Pure Temptation

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Pure Temptation

As a romance, this feels more like a gothic romance then a paranormal one.  The ghost of Graystoke, Lady Amelia, is downright spooky and misleading.  Not to mention rather devious.  Jackson also fits the mold of a gothic hero moreso with his fits of temper, irrational jealousy, secrets and seduction as a way to quiet someone.  Moira, for all her bluster and intelligence, makes those silly mistakes that most reasonably sane people wouldn't.

The main problem with Pure Temptation is that it was released about a decade or so ago and fit the mold for historical romances of that time. It has the angry, possessive hero and brash, reckless heroine.  You also find smoldering passion and inevitable consequences with ridiculous obstacles baring their way to real happiness.  When Moira isn't questioning Jackson's admittedly questionable fidelity record, she's questioning his honor or his intentions or just questioning him outright.  Meanwhile she gets incensed if he so much as hints at questioning her word--except she lies to him every other sentence!

There is also a great many love scenes in the novel, that are certainly passionate, but lead to no lasting character development...at least as far as Moira is concerned.  Jackson tries, at every turn, to prove his love to her--forgives her an aggravating amount of sins committed towards himself and others, puts his life on the line saving her from her own idiocy countless times and yet Moira is dead certain that his feelings are transitory and he's just waiting for the next lush piece of flesh to tempt himself.

It’s an understatement to say I wanted to throttle Moira more often than not, but I would equally be happy throttling Jackson for putting up with her.  Not that Jackson is perfect--he did spend all of his adult life in debauchery and sin, only recently reformed thanks to his meddling ancestor ghost Lady Amelia. And his bouts of temper/jealousy are cringe-inducing.  Yet, he shows definite character growth due to his feelings for Moira.  I can't say the same for Moira and would even venture to say that their eventual understanding seems awkward and abrupt.

Book Blurb for Pure Temptation

Spirits could be so bloody unpredictable, and the specter of Lady Amelia was worst of all. Just when one of her ne’er-do-well descendents thought he could go astray in peace, the phantom lady always appeared to change his wicked ways.

A rogue without peer, Jackson Graystoke wanted to make gaming and carousing in London society his life’s work. And the penniless baronet would have gladly damned himself with wine and women–if Lady Amelia had given him the ghost of chance.

Fresh off the boat from Ireland, Moira O’Toole wasn’t fool enough to believe in legends or naive enough to trust a rake. Yet after an accident landed her in Graystoke Manor, she found herself haunted, harried, and hopelessly charmed by Black Jack Graystoke and his exquisite promise of…Pure Temptation.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2010 3.00