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Trusting in Temptation,
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This review is from: TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN (Zebra Debut) (Mass Market Paperback)
Ever since his father's death, Collin Blackburn, Lord Westmore, has been searching for his brother's murderer. But when his investigations lead him to the Somerhart estate, the young Lady Alexandra Huntingdon is not the fallen woman he expects.
Having been caught in a compromising position during her first London season, which resulted in a duel that left one man dead and the other fleeing the country, Alex is a ruined woman. And yet she's managed to find a measure of contentment by managing her brother's land, and putting the terrible mistakes of her past behind her. That is until Collin shows up, raking up the past and stirring up feelings Alex thought long gone. Yet the longer they spend together the more the heat of attraction burns. But with the past and their social positions forever between them, can they ever trust enough to let go of their fears and surrender to love?
Victoria Dahl's debut is a delicious mix of strong characters, hot sensuality and the darkness of mistrust. Alex is a heroine more suited to modern times, who kicks hard at the constraints of society - understandable since she was raised by her carefree, rakish brother. She simply wants the same freedoms he has, so when Collin crosses her past he doesn't stand a chance.
Not that Collin is weak - he's stubborn, honourable and all twisted up inside by his illegitimacy. While Alex's behaviour in the first half is wilful, foolish and occasionally selfish, the second half is Collin's turn to be an idiot. Yet depite all this, Dahl makes them both sympathetic and likeable enough that even when Collin's actions verge on hateful, I still wanted Alex to have a happy ending.
I'm a big fan of Dahl, both her lighter contemporaries (starting with Talk Me Down) and her darker historicals (continuing with A Rake's Guide to Pleasure (Zebra Historical Romance)). The historical element is little more than a backdrop, but the characters are always compelling. Right from the start. If you like characters you can root for, even when you want to shake some sense into them, give Dahl a try.