Friday, September 9, 2011
When Tempting a Rogue
Years ago Lord Trystan Kane was an easy going boy who fell in love with the older, more sophisticated and worldly, Vienne La Rieux. But when he declared his love she kicked him out of her life and he has spent the intervening years trying to become a man that Vienne could be proud of, someone she could not just turn away from, even while claiming that he no longer cares for her. Vienne has become a fixture in London society, skirting the edges of society, running the immensely popular and slightly scandalous Saints Row where members of the ton could come for a privacy and notoriety. Her newest venture is an emporium, an old-fashioned mall, and Trystan has maneuvered his way into a a 50% share and Vienne is horrified to discover that her spurned ex- lover is her new partner. At first she is worried that Trystan only wants revenge but it quickly becomes apparent that the frivolous young man she had been involved with is smarter, more determined, and wants to make money for himself by making the best of this potentially lucrative investment.
Their new partnership forces the two of them into close proximity on numerous occasions and they fall into a comfortably and friendly routine with business breakfasts at his hotel room and afternoons spent at the building site where they share their ideas for making their project work. But not everyone thinks the idea of a site designed entirely for shoppers' convenience is a good idea and many believe that it will lead women into vice and cause them to spend all their husbands money. Someone has been sabotaging the site and causing little accidents to occur, including some that put Vienne in danger. Seeing how Trystan looks out for her causes Vienne to worry that he is falling for her again because an incident in her past has convinced her that she is not worthy of love and she definitely does not think she is good enough for Trystan. But being with Vienne is all Trystan wants and he knows he needs her in his life, even if it means causing both of them a little pain in order to convince her that they belong together no matter what either of their pasts' may hold.
Vienne was different than most romance novel heroines because she was older, although I don't recall being told exactly how old she was, and she was FAR more worldly. She had a past, including many lovers whom she had actually enjoyed having sex with, and she was very capable of taking care of herself and was very independent in a genuine way (and not in the rather pathetic way most female protagonists claim to be). I love that she was so intelligent and ventured into capitalistic pursuits and that she unapologetically took lovers and controlled her relationships. She was the one with the tortured past, not Trystan, and while I admired that, I felt like a little too much was made over what happened to me. Maybe it was realistic, but I didn't see an intelligent, self-assured woman like Vienne blaming herself for years over something that was obviously not her fault. I also thought it got to be a little much when it was used as the be all and end all excuse for why she was so reluctant to fall in love; same as the way I feel about many heroes who don't ever want to fall in love.
Trystan was not much different from other romance novel heroes; he was a take charge alpha male who worked hard and had a strong head for business and cared for those under him, but he was not a member of the peerage. His determination to prove himself to Vienne was admirable and showed how much he needed her in his life so I enjoyed that. Their relationship was well developed and, while much of their love was lingering from their past acquaintance, I could still feel like they were re-learning each other and falling in love with the new person they had each become. They spent a lot of time getting to know each other and I love how dedicated Trystan was to proving to Vienne that they belonged together. There was not very much sex between them but their openness about sex lead to what little their was being really hot and steamy. The subplot about the emporium was very well done, it was minor enough to let the romance shine through, but also kept me turning pages to see what would happen. I also enjoyed reading about the relationship each of them had with their siblings; it was a nice addition.
Rating: The book was enjoyable and I certainly like Vienne and the development of their relationship, but I feel like I have been giving better books 4 hearts so I will give it 3.