***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***Always a Temptress by Eileen Dreyer
Series: The Drake's Rakes, #3
Published by Grand Central Publishing on October 1, 2011
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
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Also in this series: Never a Gentleman
His greatest battle is just beginning . . .
Captain Harry Lidge has done his duty. After losing too many good men on the battlefield, he's ready to put his responsibilities behind him and live a life free of care. But first he has one last mission: find out what the most outrageous woman in London, the same woman who betrayed him nearly a decade earlier, is concealing, before her secrets take down the crown.
Her heart is the only thing she won't risk . . .
Surrounded by ardent admirers and a few loyal friends, Lady Kate Seaton glides through the ton on a confection of couture gowns and bon mots. No one suspects that beneath her lighthearted façade Kate hides a sorrow so scandalous she'll do anything to keep it hidden. But only when she trusts Harry with the truth and only when he trusts her with his heart can they stop the villains all too willing to kill Kate to attain their ultimate goal: destroy England
When Kate Seaton was fifteen she fell in love with Harry Lidge and him with her. Harry’s father was the squire and a good friend to Kate’s father the Duke. Harry had spent lots of time with the Duke and Duchess and worshiped the Duke. The Duke had taken care of his family after his father had passed away. He didn’t meet Kate until later and instantly they developed a friendship that turn into something special. Harry thought he would have a chance with the Duke’s daughter until all his illusions of ever after were dashed when the Duke informed him of some things about Kate that shattered all his hopes. The Duke seeing the pain Harry was going through paid for his commission to join the army. Harry took the word of the Duke since he figured the Duke would never lie to him. He had only known Kate for 2 months. After ten years serving his country in life threatening situations, Harry is ready to sell his commission and travel and see the world without battle. His plan is put on hold when he is asked by Diccan his friend and fellow Drake’s Rake to look after Kate. When the notorious Surgeon dies he implicate that Kate has knowledge of where the “Verse” is. The “Verse” is an intricate part of the devious traitorous plans of “Lions”. The “Lions” is a group who is working to overthrow the current Government.
Kate and Harry can’t be around one another without verbally sparring. After Harry broke her heart and left her years ago Kate was married off and barely survived her horrific marriage. After her husband died she rebuilt her life fortifying and snubbing society with her outrageous antics. She has surrounded herself with the riff-raffs of society and built a sanctuary for herself in her home. On her way home after her good friends wedding Kate is kidnapped. Thinking that her own brother had her kidnapped she is surprised to find out that it’s Harry instead. Kate realizes that Harry intends to keep her until he gets the information that he thinks Kate has about the “Lions”. Kate is furious that he would even believe she is part of the group.
Things quickly spiral out of control for both of them. Harry is still attracted to her and her to him but so much hurt and misunderstanding stand in their way. Harry realizes Kate is a big contradiction. Nothing like how society or he has painted her. When her life is in danger, will Harry risk his dreams and heart again to protect her.
Well Mrs. Deyer let me just say that I’m so glad that I read this book. After my love/hate emotions for Never a Gentleman I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book. I was hesitant to pick it up but even with my love/hate of Never a Gentleman I knew that you are an amazing storyteller and had to give this book a chance. Always a Temptress is the third book in the Drake’s Rake’s series. We met both the hero and heroine of this book in the previous two books and their story had been building. Readers know that these two have no love for one another and that there is some history. We find out in this book what caused all the hostility that each feel for the other. This book was packed full of heartache, hope, intrigue, sweetness and great supporting cast of secondary characters.
In this book Kate’s life is in danger from her family and the “Lions” group. Harry’s objections and loathing for Kate is put to rest in this book. When he discovers the truth he is left devastated. The emotions conveyed in Dreyers writing of all Harry is feeling breaks your heart. Kate is also left floundering since her reason to be angry at Harry is dashed with his confession. These two deserve so much happiness. The trials and heartbreak they’ve both gone through is immense. Harry is tired and ready to start the next part in his life. He’s lived this whole time thinking that Kate wasn’t the girl he fell for and it was lies. When he finds out all the pain she has suffered he goes about making amends. His patience, understanding and tenderness awakens passion in Kate. I absolutely adore Harry. When the book first starts I wasn’t too sure about him. His dislike of Kate blinded him and he treated her pretty shabby at the beginning. But once he realizes his error, boy did he try. Some of my favorite and very poignant scenes are his lessons in kissing Kate. Harry’s kisses are erotic and sweet…talk about swoon moment, ladies! Harry is gallant, strong, a beautiful soul, resourceful and just damn sexy as hell.
As for Kate…wow talk about a strong heroine. From her sarcastic retorts to her moments of vulnerability I was drawn to her character. She is loyal to those she loves and puts them above all things. I couldn’t imagine the nightmare of a marriage she suffered. My heart broke for her and I shed a bit of tears, when I the reader and Harry realized the full magnitude of her suffering. She hides her pain behind her outlandish antics and smart mouth.
Scenes between the two were always explosive whether in passion or hate. The best scenes were Harry’s lessons in kisses. One of my favorite quotes that I think summarizes very well what a long road these two have to go before they can trust and possibly love again is below….
“His body all but seized in excitement. His own heart was matching and outdistancing hers. For God’s sake, it was just a kiss. He couldn’t remember when last he’d spent so much time simply exploring a mouth. But this mouth was special. Breaching these defenses was a triumph.”
Sigh…it says so much. The connection and awareness for each other jumps off the pages and just smacks you. I held my breathe when Kate held hers, I cried along with Harry when he cried and laughed when they found a little happiness. The secondary characters which included the previous Drake’s Rake motley crew, Kate’s household staff and Bea added to the story-line. They provided a nice mix to the sadness and gave the book some of funnier moments. Kate’s brother the current Duke, his wife and the “Lions” added the intrigue to the book with they’re sinister agendas. I really want to know more about Drake himself, Chuffy and Ian. I really hope we will get a story for Ian…the giant Scotsman.
All and all I enjoyed this book and completely fell in love with the leading couple. I cried, I laughed, and I rooted and sat on the edge rooting Harry on when he was desperate towards the end of the book. Always a Temptress was a 180 degree change from Never Love a Gentleman. I highly recommend this book for fans of stories where the leading couple go from love to hate, sinister plot, great supporting cast and a satisfying ending that will leave you sighing and smiling. Be sure to have tissues handy.
★★ Book was read in October 2011. I own my own personal paperback copy. ★★
Books in this Series:
- Barely a Lady (The Drake’s Rakes, #1)
- Never a Gentleman (The Drake’s Rakes, #2) | My Review
- Always a Temptress (The Drake’s Rakes #3) | My Review
- It Begins with a Kiss (The Drake’s Rakes, #3.5)
- Once a Rake (The Drakes Rakes, #4)
- Twice Tempted (The Drake’s Rakes, #5)
✾ Giveaway Info ✾
The wonderful and awesome peeps at Forever Romance an affiliate of Grand Central Publishing is offering copies of this book to THREE readers of the blog.
- Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only
- No P.O. Boxes please.
- Winners are subject to the one copy per household rule. This means if you win the same book in two different
contests, Hachette will only send you one copy of the book.
- Books will be sent directly from the publisher.
- You MUST leave a comment with your e-mail address if it’s not on your profile so I can contact you if you win.
- Giveaway ends Oct 21st