Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: Too Tempting to Resist by Cara Elliott

Click here to buy the book on Amazon

I discovered Cara Elliott through her Circle of Sin series and was fascinated by her very unconventional group of women. I loved the idea of the "sinners" -- of women with such unique talents and knowledge that society has seen this as a sort of transgression.

The heroine of the second book in her Lords of Midnight series, Too Tempting to Resist reminds me of the ladies of the Circle. Lady Elisa Brentford is a very talented botanical painter who secretly accepts commissions to illustrate books. She is saving her earnings, hoping to have enough to buy a small cottage somewhere and finally break free from her brother's extravagance and foolishness. In the meantime, she is busy trying to keep said brother out of debt and out of trouble.

During one such mission, she finds herself at The Wolf's Lair and face-to-face with the Marquess of Haddan, the man her brother admires and wants to emulate. Eliza wants to hate Gryffin Dwight and everything he stands for, but she also can't help but be fascinated by this incredibly handsome, incredibly powerful man who doesn't seem to care about Society's rules.

Will passion overcome good sense? That seems to be the case with Eliza, especially when she encounters Gryffin again at her brother's house party. Gryffin may have accepted Lord Leete's invitation but he's really there to view the landscape designed by the famous Capability Brown -- research for his book.

Our hero and heroine both have secrets that they want to keep secret from one another but things take a downward (and dangerous) turn for Eliza when her brother and his friend, Lord Brighton hatch a plan which involves Eliza's talent.

Too Tempting to Resist is the second book in Cara Elliott's Lords of Midnight series. I have to admit I approached this book with a lot of reservation because I didn't like how this series started and I thought the nicknames of the 3 heroes were a bit trite (Wolfhound, Bloodhound, and Hellhound) but I still decided to get the rest of the series because, despite the nicknames, the greatest draw of each story is the hero, the interesting backstory and the potential for character development.

I liked the idea that Gryff, renowned rake and libertine was actually an aspiring writer and his main area of expertise was gardening. The truth is, the Hellhound is tired of his hell-raising life and would love to retire quietly and write. I didn't see any obstacles to this: he and his friends have gained a reputation for breaking the rules and I wondered why he didn't just drop everything to pursue his passion. Is it pride? Is it ego? I'm not sure -- but it was certainly a strong enough reason that he didn't divulge his secret hobby with his two friends.

Eliza's reason for secrecy is easier to understand: she needs to protect her one source of income from her brother. The minute her brother would discover her talent, she knows that she would forever lose the future dream that she has been saving up for.

Gryff's entry into Eliza's life is an interesting development for both of them and I was initially delighted with how flustered and undone Gryff felt when he was around Eliza and vice versa. These are two people who were used to being in control of their lives and their emotions but, around each other, they seemed to lose their heads -- what I didn't like so much was the constant apologies that happened after each indiscretion. Once would have been fine, but more than three and it got a bit repetitive -- and also slowed down the story immensely, so much so that the blackmail part of the story happens in the last third of the story.

Cara Elliott does intrigue very well and I wish she had devoted more time to developing the story between Eliza, Lord Leete (her brother) and Lord Brighton. I thought that Leete and Brighton were involved in a very sinister plot and I was compelled to read to find out how Elliott would resolve this.

This book was uneven, in terms of tone and plot: there were lots of moments of brevity and lighthearted exchanges but the sudden shift to dark/dangerous was a bit too jarring. My initial expectation was that this book would focus on the unconventional courtship between our hero and heroine, so the introduction of the intrigue was a bit of a surprise -- a good one, which I thought saved this book and made me pick up the last book in the series, which I will be reviewing next. ^_^

Too Tempting to Resist is book 2 in Cara Elliott's Lords of Midnight series. To find out more about Cara Elliott and her books, click below:


Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...