"Don't Tempt Me"
by Loretta Chase
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This was my first Loretta Chase book, and I really became a fan of hers! In "Don't Tempt Me", Zoe Lexham has found her way home to London after 12 years of exile in the East. She was kidnapped and sold into slavery on a family trip there when she was only 12 years old. Lucien de Grey, Duke of Marchmont, is determined to prove that the woman claiming to be Zoe is lying, but one look proves she is the spirited childhood friend that he'd given up on ever seeing again. Lucien decides that its his duty to Zoe's father, who was like a father to him too, to present Zoe to society. Only the Duke can protect her from the scandal of being known as "The Harem Girl."
I really enjoyed this book, but I've seen some poor reviews. I think people may have expected another "Lord of Scoundrels" and dismiss this one as not up to par. But I thought this book was a keeper in it's own right.
I loved Lucien's character, he is somewhat of a wastrel, going through life in a daze, never taking responsibility for anything after being devastated by losing his family. But once Zoe comes back into his life, he really grows as a person and learns to take responsibility for his life and those that depend on him.
I thought it was really great how the book focused a lot on Lucien and Zoe's lives after they were married, instead of only on the buildup to the wedding. I believe Zoe threw a thing or two at Lucien, and their quarrels were believable and real. This book also touches a little on jealousy for both leads, which always adds a little extra spice. Also, after Lucien realized he was in love with Zoe, there was no hiding it, he became quite a doting husband and wasn't afraid to let everyone know!
Probably the only reason why this book received 4 stars from me instead of 5 is that Zoe's sex appeal is a bit exaggerated. This of course is explained by the harem plot, but the harem scandal was another thing about the book that I didn't really care for.
The supporting characters were quite funny, Lucien's valet was always in tears over this or that. And Lucien's observations about Zoe's busybody sisters were hilarious.
Overall I loved the book and the characters' realistic relationship and tender feelings for one another.