Don't Tempt Me
by Loretta Chase
It's still amazing to me that after so many years, and so many wonderful books, Loretta Chase can write such riveting stories with unusual characters. Don't Tempt Me is no different, and except for one minor flaw, the book is everything any reader could want.
Zoe Octavia Lexham is trouble with a capital T. Hating authority, and being a bit wild, she was always running away as a child in an effort to escape the rules and strictures that bind her. Lucien de Grey, her dearest childhood friend, was the only one to ever understand and manage her wild ways. But Lucien wasn't around when Zoe went missing in a foreign country when she was 12 years old. The scandal of Zoe's disappearance is something that the ton still talks of 12 years later, so when she appears all grown up and more beautiful and troublesome then ever, Lucien once again needs to step in and manage her. But Zoe isn't a little girl anymore. Having lived in a harem for the past 12 years she knows a thing or two about men, and when she decides that Lucien is the only one for her - well he doesn't stand a chance against temptation.
I adored this book. Zoe's unorthodox upbringing in a harem has turned her already unique personality into something that both shocks and delights. I had a little trouble believing she would still be a virgin, but was able to set this aside with a tiny shrug.
Lucien is really the star of this book. He's lost everyone he's ever cared about, and with the return on Zoe, someone more dear to him then he likes to admit, his world is being turned on its ear. His emotional journey kept me turning the pages as he comes to realize what everyone around him already surmised - that Zoe was made for him.
My one concern with the book was something that is becoming de rigour in romance novels these days, and something that I don't like at all. That's the "crazy" villain who is thrown in at the end of the book to bring the two characters together. I have to say that not only did the story NOT need this, but it pulled me right out of the book. I love my villains, but these new throw-away, insane, ones that authors are writing are lame.
Bottom line:If not perfect - a great read that will happily sit on my Keeper shelf.
“Another unique story and wonderful read from Loretta Chase.”
July 2009, 384 pages
Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains.
That's the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she's shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She's a walking scandal, with no hope of a future . . . unless someone can civilize her.
Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor. He's cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women. He charms, seduces, and leaves them - with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears. But good looks, combined with money and rank, makes him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe's risque reputation . . . if the wayward beauty doesn't lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both.