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). It's a light fluffy read if you want to kill a few hours with some brain candy (pun intended) but not one that's going to linger on your keeper shelf either. 2.5/5 stars - I'm giving an extra half star just because Neville did spare me another volcano of honey moment. Thank goodness for small miracles :p
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.
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.