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Never Resist Temptation Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 2009

3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (1 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061715913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061715914
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,102,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Miranda Neville grew up in England before moving to New York City to work in Sotheby's rare books department. After many years as a journalist and editor, she decided writing fiction was more fun. She lives in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Born and raised in France (although English on her mother's side) Jacobin de Chastelux returns to England after her parent's death and in care of her despicable uncle Baron Candover. Playing at cards with Lord Anthony Storrington and down on luck and funds he gambles his last asset - Jacobin. Of course she's none too pleased and high tails it out of dodge with her uncle's pastry chef, and disguised a boy and gains work in the Prince Regent's kitchen. It doesn't take long before finds herself accused of trying to poison her uncle and she's once again on the lam - and offers her pastry skills up to the very man she'd run from in the first place - Anthony.

Anthony doesn't fall for the boy get-up and falls into immediate lust with Jacobin and will do anything to protect her from the law while our intrepid pair try to solve the mystery of who is trying to kill her uncle. There's also a sub-story of Anthony's desire for revenge against Candover along with a mystery involving the death of his mother. You should be able to figure out most of it lickety-split. No big surprises here.

While the book started off a bit fun and I did enjoy all the food references and pastry descriptions (I swear my blood sugar levels went up just thinking about them), it quickly dissolved into a bit of a silly mess. I did like Jacobin's character and she was definitely a better-than-your-average-romance-heroine, but as other reviewers have noted Anthony could have used a strong infusion of alpha male and less milk-toast mushiness. Although certainly tame compared to other romance novels, the sex scenes got a bit odd at times, especially the pretend we're at the opera while I pleasure you from behind bit (you had to be there).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is a lot to like here, although the storyline does stray beyond the realms of the believable. The heroine is feisty and a believable character- even though she disguises herself as a man and has spent her formative years in the servants hall learning to be a pastry virtuoso. The romance is quite sweet (unintentional, but apt pun here!) and some there are some sizzling love scenes.

I am a fan of Miranda Neville's books, and this one, while competent enough, is not her best. Having said that, it is better by a country mile than many of the historical romances available at the moment.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Never Resist Temptation paperback
This is an exceedingly well written historical romance. Not only does it have an intriguing plot involving cross dressing disguise, murder and erotic sexual foreplay with a lot of delicious recipes, but it is beautifully written with many authentic historical words easily accessible in the dialogues, and a vivid picture of Regency England. A delicious meal of a novel, easily digestible at any time or any mood.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x968734f8) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a0f3c) out of 5 stars The messy plot and man-boy hero killed this one for me; the heroine was a gem though 12 Jun. 2009
By Mrs. Baumann - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Plot Summary: In this convoluted plot, Jacobin De Chastelux has an evil Uncle who treated her like a poker chip and lost her at cards to Lord Storrington. Jacobin flees her Uncle's house and poses as a male French pastry chef within the Prince's household. Meanwhile, Storrington is plotting to lure the evil Uncle to his doom, and he chances upon a male pastry chef who will serve as bait for his glutinous enemy. Storrington hires Jacobin, and he quickly sees through her disguise. There are innumerable knots, kinks, tangles, and twists within this plot, and I'd need a whole lotta space to explain it all.

Thankfully I do have a few nice things to say about this book, which makes me glad, because overall it was not good. While tipping my hat in acknowledgement that this is a debut novel by a new author, this book cannot compare to a historical romance written by a seasoned pro such as Lisa Kleypas or Madeline Hunter. The plot is a steaming pile of overly complicated conundrums, and the author was clearly in love with the foodie side of the story. Too much in love. I enjoyed the pastry chef tidbits, but I think it took the focus from the romance. More on that later.

The good news is that Jacobin's character was spot on perfect. She was a wonderfully complex heroine, and her English and French halves created interesting conflicts. She lives with the English, but she's not truly one of them, and taken within the historical context of the book (after Napoleon's defeat), Jacobin's defensiveness is convincing.

The bad news is that Lord Storrington was a kaleidoscope of the least desirable character traits I'd want in a hero. At some point he was either weepy, gullible, arrogant, selfish, or rapacious. Even after getting to know Jacobin and her true story, Storrington uses her as a stake in a card game with her hated Uncle. He was a man-boy full of maudlin self-pity with nothing left over to spare for Jacobin.

This is why the romance failed to ignite, because I can't get excited for a hero like Storrington. There were also some missed opportunities to build up the sexual tension (in the only ballroom scene, they never dance or speak!), and too much time is devoted to ancillary characters, like Storrington's sister, or to details about making pastries. Ultimately a romance needs to focus on the romance first, and everything else should be icing on the cake.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a0f90) out of 5 stars fun Regency romantic suspense 25 Feb. 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1816 London, Anthony the Earl of Storrington wants to court Lord Candover's niece, Jacobin de Chastelux, over the objection of his dying father who loathes her uncle. However, Jacobin is not interested in his suit in spite of his being the catch of the season. Instead she runs from her home masquerading as Jacob Leon.

When hooligans assault Jacob, Anthony rescues him. Though he is a bit perturbed that he finds the lad attractive, he hires Jacob to serve on his staff as a pastry chef. When someone tries to kill Candover using poison in his food the evidence points towards Jacobin as the culprit. She, as a male, begins to investigate in an amateurish attempt to expose the culprit, but soon finds Anthony helping him, make that her.

