Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blog Tour: Treacherous Temptations by Victoria Vane (Review + Giveaway)



Love Saves the World is pleased to welcome back one of my favorite authors, Victoria Vane, who is currently on tour for her book, Treacherous Temptations.

Three lucky winners get to choose from any of Victoria's backlisted books as well as a poster and one grand prize winner receives an e-book of Treacherous Temptations and gets to pick a scene from the book to be illustrated on their own poster! (4 winners in all!)

To visit Victoria's other stops, click here.

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About the book

Blurb:

A reluctant heiress resigned to her fate ... Mary Elizabeth Edwardes has one of the largest fortune's in England, but has no desire to leave her quiet country existence ... and even less to acquire a husband she cannot choose for herself.

A dissolute nobleman bent on retribution ... Trapped in a duplicitous existence since scandal destroyed his fortune and family name, Lord Hadley Blanchard has spent the better part of a decade posing as a disaffected exile while spying and seducing in the service of the English Crown.

A dangerous game of seduction, and intrigue ... When summoned from abroad by a former lover, Lord Hadley perceives an opportunity for vengeance at last. By employing the full measure of his seductive charm, he woos the ward of the man who destroyed his life, little knowing that winning Mary's fortune will mean risking his own treacherous heart.




To buy the book:

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My review

From the first chapter, Victoria Vane sweeps us into this no-holds-barred view of the moral and political corruption during the reign of George II -- with the lives of Mary, Hadley, Lady Barbara and Sir Richard mirroring the atmosphere of that time.

Hadley, Lord Blanchard was hedonistic as a young lad but the years of exile abroad forced him grow up. When he returns to England, he presents an insouciant facade but he keeps within him a newly-reformed soul and the determination to regain his birthright. It is convenient for Hadley when he discovers that the woman his stepmother wants him to seduce is the very same ward of Sir Richard, the man he suspects of ruining his father. Hadley's relationship with his step-mother, Barbara, Lady Blanchard, reminded me of Valmont and Isabelle in Les Liaisons Dangereuses and how they preyed on Mary and her fortune. (In the author's notes, Vane makes mention of the novel as inspiration for Treacherous Temptations.)

Barbara is amoral, desperate and depraved. When her husband died and their name ruined, she was left with a small annuity but this has not stopped Barbara from chasing after her ambitions. Very little is known of Barbara and her past -- from the prologue, we already know that she is the rotten core in this particular barrel of apples -- she is unrepentant in her wickedness (and I think she actually delights in it).

In contrast, Mary is the embodiment of innocence and purity in this story. Left alone after the death of her father, Mary has no choice but the rely on her guardian, Sir Richard who is seeking to marry her off so that she (and he) could claim her inheritance and to trust Lady Barbara who was tasked by Sir Richard to prepare her for London society. Early in the story, she seems helpless and caught in the ambitions and greed of her guardian. It was a bit frustrating at times reading about Mary and her naivete and helplessness (read Chapter Six when Mary is being instructed by a French dance teacher) -- but, as the story progressed, we see that, while she allows certain things to happen, she is very clear about what she doesn't want.

She stared back at him, her body filled with the want he had described, but common sense held her surrender at bay. "Love? Don't speak of love to me. You describe meaningless pleasure. It has nothing to do with love!"

He gave her a roguish smile. "Pleasure is never meaningless, my sweet."

"Nevertheless, you cannot convince me that the mere joining of two bodies is love."
- p. 110

Barbara and Hadley use sex and seduction as weapons and as means to an end -- it is ironic that while Hadley sets out to seduce Mary, he is being seduced as well by her innocence. Mary gives of herself and expresses of her heart, purely with no motive or malice. Her earnestness proves to be Hadley's undoing -- and also his redemption.

... Her gold-flecked eyes were soft with wonderment, trust -- and another emotion that made his chest constrict until he thought his heart would burst -- love.
- p. 194

Added to the romance between Hadley and Mary, the author also portrays vividly the political machination and maneuverings during this period. The tone of Treacherous Temptations is very different from Vane's very popular Devil DeVere series -- while the DeVere series is light and fun, Treacherous Temptations explores the darker aspect of society. There is a theatrical/cinematic/very dramatic quality to Vane's writing and it is evident in this novel: the way she eloquently creates the hostile atmosphere that Mary finds herself in, as well as the dark tangled web of Barbara and Sir Richard's treacherous plotting and scheming showcases the author's range, expertise and knowledge of the period.

This was an engrossing read, what propels you forward is the need to know whether good (and goodness) will triumph over evil -- I couldn't put the book down until I finished it. ^_^


Disclosure: I received a copy for review as part of the book tour. (Thank you to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity.) Yes, this is an honest review.

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Giveaway!

Three lucky winners get to choose from any of Victoria's backlisted books as well as a poster and one grand prize winner receives an e-book of Treacherous Temptations and gets to pick a scene from the book to be illustrated on their own poster! (4 winners in all!)

To visit Victoria's other stops, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


To contact Victoria Vane:
Victoria’s website: http://authorvictoriavane.com
Victoria on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Victoria-Vane/200674963333811
Victoria on Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorvictoriav

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