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After seven failed seasons, Valerie Hempstead decides to take her fate into her own hands, and a tour of the continent is just the thing. Accompanied by a female cousin, and the girl’s childhood companions--all of whom live fast and for the moment, Valerie is about to discover more about life than she anticipated.
Travis Elijah Colin Wade, the son of no one in particular, has just been handed a vast amount of money and a large country estate and, of all things, a bloody title. However, he's not at all pleased about leaving his care-free bachelor days behind. Determined to spend some of his money and relax before assuming his duties for Queen and country, Travis goes abroad. Little does he know that he is about to be utterly swept away by the seduction of innocent surrender.
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The Art of Temptation is part of a new era of historic romance that has some spice with your Victorian romance, while not spicy enough to be erotic it is still hot enough to be the Tex-Mex of Victorian romance.
Valerie has experienced seven seasons and she is done with the Ton, London and her mother, she has made arrangements to stay with a cousin in Paris.
Travis has enjoyed a pretty carefree life until an uncle he didn't know about dies and makes him an Earl, rather than be burdened with the responsibility he runs out on a tour of the continent.
With an interesting take on Victorian romance and the origins of the Moulin Rouge Ms. deGrey takes you from England to France then on to Italy and back to France. The story is a bit choppy and a bit campy, I would say that the characters were rather stereotypical romance novel fodder.
I liked the secondary characters a great deal with the bohemians, the wishy washy cousin, Travis's jerk of a friend and the evil duo who run the Moulin Rouge. I would say if you are looking for something different in a historic romance this may be for you.
“You should save your kisses, for they are very fine indeed. They mustn’t be squandered on just anyone.” His head fell forward seeking her touch and his voice turned into a whisper. “You would not want someone to think you were in love with them when you weren’t, would you?”
A tiny hiss of laughter escaped her lips and she continued caressing his head. “A few silly kisses doth not a declaration of love make.” Her voice matched the tone of his. “Believe me, I ought to know,” she murmured mostly to herself while she toyed softly with his hair.
“Perhaps, but what if the gentleman had deeper feelings for you?”
“Me?” she chuckled. “Highly improbable.”
Travis languidly opened his eyes. Dare he say what was in his heart? The word love on the tip of his tongue demanded to be voiced. His arms slipped around her waist and he took a breath, about to spill his thoughts. Thankfully, he caught himself before that could happen. “Do you discount all the flowers and love notes your admirers send you?”
Just before she rebutted, Valerie’s other hand dove into his hair. Travis nearly moaned.
She murmured next to his ear. “You speak of flowers from strangers, impromptu love notes which were composed alongside a few emptied glasses of brandy. Silly when one considers them declarations, really. Wouldn’t you agree?”
His eyelids were awfully heavy, and an echo from the back of his mind voiced that he’d like to be put to sleep like this every night, after a good solid few hours of lovemaking, of course. She was speaking so softly he had to concentrate to keep focused. As her words drifted past his sensitive ears, he could feel every syllable and intonation of her thoroughly feminine voice. The way her S’s slipped from her tongue in high-pitched whistles alone was enough to entice him to make love to her. He shivered slightly at the sensation. He didn’t dare nod in response to her call for agreement lest her hands cease their ministrations. “I suppose so.”
“I’m glad you agree, because that is what I think of kisses.” She briefly pressed her lips to his. “Kisses are but a handshake. There is nothing which could make me fall in love with you were I to shake your hand—nor by kissing you,” she whispered against his mouth and then kissed him again.
With the help of his intoxication, Travis’s eyelids drooped shut. He was so aroused by her tiny kisses it was as if she had been stroking his cock for an hour. In his mind’s eye he saw Valerie, in a fine gown, entertaining a table-full of guests in the elegant dining room at Sutton Court. In his daydream, she turned to him and smiled—a silent, seductive invitation her to bed. The vision made his breath catch. It was brilliant. God, but he wanted to drag her upstairs without further delay and show her just how he felt. On the verge of doing so, she spoke.
“And besides, I am in love with Spencer.”
Born and reared in Southern California, Genella deGrey longed to be your typical blonde, tanned, surfer girl but failed miserably. Unable to sit idle without falling asleep, she embarked upon several artistic endeavors. Makeup and set dressing for the entertainment industry, Resort Enhancement for The Walt Disney Company and writing sexy historical romance top the list of her favorite activities.
Genella has a keen interest in the spirit world. She loves wandering around in graveyards, traveling to battle fields and other haunted destinations, the older the better. New Orleans is one of her favorite places to encounter the supernatural, as is Tombstone, AZ.
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