Mar 10, 11
Read from February 08 to March 05, 2011
Olivia Raines is London's most desired courtesan, and Julian Southwood, Earl of Erith, one of London's most notoriously rakish nobles. Olivia is tired of the courtesan's lifestyle and believes she is beyond finding true passion, but when Erith chooses Olivia as his new lover, Olivia gets more than she bargained for - Erith is a passionate lover who is only satisfied when he possesses her completely.
Firstly, I must admit, I've never read a Regency Romance before, so it's quite possible that some of the things I found unusual about this book are quite usual and common in the Regency Romance genre. Although romance isn't really my thing, I can certainly see the quality in the writing of this novel. The author beautifully evokes the feel of Regency London, with descriptive language and lush settings. She includes all the small detail about the social customs and mores of the time, that show she has done considerable research and is very familiar with the time. I found the differences in social attitudes between modern times and regency era quite interesting and engaging.
However I also found 'Tempt the Devil' to be extremely emotion driven - the majority of the text was concerned with how the characters felt about each other. While this gives great character development of the main characters, it was so focused on Olivia and Erith that the secondary characters didn't get much of a look in. Characters like Mountjoy, Roma (Erith's daughter) and Leo, although integral to the story, never seem to get a chance to shine as brightly as they could. I know that I don't know much about the romance genre and I'm sure you're thinking that emotion is the main purpose of romance, so, of course, the storyline will be emotion driven - and I'm sure you're right, it was just an unfamiliar form of storytelling to me, as my reading diet usually consists of Teenage fiction.
The focus on emotion - and the sex scenes - was so overriding that it felt at times like some of the plot development was missing. The novel seemed to jump from one angst ridden, steamy encounter between Olivia and Erith to the next, without a great deal in between. So, in one instance, they are breaking up and it's all very emotional, then in the very next scene Olivia is living in a cottage in the countryside! Although how she got there is gradually explained, the rapid shift of scene was a bit jarring and unexpected to me.
Overall though, Anna Campbell has woven some seemingly modern attitudes about sex and romance into this tale of a different time and place to give an enjoyable and engaging read for all fans of the Regency Romance genre. will I read another Regency romance? Well, I wouldn't rule it out - it was certainly more interesting than I expected - but I'm not sure that I have been totally converted to the romance genre just yet....