(although at this point I have to say, recently a good friend sent me an autographed to me copy of Lover Eternal - Rhage's story which I loved and gave a 5 out of 5. It is now resting on my special books book shelf - but that doesn't have much to do with this - I just had to brag about it)
So when we were talking not long ago about a book we had both recently read, I said how much I enjoyed it and she said it didn't work for her at all I was a little surprised. And then I thought of a different kind of review. Then I thought it would be even more fun to exchange reviews and debate the book.
So with that in mind, here we go
To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt
Pub. Date: May 2008
Series: The Legend of the Four Soldiers, #1
It’s no secret I loved Elizabeth Hoyt’s first three books. Also I think I may have mentioned that I came close to stalker-like when I ran into her in an elevator – thankfully I managed to restrain myself to save total and complete embarrassment.
I also thoroughly enjoyed her first effort with contemporaries in Hot by alter ego Julia Harper.
So when I started reading To Taste Temptation, I fully expected to love it. And guess what? I did. It's another winner for me for Elizabeth Hoyt.
But wait – this isn’t much of a review so I’ll continue. This is the first book in a series, The Legend of the Four Soldiers. The first soldier, Samuel Hartley is a self made man from the Colonies who fought in the war. He is haunted by what happened there and has come to
Samuel is delightful! He’s brash, he’s honest and he really doesn’t give a damn what society thinks of his odd ways. He is Very Strongly Attracted to Emeline and pursues her relentlessly.
Emeline, for her part is Very Strongly Attracted to Samuel, but she’s a snob, she’s elitist, she’s prickly as a pear and I thought she was a hoot. I don’t think she will be everyone’s favourite heroine – in fact I can see many not liking her, but I did. She’s a product of her times and her upbringing.
I love seeing Samuel get her going and getting her mad as a wet hen. He takes great delight in doing that too. They are thrown into each other’s company quite a bit when he hires her to help with his sister Rebecca.
He finally wears down her resistance and when he does – wow – the steam level left my windows fogged up. Of course afterwards, Emeline being Emeline claims that’s it – their brief affair is over. But Samuel isn’t good at taking no for an answer and relentlessly pursues her until she give in again – and then again in a country house party.
Now at this point sadly the book gets a bit of a down grading. You see, Emeline is practically engaged to her brother’s best friend – a man she loves but only as a friend of her brother’s. At this point, she runs away from Samuel and she and Vale, her brothers friend formally announce their engagement. From this point on, I admit, I would have liked to smack her a good one. Vale and Samuel had established a friendship and of course that went very quickly down the drain. Her stubbornness caused a great deal of pain for Samuel who I really enjoyed. Then later they have a final ‘one for the road’ so to speak and I thought another harder slap was in order.
But, things got straightened out – this is a romance of course and I happily finished the book.
There was also an interesting secondary story between Rebecca and O’Hare, one of the footmen employed by Samuel. I don’t know if Ms. Hoyt has something planned for them or not – but I kind of hope so.
There was another interesting thing of note about this book. In her previous trilogy, Ms. Hoyt told a series of fairy tales. She does the same thing with this book at the beginning of each chapter. Normally I tend to skip over the italicized writing at the beginning of chapters, but here as well as her other three books, I found the tale enchanting.
Final grade - 4 out of 5 stars
When I heard Elizabeth Hoyt was releasing a new book, I did a little jig and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Ever since she has come on the historical romance scene, I have been a huge fan and is one of those authors you can always count on. But unfortunately, with To Taste Temptation, this is not the case. To be blunt, this book was a huge disappointment for me and is my first of the year so far. This came very close to a DNF and it took a lot for me to finish. Maybe I kept soldiering on because of the sex scenes, which
Emeline Gordon is the woman to go to if you daughter or sister needs help being accepted by the Ton. She helps these young ladies dress, walk and act a certain way so they can find the husband that is suited for them. The one thing about Emeline that is positive is that she is a widow and has experience with sex. At least she is not those types of virgin widows who haven't had sex until the hero comes along. She is the perfect persona of womanhood, or so we are told. But her precious stoicism is about to come crashing down because of the brash American who wears Indian leggings comes into her life.
