Taste of Temptation

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Taste of Temptation

A Novel of Sensual Destiny

Taste of Temptation by Cheryl Holt is the story of Helen Hamilton, a spinster who must face a terrible dilemma as she tries to support her two younger sisters following the death of their rakehell father.  Helen applies for the post of governess for Tristan Odell’s young sister Rose but Tristan decides that her beauty will attract the wrong kind of attention from Tristan’s younger brother, Michael, the earl of Hastings.  Desperate, Helen prepares to sacrifice herself and become a mistress for the highest bidder only to be rescued at the last minute by Tristan who claims her despite her protests.  Tristan installs Helen and her sisters into his household but struggles to juggle the proprieties, the jealousy of his female cousins, and the rising passions between himself and Helen as well as between his brother and Helen’s nubile sister Jane.  A potion seller and his sister add to the complications with their love concoctions, which seem to be more effective on the females than on the hedonistic male targets.  Several erotic interludes between the Hamilton sisters and their hosts may not be enough to bridge the difference between their respective classes and expectations but the youngest members of each family become sisters of the heart and do their best to ensure that the families form a permanent bond.

Ms. Holt continues her theme of magic love potions in this sequel to Promise of Pleasure.  The action is a bit too contrived and the inclusion of the potions is awkward even though it is ostensibly the reason for this novel’s inclusion in the trilogy.  Unfortunately, more empathy is developed for some of the secondary characters such as the children Rose and Amelia than for the major characters.  The potion-seller and his sister Clarinda are somewhat better characterized and one expects to see much more of them in the final novel which hopefully will flow a little smoother.  

Book Blurb for Taste of Temptation

USA Today bestselling author Cheryl Holt presents the second sizzling story in a bold new trilogy in which passion — and a few drops from a magical elixir — leads to the sensual education of an innocent governess...

Helen Hamilton is a twenty-five-year old spinster, with no income and no prospects, who struggles to care for her two orphaned sisters. Destitute and only a heartbeat away from the streets, Helen applies for a position as a governess to the younger siblings of Captain Tristan Odell, the oldest and illegitimate son of the notorious philanderer, Earl of Hastings. But when Tristan turns Helen away, her future seems as desperate as her options.

Determined to do whatever it takes to support her sisters, Helen ends up at a brothel, where she agrees to sell herself as a mistress to a client of wealth and prestige. She even drinks a potion to make men desire her — and is shocked when the man who buys her is none other than Tristan. He too is shocked — and aroused by the possibilities. He hires Helen, but offers her more than a position as governess. Enmeshed in an affair of unrestrained desire, their passion quickly grows, as does an unexpected danger that could soon destroy them both...

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2010 3.75