Forbidden passion is the ultimate temptation…
Captain William Langley knows the ocean well, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers adrift on the cold Irish Sea. The tiny boat carries two passengers: a child—and Meg Donovan, Will’s long-lost love. Meg’s disappearance at sea eight years ago was a devastating blow. Now she’s back, as beautiful as ever, and with secrets as deep as Will’s own...
After years held captive by a cold-blooded pirate, Meg has finally escaped with little Jake, the boy she’s come to love as if he were her own. But the pirate wants his revenge—and Meg must do whatever it takes to shield Jake from the madman. Determined not to lose Meg again, Will vows to protect them both, yet Meg can’t risk putting the only man she’s ever loved in danger. With the threat to her safety growing, and her passion for Will burning brighter every day, surrendering herself to Will might be a pleasure too tempting to resist . . .
From the moment I read William Langley's reaction to the news that his beloved had been lost at sea, I desperately wanted to see him get his happy ending. The love that this man had for Meg Donovan and the devastation he felt upon finding out her twin was impersonating her just left me feeling heart broken for him.
So when I read that Meg was in fact, not dead, merely missing for 8 years, I was ecstatic and of course, super impatient to get my hands on Pleasures of a Tempted Lady. I couldn't wait until Will and Meg were reunited and see what obstacles they would have to face on the road to their happy ever after. I love stories of long lost loves being reunited after years apart, you have the potential for a really great story.
If there's one thing I've learned about author Jennifer Haymore, it's that she's damn good at writing "second chance at love" stories. Just read A Hint of Wicked or Confessions of an Improper Bride (Book 1 in the Donovan Sisters series featuring Meg's twin Serena) if you don't believe me.
Of course, there's always that bit of anxiety that the magic that was present in the first few books won't be there in the next book. I had very high hopes that Pleasures of a Tempted Lady would be filled with conflict, emotion, humor and passion.
I was not disappointed. It was more than I expected it to be. Jennifer Haymore introduced Will and Meg in Confessions of an Improper Bride as secondary characters, made them fall in love, ripped them apart from each other, and then eight years later reunited them but as older, wiser and in Meg's case, tougher characters. It was definitely an experience watching these two get to know each other all over again.
There is definite character growth in Pleasures of a Tempted Lady as expected, but the amount of growth is a pleasant surprise. Meg's growth allowed her to not only survive her years at the hands of a cold blooded pirate but also to develop the courage to flee and ultimately survive and find love again with the one man she never forgot.
Emotionally, this book is a roller coaster and I enjoyed all the ups and downs. The angst and longing between Will and Meg was bittersweet and heart wrenching, making Pleasures of a Tempted Lady more than your average historical romance novel.
I had some concerns about William Langley at first. He seemed too perfect. It's clear he fell in love with Meg from the start and was devastated when she was presumed dead but for him to be a paragon of virtue for eight solid years seemed a little too far fetched. Luckily, or unluckily for our hero, his biggest secret, which was revealed in Confessions of an Improper Bride, was re-introduced into Pleasures of a Tempted Lady and made Will more realistic and human. Well done.
Sometimes in a book, there are far too many conflicts that the book becomes bogged down with problem after problem that the main couple has to face. I am so glad that this wasn't the case with Pleasures of a Tempted Lady. There is one main, physical conflict and that is the pirate chasing after Meg. He is the one real threat to Meg's life, and provides the pushes and shoves that force Will and Meg to deal with the changes in their lives and personalities and to fight for a future together.
Along with Will and Meg's story is the youngest Donovan sister's love story, though it reads more as a quick novella. While I would have loved for Jessica to have her own book instead of being a secondary love story like Phoebe was in Secrets of an Accidental Duchess, I understood why it wouldn't have worked.
All in all, I loved Pleasures of a Tempted Lady. It had more raw emotion from the lead characters than the other books in the series. Rather than being about passion between two people, it was more about long lost love, reuniting and rekindling that love and being ready to sacrifice everything for the one you love.
Thank you NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the ARC.
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