Lady Corinna is an aspiring artist who's passionate about painting portraits rather than the landscapes women of her era are expected to paint. However, since women aren't allowed to study anatomy, she is having trouble with every portrait she attempts.
A self-made businessman, Sean Delaney is forced by John Hamilton, his brother-in-law who is a famous artist, to pose as John himself to deceive the sickly earl Lord Lincolnshire. Even though he is the sole living heir to the Lincolnshire fortune and title, John expects Sean to keep up the charade until the old man dies, while he cavorts with a lover in London.
When the Earl asks Sean (believing he is his nephew) to paint his portrait, Sean resists. Lucky for him, Corinna offers to do the job.
While spending time together, Lady Corinna and Sean fall in love, but given Sean is not part of her social class the two are doomed.
The Art of Temptation is the last novel in Lauren Royal's Temptation Trilogy. Much has been said about Ms. Royal's work already and this book lives up to every word.
Besides being a well-researched, solid story with lively characters, Ms. Royal weaves chuckle-out-loud humor throughout. Along with the main story line, there are delightful subplots making the whole book thoroughly enjoyable.
My only reservation is the hard-to-believe premise that John Hamilton would actually blackmail Sean into being his impostor.
Although he had a bevy of beautiful admirers, all Sean Delaney cared about was securing a divorce-for his sister, that is. That's why he was impersonating John Hamilton, her famous painter husband. It was the only way the rotter would agree to a divorce. Little did Sean realize that duping Hamilton's dying uncle would require the help of the very woman who could inspire him to get down on one knee...