Title: Temptation's Darling
Author: Johanna Lindsey
Format: Kindle/Hardcover, 400 pages
Published: July 16th 2019 by Gallery Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey blends passion and humor in a dazzling Regency-era novel in which a disastrous debutante becomes the toast of the town with a little help from a friend of the Prince Regent’s.
Threatened by powerful enemies, William Blackburn, Earl of Ketterham, lives in exile in the Scottish Highlands with his daughter, Vanessa. When she comes of age, William urges her to return to her mother in England to make her debut. Raised with all the advantages and freedom a boy would have, Vanessa doubts she can fit into the mold of a proper young lady. Still, she agrees to re-enter fashionable society, determined to end the vendetta against her father, never imagining the high price she will have to pay.
Lord Montgomery Townsend enjoys living on the edge, courting danger as he fixes potentially scandalous problems for the Prince Regent. While hiding out at the home of the Countess of Ketterham, Monty watches a disaster-in-the-making as his hostess tries to prepare her estranged daughter for a match with the pompous son of a powerful family. Puzzled as to why independent-minded Vanessa submits to being turned into a puppet and wants to marry the arrogant rogue, Monty nonetheless steps in to make her dreams come true. But no good deed goes unpunished, and soon he faces more pressing problems, including the temptation to upend Vanessa’s wedding plans so he can marry her himself!
Temptation's Darling is a light and easy jaunt into the past with a sweet romance, amusing drama, and enticing characters.
Vanessa Blackburn has been raised by her exiled father for most her life in the wild's of Scotland, with all of the freedom that a boy might have. When she comes of age though, Nessi agrees to return to England and the society world of her mother, no matter how much she may resent it all. If she can find a way for her father to return to his homeland and have her family reunited once again, it will be worth it. Even if she has to pretend to be someone she is not and marry a man who hates her. On her journey to England, Nessi meets an intriguing trio. A questionable young king, a fascinating nobleman, and a quiet manservant. Little does she know that their destination is the same.
Johanna Lindsey has made a name for herself in the romance community for over forty years now, and it's not hard to see why. Temptation's Darling is a wonderful historical romance. Vanessa "Nessi" Blackburn is a young woman who just wants to right things for her beloved father. The Earl of Ketterham was exiled from England by another nobleman with threat of his family's ruination after a deadly duel. Her mother, Kathleen Blackburn's, deception is to blame and Nessi and her father will never forgive her. But all is not as it seems. When Nessi arrives to her mothers home she disguises herself as a boy, and what she spies of her mother and younger twin sisters is like a step back in time. It's not long before Nessi reveals her true self and finds herself embroiled in a scheme to win the heart of Rathban's heir, the heir of the same man who banished her father. However, Nessi's heart has other plans! The touch of family saga woven into the plot was delightful. I didn't care for Nessi's mother, even after everything was revealed, but I did enjoy her sisters.
Montgomery “Monty” Townsend is the youngest son of the Earl of Marlham and a self-proclaimed rogue. After a stint in the military, Monty has taken it upon himself to "fix" the Prince Regent's scandals to pass the time. When those scandals start catching up with him though, Prince George orders him to retire to the country with the Prince's young ward. On the road they're attacked by bandits and Monty finds himself being rescued by a very feminine young man. I loved the mystery behind the maybe-king from some far-off country that Monty was tasked with looking after. Him and his manservant added an enchanting amount of humor and intrigue to the story-line. I found myself laughing out loud several times from Charlie's antics. As for Monty himself, he is far from the rogue he appears to be on the surface. Right away there is a sizzling tension between him and Nessi. But Nessi is determined to set things right for her family, even if that means marrying a man that she doesn't love. She convinces Monty to tutor her in winning the attention of a fellow rake. It's not long though before things begin to heat up between these two, and Monty begins to regrets his compliance in Nessi's scheme. While Temptation's Darling is a tender lover story, it's a bit light on the love scenes which was disappointing to me as the other books I have read from this author were brimming with passion. I adored Monty though, especially the lengths he'll take to ensure Nessi's happiness, even if it doesn't mean his own. And the end? *dreamy sigh* So stinking sweet.
All in all, Johanna Lindsey has penned another fabulous story in Temptation's Darling with likable characters, entertaining banter, and a fun plot. If you're a historical romance fan, you should definitely give this one a go!