This is a fun Regency romantic suspense starring a likable delightful duo. The debates between Anthony and Jacobin-Jacob are fun to follow as he begins to see the similarity in his-her pattern. Although happenstance allowed Anthony to be in the right place at the right time to rescue Jacob, fans will not care as they began to fall in love when she was his male chef.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a13e4) out of 5 stars Fun debut 19 May 2011
By K. Howard - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once you suspend belief that this beautiful woman was able to disguise herself as a man as she worked among many men as a chef, it's quite a fun book. Pretty darn good for a debut novel. Sprinkled throughout with some recipes (Jacobin was a pastry chef), this was a lighthearted romance with a bit of mystery. And I admit Anthony's love of "little puffy things" made me smile.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a17b0) out of 5 stars 4 blue ribbons from Romance Junkies 7 Oct. 2009
By C. Dionne - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jacobin de Chastelux isn't content to sit back and let the gambling debts, whims and dictates of her uncle and guardian, Candover determine the rest of her life - especially when the unscrupulous man bet her virtue - and lost - in a card game. Unwilling to be used in such a fashion Jacobin disappears and is believed to have eloped with Candover's French pastry cook. Who would have guessed that her culinary talents and a clever disguise would land her a job in the kitchen of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton - or the worrisome trouble that would stem from her position?

Lord Anthony Storrington is determined to bring down Lord Candover and he believes the man's self indulgent attitude is the key to achieving his goal. He thought he'd succeeded when he won Candover's niece in a card game but miraculously the man managed to raise the funds owed after Jacobin ran away rather than honor her uncle's debt. Anthony assumed that was the end of any possible association he'd have with Candover's niece Jacobin but he's in for a huge surprise.

Jacobin dreams of someday opening her own pasty shop and she's saving toward that goal but with her measly salary it will be a long time before that happens. When she receives an employment offer at the sum of eighty pounds a year, Jacobin considers it - until she learns that the offer stems from Lord Storrington himself. The last thing she wants is to work for the very man she once ran from - even if he doesn't know that the chef he seeks to hire is really Jacobin.

Anthony prefers simple English deserts. He has no need for fluffy French creations, but he is well aware that Candover loves them. By hiring such a prominent pastry chef he'll have the tools to lure Candover over and hopefully entice him into another card game. Unfortunately the chef known as Jacob Leon refuses him despite his generous offer. Circumstances change though and when Candover is poisoned by one of Jacobin/Jacob's creations it becomes imperative that Jacob disappears. She devises a plan in which Anthony hopefully will agree to hire her fictitious Jane - only that plan doesn't exactly go as she intends and Anthony recognizes her as a female. There's a definite attraction between Anthony and `Jane' but how will he feel once he discovers his new cook's true identity? And how will it affect his plot against Candover?

Miranda Neville's debut novel NEVER RESIST TEMPTATION is a charming story that holds the reader's attention through each twist and turn in the plotline. Anthony and Jacobin have been affected by Candover's callousness and selfish actions and they have good reason to want revenge. They are strong individuals with stubborn personalities that seem to mesh perfectly. I found real humor in their love for food despite the differences between English and French cuisine. Candover is easy to despise, though I couldn't imagine either Anthony or Jacobin wanting to poison him - torture him, yes!, but not poison. This is a fun tale filled with intrigue and a passion for food and loving - definitely a fabulous introduction to Ms. Neville's writing.

Chrissy Dionne (courtesy of Romance Junkies)
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a1894) out of 5 stars Very good debut effort -- shows lots of promise 23 Mar. 2009
By D. Summerfield - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this novel because it is a debut novel, and I want to encourage new talent. Miranda Neville shows great promise and I will be looking for her next book as this one is obviously set up for one or more sequels.

The plot is a little convoluted. Jacobin de Chastelux (try saying THAT ten times fast) is a beautiful, impoverished orphan, living with her horrid uncle, Baron Candover, who "loses" her in a card game to Anthony, Lord Storrington. Rather than be forced to become Anthony's mistress (or even worse, be sold to a brothel, which is the other option Jacobin's dastardly uncle proposes), Jacobin disguises herself as a boy and takes a job as an assistant pastry chef in the Prince Regent's household. Jacobin is a gifted pastry chef, and through various and sundry circumstances and close calls, she finally ends up as a still-in-disguise, (but this time as a servant and a girl,) pastry chef to the very man who "won" her in that card game. (Are you with me?) Jacobin is now going by the name Jane Castle. And, of course, she and Anthony fall in love.

Although the plot is contrived, complicated and pretty silly, the writing is not bad at all. Of course the whole "losing your 23-year old niece in a card game" premise is ridiculous. But I have suspended disbelief on flimsier premises in romance novels. The prose style is relatively smooth and the reader does care about what happens to the hero and heroine. There is a lot of unnecessary running around, and missed opportunities to set the record straight and clear up misconceptions, but on the whole the book is quite readable. The sex scenes are steamy and imaginative, and the sexual tension is well-drawn.

One thing the author does extremely well is integrate her research on Regency-era kitchens and recipes and pastry into the text. Ms. Neville writes a charming endnote about her interest in Regency-era chefs and cooking, which made me like her very much, and want to read further efforts which she produces.

This particular book is not keeper shelf material. But it shows lots of promise, and the author has introduced at least one, and maybe two minor characters who could show up in sequels. I will most certainly be purchasing her next book. I think she can only get better.
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