Monday, December 15, 2008
Tempt the Devil **Advanced Book Review**
**SO NOT A FAN OF THIS COVER!!** :(
I have been a big fan of all of Anna Campbell’s books from the controversial Claiming the Courtesan, to Untouched, which had an interesting love story about a widow and her relationship with young man who never experienced physical love with a woman. Now with Tempt the Devil, she has written two characters who are on equal footing, perhaps not in society eyes, but when it comes to the bedroom, both her characters fight over the right to be on top. Julian and Olivia are both alphas who won’t back down from what they want. Julian wants Olivia’s total submission, where as Olivia just wants respect and the elusive joy that constantly escapes her ever she was forced into the lifestyle she hates because of the way she lost her innocence. Tempt the Devil is about forgiveness, trust and most importantly acceptance. If you are in the mood for a luscious and emotional read, Tempt the Devil is the book for you
Julian Southwood, Earl of Erith, has come back from Vienna to London, England for the marriage of his eighteen year old daughter. Julian has never gotten over the death of his young wife who he loved with such fervor, and because of that he does not have any relationship to speak of with both his daughter and son. Julian is also a man with intense sexual needs, and has the need for a mistress for the few months he will be residing in London. He sets his sights on Olivia Raines, who has quite the reputation of being London’s most notorious courtesan.
Olivia uses men for security and the money they bring to her. She allows Erith to be her protector for the moment, because she thinks she will be able to handle him, like all the other men that paid for the honor of bedding her. Erith thinks he will be able to break down her defenses to the point she will be craving his touch. Olivia is quite the skilled actress, especially in bed, and can give Erith what he needs even though she may not respond to his touch the way he expects her to. Olivia lays down some ground rules between them, such as no kissing and having as much freedom as she desires. Erith wants things his way and will not stop till Olivia is a pile of lust around him.
These two play an interesting cat and mouse game both in and out of the bedroom. Soon Erith is beyond obsessed with Olivia and wants not only her body, but her heart also. Olivia will not give into Erith because of her horrible past where another man ruined her for all other men, as well as a respectable life. Erith won’t allow Olivia to remain cold around him, and will use everything in his power to make her respond to his touch and the growing love he has for her. Erith thinks he can get Olivia to respond to him, even though her body can’t. The poor woman has never enjoyed sex and has emotionally blocked her mind and body from any pleasure she can received from a man. Erith decides he will be the man to break down these walls, and will make her come to the realization that she can let herself go with him.
Anna Campbell sure does write some of the most emotional and angst filled romances, and Tempt the Devil is no exception. The road to happiness between Julian and Olivia is a very long and hard one. Olivia fights tooth and nail against all that Erith is offering her. She is one of the most tortured heroines I have read this year, and at times, the way she and Julian interact with one another makes for some heavy and dark reading.
Julian is a character full of faults, which he realizes quite quickly due to his relationship with Olivia. He wants Olivia to confront her own issues and use him as support so they can have something worth while together. Olivia wants everything from Julian and that means marriage. But, Julian can’t give Olivia that even though he longs for her with every sense of his being. The scene where his daughter goes to confront Olivia, and where Julian finds them talking together will make most readers angry because of the way Julian acts. Olivia’s reaction is exactly as I would expect from her, and I couldn’t help but cheer Olivia because tells Julian to go to hell because she refuses to be degraded. And those who enjoy a good groveling scene, there is a nice one that Anna has written with Julian because of his fear of losing Olivia.
I would have to say that third time is a charm for Anna. Tempt the Devil was a very enjoyable read. The sex was pretty hot and Anna made her hero, Julian suffers very deeply because of Olivia’s indifference to him. Perhaps it was a bit evil on my part but I loved how Olivia wouldn’t fall for Julian’s charms. He was so dumbfounded, and because of that, he had to work for her heart. And when Olivia finally allowed herself to free and open with Julian, it is well worth it.
4 stars out of 5 stars