Thursday, January 13, 2011
Never Resist Temptation
Jacobin le Chastelux is furious when she discovers that her uncle has gambled her away in card game to the Earl of Storrington. She runs away with the pastry cook and takes a job in the Prince Regent's Brighton kitchens where she pretends to be a man. Anthony, the earl of Storrington, has been trying to ruin Candover since his own father revealed on his death bed that Candover had had an affair with Anthony's mother and eventually driven her to her death. He hoped that winning Jacobin would accomplish this, but instead he is left with no recourse but to hire the greatest pastry chef he can find in the hopes of luring Candover into another card game. He knows he must get the Regent's pastry chef and is stunned to discover that he is actually a woman! When Candover is poisoned by food she made Jacobin tells Storrington that she is Jane Castle and neglects to mention any relation to Candover before accepting the position as his pastry chef.
She is stunned to discover that Anthony actually has no need of a pastry chef as he doesn't quite like pastries. She is then horrified when she realizes that Anthony is letting his thirst for revenge control his life. It does not take Anthony long to find out who "Jane Castle" is and that she is very eligible and someone he could see spending his life with. Meanwhile Bow Street is still searching for the chef they believe poisoned Candover and Jacobin and Anthony decide that it would be good for them to do a little investigating of their own. Working with Anthony and seeing how honest and noble he is, makes it easy for her to succumb when he asks her to become his mistress. But when he reveals that he has known who she is all along, she is furious and refuses to have anything more to do with him. Anthony, however, is not going to lose the woman he is coming to love, even if it means moving beyond his obsession for revenge. Bow Street comes calling and it is up to Anthony to save Jacobin from jail and let go of old hate so that his new love can flourish.
It took me a while to get a feel for Jacobin and I could not figure out if it was because I felt like I had absolutely nothing in common with her, or if it was just that I found her cooking abilities completely unrealistic. I don't need to feel like I'm a twin with the heroine, but I felt almost no connection with Jacobin at all and I would have liked something to hold on to. I can say that she was a very intelligent, very capable woman who avoided being sassy or fiery while still holding her own with Anthony. I liked Anthony more than Jacobin as his thirst for revenge was a wonderful weakness that set his eventual change so much more wonderful. There was a lot of interaction in between the two of them and they ran the full gauntlet of happy to angry to scared and I really enjoy that in a book because it shows how well the two work together. Their relationship progressed very well and I could really sense that these two were beginning to fall in love and that it was genuine. The sex between them was really hot and I wish there had been more of it.
I really enjoyed the plot surrounding Candover and the supposed affair that he had been having with Anthony's mother. It was very well written, it was interesting and ended with a very nice and interesting little twist, and it provided an opportunity for Anthony to show how much he cared about Jacobin. Candover was a great villain and I like how his hatred of Anthony and Jacobin was explained at the end and that I was kept wondering about his motives. I was a little bit food-ed out after reading Delicious by Sherry Thomas, but was pleasantly surprised to find that food played a much less important role in the story, while still being well described and quite delicious sounding. I especially enjoyed the old fashioned recipes and historical details the author added through the food and the research she must have done. I also really liked the little extra bit about the marital problems between Anthony's sister and her husband and it lead to some nice family time where Anthony confronted his own issues with his mother, but I wish there had been more of it.
Rating: A very interesting book with a fairly strong relationship and well written characters with a wonderful mystery and great side plots and secondary characters.