Author: Jennifer Haymore
Series: Book #3 in the Donovan Sisters series
Release Date: 31 July 2012
Number of pages: 286 pages
Source: ebook provided by publisher through NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle store, Book Depository
Grade: 3.5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: 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.
The Donovan Sisters series is about the five Donovan sisters: Serena and Meg, Olivia, Phoebe and Jessica. Pleasures of a Tempted Lady is the story of Meg (and Jessica) as all the other sisters have already found their happiness in previous books.
Even though I like reading series in order when I read the blurb of Pleasures of a Tempted Lady I knew I wanted to read it: long lost lovers, sailing through the seas, pirates and thrilling action, I was up for it!
The story was nice, progressing at a good pace, and I liked both the hero and heroine, though of course it was the hero, Will who really stood out for me. He was wonderful: he carried a torch for Meg, the woman he fell in love with and wanted to marry for more than eight years and mourned her since he learned she presumably died at sea. I loved Will's honour and integrity and how deep his respect ran for Meg:
He stared at her thigh for a long moment, his gaze raw with hunger, then he slowly dragged his head up to look at her. She saw something else in his eyes, however, something deeper than hunger. Pain. Her fingers loosened, and her skirt fell to the floor. Her heart swelled in her chest, on the verge of breaking apart. “What’s wrong?” Her voice was a croaking whisper.
“I want you . . . God.” He pushed a harsh hand through his hair. “But not like this.” He took a deep breath, and when she was silent, he continued, “I’ve told you before— I don’t want a liaison. I want something more. I want a partnership. A wife. Someone who will offer me her love and trust without boundaries or conditions.” She stared at him, her eyes burning. “I can’t accept a partner who doesn’t look at me as I look at her. Who won’t trust me, share her deepest thoughts and fears with me, and who won’t turn to me first when something is wrong.” He shook his head. “I cannot—I won’t—do it.”
We learn about a past mistake of his, but I have to say I was even a bit glad to discover he had some skeleton in his closet otherwise he would have been way too perfect. I loved how he viewed Meg as his equal, a partner and did not want a wife to be his chattel:
“I don’t want to rule your life, Meg,” he said soberly. “I just want to be a part of it.”
Although the writing flew smoothly I believe the story could have done with stricter editing. In scenes we were often told of the innermost thoughts of several characters (not just the hero and heroine, but all the sisters and their husbands) giving the reader a more nuanced understanding of the scene but also making the narrative more fractured as it became unclear whose POV we were witnessing. Also, every time a character entered the scene we were given a short rundown of their bio and what happened to them in the previous books. As Pleasures of a Tempted Lady was my introduction to the series I was glad for these recaps, but if I had followed the series from its beginning the frequent reminders would have frustrated me.
Cover: 6/10 - I'm not a fan of the orange-y cover..
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