by Victoria VanePublished by: Entangled Publishing Publish Date: January 21, 2013 Genre: Historical Romance Source: E-Galley provided for review
Rory’s Rating: Blurb from Goodreads:
A reluctant heiress resigned to her fate… Mary Elizabeth Edwardes has one of the largest fortune’s in England, but has no desire to leave her quiet country existence… and even less to acquire a husband she cannot choose for herself.
A dissolute nobleman bent on retribution… Trapped in a duplicitous existence since scandal destroyed his fortune and family name, Lord Hadley Blanchard has spent the better part of a decade posing as a disaffected exile while spying and seducing in the service of the English Crown.
A dangerous game of seduction, and intrigue… When summoned from abroad by a former lover, Lord Hadley perceives an opportunity for vengeance at last. By employing the full measure of his seductive charm, he woos the ward of the man who destroyed his life, little knowing that winning Mary’s fortune will mean risking his own treacherous heart.
TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS was very much inspired by the dark and romantic novels of the 18th century in which virtue vs. vice and plots to despoil virgins were very popular themes, books like Clarissa Harlowe by Samuel Richardson or Les Liaisons Dangereuses by LaClos. Similar to these classic tales, my story features an innocent country girl who, unlike the former heroines, is neither insipid nor naive, but still inadvertently becomes a pawn in a deadly game of revenge and intrigue.
Oh my, where to start…Treacherous Temptations by Victoria Vane is a love it or hate it kind of novel. It took several days of rumination on my part before I could decide which camp I belonged too. Ultimately, I decided I loved it.
Mary Elizabeth Edwardes or “Molly” is a sensible country girl. She is also heiress to a large fortune she never particularly desired. She has also never desired to get married, as she adores her independent country lifestyle and detests society in London. Upon the death of her father, she learns the condition of his will. At 19, she will not inherit her fortune until she is 30 – unless she marries. Resigned to her duties as a woman, she agrees to seek a husband.
Lord Hadley Blanchard is the most debauched romantic lead I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Incest, betrayal, intrigue, defilement, squalor – Hadley’s done it all and then some. I will admit, Hadley’s black character initially made him hard to like. He’s not just a bad boy; his is the king of them. His initial arrogance and his corrupt intentions towards Molly, all while being intimate with his stepmother (not a spoiler, this is how the reader meets him), make him easy to hate. However, as the reader comes to learn the sympathetic circumstances of Hadley’s life, it becomes easier to see him in a new, more earnest light (and dare I say like him).
If you like your romantic leads with a villainous, bad boy streak, Treacherous Temptations might be for you. Hadley is not simply a wayward young man who enjoys women; he truly is a corrupted, selfish young man – with a chance at redemption. Molly is not just simply a country girl, she is intelligent, practical, and it is a bit of a relief when she calls Hadley on his terrible behavior. Am I the only one who ever gets annoyed when an otherwise intelligent woman throws herself at the feet of a good looking scoundrel? Please tell me I’m not. Molly’s sensibility and Hadley’s hidden vulnerability are the saving graces of this novel. Give it a chance, the writing is well done even if the plot lines can be a bit extreme at times. 4/5.