Book: To Taste Temptation
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: The Legend of the Four Soldiers, Book 1
The ton loves nothing more than a good scandal, and they're giddy with the appearance of wealthy Samuel Hartley. Not only is he self-made, American, and in the habit of wearing moccasins, but he is also notorious for fleeing a battle in which several English gentlemen lost their lives. What the ton doesn't know, though, is that Samuel is in London because of this massacre. He believes his regiment was given up to the enemy and won't rest until he finds the traitor.
Lady Emeline Gordon is captivated with Samuel. Not only does he defy convention with his unusual dress, his sensual smile, and his forthright manner, but he survived the battle that killed her beloved brother. Samuel suspects that the person responsible for her brother's death is Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, a family friend since childhood--and Emeline's fiancé. Despite Emeline's belief in Vale's innocence and her refusal to break off her betrothal, she and Samuel begin a passionate affair. But can their relationship survive the fallout from Samuel's investigation?
The synopsis sums this story up well enough for me to not have to, so I'll focus on my thoughts about this book.
To Taste Temptation was just an "okay" read for me. There was nothing special that stood out to me about either Emeline or Samuel. Samuel was kinda of boring and self centered. And Emeline was very up tight. The only time that I was able to look past their major differences and not be annoyed by either one was while they were sexing up the pages, which sucks because I was intrigued with the differences between the two in the beginning, but all of that fizzled out as the story progressed.
Emeline not only lives under the strict rules of the ton she also enforces them on herself and those around her, including her son. This left me feeling cold towards the character. I guess that it was hard to warm up to her and I never really did. She had resigned herself to propriety, becoming the perfect specimen of it, and I was totally unimpressed with that and her character.
My dislike of Samuel came from his inability to see how much that his sister idolized him. She secretly yearned for a deeper relationship with Samuel, but many times he brushed her aside in favor of his advancements on the uptight Emeline. After his disregard for Rebecca occurred again and again I began to see Rebecca as more of a tool to get Samuel what he wanted: Emeline, rather than a sister that he truly cared about. Yeah, I wasn't feeling that.
I did find the story of Rebecca and the footman to be a bit interesting. I'm assuming that she will get a book of her own and the footman will be her hero. Hopefully in that book the problems Rebecca had with her lack of relationship with Samuel will be dealt with.
I thought that the mystery plot was overdrawn with Samuel running the streets at night in moccasins, peeking into people's windows. It also didn't help that I easily figured out who the leak was.
Hoyt's writing was good but I wasn't engrossed in the book. Her style came off as dry to me, something that I never experienced with her previous books. Maybe it was the characters' dryness that dragged the writing down, I'm not sure. I'm not giving up on Hoyt, even though I'm not amped up about To Seduce a Sinner, the next release in this series. I wasn't particularly taken with either Melisande or Vale; heroine and hero of that upcoming book. Their appearances in To Taste Temptation weren't impressive. Still, I hope for a better read with them. And far as TTT goes, Grade C-.