Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dont Tempt Me by Loretta Chase

Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains.

That's the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she's shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She's a walking scandal, with no hope of a future... unless someone can civilize her.

Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor. He's cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women. He charms, seduces, and leaves them - with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears. But good looks, combined with money and rank, makes him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe's risqué reputation... if the wayward beauty doesn't lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both.
I found Don't Tempt Me to be a fun read and enjoyed this book by Loretta Chase. Zoe Octavia or "the Bolter," as she's called throughout the book, was one of those female characters that just made me smile and cheer. She's a hoyden with a sense of humor, a bit of naïveté, lots of determination and plenty of sex appeal. She's also a brat and a danger to herself and others when it comes to causing a scandal. I loved her!

Lucien is a man of layers -- a cynical man with nothing to lose and seemingly not a care in the world, except for his loyalty to Zoe's father, Lord Lexham. Lord Lexham became Lucien's guardian when he and his brother were boys. Having lost his whole family, parents and brother, Lucien closed his heart to real love a long time ago. The last straw for him was losing Zoe Octavia when she was kidnapped at 12 years of age.

Zoe provided the much-needed light in Lucien's life when they were children -- after she was lost, Lucien truly gave up. Now, she is really back and a big problem for her family -- although welcomed by her father, after all those years away in a foreign country and having been part of a harem is a concern, especially for her four sisters and her sisters-in-law. She is seen as a walking scandal and social disaster. After an unforgettable scene where Zoe Octavia proposes to Lucien, he decides to take her under his wing, civilize and sponsor her into society.

Lucien is about to be reminded why Zoe Octavia is called "the Bolter," but also why she was the light of his childhood. She takes him along for a ride, full of fun, erotic and tender moments. Zoe and Lucien find themselves again in each other after being lost for so long. 

Zoe's sisters provided a great balance to the story. They reminded me of Cinderella's "mean" stepsisters with redeemable qualities. Their horror at Zoe's unconventional social attitudes was priceless. Their characters were not overly developed, although I thought they provided the right touch.

I found the last third of the book where the story includes criminal intent by some characters a bit forced and too long. Zoe Octavia's past is not as well developed as it could be, but I didn't find that to be a huge detriment to this particular story. It didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel or the characters. 

The amusing dialogue in Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase kept me turning the pages starting with Zoe's proposal and through their public and intimate moments. This book gets a B+ from me.

Visit the author here. Read an excerpt of Don't Tempt Me here.


  1. I'm one of the few/only readers that wasn't blown away by "Lord of Scoundrels" so I've been a bit gun shy when it comes to Loretta Chase. I think I'll put this one on my list - it sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the review Hils!

  2. I've been contemplating getting this one and I'm still not completely sold. Now had you been blown away, I probably would have run out and bought it. But since I've become more frugal with my book buying, I think I'll wait a little longer. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Love the name Zoe Octavia! The funniest scene is when Lucien becomes jealous because Zoe must meet more men. Too good. Loretta Chase is always a winner.

  4. Hilcia, great review!! You make me want to read this one badly :) Lucky for me, I have it in my TBR pile! :) Sounds like a book I would really like ;) and it's funny because I just read a DNF review for it this morning ;P But I'm betting on you!!

    Leslie, you're not the only one... I really wonder about the hype on Lord of Scoundrels, but then, I don't usually like books with hype ;P but I did buy this one, cos it sounded really good :)

  5. Leslie, I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it. I liked it more than Your Scandalous Ways. :)

    Brie, if you're in the mood for something fun, and you can get it from the library, you might enjoy it.

    Katiebabs, I loved her name! Couldn't help using the whole thing a few times, lol! Loved, loved that scene too. *g*

    nath, thank you! Now... I really, really hope you like it, lol!

  6. Love Chase's books. This sounds no different. :)

  7. Tracy, did you read this one yet? Chase is an author whose books I always look up when they release. :)

  8. Loved it Hilcia!! :) Thanks for making me pick up the book!

  9. Yay! nath... I'm so glad you liked it too! Looking forward to reading your thoughts on it. :)

  10. Between you and Nath - you've convinced me to make this my next read. Thank goodness I have it already. I'd find it hard to justify buying a new book right about now *g*

  11. LOL KristieJ, I saw that post on your latest haul, I'm green with envy, lucky lady *g* -- I hope you enjoy this one as much as both nath and I did. :)