Tempting a Devil
Author: Samantha Kane
Publisher: Random House/Loveswept
Publication Date: July 9, 2013
As wealthy and beautiful as she is desperate, Harriet Mercer can have any man she wants—which makes picking the worst of the lot quite easy. By convincing the ton she is a ruined woman, Harry hopes to outwit the greedy, conniving cad blackmailing her into a loveless marriage. Roger Templeton is a rogue with a scandalous reputation, no expectations, and no shame. He is perfect for Harry’s fall from grace. Her brazen attempts at a very public seduction are delightful fodder for gossip . . . and pure torment for Roger. With his pockets as empty as his heart, Roger is in no mood for games and decides to show Harry how foolish it is to tempt a devil. But behind her mesmerizing golden eyes, he sees something unexpected: a woman in trouble. Her scandalous behavior would be amusing if he wasn’t captivated by her lush, curvaceous beauty. Worse, every libertine bone in his body has turned traitorously noble. Only a rake would seduce her. But only a gentleman in love can save her.
I’d never read anything by Ms. Kane, so decided to give this a try, since it fell in one of my favorite genres (historical romances). Overall, I have to say it was a decent book. Harriet (Harry) has a plan to avoid getting forced into marriage with a man who could ruin her with the town (it’s not a spoiler to admit that the villain fathered Harry’s child because Harry’s husband, Lord Mercer, was incapable since it comes out in the first few chapters). The villain wants Harry because she’s got Lord Mercer’s entire fortune and his family is demanding he find a well-bred and well-reputationed woman to settle down with. Harry, in an effort to avoid that, wants to ruin herself by having an affair despite a distaste for the bedroom thanks to said villain’s sex.
When she tries to lure a man, distaste for her potential lover maeks her change her mind, which the man doesn’t like and she runs into Roger, who she promptly tries to seduce and he willingly goes along…until they discover they’re old childhood friends.
As time passes, Roger resists temptation, at first because it would be a come down in the world since it would be abhorent for a man to marry for money (because he’d be a fortune hunter), and then for a very brief time, because he thinks she married for money/status, and that doesn’t sit well either.
This had a very unusual ending to my mind, because of the choice Roger makes in order to make himself feel worthy/acceptable as a mate for Harry, and as part of his attempt to woo her once she realizes she’s afraid of being married again. That’s probably why I end up liking it more than simply dismissing it as a meh, mediocre book.
They deal with the villain in a most satisfactory way, though I thought the actual “dealing with” was a bit overdramatic with what nearly happens (two things) to Harry in the process, buuuut the villain definitely got what was coming to him. So yay Harry and Roger!
There was a nice secondary cast of characters, some of whom I sincerely hope get their own books later on.
So – new author to me, Samantha Kane, will definitely go on my list of “check out her books” list, but not at the top. A 3-star read for me.
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.