Thursday, May 24, 2012

Temptation & Twilight by Charlotte Featherstone

Temptation  & Twilight (The Brethren Guardians, #3)
Iain Sinclair, Marquis of Alynwick, is certain there is a special hell for him. An unrepentant rake, he holds nothing sacred – except for beautiful Elizabeth York. For years, Alynwick has tried to forget the woman he loved so well, and treated so badly. A woman who could hold nothing in her heart for him except hatred.

All of society believes Elizabeth, blind daughter of a duke, to be a proper young lady. But no one knows of her wanton affair with Alynwick. When Lizzy learns of her ancestor’s ancient diary – filled with exotic tales – she longs to uncover the identity of the unnamed lover within and hesitantly allows Alynwick, who claims to have knowledge of the “veiled lady,” to help her solve the mystery.

Eager to be Lizzy’s eyes, Alynwick brings the seductive text to life, and each night it takes greater effort for her to forget his betrayal. With each whispered word, her resolve gives way, without her knowing that a centuries-old secret will lead them to a present-day danger.

Not as good as I hoped it would be...
The idea sounded so good, but it just didn't turn out the way I hoped it would.

The one saving grace of the book is that I was fond of Elizabeth. I liked her strength and ability to survive all she's been through. I especially loved how she handled herself during the action of the last part of the book. It was admirable how she protected herself despite her blindness.

But everything else fell flat.

For one, though I admired Elizabeth's strength, I also though she was overly stubborn. For example, her brother wouldn't let her help with Brethren Guardian business other than discussions because of her blindness. She got all offended-but it makes perfect sense to disallow a blind woman from going into a dangerous situation. She could very easily get hurt, or someone else could get hurt trying to protect her. But she went around being all angry at her brother for keeping her safe-even though he promised to tell her everything that happened. I got very frustrated with her.

I didn't like Iain either. For one, the first scene of the book is Iain thinking about how much he dislikes the woman he was just sleeping with. Not a great first impression. However, I could understand the reason why he put up with the woman. But it got worse. A little while later he has a sudden epiphany that he never stopped loving his lover from years ago (Elizabeth). And suddenly, after years of supposedly pining for her, he decided he has to win her back after having a near death experience. It just didn't seem realistic to me. After all these years, now he decides to try to make up for his despicable actions of the past. I didn't by the near death experience epiphany. It wasn't done well enough for me to believe he was a changed man. Then later he starts trying to woo Elizabeth back. But he was such a jerk about it. The first thing he does is yank her away from a man she was walking with and try to kiss her at a party. But, I ask you, what right did he have to get all jealous and possessive. And he continues like this. He had no right to act as if he owned her. If he had tried to woo her, I would have adored him, despite his past actions. But he just stuck a claim and stubbornly hung on to it, even though Elizabeth had wanted nothing to do with him. He was a jerk the whole time, and I just couldn't like him. 

The plot itself was interesting, but that wasn't the focus of the book. About 95% of the book was Iain and Elizabeth's screwed up relationship. The meager 5% was the actual story of what happened. That actual story of deceit and intrigue was good, but there wasn't much of it.

My last problem is how misleading the summary is. I'm okay with summaries that don't reveal the main plot, but this was over the top. The whole summary is about a secret diary and the "veiled lady" and how the mystery drew the lovers together. Honestly, the diary was only mentioned for about 5 pages about three-quarters into the book. Within them, the entire arch is introduced and solved and then promptly forgotten about. I think if the story had actually followed the idea of this lovers' mystery bringing Iain and Elizabeth together, I would have liked this book so much more. But it wasn't, and I ended up being disappointed.

Temptation & Twilight isn't terrible.But it wasn't good. It had some redeeming qualities that kept me interested but the parts I didn't like ruined the whole book for me.

Sorry to say this,but: 2/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy

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