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REVIEW: Temptation is the Night by Marguerite Kaye

England, 1924

It had been love at first sight when Jack Damarell, the Eighth Earl of Crieff, and American artist Lindsey van der Maier met on the steamer to England. Their marriage had been filled with white-hot passion—until Jack’s dark memories of the trenches drove them apart.

Temptation is the Night by Marguerite KayeNow Lindsey has returned, and Jack has resolved to exorcise her from his heart with one final night of lovemaking to prove that reality couldn’t possibly live up to his memories. But can Jack hold onto his conviction when their sensual encounter exceeds his imagination?

Dear Ms Kaye,

Sometimes Harlequin Undone stories work for me and sometimes they don’t. Here, I just don’t get it. Or don’t see it – one or the other. How the heck did the sudden turn around happen?

The story starts with Jack so determined that He Can Never Love and that he’s over Lindsay. After all, she left him. No wait, he drove her out and then she left him but it’s all her fault. No wait, it’s his darkness left over from the war which he thought her pure innocence could cure but it didn’t and he’s too dark inside and their marriage will never work. No wait, he just needs one night of sex to prove that it can’t live up to the memory of her in his mind – one night to f*ck her out of his life and he’s done here. But wait, she’s grown, she’s matured, she’s ready to take control of the sexing and it’s hot and mind blowing to the point where she ends up entreating for another chance at their marriage. But no, it won’t work and regardless of what he told her about giving them another chance if the sex was hot, it’s over.

At this point, something happens that goes a bit over the line for me. It sounds like stalking and today I’d get a restraining order if this went on much longer. And if it had been Jack doing this I would have screamed bloody murder. To me it really isn’t okay despite the fact that it comes from the heroine. Who again ends up entreating cold, broken, “No this can’t ever work” Jack.

So…she leaves and tries to really get over him, dragging herself along through her days. Until 2 months later, she gets a note to meet him in NYC. She goes to see him and is surprised because he’s changed. He’s over his belief that it’s over. How, I have no idea. Or if signs of his change are there, I totally missed them. He says he knows what his problem was and it’s all better now. What? How? In two months? Six years of shell shock, nightmares, and black outs are over? Cured? What? and HOW?! No, I don’t get this sudden change.

The set up is cool. The time period is great. The sexing is hot – well, I’m still uncomfortable about what Lindsay pulls in London. But I truly don’t believe that Jack is over what was tormenting him to the point that he was willing to give up this love of his life. Lindsay does forgive and forget – he’s her one and only too – but I don’t see the bridge from how the book starts to how it ends. C

~Jayne

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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

12 Comments

  1. Heidi Belleau
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 12:37:00

    How disappointing! I saw the tags for this and every single one made me sit up a bit more and then I got to “C review” and… oh. :( Too bad!

    Can anyone suggest some good post-WWI/lost generation romances? Am I allowed to ask that? LOL.

    ReplyReply

  2. Jayne
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 13:24:07

    @Heidi Belleau: Absolutely, you can ask it. And I’d love to hear the responses too.

    ReplyReply

  3. Has
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 14:06:34

    I love this time setting – shame the book didn’t live up to that promise. I am also looking forward to more suggestions! I really think the back drop of this time period is fantastic for romance.

    ReplyReply

  4. Jayne
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 14:44:50

    @Heidi Belleau: Whoops, I do have a suggestion but it’s not a book completely like this. “Bride of the Rat God” by Barbara Hambly is set in early 1920s L.A. in the film industry. The heroine lost her husband to the war. It also has a strong paranormal/fantasy aspect in case that affects whether or not you’d want to read it. I did a review late last year.

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  5. Heidi Belleau
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 15:18:45

    @Jayne:

    Thanks Jayne, I’ll check that out! I love paranormal stuff (unless it’s a shifter thing… is it a shifter thing?)

    ReplyReply

  6. Jayne
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 15:27:48

    @Heidi Belleau: No, no shifters. Just an ancient, evil Chinese god.

    ReplyReply

  7. Heidi Belleau
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 15:50:14

    @Jayne:

    Ohhhh, now I’m even more intrigued!

    ReplyReply

  8. Liz Mc2
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 22:19:22

    I can think of so many good mystery series set during this period (Sayers–and maybe she’s why, just as Heyer may responsible for romance’s love of the Regency–Charles Todd, Barbara Cleverly, Jacqueline Winspear) but not much romance (Tamara Allen’s Whistling in the Dark and I think some other m/m). Which makes me think, m/m, inspirational and erotic romance seems to be set in a much wider range of historical periods than “mainstream” romance. What gives? I’ll read some of those, but I still feel cheated.

    ReplyReply

  9. SonomaLass
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 22:40:24

    I liked this better than Jayne did; I agree that the turnaround is sudden, but I was caught up enough in the characters to want it to be true. There’s certainly an issue with the measures Lindsay takes, as well, but I thought it showed her desperation; I have seen heroes given a pass on similar behavior in other romance novels. I love the time period, and it was well evoked in this short piece.

    ReplyReply

  10. Janine
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 22:46:31

    I have this TBR because I too love this setting.

    @Liz Mc2: I think it may be at least partly a sales consideration. The conventional wisdom is that certain settings sell better and I think the expectation with “mainstream” romance is that those books should net the profits that support the publication of less commercial books (including, possibly, the other genres you mention). At least, that’s one theory I have heard espoused.

    ReplyReply

  11. Jane Lovering
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 13:13:53

    How about Margaret James’ The Silver Locket? Heroine goes to be a nurse in WW1. Very good descriptions of nursing in the trenches, and a love story…

    ReplyReply

  12. Heidi Belleau
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 19:13:28

    @Jane Lovering:

    Oh a WWI nurse? Awesome!

    ReplyReply

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