TASTE OF TEMPTATION by Cheryl Holt

Helen Hamilton is a twenty-five-year-old spinster with no income and no prospects who struggles to care for her two orphaned sisters. Destitute and only a heartbeat away from the streets, Helen applies for a position as a governess to the younger siblings of Captain Tristan Odell, the oldest and illegitimate son of notorious philanderer the Earl of Hastings. But when Tristan turns Helen away, her future seems as desperate as her options.

Determined to do whatever it takes to support her sisters, Helen ends up at a brothel, where she agrees to sell herself as a mistress to a client of wealth and prestige. She even drinks a potion to make men desire her — and is shocked when the man who buys her is none other than Tristan. He too is shocked — and aroused by the possibilities. He hires Helen, but offers her more than a position as governess. Enmeshed in an affair of unrestrained desire, their passion quickly grows, as does an unexpected danger that could soon destroy them both…

SPOILER SUMMARY: This was published in June 2010 by Berkely. This is book two in the Sensual Destiny trilogy. I didn’t enjoy it at all and rate it 2 stars/D.

The story takes place in London, England in 1814. The hero is 30 year old Captain Tristan Odell, Earl of Hastings, who has dark hair. The heroine is 24 year old Helen Hamilton, who has auburn hair and green eyes. She supports her two younger sisters, 12 year old Ameila and 18 year old Jane. Tristan lives with his younger, legitimate 18 year old brother, Michael, who is heir to the estate. Michael is tall, blond and blue-eyed. He, Tristan and younger sister Rose have the same father.

Helen applies for a job as governess to Tristan’s 12 year old sister, Rose. She’s not given the job at first but later is hired. Helen’s two sisters move in Tristan’s home. Jane begins a sexual relationship with Michael and Helen and Tristan begin one. Not much goes on in this book. Lydia is a house maid who likes Michael. She discovers he’s got a relationship going on with Jane and becomes very jealous. She tells on them and Jane, Helen and Amelia get thrown out of the house. They’re to live somewhere else until they know if Jane is pregnant by Michael. The book was so uninteresting to me that I won’t go into details. It’s stated many times throughout the story that Helen is 24 years old yet the synopsis says she’s 25.

MY THOUGHTS: What ties each book in this series together is the man who sells the love potions and his sister. They’re in this book much more than in the previous one. This book is too similar to the previous one and just as terrible. Both feature a poor hero or heroine who goes to live with a wealthier person and brings others with them. Both books are two ‘love’ stories in one. Both books have a jealous female who’s out to get revenge on the heroine simply because they’re jealous of the heroes affection for them. Both sets of hero and heroine get their unbelievable happily-ever-after at the end. I’ve decided that I won’t be reading any future books by this author. I do have most of her other ones and it’ll be interesting to see how her first two historicals, which were published ten years ago, compare to this series. Something tells me they’ll be better.

Other books by Cheryl are:

  • The Way of the Heart 2000-01
  • Meg’s Secret Admirer(ss) 2000-01
  • My Only Love 2000-04 
  • Mountain Dreams BQ-0071BQ-71 CR 2000-11
  • My True Love 2001-03
  • Love Lessons 2001-10
  • Total Surrender 2002-07
  • Absolute Pleasure 2003-02
  • The Wedding Night(ss) R 2003-07
  • Complete Abandon 2003-09
  • Deeper Than Desire 2004-03
  • More Than Seduction 2004-08
  • Further Than Passion 2005-03
  • Too Hot to Handle 2005-10
  • Too Tempting to Touch 2006-03
  • Too Wicked to Wed 2006-09
  • Secret Fantasy 2007-03
  • Forbidden Fantasy 2007-09
  • Double Fantasy 2008-03
  • Promise of Pleasure 2010-04
  • Taste of Temptation 2010-06
  • Dreams of Desire Dec-2010

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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