My Rating... 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by NetGalley
Roger Templeton, a rake known as one of the Saint’s Devils, is leaving a party when he overhears a woman attempting to remove herself from a man's unwanted advances. He rescues her, only to find himself being seduced by this beautiful temptress. However, he soon realizes she is his childhood friend, Harriet (Harry) Stanley. He quickly back-pedals and attempts to help his long ago friend before she becomes the focus of ugly gossip.
On the other hand, Harry is determined to be ruined. Enjoying the freedom that comes to a widow, she does not want to marry anyone, let alone the unpleasant Mr. Faircloth, and she feels that sullying her reputation will end his obstinate pursuit. Unfortunately for Roger, she is determined he will be the one to do it.
Nothing is quite as it seems in Ms. Kane’s wonderful Tempting a Devil. Right from the start of the book, the reader understands that there is more going on to the entire situation than meets the eye. Ms. Kane does a wonderful job revealing information a little at a time, leaving the reader hanging on every chapter. While some of the “twists” are more obvious, others are not, which makes the entire story very enjoyable.
As childhood friends, Harry and Roger shared a good-natured youth - even though he had a few years on her. Through dialogue and flashbacks, we learn that Roger took to protecting Harry and viewed her as a little sister - an image he has to work to erase as he meets up with her years later. Their past playfulness translates wonderfully to adult banter and flirtations. Harry is relentless in her pursuit of Roger, which in and of itself is quite fun.
The real romance begins once Roger gives into his desires and allows Harry to “catch him.” I adore how hard he works to give her the attention and romance she deserves after living through a horrible first marriage, while also trying to preserve her standing in society. It was such fun knowing the pair were working against one another in this matter. And while I mostly enjoyed the banner and fun between Harry and Roger, I was continuously fearful that things would turn south quickly because of the many secrets she was keeping from him. She was using him terribly, and after a while, it started taking the fun out of their blossoming relationship.
I love how feisty and head-strong Harry is. She knows she's not made the most socially popular or acceptable choices in her life, but she doesn't apologize for being who she is. She is very modern in a time when it's not always okay to be that way.
And Roger is so adorable and love-struck. Even when he cannot admit it to himself. He is honorable and trustworthy. He is romantic. I look forward to seeing what becomes of him down the road.
Side characters Hil and Wiley are equally wonderful. Once again providing humor, and at times needed insight. Ms. Kane is developing both characters, and the results are marvelous.
The only thing for me that disrupted the flow for me was my own concerns over Harry continuing to lie to Roger, but in the end it didn't matter. He knew she was lying, and he let her, knowing she needed to take her time and come to the truth in her own way.
In the end, Tempting a Devil is an exciting romance, that is both fun and sweet. The overall story, as well as the love affair, was well laid out, even with the few minor “issues” I had. I loved Harry - her strength and determination outshine any character flaws. I recommend this wonderful historical for some entertaining summer reading.