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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Review: The Taste of Temptation by Julia Kelly

I love it when I take a chance on a new to me author and find gems like this.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Star Books
Release Date: February 5, 2018

Only desperation could have driven Caroline Burkett to her brother’s home in Scotland, but desperate is exactly what she is. After suing her former fiancé for breaking their engagement and causing a scandal in the papers, her only hope of starting over is to enlist the help of Edinburgh’s famous matchmaker, Moira Sullivan.

Born to a butler and maid, Jonathan Moray fought hard to find his place in Edinburgh society. Now a powerful newspaperman, he can make or break a person’s reputation with his headlines, but Jonathan knows his success isn’t guaranteed. He needs salacious stories to keep his readers enthralled, and Caroline’s story is just the sort to sell papers in droves.

When Moira introduces Jonathan and Caroline at a salon, Caroline knows the editor is exactly the wrong man to associate with if she wants to find a husband and restore her reputation, but even as another, more suitable suitor begins to court her, she can’t deny the power of her attraction to Jonathan. Now she must ask herself if she’s strong enough to choose between the man who can give her a secure, quiet life, or the one who promises her a passion she’s never known.

What’s it About? Caroline Burkett created a scandal when she sued her former fiancée for breaking their engagement so she fled to her brother’s home in Scotland. Once there she’s desperate enough for a new start that she hires Edinburgh’s most famous matchmaker, Moira Sullivan. Moira then introduces her to the last possible man Caroline would ever consider for a husband: newspaperman Jonathan Moray. Jonathan is looking for something to put on his paper that will give his readers something no one else can and Caroline’s story is perfect. What starts off as a mutual mistrust and active dislike starts to turn into a fiery attraction that neither expected. But Caroline feels she must marry a respectable man to temper the fallout from her scandal and Jonathan is anything but ready to marry.

Overall reaction to the story? I was fascinated by the premise of The Taste of Temptation. A woman who sued her fiancée for breaking her engagement? I just had to get to know this woman! I wasn’t disappointed either, Caroline was strong but vulnerable and to pair her up with a man who makes it his life’s business to share secrets and news? It could have been a disaster but I liked Jonathan too! I’ve never read a book by Julia Kelly before but if this is a sample of her skills as an author then I’ll be picking up more books by her in the near future.

Describe the hero in five words: Stubborn. Determined. Intelligent. Lonely. Fair.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Before you judge Jonathan Moray by his profession, give him a chance to show what a good guy he is. Is he determined to get “The” story for his paper? Yes, he has to be, if not he’ll lose his livelihood and so will all the people who work for him. I liked that while he was so hell bent on getting his story he never crossed the line with Caroline or did anything remotely sleazy in order to force her to cooperate. I loved that the author highlighted Jonathan’s character by showing how ruthless and cutthroat his competitors could be towards Caroline. Jonathan wasn’t a pushover though and I liked the balance between hard hitting newspaperman and the everyday man. All this guy did was work and he needed a break from that just to be himself but at the same time I don’t think he knew who he was outside of the paper. I enjoyed his growth from an extension of the newspaper to an actual human with actual feelings.

Describe the heroine in five words: Stubborn. Determined. Intelligent. Gentle. Kind.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Caroline wasn’t made of steel. She didn’t go around bashing men for their treatment of her and there is actually a story to the lawsuit against her fiancée. I loved that Caroline had the guts to stand by her lawsuit but it did have its affects on her like it would a normal human being. I think Caroline avoided scandal as best as she could but she wasn’t going to let people browbeat her either. When she had to she could be quite the force to be reckoned with. My favorite thing about her though was the snarky side of her that would come out whenever Jonathan tried to ruffle her feathers. She was sharp but not cruel with her responses and she was honest enough to admit to herself that she felt more alive when she was matching wits with him. I also liked her vulnerable side, the side that felt she had to marry someone quickly before the scandal completely destroyed her.

Let’s talk about the romance: As enemies to lovers romances go, The Taste of Temptation was a good one. Jonathan and Caroline couldn’t be at more opposite ends of the scandal spectrum. He made a living off of scandal and she just wanted to put it behind her. While they certainly weren’t friends in the beginning, they weren’t hardcore enemies either. Jonathan never actually hated Caroline but he wasn’t exactly fond of her either. Caroline on the other hand couldn’t stand him and that animosity added some delicious chemistry between them. As their attraction grew and they constantly found themselves together, a mutual respect and admiration started to grow and I loved that about their relationship. By the time their emotions were engaged Jonathan and Caroline had built a solid foundation that had me totally rooting for them. He respected Caroline as a human and never treated her like property or some foolish woman who needed a man to care for her. Caroline learned to see the newspaper industry through a different point of view instead of just hers. I just loved these two as a couple.

How about that supporting cast? Since The Taste of Temptation is my first book by Julia Kelly I was unfamiliar with Jonathan’s friends but I enjoyed them so much that I know I just have to get the first book in this series.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Julia Kelly delighted me with her characters and had me falling in love with the romance between Jonathan and Caroline.

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