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To Taste Temptation (The Legend of the Four Soldiers: Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series) by Elizabeth Hoyt

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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?

Reviews (7)
Apparently temptation tastes a little stale.
The background story is fairly interesting but IMO not suitable for a romance, or at least not well used in this case. The characters are more in lust than love especially as we never really get to know the heroin Lady Emeline Gordon. We learn a lot about the emotional state and reasons of the hero Samuel Hartley. Emeline however is a little flat. It all is very serious.
As for historical accuracy on clothing matter I am no expert but somehow doubt that moccasins and leather leggings were socially acceptable in the high society of the time. Not really sure if people like the Hartleys would have been accepted by a lady to chaperone to begin with.
All intimate scenes are rather violent (kissing til you bleed - who's heart doesn't melt at that?!) and crude.
This is one of those romance novels where the woman tells the man that she doesn't want to have sex repeatedly, and the man persists in chasing her around rooms and threatening her and holding her down while he gropes her because, "he can tell her body wanted it." Yeah, sure, whatever. Mind you, the woman in this book seems to think it's okay, but presumably that's because she is a poorly drawn character in a bad novel and not an actual person. (No one in this book resembles as actual person.) There used to be a lot more of the whole, "her words said no, but her body said yes," crap in romance novels from the 80's and 90's, and I was really happy when that became less fashionable. Now it's coming back, I guess?

Anyway, I didn't bother to finish this book. The romantic scenes were such a horrible turn-off that even good characters couldn't have redeemed them. And frankly, the only way in which the characters in this book remotely resembled human beings was in their ability to be repugnant.
I'm an avid follower of Elizabeth Hoyt, and have absolutely loved her other books. So I was really surprised that this missed the mark so badly.
In almost all of their early kisses, and the first time the hero and heroine sleep together, she tells him no and he physically forces her to keep going. How is this romantic? I know romance is fantasy, but in my fantasy nobody is being forced to do anything against their will.
I first read the third book in the series and bought the other three books because I wanted to get to Melisande's story.
This novel is very romantic, and the chemistry between the characters is great. There are some issues where things get a bit too wild for the times, but who cares? The romance is great, the characters show some form of growth, there is an underlying mystery that starts here and will end in the last book, and it's quite well constructed.
Overall, I didn't like it as much as the third book because there were some setting inconsistencies I thought regarding certain attitudes and situations, but it was a fun read, it's well written, and it got me hooked.
I am a johnny-come-lately to The Legend of the Four Soldiers series. I really enjoyed The Maiden Lane series and then I decided to read To Desire A Devil which was the last book in the Soldier series. A word of advice, if you are going to read the Soldier series, I would recommend reading them in order because the stories do build upon one another.

SPOILER ALERT: I am somewhat surprised by so many negative comments about this book. Regarding the comments about Emeline - sure she was a strong outspoken woman and once in awhile came across somewhat harsh. Okay, perhaps she wasn't my favorite heroine of all time but she was a nice caring lady who had been dealt some rather serious blows in life because all the men she loved died including her first husband, her father and her brother. Understandably, she didn't want to love and be hurt again so she thought to marry her long time friend, Jasper Renshaw (his story is told in To Seduce a Sinner - Book #2 in this series). Although she had developed strong feelings for Samuel, she simply was afraid that if she married him and anything happened to him, she would be hurt again.

I loved Samuel Hartley. I loved that he was a confident man who, although he was a nobody colonial still managed to hold his own among the haute ton all the while continuing to wear his fancy mocassins. I loved his running through London. I loved his shrewd business skills. I loved that he knew he wanted Emeline and went after her even going to her ball uninvited and brawling with Jasper when he realized he was going to announce his engagement to Emeline. I loved that he still went to Emeline, all beat up from his fight with Jasper even when he thought there was no hope that she would ever change her mind and marry him instead of Jasper.

Mostly, I loved his words to himself after he was with Emeline for what he thought would be the last time. I realize that this genre of books are simple, fun, little books and the most one can hope for is some relaxation reading, hopefully with characters that are humorous and interesting. In my opinion, these are some of the most romantic words I have ever read in this genre. The following words are what Jasper thought to himself as he sat and watched Emeline sleep in her now cold room, thinking he would have to return to America and leave her behind, possibly never seeing her again:

"He wouldn't forget her, his warm lady, even if he lived for six decades more. He knew that now, sitting by her cold fire. She would be with him all the days of his life. As he walked the streets of Boston, as he conducted his business or chatted with acquaintances, she would be the ghost beside him. She would sit with him as he ate, she would lie beside him as he slept. And he knew that when his time on this earth was at an end, his last thought as he entered the void would be of her."

Enough Said! Thank you Elizabeth Hoyt!

ISBN: 1410414647

Rating: 4.4/5

Votes: 732

Other Formats: doc mbr lit rtf

ISBN13: 978-1410414649

Publisher: Thorndike Pr; Large Print edition (April 1, 2009)

Language: English

Subcategory: United States

Pages: 499

To Taste Temptation (The Legend of the Four Soldiers: Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series)
Literature & Fiction
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Title: To Taste Temptation (The Legend of the Four Soldiers: Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series)