to molest me while you walk me home, my lord?”
He choked on his surprised laughter, but her question forced sudden, heated images to his mind that he had been fighting with desperation. Obviously this was a losing battle. He was destined to picture the lovely Marion Hawthorne in various states of undress and pleasure.
“I‘m trying to decide if you‘re being serious or if you‘re simply daft. She folded her hands on her lap. I no longer think you‘re lying, though.”
“Well, thank God for that.” With a grunt, he threw himself back into the seat. “I so enjoy being called crazy rather than a liar.”
She pursed her lips as irritation lit up in her eyes. “If you‘ll allow me to finish, I‘ll explain exactly what I did. Then you can scream and bellow like a barbarian.” (Marion to Noah)
If she had her wits, she would have been embarrassed by her wanton display, but her wits had left her the moment Noah had touched her in that secret place where she only dared to wash and not think about. All that was left was the throbbing need for him to release her from the prison he‘d locked her in with hot kisses and shocking touches.
Tabitha‘s demeanor softened. “Control is a tricky thing, Marion. We never have it, even when we think we do. And constantly striving for it only seems to put it further from reach.”
She stared up at him with brown eyes that were wide and clear and full of trust, trust in him. Even in her shaken state, her beauty and good soul were as evident as her worry and fear. And Noah realized, with the strength of a thunderbolt, that he loved her. Not loved her as a friend, but an all-consuming, earth-shaking love that rocked him to the very center of his soul. He loved her and had loved her from the very first moment she‘d stormed around the lake and given him… and his horse… a tongue-lashing.