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    PJ Tastes Temptation
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  • Published: Apr 28th, 2008

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

Reviewed by PJ Ausdenmore
I love stars. I’m blessed to live away from city lights where, on clear nights, I can recline on my deck and be surrounded by magical, twinkling stars scattered across a dark, velvety sky. Some seem to blink, drawing my attention immediately, others are dim but grow in intensity as the night darkens and then there are stars that burst upon the sky with such brilliance and intensity that they simply take my breath away, but leave me wondering if perhaps they have spent their brilliance too quickly and will fade away that much sooner. Sometimes, a debut novel will leave me wondering the same thing.

Elizabeth Hoyt burst upon the romance fiction scene in late 2006 with the publication of THE RAVEN PRINCE and immediately captivated readers everywhere with her brilliant, emotional writing and engaging characters. If there were any questions of her ability to match the standard of excellence set with her first book they should have been answered with her next two releases, RITA nominated THE LEOPARD PRINCE and the much loved THE SERPENT PRINCE. But just in case you’re still wondering if Ms. Hoyt can continue to turn out amazing stories that engage our minds, warm our hearts and have us happily turning pages until the wee hours of the morning, wonder no more. With the publication of TO TASTE TEMPTATION, it’s clear that Elizabeth Hoyt is destined to be a star whose brilliance will continue to shine for many years to come.

“They say he ran away.” Mrs. Conrad leaned close to impart this bit of gossip.
With that first sentence, I was drawn into TO TASTE TEMPTATION and knew this story wouldn’t be relinquishing its hold on me anytime soon. The “he” to which Mrs. Conrad refers is Samuel Hartley, a brash, arrogant, wealthy self-made businessman from Boston who has come to London to secure a business deal with the fledgling Wedgwood pottery company. At his first London ball, Samuel contrives, no, demands an introduction to Lady Emeline Gordon, a model of haute ton propriety, and engages her services to chaperone his younger sister during their stay in England.

Samuel is a complex man, brash and bold in manner but hiding a tormented soul inside. Raised in the American wilderness, he joined the British troops as a tracker and was one of the few survivors of the massacre of the 28th Regiment, the same Indian massacre that claimed the life of Emeline’s beloved brother and so many other young men, the massacre that Samuel believes never should have happened and occurred only because someone betrayed them. And that is Samuel’s true purpose for being in London – to find the person who betrayed all those men, the men whose souls have haunted his dreams night after night, year after year, until his tortured mind is driven to the very brink of madness.

Emeline is no shy, retiring young miss but a self-sufficient widow with a rambunctious and curious young son. She is appalled by Samuel’s disregard for the rules of the ton while at the same time increasingly fascinated by the man himself. Who is this man who boldly places himself in her path at every turn, flaunts convention by wearing moccasins, of all things, to London balls, calls at her home at the ungodly hour of 8am when all of the ton knows you never call before 2pm, and runs the streets of London in the middle of the night as if the very demons of hell were nipping at his heels? Because of England’s strict separation of class and other reasons known only to Emeline, she is not free to pursue her growing attraction to Samuel yet she cannot bring herself to stay away from the only person who has ever looked beyond the face she presents to the world and seen the real person inside who longs to be set free.

Hoyt writes with such emotional intensity that I found my skin tightening, breath shortening and heart pounding as Samuel, the hunter, pursues and Emeline, the prey, evades as they continue to circle one another, growing closer and closer until that moment when desire will not be denied and they finally come together in a blazing explosion that sets the pages of this book on fire.

This story is populated with a wonderful cast of secondary characters who bring richness and complexities to the many layers within. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of them in future books in this series.

Will desire turn to love for Emeline and Samuel? Will love be enough for Emeline to turn her back on her obligations? Will Samuel find the betrayer? You’ll have to read TO TASTE TEMPTATION to discover the answers but clear your schedule first. This is a book you won’t be able to put down!

15 Responses to “PJ Tastes Temptation”

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  1. Buffie
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 4:50 am

    Wow, PJ!! It sure sounds like I need to buy this book!!! I so love a tortured hero.

  2. MaryKate
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 6:08 am

    Mmmm, this hero is RIGHT up my alley. Wonderful review as usual, PJ!

  3. Marisa
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 6:14 am

    Sounds like this book needs to be on my list this afternoon when I go to the bookstore. I just love a strong heroine.

  4. keoweegirl
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 6:31 am

    Thanks, MK! I had fun writing this review. When I love a book as much as I did this one the words just flow.

    Buffie and Marisa, I hope you’ll give this one a try. It’s such a terrific story!

    Samuel is an awesome hero and Hoyt has this amazing ability to put the reader right into the minds of her characters. There’s a scene during a particularly crowded ball where I could feel every single emotion Samuel was grappling with. Sam is also very sexual. I swear, if I could have torn myself away from the book (I couldn’t) I would have been tearing through the house in search of fans…or in a cold shower. 😉

  5. Maria
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 7:02 am

    I’m with Buffie – the tortured hero. Love them, can’t get enough. And I so enjoy Elizabeth Hoyt’s work, this will be a must read for me this month.

  6. Manda
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 8:39 am

    Great review, PJ! As I’ve already told you I loved TTT and am glad to see that someone else did too. I really was blown away by The Raven Prince and she just keeps on getting better. I can’t wait for the next one in this series.

  7. Stacy ~
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 3:03 pm

    Awesome review. I have her Prince trilogy in my TBR pile, and I think I need to read these ASAP and get my hands on this one as well.

  8. keoweegirl
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 4:32 pm

    You’re in for a real treat, Stacy. Hoyt writes beautiful stories.

  9. keoweegirl
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 4:34 pm

    Manda, like you I’m excited about the next book in this series. I wonder if we share the same thought on H/H of book #2? 🙂

  10. Irisheyes
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 4:42 pm

    Wow, PJ, awesome review. Elizabeth Hoyt should put you on her payroll! LOL I read The Raven Prince and loved it, her other 2 are on my TBR pile, but it looks like TTT is jumping ahead of them. The story sounds fascinating. I like tortured heroes, but I love widows more… you just never know what secrets they’re hiding. I’m also a sucker for any story with kids.

    Great job on the review!!!

  11. Janga
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 6:25 pm

    PJ, what a wonderful review! You made me even more eager to read TTT. Hoyt is a marvel, isn’t she?

  12. keoweegirl
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 7:11 pm

    Irish, you have some fantastic reading ahead of you! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment! 🙂

  13. keoweegirl
    on Apr 29th, 2008
    @ 7:13 pm

    Thanks, Janga. You’re right, Hoyt is a marvel. She became an autobuy for me after The Raven Prince and has solidified that status even more with each subsequent book. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. AndreaW
    on Apr 30th, 2008
    @ 8:42 am

    I love Elizabeth Hoyt’s books and I love your review, PJ! I’ll be picking this one up tomorrow. Can’t wait!

  15. Longaberger Products
    on May 22nd, 2008
    @ 1:19 pm

    Longaberger Products…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

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