Samuel Hartley is wild, because hey, he is from the wilds of
But Samuel is not totally honest with Em. He is using her for a cover. He is trying to find the person responsible for betraying his troupe during a battle during the war which became a massacre and killed many of his men. Samuel was the Corporal in charge and it is his duty and because of his guilt that he must find this person and bring him to justice! So, Samuel finds some buddies who fought side by side with him and they trek through
Other than more creative sex between Sam and Em and the mystery that will be solved in under 400 pages, I seriously can't think of anything else to recommend. Perhaps my expectations were too high for an author who has delivered extraordinary work in the past?
Final Grade 2 out of 5 stars
KristieJ: OK first off - lets start with something we do agree with. She sure can write some hawt and steamy love scenes can't she?
KatieBabs: That is what kept me reading. Hoyt can sure write steamy sex. But again I had a problem with the chemistry. One minute Emeline is giving Samuel the cold shoulder, next she is about to be taken on the study floor.
KristieJ: I found it interesting that you mentioned Passion by Lisa Valdez cause I thought the same thing when I read it. Although I liked Ms. Hoyt's behind the curtain scene better
KatieBabs: That was my favorite scene in the whole book
KristieJ : I found her hot and cold nature interesting. I think she was fighting herself - as to what she really was as opposed to what society told her she should be
KatieBabs: Eh. I felt Emeline was too much of a cliché of many heroines I have read in the past. I am all for opposites attracting, but Em was just too cold for no reason
KristieJ: She shouldn't be so attracted to a rough Colonial - but she was. I do admit though she was a tad too cold, but then Samuel seemed to delight in ruffling her feathers
KatieBabs: How many times have we read about a British lady at odds with her feelings for the untamed American hero? I did like Samuel a lot. I felt he deserved a better woman
KristieJ: LOL for me not that many. I haven't been reading as many historicals these days as I used to
KatieBabs: This is going to sound harsh, but I kept thinking of Avonization when I was reading very much a paint by numbers read and Hoyt is so much more than that
KristieJ: Really? Interesting. I didn't get that and I am a huge opponent of Avonization. But then you read a lot of
KatieBabs: Maybe my expectations are too high after reading Kleypas, Bourne and now Meredith Duran? To Taste Temptation was missing something to keep my interest. I also felt Hoyt was trying to make Samuel more tortured than he should be
KristieJ: I thought he was a pretty jovial guy. He had a good sense of humour and he laughed a lot. He did have a rather tragic time of it before, but overall I didn't find him too tortured - not in the sense that he was moody and sour anyway.
KatieBabs: Not moody, but guilt ridden.
KristieJ: LOL - aren't most heroes in one way or another? That's what makes them so darned attractive
KatieBabs: seems to be. Not sure which ones I find more appealing. But imagine if you had a moody, sour, guilt ridden hero who is good in bed?
KristieJ: ROTFL - it always comes back to that doesn't it? Are you thinking perhaps Guy of Gisbourne?
KatieBabs: oh Guy, yes.... Mister chesty moody sex on a stick
KristieJ: We aren't going to go there in case I can't hear you
KatieBabs: *looks innocently at Kristie*
KristieJ: Did you read the fairy tale that started off each chapter? And if so - what did you think of it?
KatieBabs: I do like the fairy tale idea.
KristieJ: I think it's kind of cool that she carries them through all her books - since romance books are kind of like fairy tales for adults
KatieBabs: I will say that even though To Taste Temptation wasn't a book for me, I am interested to see where she goes with the next three books planned
KristieJ: I really liked this one. It had me on the edge of my seat - but I didn't really see how it tied in with the story the way they did in her previous trilogy
KatieBabs: I wonder if Vale will get his own book.
KristieJ: I'm thinking he will. Along with her friend - forget her name. I also wonder what she has planned with Elizabeth and the footman if anything.
KatieBabs: I believe there are 4 soldiers who get their own stories, like the four on the fairy tale she has
KatieBabs: Samuel's sister Rebecca and her footman?
KristieJ: why do I keep thinking
KatieBabs: Also I didn't understand the deal with Emeline's friend who wears brown and wants to be and look dull.
KristieJ: So - even though this one is a thumbs down for you, will you try her next book?
KristieJ: I'm sure we will find out *g*
KatieBabs: I will give her next book a go, but if it is like To Taste Temptation...
KristieJ: It's sad isn't it - saying goodbye to a former well loved author. I've done that more times than I care to remember. Gaelen Foley, Liz Carlyle, Mary Balogh to name a few
KatieBabs: Sorry, I give To Taste Temptation a big thumbs down and donate it to the library.
KristieJ): And I give it a thumbs up - with a couple of reservations about the heroine.