Temptation & Twilight
Published by Harlequin HQN
400 pages (it would be better if it were less than 300)
Available on Amazon.com.
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
2 / 5 cupcakes
First, let’s be real clear: this book has nothing to do with vampires. So those of you searching for the latest in Edward and Bella’s romantic travails (and really it is time to LET THEM GO, especially since the unfortunate portmanteau of Renesmee) need to keep on keeping on.
Temptation & Twilight is part of a series about the Brethren Guardians (the others are Pride & Passion and Seduction & Scandal, which I did not read and I had no problems understanding this one), a trio of men related to the Knights of the Templar. Iain Sinclair, the Marquis of Alynwick, is one of the Brethren, which are under siege by Evil Forces out to destroy them – or at least make them miserable and make money off of them. There are some red herrings thrown in your way about who the bad guy is, and ultimately it is someone completely out of left field. Maybe if I read the first two it would make sense? Because it didn’t.
But this being a Hot Romance Novel, let’s hit on that element, shall we?
Lady Elizabeth York and Iain were lovers when she was 19 and he 21, and now, 11 years later, neither can shake off the feelings they still have for each other. He left her lo those many years ago, and at some point in this book you find out why. They are wildly attracted to each other, even if Lizzy fights her feelings at every turn.
Oh – and there is one more eensy problem: Lizzy is blind. Yep. She can’t see, and while everyone around her is just peachy about the whole thing, Iain makes one wrong move after another. Elizabeth pretends to be all “I’m just hunky dory with the whole blindness thing,” but really she is not. She’s pissed off, quite frankly, and hurt.
Iain wants Lizzy back, but then Lord Julian Sheldon appears and mucks up the whole thing. He’s an archaeologist who has studied the Brethren, and he and Lizzy (whose brother is a Brethren – GET IT? HAHAHA – and one of Iain’s partners) hit it off. Iain is not amused, and he angles to bust up that budding relationship. He hopes that because he is not 21-year-old stupid boy any longer, he can get Lizzy back in his arms.
He tried to think of a way to make it right. To make it so that Elizabeth could trust him, would hear him out. He was not the man he’d once been. He’d changed, and would change more, too, if she would only give him a chance. There needed to be some sort of bridge between them, an olive branch that would help to pave the way to forgiveness. He had to ensure that the connection they once shared flickered back to life, binding them, before he could begin discussing the reasons why he had failed her.
That passage illustrates what bothers me about this book: it is long, repetitive, and tells rather than shows. We are told SO MANY TIMES that Iain feels badly over how he treated Elizabeth and how he just HAS to let her know that he still loves her, people! And we are told that Elizabeth still cares for him, but she is HURT and she has NOT FORGOTTEN how he left her after he rocked the headboard with her.
The mystery part – who is out to get the Brethren – is another problem. Oh, are you told about those Brethren. You get a whole history lesson. Which is fine and all, but this is a HOT ROMANCE NOVEL, not a history book, and a little goes a long way. Well, a little history, but not a little hot lovin’. The sex scenes are tantalizing and detailed, and we like that. More, please.
This book is just underwhelming. That’s the best word I can use for it. Lizzy is delightful, if not a little up her own ass, but she’s blind, and I guess I’d be a little bitchy if I couldn’t see. Iain is supposed to be an alpha male, but he comes off like a boor. There are better books – and better characters, certainly better heroes – out there.