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Thursday, July 30, 2009

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series: Legend of the Four Soldiers - Book One

Genre: Historical Romance

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 362

Rating 3 1/2 Crowns

I won To Seduce a Sinner, the second in Elizabeth Hoyt's The Legend of the Four Soldiers series, so I had to start with book one or I start to get the shakes.

Samuel Hartley has recently come to England from Boston, where he worked particularly hard to be where he is in the world today. He is not a refined Englishman, rather he is a bit rough around the edges. He wears moccasins and does not quite fit in in London society. He rents the house next door to Emeline Gordon, a socialite who he asks to take his sister, Rebecca, under her wing to help present her to society. Although, as we find out, he has other motives then just helping his sister.

Samuel fought the indians at the battle of Spinner's Falls with Reynaud, Emeline's brother who was killed during that fateful day. The unit Samuel was fighting with was besieged, many dying and Samuel ran away that day while the fighting continued to get help. He knows someone betrayed his unit, and he also feels like a coward for running away. He has made it his life's goal to find the person who crossed him and his comrades.

Sam is immediately intrigued by Emeline. He loves how prim and proper she always appears and loves to ruffle her feathers. It is quite a contrast to his brash behavior. A typical romance can not be pursued however because Sam does not have the title and English breeding needed for someone in Emeline's rank.

To complicate matters, Viscount Vale, who fought with Sam, is in London and has an understanding since childhood to marry Emeline. That alone unnerves Sam because he already feels possessive of Emmeline and Sam is suspicious Vale could be the very spy he is looking for. Only Vale and a few others are still alive to question.

The war took out so much of Sam. When he enters large crowds the smell of sweat or the site of a certain color throws him back to the nightmare of Spinner's Falls. He not only needs to find the traitor to bring him to justice and for all those that died, but he needs to find him to bring peace and conclusion to his life. Emeline quiets the fears and dissent inside of him. Sam is a very intense, brooding man. He is very serious, yet can't stop himself from teasing Emeline, knowing she will fall for the bait, and her anger does weird things to his attraction to her.

Samuel always pushing the limit. As in this exchange:

"You think I've been to see a whore." He smiled and slid lower in the carriage seat, canting his legs to the side so that he might cross them. He slipped his fingers into his waistcoat pockets, enjoying himself. "Admit it."
"I will do no such thing!"
"But that blush on your cheeks says otherwise."
He tutted. " Your thoughts are very lewd. I am shocked, my lady, quite shocked."
For a moment, all she could do was sputter; then her eyes narrowed as she recovered. Sam braced himself. God, he liked sparring with this woman.

Samuel Hart is a very alpha lover - he is so possessive, and primal in his lust for Emeline. He likes to take charge in the bedroom, or any other room they happen to be in. My favorite scene in the book is when Sam and Emeline are hidden away in an alcove, (those naughty hidden alcoves), and two servants stop right outside to have a smoke. While Emeline is horrified and trying to be absolutely still and quiet, Sam starts kissing her and doing verra naughty things to her. Once the two men leave, the passion just bursts from them. Quite...a...scene.

Elizabeth Hoyt also writes fabulous supporting characters, including Melisande, Emeline's best friend and heroine of the next book in the series, To Seduce a Sinner. Melisande is very proper but has the driest sense of humor. I immediately fell in love with her and I hope her character is portrayed the same way in the next book. Emeline never really knows for sure if she is jesting or being serious.

There is also Sam's sister, Rebecca, who has her eye on the footman and becomes all flustered around him and says the words like "boobies" by accident and just about dies on the spot.

Elizabeth Hoyt writes a very fun, classic historical romance. Her characters have wit, and vibrant personalities. It was a great combination of a love story and a mystery and I can't wait to start the next one.

Visit Elizabeth Hoyt's Site.

Lady in Waiting

Thanks to Mandi from
Smexy Books for this wonderful Guest Blogger review!


Marg said...

I love Elizabeth Hoyt's writing but this is probably the least favourite of all of them simply because I couldn't warm up to Emmeline at all

Blodeuedd said...

Great post Mandi :)
This sound like a series for me. And some alpha male is never wrong

Teddyree said...

I haven't read any Elizabeth Hoyt yet, I know *shock horror* but I like a romance with a bit of mystery & it's the start of a series so will keep it in mind.
Enjoyed the excerpt!