Friday, February 8, 2013
Lord of Temptation
Lord Tristan Pembroke escapes the clutches of his uncle, who is determined to kill him and his brothers so he can claim the Dukedom, and while his brothers go separate ways, Tristan heads out to sea. Over the next decade he makes a learns the ocean and gains his own ship, going by the name Crimson Jack, and even when he goes back to London and enters society he does not feel like he is a part of that world. Lady Anne Hayworth is determined to make her way to her fiance's grave so that she can make peace with her fiance Walter who was killed in battle. Her father and four brothers do not agree with her plans so she is forced to find her own means of transportation and when she asks Captain Jack he decides to ensure that Anne has no choice but to choose his ship. When every other captain ha been bribed to turn her down, Anne comes back to Jack, who demands a kiss in return for passage. He wants the beautiful young woman, even while knowing they come from different worlds and have no future, and will do everything he can to seduce the beautiful young woman. During the journey, both of them discover much about the other, and Jack is the one to hold her while she cries at her dead fiance's grave.
On their last night together Anne decides to claim a bit of happiness for herself and gives into the passion she feels for Jack. Back in London, Anne finds herself swept up into the whirlwind of a London season, and with her family pressuring her to get married, she is being courted by her dead fiance's brother. Jack finds that he cannot bring himself to leave Anne and return to the sea, and he certainly cannot stand to see Anne courted by another man. The two engage in a secret affair, behind everyone's backs, but Anne knows that Jack is not one to settle down with a family and while she will never have the same passion with Lord Chetwyn, he offers her comfort and stability. The two promise that they will stay away from each other and Anne agrees to marry but she cannot stay away from Jack and he is trying to use all of his powers of persuasion to convince her that Chetwyn is not for her. But both of them realize that life without the other isn't an option and both of them are willing to make changes to their expectations before discovering that as long as they are together, nothing is really a sacrifice as long as they can have a happily ever after.
This book continued the Lost Lords of Pembrook series admirably and had the same feel as the last one with the tortured hero and a very likable heroine. I really liked Anne because she was determined and capable without coming across as headstrong or naive. She knew what was expected of her from her family and she accepted it but still went about fulfilling her obligations in a way that did not seem like she was 'giving in' and still remained true to herself. Jack was incredibly tortured and dark, not fitting in to either world he straddled and unable to find a place where he belonged. I understood his dilemma, but still felt unimpressed with his feelings and his inability to make nice, as if he was purposely setting out to be difficult. I quickly became bored by reading about his horrible life and how he straddled two worlds, partly because it was so similar to what I read in the previous book in the series about his old twin brother. I did like that we had a lot of character development from him throughout the book as he fell in love with Anne and made some changes in his life in order to have her in his life. He was a fun and lively hero who changed for the better with the help of a good woman, and I liked that.
There were a lot of interactions between Anne and Jack and I could really feel how these fell in love and every scene between them built into the story. There were fun and happy scenes where he attempted to seduce her, there were heart wrenching scenes where he comforted at her fiance's grave, and there were passionate scenes. There was a really deep emotional relationship between them and Heath did an oustanding job portraying this. There was a lot of sex between them and it was fairly hot, spread throughout the book, and really contributed to their developing relationship. I did have an issue with how many times Anne promised herself she would stay away from Jack, after realizing that they had no future together, and then reneged on her vow. It made her seem weak and it happened so many times that it quickly got tiresome. I also enjoyed how Heath did not make Chetwyn a villain, or anyone a villain for that matter, because it really was just a story of two people finding love and working through their differences to find happiness together. As usual, Heath's style is fun and fast while still delving into tough emotional issues.
Rating: A very enjoyable book, with a very strong relationship between the characters, but I had some issues with the heroes emotional trauma.