Friday, November 22, 2013

Twice the Temptation by Beverley Kendall

The Basics:
Twice the Temptation by Beverley Kendall
Season Publishing LLC
Book One of The Temptresses
Published November 18, 2013

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Gentleman of the ton...prepare to be tempted

Temptation is as old as Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, succumbing to it is as natural as breathing to the gentlemen in the haut ton. For prospective brides bent on fidelity, three of the ton's most ravishing beauties will help determine the faithful from the philanderers. What they hadn’t counted on was emotional entanglements…

A Temptress in Love

Catherine Rutherford has been smitten with the sinfully handsome American, Lucas Beaumont, since their introduction the year before. And he appears just as enamored of her, for following his return to London he launches a seductive campaign to ensnare her heart and capture her hand in marriage. Never has Catherine been so confident in the outcome of a courtship…that is until she discovers her would-be groom proposed marriage to her sister first.

Although she and her twin share the same face, Catherine refuses to share a man’s affections much less be any woman’s substitute. With the aid of her twin and two friends, she challenges the man she loves to the ultimate test of fidelity. Posing as her heartbroken sister—who is really anything but—Catherine seeks his solace from an “unhappy marriage” and begins a tempestuous game of seduction where the true proof of his love lies in his ability to resist her charms


I wanted to read this book because I liked the cover, I liked the suggestion that Catherine is pretty forward and aggressive in the description above. I also wanted to read a historical romance as a shift
from all the contemporary books I've been reading of late.

What worked for me:

So, I don't think I really read the description that carefully before I picked up this book. And I'm kind of glad that I didn't because it gives away a fair amount of the plot. That said, I found a lot in this book to enjoy whether you know it's coming or not.

I loved that the characters had already been physical with each other before the book started. I liked that they knew each other, and that their chemistry had already been established.

I have to imagine that the way this book addresses sex is probably more true to life than the average historical romance. I liked the treatment of it, and there are definitely sexy times, which is always a bonus, I think.

Lucas putting it all on the line for Catherine was really the best part of the novel. That they're so drawn to each other right off the bat makes this book really feel good, even when it isn't. And I mean, we all know that a romance novel is going to end happily, but I find that when I'm absorbed in reading, I often forget that or it isn't really present as I'm experiencing the story. For this book, that connection that Catherine and Lucas have from before the book starts through to their reunion in the early chapters, it really made me feel extra positive and good about this couple.

Also, Olivia and Meghan, Catherine's best friends - and even Charlotte, her twin - were all really pushy. It kind of bugged me while I was reading that they pushed Catherine into things so much, but then I realized that I liked that she was able to persevere despite their intereferences.

What didn't work for me:

The only thing keeping Lucas and Catherine apart are Lucas and Catherine. And while normally I would be delighted by this because it actually felt a lot more honest than some melodramatic criminal subplot might have (for example), I couldn't help but think about how the book would be different if they *could* actually get their signals straight and put all the cards on the table and *still* have something legitimate standing in their way. I don't know what that book would have looked like - it probably wouldn't have been any better than this one. I still kept thinking about it though.

There was one detail about Catherine's past that she thought might stand in the way of marriage to Lucas that I felt was sort of tossed in as a leftover detail from a previous story (specifically her sister's). It was such an after thought for her to share it with Lucas that I really felt like the author knew she should include it for people who were familiar with the twins' story but who had already seen it played out in a previous novel. It probably should have been in Catherine's mind earlier in the novel as a potential hitch - particularly since she really had a laundry list of issues and it didn't make it on to that list until the end.

I also felt like there needed to be a moment wherein Catherine fully articulated her self-doubts about being a lesser version of her twin, and Lucas addressed them directly. This did come up in various moments over the book, but I didn't feel like it was wholly resolved to my satisfaction. Still, Lucas did a lot to put Catherine's mind at ease on this front, so it certainly wasn't a detail overlooked by the author.

Bottom Line:

There wasn't anything in Twice the Temptation that will really stick with me beyond the memory of an enjoyable and honest read. But, I definitely would put this one on my re-read shelf alongside Amanda Quick and Julia Quinn. It was a happy read, and a comfortable one, and I think I'll look for the next books in the Temptresses series.

4 stars
For fans of historical romance, of 'communication gone wrong' plots.

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