Sunday, January 25, 2009

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt ***

I consider myself a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt's work because I read her first trilogy and really liked it. I found her "voice" fresh and interesting, and the conceit of using a fairy tale (that she created, not a regular tale in children's books) was fun.

This time I found the fairy tale thing, well, almost annoying. I mean, been there done that. And the story, while I liked it ok, wasn't one I found compelling and moving. In fact, I managed to find other things to do and dragged it out over several days, even waiting to read the last several pages...

The hero Sam is an "untamed" fellow, raised in the wilds of the American colonies - it's 1760s I believe - and was a tracker or some such with a British unit in the French and Indian wars several years before. He served with the heroine's brother, who was killed in an Indian ambush that the hero believes was a sell-out by one of the British troops. Sam has come to England to track down this traitor and... well, I wasn't really sure what he planned to do with him, except that he may have wanted to clear his own name, since everyone thought he had run away to save himself. He did run - to get help and ransom for the British officers that were being held.

The heroine is Emeline, a lady who also chaperones young women entering society. Sam brings his sister along as a cover, so he has a reason to get close to Emeline and also to get invited to certain balls and soirees in search of his traitor. He originally thinks the traitor is Jasper, Emeline's fiance, but when he discovers Jasper is not, he and Jasper join forces.

I dunno... something about the tone of the book just didn't work for me. Sam was all alpha male, in control, except he had this PTSD thing going on with crowds - when he smelled men's sweat, he imagined himself back in the war and had anxiety and panic attacks. And Emeline was this very tightly coiled, very respectable widow with a hidden passionate nature. All very melodramatically portrayed, and mostly I kept thinking she was a bitch with a stick up her behind. Whenever I read something like this, I wonder if it's me, if it's my current mood - I'd been putting off reading it, even though everyone has been raving about it, and I sorta forced myself to go ahead and start it. And I liked it ok, but not a lot. I wonder if I had waited until I wanted to read it if I would have liked it better?

Well, I'll never know the answer to that. 3 stars - it's in my Serial Readers Challenge, my A To Z challenge and the Winter 2008 challenge.

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